As a participant in ACN’s blogroll, I was tagged by author and blogger Gina Briganti, who asked me the following question:
Hiram, will you share three books that inspired or influenced you to write your book on Epicurean philosophy?
There are definitely more than three books that inspired me, but I’ll stick to three. One is the book El Maravilloso Universo de la Magia (The Wonderful World of Magic) by Chilean New-Age author Enrique Barrios. I read this book when I was about 19 years old, and although I no longer believe in its teachings, it did inspire me with the idea of wanting to become the kind of author that takes a reader on an adventure to discover a new philosophy or a new window into seeing the world differently, with more freedom.
Another book was Verlaine Crawford’s Ending the Battle Within, which is a personal narrative mixed into an applied therapeutic practice that she invented and which is very reminiscent both of Jungian psychoanalysis and of the ancient therapeutic practices of the Epicureans. Her infusion-integration technique consists on getting to know one’s sub-personalities and engaging them in order to get them to agree, to achieve inner psychological harmony. It reminds me of the dispositions, the false opinions that according to Epicureanism underlie our habits, that we are to evaluate in order to create a good character (reducing bad habits/vices and increasing good ones/virtues).
Another book that has inspired me is a small one titled The Law of Success by Paramahansa Yogananda, who used to be one of my gurus. Like some of his other books, it’s a collection of adages and nuggets of practical wisdom that produce a more pleasant, happier, more peaceful life. It helped to inspire me to gather my own wisdom tradition. Many Epicurean works also are written in this format, as short Maxims that are easy to memorize.
All these books are outside the Epicurean tradition, which says something about how unconventional and un-academic my book is for a philosophy book. This is exactly how I wanted it with Tending the Epicurean Garden. I wanted to show people that philosophy is not only for academia, that it’s inspiring, useful, relevant, and has therapeutic and practical value.
To close the blog roll, I am tagging HM CLark, whose self-titled blog is here. My question is: What motivated you to write and then self publish your first book ‘The Kalarthri’?