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Book Review: New Self, New World: Recovering Our Senses in the Twenty-First Century by Philip Shepherd and Andrew Harvey

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New Self, New World: Recovering Our Senses in the Twenty-first Century is an informative and thought-provoking book about how we can become more in touch of ourselves and our world. We tend to be absorbed, even obsessed, by the worries in our minds. Our lives are full of tension as we live in a paradigm that is 10,000 years old.

Shepherd encourages the reader to rethink this paradigm. He urges us to rethink how we live, move, and have our being. Our culture seems to live in its head too much. Everything seems to be over-intellectualized, moving us further away from the actual living world with all of its multifacetedness. This is why we live in a world that is full of fear and anxiety.

We must learn to listen to our bodies and not only to our minds. We must learn to connect with our bodies in the most intimate ways. Our bodies have a lot of wisdom which seems to be ignored when we live in our heads all the time. Even diseases and illnesses seem to be ignored until it is too late because we don’t pay attention to our bodies and what they are telling us.

We must also learn how to live in the present. We tend to live either in the past or the future. Since this is the case, we don’t seem to experience our sense of being in the world. We simply seem too busy to really stop and experience and be. We do instead of be. We work instead of sit. And we turn on the television and have a lot of noise around us instead of meditate and turn inward.

The author urges all of his readers to rethink how we live. We should want to move away from our head, and shift to a female-oriented culture in which we celebrate our body genius, along with sensitivity and gentleness. Perhaps only in this way can we achieve true lasting peace and happiness at last.

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