Thoughts on: “Life of Pythagoras” by Iamblichus

This is a new sub-genre for me; ‘Biographies about ancient dudes written by other ancient dudes’. Iamblichus wrote this book about Pythagoras life and teachings around 300 AD.

The book is fascinating, often boring and sometimes complicated.

📝 He traveled everywhere he thought he could find wisdom. “He thus passed 22 year in the sanctuary of temples, studying astronomy and geometry and being initiates in no casual or superficial manner to in the mysteries of the gods”. On top of that he studied 12 years of the sciences.

📝 He was regraded as a divinity and was a cult leader.

📝 People looking for apprenticeship with Pythagoras were studied and observed for a long before getting the thumbs up. If they passed these initial tests they had to spend 5 years in silence to learn to control their speech before they could see Pythagoras face to face.

📝 According to this book, Pythagoras l could tame animals by talking to them, be in several places at the same time and speak to rivers. (This book reminds me of Life of a Yogi in many ways..)


⭐️ TAKEAWAY 2:

Pythagoras studied diligently under the best mentors in the world for +33 years. Then he started his career as a teacher. In modern society we expect things to go fast. For me this is was a great reminder of the value of playing long game and be patient. 🕰

⭐️ TAKEAWAY 2:

Now I have this weird urge to join a sect for some reason. 😆


I’m happy I read it but I don’t think this is for everyone.

Who’s your favorite Hellenistic philosopher? 🤔

Photo credit: @maankawas

2/5

Check out my reading lists for more great books!

Favorite Books of the Year 2018: “Demian” – Hermann Hesse

A short and moody novel that revolves around young Sinclair and the difficult task of finding oneself. Growing up in a protected and pious middle class home he eventually has to face the real world. Sinclair gets a new mysterious classmates, Demian, who guides him to detach and revolt from the superficial world of form and awaken to his true self.

📝 “All I really wanted was to try and live the life that was spontaneously welling up within me. Why was that so very difficult?”

This is most memorable fictional book I’ve read this year. A coming of age story with strong connections to Jungian psychology and symbolism. It came to me at a perfect time; Since I, much like Hesse did when writing the book, just “began to explore the writings of Freud and Jung on dreams and archetypes”. Something that really influenced Hesses writings.

Read the full list of favorites or check out previous lists right here!

Favorite Books of the Year 2018: “Trust Me, I’m Lying” – Ryan Holiday

“Each generation of media has a different cock in its mouth.” – Ryan Holiday, Trust me I’m lying.

😔 I thought I was on top of my media game and was able to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. I WAS WRONG!

📰 😱I knew the situation was bad; I even quit following “the news” 3 years ago because I thought it misrepresented reality to a larger degree than it represented it (and also for the sake of my wellbeing). But Ryan Holidays confessions from his career as a media manipulator paints a even darker picture than I could ever imagine!

👨🏼‍💻Understanding the structure and constraints of click-based media is essential. These structure explains almost everything they do. It’s in the nature of the system.

🥇 The first half of this book is should be mandatory reading (the other half turns into a bit of a rant). This is probably the book that influenced me the most this year!

What was your most influential books this year? 🤔

Read the full list of favorites or check out previous lists right here!

Favorite Books of the Year 2018: “12 Rules for Life” – Jordan Peterson

Life is suffering. How do we deal with that?! We face it, we bare it. Hell is a bottomless pit and in spite of how fucked up and unfair things are, we still can make it even worse. Let’s not do that! What if we instead get our act together and prepare ourselves to face suffering when it comes knocking? That’s the better path. And we all know where we fall short.

Peterson puts the responibility of all the world and all of it’s suffering on the individual. “If we all lived properly, we will collectively flurish.” If we put ourselves in order, maybe we will do the same to the world?

📝 “Aim up, pay attention, fix what you can and don’t be arrogant in your knowledge , strive for humility, be aware of your weaknesses. Consider the murderousness of your own being before condemn and judge others. Maybe you missed the mark? And most importantly, don’t lie! Lying is the path to hell.”

The book is fantastic, but maybe more importantly – it led me to examine the world of Jungian psychology – and what a wonderful rabbit hole it is to dive into!Leading me books like these:

📖 Man and his symbols

📖 King, Warrior, Magician, Lover

📖 Demian (kinda related..)

📖 Women Who Run With with the Wolves

Read the full list of favorites or check out previous lists right here!

Favorite Books of the Year 2018: “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts” – Gabor Maté

💉 An excellent introduction to the complex problem of addiction. Dr. Gabors is specialized in its study and treatment. His book offers powerful portraits of his patient lives, the story of his own addictive behaviors and the path to recovery.

📝 “As a rule, whatever we don’t deal with in our lives we pass on to our children.”

⭐️ TAKEAWAY: Regardless of your degree of addiction or whether your drug of choice is heroin, TV, food or shopping – reading the stories and research presented in this book will help to shine a light on your own addictive tendencies.

This year I got rid of two addictions: Nicotine (snus) and caffeine. 🚬☕️

Read the full list of favorites or check out previous lists right here!

Book Year in review with @chriserzfeld

Book Year in review with @chriserzfeld:

“This year, I read a lot of interesting books. One of those was “Behave” by Robert Sapolsky. I got a lot of insight into what makes humans tick, and how we are irrational, emotional and out of control creatures in an entertaining way so that book influenced me a lot.

📖 “Behave” – Robert Sapolsky


I also enjoyed “The Laws of Human Nature” by Robert Greene, which expanded my views on people and was a great book to read right after Sapolsky’s book.

📖 “The Laws of Human Nature” – R. Greene


Then I learned a lot from reading Carl Rogers and his book “On Becoming A Person”. Especially the first half of the book.

📖 “On Becoming A Person” – Carl Rogers


I highly recommend you check them out!

The key insights for this year must be those of neuroscience, behavior, psychology, and biology. We humans are not so rational and stable as we think we are. But if we can come to terms with the factor that our hormones govern our behavior, we can begin to catch ourselves when we are about to carry out an impulsive action and stop ourselves before we do something we will later come to regret.

I am looking forward to reading more about psychology, mythology, and human nature next year. I’m also looking forward to writing and publishing more blog posts. I am excited about work in general so that pretty much sums it up!

Thank you for reading, and thank you for supporting Bookstagram. We’ll talk soon. Take care.

Best regards// @chriserzfeld

Favorite Books of the Year 2018: 21 Lessons for the 21 century

What Harari has done here is quite a feat. He has squeezed what could easily been a series of books into one volume, covering topics like:

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▪️The resurrection of nationalism.

▫️What to do in a post-jobs world.

▪️The opportunity cost of fighting terrorism.

▫️Why we need a deep understanding of suffering and how to attain it.

▪️What should we teach our kids in school to prepare the for the future?

▫️How to live in the age of biotech, algorithms and AI.

▪️Is religion still relevant?

▫️Do we need a whole new ideology to deal with the problems of the 21st century when liberalism just wont cut it anymore?

▪️Culturism vs. Rasism.

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The book is relevant, nuanced and sometimes frightening.

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How do I plan do dig deeper into the themes covered in this book in 2019?

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I will read ‘Future Presence’ early next year. It’s about human connection in a future of virtual reality.

Read the full list of favorites or check out previous lists right here!

My Book Year in Review – Part 1

⚖️ This year had a rough start with severe work-life balance issues but now I feel I have greater momentum than ever going into 2019.

🛠 I promised myself to make 2018 a very practical year and it has been just that! A lot has been done during the year that I’m very proud of:

✅ – Nicotine free (100+ days in!)

✅ – Established a mediations habit (80 consecutive today)

✅ – Preformed 5 speeches.

✅ – Co-founded a small book club

✅ – Kept my gym and running routine for another year.

✅ – Stoic challenges!

✅ – Started the ’Video Content Club’.

✅ – Did my first Podcast appearance.

✅ – Made new friends!

✅ – One post a week on Instagram.

✅ – Had a great year with my family!

📚 There has also been time for books; more than 40 of them! And the coming days I will post about the five books that stood out the most for me in 2018!

❓What practical actions did you take during the year? I know a lot about your intellectual achievements, now I want to hear about the practical stuff! 🤔

My Year in Books with @danjmartinwa

“I listen to nearly one book per day, plus very many podcasts. I learn something I never knew from each book. Books,like people, know many stories and facts I don’t. Every day the parameter of my ignorance expands just like the universe.

Here are some books that really stood out to me this year!

– Dan Martin

📖 The Age of Eisenhower– William I Hitchcock

📖 Guns, Germs, and Steel – Jared Diamond

📖 Accessory to War– Neil deGrasse Tyson & Avis Lang

📖 Walt Disney – Neal Gabler

📖 Slavery by Another Name – Douglas A. Blackmon

– Dan Martin (@danjmartinwa on Instagram


When someone who reads one book a day gives you his 5 most outstanding books of the year then you better pay attention! I don’t know you Dan but you are a cool dude! 😎

– Poor Bjorn

 

Check out my reading lists for more great books!

My Year in Books with @qualiabooks

Book Year in review with @qualiabooks

I’ve read several amazing books this year that have really inspired me in my pursuit of knowledge but there are two particular books that stood out from the rest:

📝 Sean Carroll – “The Big Picture”

📝 David Deutsch – “The Beginning of Infinity”

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🌌 Being an astronomy major, I’m naturally fascinated by these type of books. Both authors are not only great scientists but also exceptional philosophers and by reading their books you get the best of both worlds.

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🥦 Aside from learning to be a better dietician to myself (I read books on health and nutrition behind the scenes), a combination of the books I’ve read had given me an even better grasp of Bayesian reasoning which helped me pin down my own observations of myself and others – I was able to put names on the things I’ve always been curious about. —-

🕰 Being very busy this year also gave me a new perspective on time that I haven’t considered before and that only enriched my experiences of 2018 and encouraged me to continue my self-actualization.

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2018 was a bundle of boundless insights and there is too many to mention, but one that sticks is that we are living and breathing creatures who are in the constant flow of moving and changing. In order to be in line with our goals and authentic selves, we must be vigilant in cultivating the garden of our minds. As Jiddu Krishnamurti would say,

“The more you know yourself, the more clarity there is. Self-knowledge has no end – you don’t come to an achievement, you don’t come to a conclusion. It is an endless river.”

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I wish to have more time in 2019 so I may read more amazing books that I can share with you. Have a wonderful day and happy holidays! — Love, Dee 🙂