Week 1: Wine, Death, and Haircuts

THE WOMAN

“They said he had a month, but they lied; he had twenty-four days and eleven hours. He just got married, too. I got the call this morning. My, God, I’m older than a dead man.” The woman took another swig from a mini bottle of wine. It may have seemed innocent in size, but it wasn’t in quantity; she had five or six of them stowed in the bag at her feet.

My barber reminded me that she had cleared my seat and was ready for me. I thanked her and sat down. Continue reading “Week 1: Wine, Death, and Haircuts”

Orwell’s Shooting An Elephant – a Review and Analysis

SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS

I’d like to kick off this new essay review series on a strong note. So, without further ado, let’s start with the legend and his legendary piece: George Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant.”

TO SET THE STAGE

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Jung on The Therapist’s Dilemma

A couple weeks ago, I finished C.G. Jung’s essay The Undiscovered Self. I found it an impressive but not wholly convincing work–great food for thought but painfully hypothetical (Jung, of course, argues that is precisely how it should be). Still, I find myself revisiting a few ideas that really peaked my interest. One of such is his explanation of what I will call the “therapists dilemma.”

The Therapist’s Dilemma

“On one hand, he is equipped with the statistical truths of his scientific training, and on the other hand, he is faced with the task of treating a sick person who…requires individual understanding. The more schematic the treatment is, the more resistance it–quite rightly–calls up in the patient, and the more the cure is jeporadized.” – C.G. Jung, The Undiscovered Self (p. 7)

Continue reading “Jung on The Therapist’s Dilemma”

The Undiscovered Self – A Book Review

 

A Brief Warning

If you find yourself content with your understanding of yourself, others, and your nation, I firstly envy your clarity and secondly advise you to not read on. The theories posited in Jung’s essay are quite dangerous, dealing with the illusory nature of knowing ourselves, others, or our society. This is the case with much of philosophy–and that is precisely what this is: philosophy. Regardless of Jung’s credentials as a merited psychologist, by no means does this essay explore theories empirically or statistically.  ITs really up to the rader to decide its worth. Jung argues it ought to be that way, claiming statistics and averages only mislead (see below). Continue reading “The Undiscovered Self – A Book Review”

What Life Could Mean to You – A Book Review

Had Alfred Adler’s What Life Could Mean To You taken on the meaning of life, I would call his stance an eloquent and attractive cop-out. However, this book does not question the very fabric our being (like Edward O. Wilson’s impressive The Meaning of Human Existence). Instead, it concerns the meaning individuals assign themselves. Adler’s approach is broad and bold—perhaps at times too bold. Overall, What Life Should Mean to You is unique in its real-life applicability and its perspective on meaning but too simplistic to present convincing arguments. Continue reading “What Life Could Mean to You – A Book Review”

The Meaning of Human Existence – A Book Review

Few have the merit or authority to title a book as boldly as Edward O. Wilson’s The Meaning of Human Existence. I count this man part of that few, and his execution of answering such a question was unique and mostly effective, save for occasional tangents not wholly relevant to its title. In brief, I feel this book is immensely well-written and equally important. Continue reading “The Meaning of Human Existence – A Book Review”