Sunday, May 01, 2011
Nicholas Kardaras: "How Plato and Pythagoras Can Save Your Life"
Author: Nicholas Kardaras, Ph. D.
Title: "How Plato and Pythagoras Can Save Your Life: The Ancient Greek Prescription for Health & Happiness."
Publication: Conari Press, ISBN 978-1-57324-475-6, 240 pages, hardcover, Six Parts, 18 Chapters, 12 Exercises, with a Dissertation Abstract
I received a sample copy of the book from the author. He is a psychotherapist and clinical assistant professor at Stony Brook University and adjunct professor at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology.
As one could perhaps judge from the forearm tattoos on the dust jacket, the author has arrived at his position in life with a risky road with many setbacks, having worked in the nighclub business and then been through rehabilitation programs, the kind where you share chores in a group home, well before going back and getting his doctorate.
He gets into this worldview pretty quickly as he finishes the autobiographical narrative: the arch of “Philosophy, Science and Religion”, which he calls “the Ultimate Cage Match” (Ch. 5). Philosophy rather comes between the two, but it also shows that religion and science complement one another.
After I moved to Minnesota in 1997, I got to know some college undergraduates who were majoring in philosophy, one of whom, a senior at Hamline University in St. Paul then, set up my own lecture and television appearance about my own “Do Ask Do Tell” book.
In the latter part of the book, the author traces the contributions of the major Greek philosophers to a productive understanding of the point of one’s life. Pythagoras was a bit of a prodigy and a Clark Kent type young man. I found myself wondering if the digits of pi would be random even in hexadecimal (base 16).
Toward the end, he discusses the physics, or metaphysics, of the soul: the idea that one may give up a sense of individual self and join something larger to experience cosmic consciousness (an idea explored also by H. Spencer Lewis with Rosicrucianism). He gets into the question as to how information is stored and propagated in the universe in black holes – holographically, an idea previously explored in a Itzhak’s Bentov’s “Stalking the Wild Pendulum” and Jeffrey Mishlove’s “The Roots of Consciousness”.