5. The Republic – Plato
As one of the Father’s of Western Philosophy, Plato has had a massive influence
on our civilization and the way people think. The Republic is probably his best
known work. In the dialectic style, Plato attempts to describe a perfect society
while addressing many of the issues any society would face. The sociology &
politics aside, the part that sticks out the most in my mind is The Allegory Of The
Cave which begins on line 514a of the text. If you are able to see the material
world for what it truly is, it might bear a striking resemblance to Plato’s Cave.
What you can learn from this observation might shock & free you at the same
4 Être Et Le Néant (Being & Nothingness) – Jean Paul Satre
Perhaps the greatest existential atheist to have ever lived, Jean Paul Satre was a
man who evoked strong reactions from his readers & from the world as a whole.
His ideas regarding the nature reality and the power of the Individual turned
philosophy on its head. For me, the most important thing I learnt from Satre is
that we are beings who are Free except that we are only constrained by Choice.
It is the understanding of the Power of Choice that will Truly set you Free.
3. Meditations – René Descartes
Whenever I think of Descartes, I can’t help but get Monty Python’s The
Philosopher’s Song stuck in my head. You know the one: “René Descartes was a
drunken old fart//’I drink therefor I am’” But I digress… My own epistemology &
understanding of knowledge starts with Descartes. His famous Cogito (mocked
so well by Python & many others) is for me, the foundation of all Epistemology.
This a priori (or self-evident) Truth proves that at the very least, I exist. And from
there, anything is Truly possible…
2. The Celestine Prophecy – James Redfield
Though not a Philosophical work, strictly speaking, the life’s philosophy
contained in The Celestine Prophecy will put you on the path of connectedness &
help you reach your goals. The idea of the Celestine is that every day
synchronistic coincidences happen to Individuals. These coincidences are
messages from the universe that, if heeded, will help Individuals along their life’s
path. The trick is, staying connected & following these coincidences to their
ultimate end. This is an endeavour I am still struggling to master.
1 Thus Spoke Zarathustra – Friedrich Nietzsche
The great german Nihilist. The often misunderstood philosophical genius &
madman. Nietzsche’s masterpiece is superbly written & complex to its core. The
ideas it presents demand that the reader take up the hammer and strike down
everything – & then run through the forest dancing & singing, living life to its
fullest. It warns of the dangers of the Mob & forces the Individual to reach for
the higher goals in life. As Zarathustra himself says many times: “Man is but a
bridge to the overman.”
What are some of the books that have influenced you? Leave me a comment & let me
know. Maybe we can share our Knowledge & help each other cross Zarathustra’s