I am always drawn to any book that sets itself the challenge of confronting the meaning of life. Existentialism certainly is an unanswerable topic, yet it is immensely enjoyable to contemplate albeit daunting to most! Dan Beeman has given us a wonderfully informative and though-provoking collection of essays focusing on topics and themes associated with the existence of mankind on this planet, exploring both our time on Earth as a species as well as our true purpose, which is quite the task as nobody can provide the hard answers to the questions such as 'Why are we here?' and 'What are we supposed to be doing in this time we are given?'.
Throughout the essays, Beeman is giving the reader the opportunity to contemplate and answer these sorts of questions for themselves. Before you read the essays, the author has provided two autobiographies so that the reader can familiarize themselves with Beeman and understand his own mindset before diving into the topics discussed.
I like how the author provided a historical and philosophical backdrop to the concept of existentialism before talking about the questions that spring from it. It was also very interesting to learn how Beeman perceives existentialism as a concept supported by three pillars: Free Will; Passion; and Accountability. The research behind this book is certainly thorough, which I loved because I rarely see a self-help book that takes the effort to explore where existentialism originated and why it exists for us to consider in the first place. There is also some beautiful photography alongside the writing and graphs.
This book also treats the topics of success and happiness, faith and religion, sustainability, power and politics as well as family life and the influence of social media on how we perceive the world around us and our own individual existences.
If you are interested in learning more about the idea of existentialism and how it affects the way in which individuals carry out their lives, then this is definitely the book for you.
In my final year of study as a Classics student, I am a publishing hopeful with books on my mind and if a story really grips me, I am a very fast reader! I spend most of my time studying the world of the Ancient Greeks and Romans, which I talk about on my blog ItzaNif.