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Astonish Yourself: 101 Experiments in the Philosophy of Everyday Life (Anglais) Broché – 29 juillet 2003


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Présentation de l'éditeur

Say your name aloud to yourself in a quiet room. Imagine peeling an apple in your mind. Take the subway without trying to get anywhere. The simple meditations in this book have the potential to shake us awake from our preconceived certainties: our own identity, the stability of the outside world, the meanings of words. At once entertaining and startling, irreverent and wise, this book will provoke moments of awareness for readers in any situation and in all walks of life. Enter the space of your favorite painting. Watch someone sleeping. The world won't look the same again.


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Roger-Pol Droit est écrivain, philosophe et journaliste. Chercheur au CNRS, il enseigne à Sciences-Po. Auteur d'une vingtaine de livres, dont plusieurs sont traduits dans le monde entier, il écrit régulièrement dans Le Monde, Le Point et Les Echos

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Amazon.com: 26 commentaires
50 internautes sur 52 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Shifting Awareness 13 mai 2006
Par C. Middleton - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This is a very strange book, but in the end, a useful one.

Experts of the mind and human behaviour have proposed that most of us carry on throughout our lives on automatic pilot. Because of habit, daily routine and repetition, we inadvertently create mental machinery to do our tasks without too much effort. As we grow older, too, our perceptions of the world have a tendency to dull, our opinions on matters political and otherwise refuse to see other perspectives, we are less inclined to learn new things, in other words, we become set in our ways. As the old saying goes: "You can't teach an old dog new tricks". This text provides us with some absurd and interesting exercises designed to break down our mental machinery, shake up our preconceived notions of the world, our fixed ideas, and perhaps see the world from a clean slate. In some cases, as the title suggests, the outcomes can be astonishing.

For example, number 15, "Walk in the Dark". The duration should only be a few minutes and the effect is that uncomfortable sensation of disorientation. Interestingly, the world actually changes when we attempt to orient ourselves in pitch-black conditions. We cannot depend on the light and must use our other senses to move around. This exercise hones your other senses, changing your views on "reality" and pushes you to move into present time.

One of the exercises that I found most rewarding is number 67, "Watch someone Sleeping". Having been with my partner for some years now, I believed I knew everything about her from her eyebrows to that tiny mole on her left shoulder. Time and familiarity has a tendency to make one take for granted those things and people that we depend on the most. Watching her sleep, listening to her slow and rhythmic breathing, suddenly I perceive a kind of "innocence", a face that somehow appears different, more beautiful, much less familiar. I no longer take her for granted because I've seen her in a different way.

A more banal exercise, and one most of us have experienced at one point or another is number 77, "Listen to your own voice". More often than not, our response is, "That doesn't sound like me!" If you are not used to hearing yourself, it can be a dislocating experience, which is the point. The exercise tends to impose an objective point of view on us, hearing yourself as possibly others see or hear you. It breaks up our preconceived notions, providing a fresh look at "I".

As the author has stated, this book is about entertainment. These exercises can be fun, however, they also can shift your awareness slightly, creating astonishing feelings, seeing the world from different points of view.

To my way of thinking, this can only be worthwhile.
36 internautes sur 37 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Experiments with your head 16 juin 2004
Par Munir Hassan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This book serves two purposes:
(1) It is a talking point. Leave it somewhere visible, say on your coffee table, and just wait for the reactions: incredulous, unbelieving, provoking fascinated expressions, engrossed furrowed foreheads and wry smiles.
(2) It is a book of practical experiments. There is something for everyone. Count to a thousand - seems simple? Try it. Its not the monotonous regular task simple mathmatics might suggest. It is more of a rollercoaster ride, with clickety click ups, exhilerating downs, mind numbing bends... And what do we learn? According to Pol Droit - that 1,000 is a very, very big number. And 1,000,000 is emotionally incomprehensible. He's right. Call to yourself, play the animal, imagine a pile of human organs, empty a word of its meaning, kill people in your head, take the tube without going anywhere specific. This is self-help without the Oprah factor, and with lashings of delicious humour. Pol Droit's experiments are designed to help committed experimenters see the world, and their experience of it, in a context slightly out of the ordinary. Freeze frame a moment, an action, a thought and, like watching someone dancing to music without the music, the fragile architecture on which our experience of the world rests is exposed.
Try it, you might even like it. Better (or worse) still, you might discover a dark corner of yourself you never wanted to know about.
46 internautes sur 51 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Play 4 décembre 2004
Par Mel N. Jolly - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This book is like propaganda for the existentially playful. If you are neither existentially inclined nor playful, this book will do nothing for you. If, however, you are both, you will like it a lot. If you have read and enjoyed Walker Percy, that will probably help.

This is not a self-help book. If you are odd, it will probably help to make you odder.
30 internautes sur 37 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
great book, but unfortunately not for everyone 8 novembre 2004
Par gcon - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
everyone could benefit from this book, but since not everyone could appreciate or understand what this book is, i could not reccommend it for everyone. this book is 101 thought experiments that, if done properly, will change how you look at things and spark new ideas and thoughts. experiments range from following ants to randomly calling people to sitting and imagining various things. there are many people who will not see the point of the book, or feel foolish or feel it is a waste of time, but chances are those people arn't reading this review. as trite as this sounds, you get out of it what you put into it. if you want this book to change yourself or become "a fuller person", you have to want it to happen. this book is a great guide, but ultimately it is you who change yourself. this book will show you how but you have to put in the effort. so i would definately reccommend it if you are looking for a way to maximize your philisophicle life.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
I'm still looking for blue food! 25 août 2008
Par Greg A. Tirevold - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I actually dog-eared pages as I read for things I wanted to go back and try. I ended up with 41 bent pages and some memorable experiences.

"#94 Think about what other people are doing" was a favorite one as was "#22 Count to a thousand".

It is not life changing so much as simply life observing in a "stop and smell the roses" sort of way. I had fun reading it and think most people will be able to find something memorable if they actually try some of the experiments.
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