Wednesday, 13 April 2016

☴ Book Review - Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

Ishmael is a very simple, quite short, book. Whilst some highbrows deplore the style, I found it highly accessible and slightly whimsy in a Philip K. Dick dark undertone kind of way: a telepathic gorilla instructs the protagonist on how the state of the world came to be, why, and what can potentially be done about it.

The structure of the book is such that it follows the rules of cliffhangers and revelations, withholds key parts of the narrative to keep you reading.

The story presents a concept that will stay with me. The idea that, what if our entire civilised culture is enacting upon erroneous perceptions that are so deeply ingrained in how we do things that to question them is absolute heresy. That there is an alternative, and by the way here is one such alternative you could begin enacting as an individual today; now.

Difficult to go beyond the surface without spoilers, but it presents a hypothesis and suggests a practical, easy, effortless solution. It might even contribute to your well-being and improving positive mental health. And/or put you in the mood to re-watch The Matrix.

If you don't want the toil, why not herd?

Value people and life, not things. Don't seek to conquer; rather participate in nourishing. Prepare the world for the future rather than consume it for the now. The usual hippy shit, then explains why such mind-sets fail to get traction (bear in mind the book was published in the early 1990s).

Whilst this book undoubtedly belongs in the "New Age" section alongside David Bohm, Rupert Sheldrake and, ahem, David Icke - it rethinks contemporary dominant global culture in ways that make logical and rational sense - in the context of a conversation with a gorilla.

Why review this book on a blog about compact capability? Because only the outlaws are truly free.

Ishmael on Amazon UK

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