Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Book Review, Sunday, January 22, 2012: The Art of Peace

Madame L found this book when she was doing her Annual Post-Christmas Clean-up of the Living Room and Family Room Bookcases. She doesn't know who it belongs to or how it got in her home, but she has been enjoying it.

"The Art of Peace" is a compilation of sayings of Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of the martial art we know of as Aikido. The compiler and translator is John Stevens, who has collaborated on other books about Morihei Ueshiba and the art of Aikido.

Madame L can't even find at Amazon.com the paperback edition she has, which was published in 2007, though Amazon would love to sell the Kindle e-book version of it to anyone who wants it for $6.60.

It's a good book, but Madame L wouldn't spend that much money for an e-book version. This is one of those books you want to hold in your hand, lean back and think about the sayings of the Aikido master, put the book down for awhile, and then go back to it.*

Okay, but it's not scripture. Some pseudo-eastern "philosophers" want people to read and study these kinds of books as if they're the Bible or something, and they're not. And, as another reviewer has pointed out, Aikido has become an industry and the writers of books about the art/sport and its practitioners have become rich selling these ideas. Madame L doesn't begrudge them their livelihoods, and this book is full of wisdom and helpful thoughts, ideas worth pondering and meditating on.

But if you want the real thing, the Bible is better. Look at the sayings of Jesus, who teaches the same ideas and many more profound and loving ones, and whose philosophy will lead you to God's love and peace.

Still, if you find this at a used book store or markdown bin or something, snap it up and learn about Aikido not only as a martial art but as a way to approach conflict in your life, as if you're defending yourself, and enjoy this unique approach. You'll learn from it, and that's why we read, isn't it.

*Maybe you can do all that with an e-book, but Madame L can't. Because she doesn't have an e-book reader and doesn't want one. Because she doesn't think she can enjoy reading that way.


1 comment:

Laura "Redial" EllJayPea said...

I agree with the whole e-book reader thing. There have been times I have purchased e-books and read on my phone or iPad, but it's just not as satisfying as holding the physical book, smelling the pages (not weird), and knowing how much of a book is left by being able to fluff through the pages. Just not the same.