Friday, May 7, 2010

The Christ Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

Day 87 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project. Kim is reading Saving Jesus from the Church, by Robin R. Meyers, because she is interested in Jesus the man.

"Zooey would like it," says Kim, referring to Franny and Zooey, by J. D. Salinger, which we recently read together in our book group. (And, yes, this is yesterday's Kim, the same Kim of Hummus Anonymous, the blog.) "I'm not sure about Willie B."

The "Willie B." Kim is referring to is William B. Irvine, author of A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy, reviewed recently by James Fulcher in The Common Review. I was telling her about the book in the context of classical Stoicism as a way of making the best of life's suffering, and finding peace and equanimity with whatever is at hand.

For Jesus, of course, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. In my view, it is at hand in the present moment. (But, as I've mentioned, I don't believe in linear all we have is the present moment, and that's not so far from existentialism, either. Topic for another day.)

According to Kim, in reference to Saving Jesus from the Church, "The premise of the book seems to be that followers of Jesus the man are getting it right, whereas 'believers' in Christ the Savior are not." I'm thinking followers of Jesus the man are in touch with their Stoic joy, their Buddhist suffering, and also that they understand the value and risk of practicing what you preach. But I will have to read the book to find out.

Or ask the man himself. Kim also reports that "the author Robin Meyers will likely be here in the fall to speak, sign books (a new one coming out) and lead workshops. "

Meanwhile, Amazon tells me you can now pre-order The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, by Stieg Larsson, in hardcover, and/or get it in various formats (Kindle, Large Print, or imported). The movie of the first book in the series is coming to our town, before Robin Meyers comes to town, and is already playing in a nearby town, and has freaked out an area blogger, Julie, due to its violence. Here is her review of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

And I think Zooey would also like the Irvine book, and understand the Stoic joy thing, because Epictetus is in it, and he was a big Stoic. But Zooey is a fictional character, and so is Biff, Jesus's childhood friend, a fellow I rely on to tell me most of what I know about Jesus the man. I'm pretty sure my research has something to be desired.

But watch out. According to some, desire is the cause of all suffering. (I think they might have it a little wrong... Desire is fine. The problem is thinking you can attain/obtain everything you desire. Ah, another topic for another day! Heh heh, leave 'em wanting more.)

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