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The Courage to be Disliked: The Japanese Phenomenon That Shows You How to Free Yourself, Change Your Life and Achieve Real Happiness ペーパーバック
Thereby it is shown clearly that our freedom extends far beyond the part of our consciousness we are aware of. And it is exactly at this point where the book is most uplifting, for if - albeit on a subconscious level - it is our own decision to be unhappy, then it is equally possible to choose happiness instead. We just have to find a way to enter into a dialogue with our subconsciousness. Of course, this "just" isn't as easy as it sounds. But at least there is hope for real change, and when I realized this while reading the book, I started crying.
Having said that, I also need to criticize one particular aspect of the book. That there is no connection between past traumatic experiences and present feelings is psychological and philosophical nonsense. Man is a paradoxical being, and both the strong influence of the past, even in a causal sense, and personal freedom are a reality at the same time. While Freud and Jung elaborate on our connection to the past, Adler emphasizes free decision-making. The book is far too simplistic in that it construes a contradiction between these two sides of human existence, which are equally valid, complementary to, and even necessary for each other. Therefore, I can endorse both many of the negative reviews and positive ones as well.
The book is based on theories of Alfred Adler, who if we go by this book, makes some very fine pointers to life and life-situations- Example- how all problems are interpersonal relationship problems, what is freedom, what is contribution, how to separate our tasks from other people's tasks, etc. and I have no issues with any of them, even if I disagree to some extent.
My problem is with the format of the book- which is that of a dialogue between a youth and a philosopher. I would have liked this book to be in some other form of narrative. The dialogue seems unnatural and contrived. The youth is portrayed as a very angry, egoistic and argumentative person. The philosopher is portrayed as someone who only speaks in Alfred Adler's terms and uses Adler's name to end the discussion or draw a conclusion, none of which seem a healthy way of debating. Things would have been better if Adler wasn't mentioned on every other page.
Also, the authors think there is a need to 'explain' what the youth is feeling after each discussion, so they add a post-script note at the end of a topic (The youth was now angry, or perspiring, or wanted to bring the philosopher to his knees, etc. etc.), which makes the dialogue seem very very forced and one-sided. I consider myself a 'youth' and I did not at all relate to the way this youth was asking questions and neither to the way the philosopher was responding.
So my suggestion - Read other works of Adler, or other authors. The gist of the book is very common to other self-development books:
Know your worth.
Let go other people's expectations of you.
Make a contribution.
Know what is real freedom.
Quit running after fame and recognition.
Remain present in the here and now.
There are other books which are far better than this and explore similar topics. If at all you decide to read this one, you can fast-read-forward to 100 pages, when the dialogue gets to the heart of the matter.
[The paper quality, fonts, layout and binding of the book are excellent. I bought a hardbound copy for Rs.414]
Firstly there is one positive aspect of this book, which is Adlers stance on inferiority. The book makes some good points on this and how it affects us all during our lives. That, however is all I can say on this matter.
There are so many negatives about this book, that I could probably write a thesis on it, however that would take too long. So here is a brief summary of why this book is AWFUL!
* it dismisses trauma as being your goal of choice. Cause and effect is simply a lie and basically it’s your fault if you choose to be affected by trauma. Which is highly dangerous, as trauma actually changes the brain and how it operates on a neurological level. This concept throughout the book, also belittles people that have mental health conditions, that some how their disability is simply their goal. Very very outdated psychological theory.
*it reads like a very poorly written play. The chapters cover extremely complex psychological issues, which are brushed over very quickly by the philosopher saying ‘I’m right, your wrong, stop being pathetic and get some courage.
* the book discusses that people’s opinion should not matter (Interpersonal relationships). Yet it highlights that you should behave in a set way. Be completely self independent from parents, be married, have children. People choose different paths, achieve things at different times in their life, some have such difficult mental health issues that just getting through the day is tough. The book is contradictory and has a ‘victim blaming’ attitude throughout the chapters.
Please don’t read this book, if you have general anxiety disorder, suffering with depression or any other mental health disability. It will only make you feel worse about yourself. The old adage of ‘pull yourself together, really is not appropriate or relevant in 2020. If you WANT to feel even more rubbish about yourself, then definitely by this book! The book as no empathy or any understanding of what trauma can cause for people.
If you WANT to feel better about yourself, then purchase books that promote compassionate cognitive behavioural therapy. Not this garbage.