Auspicious Thoughts, Propitious Mind.

In his book, Auspicious Thoughts, Propitious Mind, the author Richard Camden acknowledges that as sentient creatures, we all are capable of some useful degree of perceptiveness, and that degree can be heightened by informed contemplation.

The book has five philosophical themes and the book’s title was chosen to reflect its aspects of eudaemonia (Aristotle), meaning our achieving the best conditions possible for us, in every sense – not only happiness, but also virtue, morality, and a meaningful life; and also aspects of a practical philosophy that can encourage an adroit and practical worldliness, a certain ‘savoir faire’ in matters of the heart and mind. 

Thoughts and observations are mooted, and some questions posed; some provoking questions as well as provoking answers are offered, as well as some generally held attitudes and beliefs challenged. Some readers may see a touch of satire and what may be accepted as wit. The words can be both evocative and provocative; and can appeal well to any philosophical turn of mind in us, perhaps even question the psychology of our thoughts, our way of thinking, our beliefs and those subsequent actions, not only as individuals, but also for groups and nations. There can be interest held for the secular, the humanists as well as the believers. Here is a useful book, but not at all posing as textbook, that can serve as collateral reading for students of practical philosophy and sociology.

The reading should be a comfort to those who worry and a satisfaction to those who are just curious to understand life, others and themselves better, and also a reference for those whose role it is to help them achieve that. There are 40 chapters in just under 500 pages in this book written to help satisfy a yearning and enquiring mind on many matters of importance in the reader’s life. 

Here is easy, down-to-earth food for the soul, a practical philosophy that moves us towards that elusive contentment. Of course, we want to be happy, with a more orderly life and priorities in better balance and with the signposts here, any illusions may be dispelled. It has been written for anyone seeking wellness and peace of mind, especially about the struggle between life’s questionable demands of prioritising between money and ethics.  Life often concerns ‘money versus ethics,’ and challenges us all, especially the young, and not so young. These often conflicting, competing and distracting issues are presented for consideration by the reader, and how to endeavour to balance them using some guiding principles.

There can be enlightenment as to self and how we look at others, and how we can get better at ‘making allowances,’ and accepting, rationalising questions about that which is known, existence and ethics. Neither life nor the sea has signposts, but, like being at sea, especially in fog, we aim always to know our ‘position’ and where we are ‘heading.’ The author has drawn upon his experiences from over 30 years of boat owning and all those self-imposed disciplines that yachting and small boat passage-making cruising at sea require; both theory and practice training are essential to be safe.
Richard Camden is not the first by a long-chalk to make the unusual but very valid analogy between going to sea as ‘Master under God’ in a small boat, and our life on land with the objective to encourage some self-reliance in all our dealings, as we endeavour to be successful in our bid to be happy.

The author’s prime theme ponders the wisdom of the natural but questionable practice and widespread custom of the personification (more correctly termed anthropomorphisation) of the deity. Instead Richard Camden offers an exciting alternative understanding that could, if taken without prejudice, become accepted as an explanation, an answer to what so many ask about the existence of God. Here is an understanding that can suit anybody, but most probably anyone at all with an open mind on the matter of God.

Apart from the well-known invisible forces that act on us and on the world, there is also an empowering un-named force that is universally available for us to draw upon for a sense of the right and of the just, and for anyone seeking betterment, empowerment or just peace of mind. This is a fresh explanation of what is god, and a very precise definition of what love is. This force acts through us to counter evil and wrongdoing, by the simple expedient of denying the existence of Satan.

This then leads on to another theme running through the lines of text – that elusive peace of mind and self-awareness and how we can benefit from having a ‘tractable mind.’ There are always options for changing the way we think, feel, and look at things. We may each have different ideas on such matters as logic and reasoning, but more particularly often very different reasoning on those causes that we choose to adopt and support that can take over our lives. And that taking over may be better for some, but not all. Feelings bubble up from below, from the subconscious, and they can run rife if we allow them an untrammelled existence. They can take control of our conscious mind and interfere and misdirect our lives. Despite the advances of the human race, many of our behavioural characteristics today still derive from our basic animal origins. Those prehistoric tribal instincts drive the organisations, all those companies, clubs and associations, cults and sects we choose to belong to today.

It is our persistent need for physical comfort that feeds our acquisitiveness and that in turn promotes our attitudes towards others, but the view we have of ourselves is also vitally important. In this book, our very existence, the anthropology and sociology that drives us to derive the means to co-exist in peace, organisation and some contentment, as individuals and as members of a society, and the metaphysical concepts of religion are all put under the microscope, so that the man or woman in the street can see more clearly what does, and what does not, make sense to them about life.

Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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