Review by Lunastella -- Rediscovering the Wisdom of Huma...

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Lunastella
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Review by Lunastella -- Rediscovering the Wisdom of Huma...

Post by Lunastella »

[Following is a volunteer review of "Rediscovering the Wisdom of Human Nature" by Chet Shupe.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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“Life is not about safety. It’s about whether we live with love or without it.”
-Chet Shupe

At one point or another, most of us have felt that there's something wrong with how our society operates. We've at least felt anxiety or dissatisfaction. Chet Shupe, in Rediscovering the Wisdom of Human Nature: How Civilization Destroys Happiness explains that these feelings are born from our “spiritual imprisonment” to a civilization that smothers our emotional intelligence and spiritual freedom. The author believes that, when the first Homo sapiens let their instincts run free and lived in the present moment, there was no anxiety, depression, or dissatisfaction. However, as men developed language and, with it, the ability to devise long-term plans, our happiness started to wither. Shupe explains this process in detail and reveals how he believes we can break free from our “culturally imposed dementia.”

On a positive note, the premise of the book is interesting and original. The core ideas of the book – living in the moment, paying attention to our feelings, and living in service to others – are highly valuable. The book is also well-organized and even includes some table summaries and a glossary. The many examples the author uses bring to life an otherwise dry philosophical text. I was especially astounded by his example of how some soldiers miss war due to the brotherhood it entails. I also applaud the importance Shupe places on sisterhoods and returning women to their power.

However, I found two main flaws in the book: it’s repetitive and unreliable. First, the author repeats his basic premise until both it and the reader are exhausted; concise explanations would’ve been more powerful. Secondly, the author addresses few issues that stem from his theory. Shupe states that the human desire for knowledge separates us from our origins and, hence, our happiness. However, isn't curiosity an innate human trait? He also fails to explain the place of some people in his ideal society. If, according to his theory, the purpose of romance is reproduction, what would happen to homosexuals or those unable to procreate? The answer I predict from him, “let life find its own way,” is not enough for me.

Furthermore, he repeats that domestic violence is a reaction to “the emotional suffering that blights human life, under civil rule”. Honestly, this sounds like a lame excuse for abusers to continue committing crimes. Assertions like “wives often get mistreated as a result of their devotion, because it offends men’s souls” are, ironically, plainly offensive. Furthermore, the author never gives evidence, bibliographical or otherwise, of this idyllic past we should strive to return to; his only proof is the behavior of primates. The author only superficially mentions what led him to these beliefs. However, diving deeper into his story would've enriched the book and, perhaps, enlightened the reader about some unexplained aspects.

The editing mistakes of the book are minor, but exceed ten occurrences. Due to the original premise, interesting examples, and commendable intentions, I rate Rediscovering the Wisdom of Human Nature: How Civilization Destroys Happiness by Chet Shupe 2 out of 4 stars. I deducted two stars because of the repetitive nature of the text, the editing flaws, and some highly questionable assertions.

This book will appeal to readers interested in philosophy, sociology, psychology, and evolutionary studies. This is not a book I would recommend to devoutly religious people, anyone without the patience for repetitive text, or those unwilling to entertain ideas that could be considered outlandish. Readers who prefer fiction might want to stay away from this book.

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Rediscovering the Wisdom of Human Nature
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markodim721
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Post by markodim721 »

I like the idea of ​​"culturally imposed dementia." I think almost everything was said with those three words.
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Post by Mounce574 »

The justification to mistreat anyone is very outlandish. This book would seriously offend anyone that has suffered from the cruelty of others. I also think is idea on romance is placing people on the level of animals. I wonder how he grew up to be so demented?
Great review on an extremely twisted book.
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Post by Naaya123 »

I find books like these to be very intriguing, I'll give this one a try. Lovely Review!
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Post by Bertha Jackson »

I think I will pass on this one. Thank you for your honest review.
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Post by Lunastella »

markodim721 wrote: 08 May 2021, 12:11 I like the idea of ​​"culturally imposed dementia." I think almost everything was said with those three words.
The idea makes sense. There's a lot wrong with our culture. But there are too many holes and problems in this theory. Thank you for your comment!
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Lunastella
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Post by Lunastella »

Bertha Jackson wrote: 10 May 2021, 21:17 I think I will pass on this one. Thank you for your honest review.
Good choice. Thank you for your comment!
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Lunastella
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Post by Lunastella »

Naaya123 wrote: 09 May 2021, 23:37 I find books like these to be very intriguing, I'll give this one a try. Lovely Review!
They are thought-provoking; I have to admit that. Let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by!
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Lunastella
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Post by Lunastella »

Mounce574 wrote: 09 May 2021, 23:36 The justification to mistreat anyone is very outlandish. This book would seriously offend anyone that has suffered from the cruelty of others. I also think is idea on romance is placing people on the level of animals. I wonder how he grew up to be so demented?
Great review on an extremely twisted book.
It is extremely offensive and not even a smart justification. The point you make is exactly the crux of the problem of this book: we are animals, that's true, but we are not just animals.
Thank you for your insight!
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Post by Kavita Shah »

The good point is originality. The flaws are repetition and it's unreliability. What it states w.r.t. domestic violence, romanticization etc is unreasonable. I won't like this book at all from what I read in the review. Thank you for an honest review!
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Lunastella
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Post by Lunastella »

Kavita Shah wrote: 14 May 2021, 10:29 The good point is originality. The flaws are repetition and it's unreliability. What it states w.r.t. domestic violence, romanticization, etc is unreasonable. I won't like this book at all from what I read in the review. Thank you for an honest review!
The idea is original, and I admit it takes courage to acknowledge that there's a lot wrong with our culture. But some ideas, like the one about domestic violence, pretty much invalidate all the other praiseworthy aspects.
Thank you for your comment!
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