As I read through the English translation of this work I often found myself wondering if I was reading a collection of social media “wisdom” posts bundled into one giant literary fortune cookie.
I don’t mean to be rude in any kind of way, but I certainly understand why serious scientists become nauseated by the “self-help-industry.”
This book is at times self-contradictory, and without any kind of bibliography, which means that you just have to believe what the author is presenting you with.
It’s interesting how these type of works are perceived and marketed as “revolutionary” and eye-opening. When the value of a bible has been dethroned we crown new-age philosophers as our saviours. Pretty funny in a way. Just makes me think of all of these wonderful “International Holidays” we have. They seem to multiply by the hour. Today it’s International Theatre Day & Muslim Womens Day in case you weren’t aware of it. Who needs Saints when the UN can create an abundance of unifying global celebrations.
L’Art De La simplicité does offer some good advice. The main issue here is if you are a critical reader and you notice discrepancies and pseudo-science.
Throughout the book Loreau repeats how poverty is deprivation of what enriches the soul, whereas materialistic richness is true destitution. It’s better to not have anything in your house that could attract a burglar as this would only add stress to your life.
According to Loreau ” An open, alert mind is more important than the quality of our comprehension.”
She also argues that ” A person who depends on others to get what he or she wants is a beggar.”
” Tell yourself you are not a creative person, and you will never become one.” She also says, which is a false claim. Creativity is a state of being, regardless of circumstances, self-doubt or age. Imagination and the ability to express it manifests itself at an early age.
“‘Successful’ people … never doubt their own ability to obtain the things they aspire to.” This is probably why performance psychology is so popular in sports among top athletes……..as everyone knows CEOs are always confident, same thing with artists.
“Impoverished when we allow ourselves to be caught up in the relentless machinery of competitiveness.” Much if not all advancement has been the result of competition, even people picking up books like these might do it to beat their peers. Life is about competition. Getting the resources, getting the best spouse, getting the dream job, etc; Nature=Competition, competition for survival.
” It also means not making them feel jealous, bitter, or envious.” The work speaks about how we are all responsible for our own thoughts and actions, so how can it then be my fault if someone “chooses” to be envious of me?
“In an ideal society, where no one seeks to accumulate wealth and riches, there are no thieves.” Such a society does not exist in the real world. Even if a society was impoverished you would see people getting killed over poultry and herbs. This sentence contradicts the very basis of human nature. It is not our inclination to share or be grateful, these attributes have to be taught to self-centred children. We have to be socially conditioned to share.
” No one can hurt us unless we allow them to. Hurt only occurs when we interpret the facts of what has occurred in our own minds.” Not true. Constantly obsessing over negative experiences will not make you happy and can easily lead to a depression. But if someone says or do something hurtful there will be an instant reaction, you’ll instantly be hurt there and then, especially if there is an association to similar situations in the past.
On page 149 it says: ” The real you is there inside, not in the image you offer to the world through your personality. Close your eyes, relax, take your time, then visualise your ideal image, life-sized. Make it exactly as you wish … This is your real you. The body you have today will gradually mould to the shape of the image you have visualised.”
On page 151: “Work on your affirmations” followed by a long list of mantras.
But on page 194 it says: ” We play the roles of people we would like to become, but these are false by definition. Don’t just recite empty life maxims and affirmations.” I’m all for the re-invention of the self but what I’ve pasted in above is self-contradictory. We project a “publishable” friendly public image of ourselves when we are up and about. This is not the entire truth but it is still you, even though it is just a part of you. Just because you want to enhance certain aspects of yourself doesn’t mean that you’ll abandon the memory or traces of how you used to be. Also, if you have an internal picture of who you really are or who you wanna be, then it can be argued that you are trying to “play a role.” Human beings usually have role-models that they try to emulate or rules that they try to live by, such as the suggestions presented in this book.
There are also some very glaring typos in this work. I’m just pointing it out since this is a book that has been published and according to the front cover is an international bestseller.
As I said above there are some good things in there, the curse is upon those who always question, refraining from blindly accepting claims from others….