BOOK TITLE: Torn between two worlds - Wisdom and Rhetoric
Wisdom and Rhetoric, is the second book in a series of three books, pointing out the dynamic perspective from the author. He starts by quoting personal experiences in his life, which humanizes the book connecting it to its readers.
He opens the book with the story of a young Jamaican Minister and the minister’s ability to give an honest and thoughtful sermon. He also mentions the second commandment and this commandments importance today. Within his introduction, states the purpose this book was written.
Socrates taught us about logic and wisdom, and how important it is to appreciate the truth and wisdom as unifying words. Shawn T. Murphy points out three invaluable questions: 1) Have you made sure what you are saying is true? 2. Is what you are saying, good? 3. Is what you are saying useful? These three questions are addressed throughout this book in Shawn T. Murphy’s writing itself, using references and personal stories about his daughter, including a stroke she suffered at 20 years old.
Shawn T. Murphy refers to the Bible and the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He compares the tree of life to the wisdom God planted in the garden and the tree of knowledge and evil representing rhetoric. He defines wisdom to all that is good and true, and he defines rhetoric as a language designed to have a persuasive effect on its audience and often parables of truth and knowledge mixed together lacking in meaningful content. The book refers to the pull of wisdom and rhetoric being at the center of conflict since the beginning of time.
Within this book is a series of chapters broken down into the months in one year, with invaluable information; part of this is a point the author drives home to the reader. Wisdom is based on scientific laws and needs to meet the criteria of goodness, usefulness, and truthfulness. Rhetoric does not. This book goes on to use key historical figures to prove his viewpoint including Abram’s story mentioned in Genesis and how important it is to our life today. He points out the study of the Gods across cultures and the need to stick to our principles of logic. In Abram’s story in the Bible, he speaks about multiple gods and angels during his lifetime.
The author talks about the importance of a name and its given meaning and how much water it held in the past. He also conveys to us the importance of analyzing every word read in the Bible and looking at its true meaning. He refers to the good path of wisdom and truth, fighting against the attempts by the benevolent force and how easily it would have been for Abram to be misled. He supports his book with many important historical facts that have not always come to light.
He uses the story of the flood in the Bible as a way of giving farmers and fisherman a chance to establish a new way of life, as opposed to killing each other for food. In his book Shawn T. Murphy references the book of Exodus, the power of Moses’s time in the 13th century and Ramesses, who attempted to erase wisdom from the world, by building large monuments in the name of the pagan gods, putting his name on newly renovated older monuments, and attempting to take the place of the sun god Ra on earth. There is also reference to the mentioning of the sun and moon where symbolism is helpful.
The book goes on to mention many Greek Gods and their relevance to the history of wisdom and rhetoric even though their history has been twisted in some cases by rhetoric turning them into something they are not.
The author uses Socrates and Eryximachus and their stories to enlighten us to the meaning of wisdom. Other important figures in history are Joan of Arc, Mark Twain and the value of some of Albert Einstein's work trying to disprove the quantum theory.
The author points out that we are all unique individuals, and by taking personal responsibility for our happiness we can acquire wisdom and overcome rhetoric. He also points out that each of us thinks differently and we should be respected for the benefits each type of thinking can bring us. He also refers to success, and how in today’s world it is valued differently than it once was, and how that affects our children and the day to day pressures the academic process brings them. Instead of education using human intelligence to pursue creativity, we find ourselves caught up in the educational policy. He also refers to parents continuing to exert their will over their children, and the rhetoric they acquired in their past on their children.
This book gives us a clear history on one of the greatest victories over rhetoric, accomplished in 381 AD at the First Council of Constantinople reducing the wonderful diversity of Heaven to one single entity: the trinity. He again points out in this chapter how blinded we are with rhetoric using the example, of how hard it is to believe we all go into one melting pot, (One Heaven), after we cease to exist.
One of the chapters I found most interesting in the book was the chapter of November which goes into the importance of angels in our lives and explanation that they are not gods, but live around us to protect us.
Shawn T. Murphy concludes his book with one final chapter, about the narrow path of Wisdom. Wisdom and Rhetoric in our world are so closely mixed in together, they produce rhetoric. He goes on to infer that the battle of science and religion are in constant conflict causing discourse in the world while hiding the reasons we are here in the first place. Shawn T. Murphy provides references and supporting evidence for all of his teachings and should be commended for integrating his personal experiences with his daughter for inspiring him with the wisdom to do so.
This book is a must read for the deep thinker who would truly like to investigate the meaning of life, and is congruent with his first book, Torn Between Two Worlds, Science and Religion.
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