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Six Thinking Hats

Six Thinking Hats, Edward De Bono (Registered Trademark), 2000, Penguin Books.

I picked up this book because the concept was mentioned to me by an instructor at my course. So when I saw it I picked it up to read it, wondering why she thought it was a good one. A thin and easy to read book, explaining the concept of the six thinking hats well. While a little trite in some ways it is a useful thinking tool if used in the right spirit. To summarise the idea (as part of the review, not part of my Idea) This comes to;

  • White Hat – Facts and figures
  • Red Hat – Emotions and Figures
  • Black Hat – Criticisms and Caution
  • Yellow Hat – Positive Speculation
  • Green Hat – Creativity in thinking, New thinking.
  • Blue Hat – Control of the thinking process.

Together these two hats break up and encompass the thinking process to make the thinking process faster in meetings and critical decision making if they work to their design. I can see how this can work, however it will take training and the right frame of mind. I have never been a fan of Edward De Bono as a whole philosophy, but I can see the use of this for decision making. I can agree with him that it breaks up the pure discussion and adversarial discourse up. For this reason the Idea is valuable, even if I am only neutral on how good it is in application.

Overall, this is worth taking a look at at least, possibly using the ideas. They may not be useful for all, but they are a good tool to look at and consider. The way the book is broken down makes it easy to read and follow, explaining the idea well. Look at this before dismissing it, because it is a idea that may be useful to you.

Akh'Hon Kyshera Du'Skhall Kre'Mashen Arkhense

Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope

Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope, Joan D. Chittister, 2003, Eerdmans Publishing.

Like the previous book this book looks at struggle. But rather than looking at healing this book looks at struggle in terms of what it means spiritually, what it gives us and what it takes away. What it means to broader applications will be discussed in the Partner site The Public Weal (Books of Note) but here we are looking at the books as themselves. In this form the book looks at worldly struggle from a spiritual viewpoint, abient a Christian one.

Focussing on one specific story in the bible, Jacob wresting with god, the author uses this to break down what struggle means, what it takes away, and what it gives. It looks at the meaning of temporal struggle, how it is viewed in both temporal and spiritual thought. This looks at not only the authors darkest moments, but other contributors in the process.

This was a confronting book for me because I have recently been through quite a lot. I have no doubt for those who have been through recent large experiences this will be confronting too. For others it will also be confronting because none of us like the darkness, it is just one of those things. We all would prefer the light and life, happiness. We don't want to think about the rest of it one way or another. However, it is there, even if we don't want to confront it.

This is a good book for those going through a lot, or those that help them especially. However, this is also great for those that are just interested in what most people won't talk about. Grief, loss, long term stress, trauma, failures and disenchantment. I can agree with the authors point that we are too focussed on the light in our society to really see the dark properly, something that means that we don't deal with it well when we see it. Medicate it, discount those affected as mentally ill. This is not perhaps the best way of dealing with such things long term. For those been there or going through it, as hard as it is, it helps make better sense of it. For those that work with such people I recommend it as a tool to understanding. For those that just want to understand life I also recommend you read this to understand how there are still thorns in the bed of roses and how not to be so judgemental. Not light reading, but certainly worthwhile and recommended.

Kyshera Du'Skall Kre'Mashen Arkhense

Care of the Soul

Care of the Soul, A guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in everyday life, Thomas Moore, 1992, Harper Collins.

This book, featured in Books of Note with the two above is another one that shows how spirituality and religion has to be counted as part of human experience when looking at it. In this Thomas Moore does a very good job, looking at this from a Christian background, but adding moral philosophy and psychoanalytic theory and and elements of Greek and Roman myth as well as astrology. This brings in the human ethos, the hidden unconscious and what is useful about it both in terms of understanding and beating mental illness and not completely taking everybody who can be diagnosed as a ill rather than being affected by profound experience.

This is important because as future book reviews as well as Books of Note articles will show this is important to understand when dealing with the human conditions. Thomas Moore looks at what this means. It looks at how to value experiences rather than pathologising them. It provides an insight into the mindset which incorporates spirit, valuing the dark night of the soul in the way many do not, only valuing positive experiences.

It is an important book in terms of softening the evidence base of psychology to bring the human element in. It is also important in that it softens the pathologising effect that the scientific approach to mental illness and disorder can bring, offering a way out that values the insights of the struggle rather than just calling it all illness. For that reason a book well worth reading, especially if you are in the helping professions.

Kyshera Du'Shkall Kre'Mashen Arkhense

From Brains to Conciousness

From Brains to Conciousness, Essays on the New Sciences of the Mind, Stephen Rose Editor, 1999, Penguin Classics.

This book, like the conciousness it is trying to explain, is the sum of many parts. With an introduction and first chapter by the editor supporting thirteen chapters, each written by another author, this book explores all the possible ways that we can see how we are and think as human beings. This is a very good introduction and overview into how science, in all it's forms, sees what makes us human. This gives the reader enough of a ground and understanding to look further.

In this way this is an invaluable book for the beginner. With the many, many viewpoints it looks at and represents it was fascinating for me as well, providing insights in how it is all put together. This allows new and old to this subject alike a good overview. Also featured in The Pubic Weal Books of note this is a good episodic book for times like commuting due to the way it is structured. I enjoyed it for this reason. Overall I recommend this book to those either brushing up on the area, or those just learning about it.

Other Worlds

Other Worlds, Space, Superspace and the Quantum Universe, Paul Davies, 1988, Penguin Books.

This book, a simple, short book looking at how Quantum Physics, Quantum Mechanics and the science of small works is a very good little read. At 199 pages long I basically finished this in a day, but it was worth the read. This little book, divided into chapters looking at different aspects of the quantum world, strips it down to the point that a layman can work with and understand it. For this reason I enjoyed this book, as easy a read as it was or not.

Feeding into a three book Books of Note on how many ideas of the world intersect, this also brings into relief just how much science has yet to recognise. This is because it shows me yet again how much is similar in Quantum Physics and the way 'New Age' ideas see energy. These intersections all tell me that there is much more for us to integrate as we move forward, advancing energy dimensions.

Looking at this I recommend this book to both those interested in science and those interested in other views of the world. It is showing, to me the way forward in science in understanding our world. This may not be the same to all, but it will enlighten everybody in how this science can enrich any understanding. Overall, I recommend it.

Kyshera Du'Skhall Kre'Mashen Arkhense

Zen Brain Reflections

Zen Brain Reflections, James H. Austin, M..D, 2006, MIT Press.

This is a long book, made up of many parts and many independent essay style chapters. A long read, even for me, I have gotten a lot out of it. Looking at evidence from a wide variety of research of neurology and neurobiology as well as his own experiences of Zen Practise. Both these experiences create a very unique viewpoint that is valuable to renewing the approach to both spiritual practice and how we see conciousness.

This is valuable because it allows us an insight into how things combine, and how they can be seen in terms of evolving understanding and working with the brain and conciousness. This allows us to work with the areas that are just emerging, but are so important in understanding spiritual phenomena properly. While some of the evidence comes from areas of neuropathology it is used in a way that crates a better understanding of the equivalent phenomenon well. I have read this twice, and, though long and hard to get through, I have gotten something from it each time.

Overall, this may be something you read in pieces over time, or have to commit to reading, but if you do then you will get a lot out of the 474 pages plus footnotes. But this is worth the read as it has a lot of information and a very good, new way of looking at things. For this reason I still recommend it despite the fact it's also very good hand weight in the hard cover version.

Kyshera Du'Skhall Kre'Mashen Arkhense