Book: 101 Experiments in the Philosophy of Everyday Life by Roger-Pol Droit

astonish_yourself

This was one of those books I happened to find accidentally. once again it was shouting to me from one shelf in a library [Kuori omena päässäsi in Finnish]. Yes, I still sometimes visit a library, not reading everything in PDF [trying to avoid reading anything longer than 2-4 pages in PDF]. But anyway, I really liked this book and think it’s amazing!

What’s it about

Like the title says; the book contains a list of 101 experiments one can just read through or even try. They are of course more than just a list of do’s, there’s often more thinking through the exercises. Some of them last longer,  from a life time and some of them are shorter, lasting just seconds, and they vary from trying to peel an apple in your mind to imagining the world lasting only twenty minutes.

The book isn’t really about doing funny or odd experiments. You could replace them with other similar experiments as I will later try to show you, but the basis would stay the same. In my opinion the book is about understanding that the so-called normality and the state of one’s existence is created in our own minds, and breaking away from or changing it is really an easy thing to do. It only requires one to be an active participant in that progress.

First impressions

Funny, weird, awesome, a mind opener. I noticed that there was a couple of practices I’ve already done without thinking them as doing anything, like ‘Leave the cinema in daytime’ or ‘Try not to think’.

Reading this book could also help one except better other people. This isn’t ever a bad result now is it?

Possible inspirations

  • Opening one’s mind to ponder what is really ‘weird’ or what is ‘normal’.
  • Expanding one’s creativity and borders of thinking – yes, it’s called philosophy and that’s what is usually should do, I know. These maybe the biggest effects hopefully one can get out from this strange journey.

Possible turn downs

  • Nothing much, but if I had to mention something: The ‘French feel’ and the mixture of philosophical pondering may be a bit too much to some not so open minded people. So if you can take things without judging them so easily, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Some things from the book

  • Experiment: ‘Call yourself’. Basically try to step out from yourself and call yourself shouting, like you would be someone other, that you really aren’t but you should think like it anyway. Scream, shout and try to call yourself 20 minutes until you feel your really are duplicating, bending the boundaries what is you in you and what is that thing, object you are calling. How can you get back to be just one again [can you?]? Say in a normal voice ‘Yes, Coming!’.
  • Experiment: ‘Rant for ten minutes’. This is an exceptionally good practice for those like me who often feel this ball we call earth is stupid and inadequate place. Read more about the excercise from the book itself, I don’t want to spoil every one of them here.

For who?

To anyone trying to broaden their perspectives and trying to burst the bubble of a regular, boring, normal weekday. This is a must book for creative people and people overall interested in common and practical philosophy.

To those who are asking the question ‘Is this all there is?’. The answer in here could be; yes, but so what? Make the best out of it and try to enjoy! There’s a good experiment for this in the book called ‘Practice make-believe everywhere’.

Other reading from the author:

How are Things?

Links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger-Pol_Droit
http://www.the-philosopher.co.uk/reviews/poldroit.htm

Amazon
Shvoong
An Interview with Roger-Pol Droit

Extra – Experiment 102 by me

This is a small exercise that came to my mind while reading this book, and I really have to write it down. Hopefully Roger-Pol won’t be offended about this. Of course it’s not as good as the ones in the book so probably not. I thank him for the inspiration.

Experiment 102: ‘Read something you are least interested’

Duration: 30–90 minutes [depending on your patience and if you became interested about it]
Props: A library
Effect: Nearing

Go to a library, find a topic you know you are not at all interested in. Find the least interesting subject you can find. Take one random book about it, any will do. Find a good spot and begin to read it as if you really were interested about it. Be happy for the moment you now have, enjoy and gorge the written lines with your eyes.

There can be basically a couple things that can happen:

  1. You are thinking the whole time ‘Aaaf, this is so boring’ or,
  2. You may get [a bit] interested.

This is a funny thing. You are in a place filled with the mankind’s written down knowledge, interests and passions. Someone is really, actually interested about all of these subjects. Of course not the same person about them all, but for every topic there’s followers.

And what makes your passion so interesting anyway? Think about it in the light of the emotions you are currently feeling about the book you just read. Someone in the world is feeling the same way about your hobbies or interests. Not interesting at all!

So here we are in the verge of interesting questions; is your ‘interest’ really interesting at all? Think about it a while. Why are you feeling football or economics are interesting? Are they, or are you just running along, believing that they are interesting, but one thing you would really like to do instead is to knit? Really, try to ponder this. Strange things can appear.

You’re not here trying to loose your interests, more likely to think over them. Pick up a new one for a while and try it out.

Can you after this still say that his interests aren’t that interesting and why does she love to do those things? Of course you can and no, you cannot. And who made you to comment, and why are you even commenting?

Advertisement

Book: The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

cameronWell, what can I say about this book? It’s awesome. And I bought it by accident. It was in a bookstore, watching me from the shelf, and attacked me when I passed it by. And I can say that this is one of the best books I’ve read, til now, dealing with creativity and how to systematically unlock one’s creative mind.

What’s it about

In my opinion, it’s really a comprehensive guide to yourself, not just another one of those 12 steps programs you see in millions out there. Although this is divided in 12 weeks, and at first I was thinking ‘Another one of these’, but the format in this case defends its place.

The book doesn’t work like ‘snap’, and after reading it you are done. In it Ms Cameron introduces many good questions and thoughts about creativity and how you should live it. And puts you to work to achieve results. Merely reading, as in many other cases, isn’t enough.

First impressions

When I read this I was like, ‘OK now we are going a bit over the top in some things’. But when you let go of your prejudices and read the text with an open mind, it feels good. And after all, if you’re supposed to be a creative and open-minded person, you should have an open-minded approach to these things too and determine what works for you best.

Possible inspirations

  • The concept of describing creativity as it is; a whole that you have to nurture and feed, not a separate feature you can just turn on and off as you please
  • Creativity should be fun! Like when you were a child. –This point I really enjoyed. Too many times I see, that ‘creating’ has become a too big deal
  • Dozens of magnificent quotes to make you think

Possible turn downs

  • Talking about God in the sense she does, may drive away some people. But those who have a broad view to life and are able to think outside the box, shouldn’t feel any discomfort
  • Some parts of the texts may be a bit pampering, but perhaps that’s just me

Some things from the book

  • Artist’s dates
  • Morning pages

For who?

To artists of any kind, and to all those who wrestle with creativity in their lives, or want to understand it a bit better.

Links:

http://www.theartistsway.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_Cameron