Little sayings, proverbs, aphorisms, slogans — they’re a humble form of literature. The people who come up with them are often forgotten, yet they can stick around for thousands of years. Philosophers and poets of pagan society, prophets and kings of Jewish society, saints in Christendom, and businessmen and politicians in secular modern society — everybody tends to treasure and live by those few short words of wisdom that ring true. Sometimes they wake people up and change their lives, in a moment of satori-like realization or outright conversion. Sometimes they give people the courage of their convictions, to continue doing what needs done.
Sense Nonsense: Fundamental Propositions Not Too Good to Be True, Just Too Hard to Accept is an original collection of “propositions” by Francisco J. Garcia-Julve, a Spanish philosopher now living in the US. I got a review copy, so let’s take a look.
The book is full of both comments to live by, and questions to use in scrutinizing oneself and the ways of the world. Garcia-Julve’s take on things is determinedly contrarian, challenging you to ask if what he’s saying is a deliberate test, nonsense to get you thinking, or serious advice.
There are also a good many aphorisms relating to God, and what attitudes we should take toward Him. They are even more challenging, because their obvious good sense makes you wonder why you aren’t doing it.
This is not a book to read straight through, although I suppose you could. This is more the kind of book suited to daily reading and thinking about a few of the sayings at a time, or only one.
We’re living in a time in which many people have a vested interest in keeping us from thinking much. If you want to resist marketing, discern truth, or chart your own path through life, you have to learn to think straight. This book can help.