Buddhism is a great philosophy that can enrich one’s life in a great way if you give it a chance. I’m not saying it is for everyone, but It is a tool like any other. One of the problems with Buddhism is that to reap the rewards of understanding and applying the philosophy to enrich one’s life you have to study resources that are written in context of its generation and times. The Buddhist philosophy still applies today, but you have to use discernment to pick off the myth and other surface stuff that covers the life enriching jewels. I have found that most people don’t have the time in this busy society to research and apply Buddhism from good sources. A lot of new Buddhist books are too ideal or present the information as some sort of holy dogma that isn’t dynamic. I just read a book that is an excellent adaptation of the Buddhist philosophy stripped of dogma and modernized for the 21st century reader. This book is The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mike Manson.
I’ll start off with the negatives. This book’s aimed audience is males in their twenties. If you can get past the profanity, and some of the male oriented anecdotes this is a great book. This book is brutally simple which is both good and bad. The bad is that there are no sources for the materials presented. Unless you are already versed in psychology and Buddhism it would seem like Manson is coming up with this stuff out of thin air. If you like asking, “Who the hell gives this man authority to tell me what to do?” then you should understand that you can take or leave whatever the author says, but I recommend you give the book a chance. Even if one sentence makes you think, then the whole purpose of reading the book was a success. The ideas presented in this book are not all Buddhist, but they are interesting. Also, all the points presented by Manson have been thought and presented before in many different ways and mediums, so a quick google search can point you to his sources.
This book has a few positives. It is very accessible to the modern reader. It has a great conversational tone that makes reading it really simple and easy. It presents very difficult concepts in very simple ways. These concepts, in nature, are simple to begin with making them tricky to understand. Manson does a great job of portraying his points even if crude at times. Like all other pieces of information, including books, I find that I have to sift through what is useful for me and take what is important, while trying to keep the integrity of the whole message into consideration. It is very easy to take things out of context, so I try to avoid that. For some of you this book might be like giving a picture book to a professor, but I assure you there is probably at least one thing you can take from this book, or any for that matter. If you don’t have time for reading, pick up an audiobook and put it on in the car on the way to work! I just warn you, don’t play this one in front of children!
Next I want to review a book named, Mad in America, but I have to finish it first. I have read it before, but I want to give it an honest review once I’m done with this second reading.