Feb 8, 2011

Book Review: One City: A Declaration of Interdependence

This past weekend I finished Ethan Nichtern's book, One City: A Declaration of Interdependence. The book instills, very well, one of the core beliefs of Buddhism; that we are all connected. This interdependence is explained in a modern writing style using pop culture references which make it a lot more interesting to read than confusing riddles with ambiguous meanings (what the hell is the sound of one hand clapping anyway?) I liked, that at the beginning of each chapter, he quoted an individual and then went on to apply Dharma teaching through their words. Perhaps, best exemplifying this with Dr.Martin Luther King Jr's quote here:
"It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an network of mutuality, tied together into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality... Before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you've depended on more than half the world. This is the way our universe is structured, this is its interrelated quality. We aren't going to have peace on Earth until we recognize the basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality."

I got an incredible amount of personal gain from this book. It's opened my mind to a new way of being. A more conscious, connected, appreciative way of being. It has brought what Nichtern calls "the real internet" into focus and has motivated me to better dial my thoughts in on what is really going on (internally & externally), instead of letting my brain jump from distraction to distraction. With this comes clarity and focus that I'm already beginning to see.

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