A self-improvement manual that urges readers to access the power that’s all around them.

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The Natural Laws Of Human Life

THE BASICS

A debut handbook for the guiding principles of human existence.

Dzitiev describes a natural universe ordered along four major levels: Power, “the first principle and first cause of all nature” that gives origin to everything else; the laws of nature, which “are an endless number of transformations of one power” and are thus “all in harmony with each other” and can transform into the final two levels—the “thin-material” world of intangible thoughts and feelings and the “coarse-material” world of observable reality. In Dzitiev’s conception, the “laws of nature are a man’s natural subconscious” and are broken up into two parts: the code of a law and the power of a law. In his view, the “life power” of an individual manifests itself in virtually every aspect of that individual’s life—“health, intuition, willpower, power of logical thought, endurance, luck, steadfastness, attractiveness,” etc.—affecting everything from feelings of personal peace to the actions and successes of job-hunters or politicians or anyone. The various levels of nature intertwine to inform the dynamics of everyday human life: “[A] man’s vital strength or life power is the power of the laws of nature refracted by the notions in his consciousness,” Dzitiev says. If an individual has very little life power, even his or her concerted efforts won’t advance his or her goals; on the other hand, successful people “possess a stronger kinetic power.” But a person is capable of changing and improving, he says, since “an ability to uncover the power of objects by understanding them…is a natural ability of man.” This open-ended quality to the theory makes Dzitiev’s worldview one of constant change, one in which the nature of the universe and the nature of the individual are intricately connected. “All a man’s natural qualities are completely open in his subconscious,” he says, “in the form of endless satisfaction and joy.” Dzitiev centers the instructional conclusions of his book on his contention that if the subconscious is out of balance, disharmony can result in a loss of power, and he addresses the effects of this disharmony (and the ways to fix it) with a passionate but commonsense voice. That said, the strategies he offers for understanding and harnessing life power can sometimes come across as vague. For the most part, though, readers will find a great many thought-provoking concepts in the easy-to-follow flow of Dzitiev’s prose.

A self-improvement manual that urges readers to access the power that’s all around them.

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 2013

ISBN: 978-1491814840

Page Count: 172

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2014

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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