New Self, New World: Book Presents New Perspective on Body, Mind & Spirit
When we “do” rather than “be,” we are placing more importance in our head and in reason than with listening to our body and experience feeling. We are unable then to connect with our consciousness.
In New Self, New World: Recovering Our Senses in the Twenty-First Century (North Atlantic Books), Philip Shepherd presents a fascinating examination of myth, consciousness, logic, and existence as our society grows increasingly more fearful and anxious.
For anyone wanting a new perspective on achieving wholeness or a new sense of living a more present life, New Self, New World is a book worth reading.
About Philip Shepherd
Several years ago Philip Shepherd travelled through Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. During this time he began asking some questions relating to:
- the nature of art and creativity;
- the Eastern and Western perceptions about the body and how it is experienced;
- personal expressions of humanity; and
- the influences of culture on our ways of thought.
It was this thinking that inspired the direction of Shepherd’s career. In addition to being a writer of several plays and a documentary, he is also the confounder and contributor to Onion, an arts magazine, and the cofounder and director of a theater company. Shepherd has acted in several films, toured with a dance company, and led workshops as a corporate coach on increasing creativity and presence.
New Self, New World is the product of over nine years of thinking, seeking, and writing.
New Self, New World: “Just Be”
What happens when we over-think or over-analyze our world? This leads to heightened states of anxiety as we become more and more attuned to our fears and obsessions rather than just “living.” New Self, New World is described as a “radical and deeply coherent look at assumptions that are so entrenched in our culture that they have come to define “normal” for us.”
New Self, New World takes a look at the disconnect between ourselves and our bodies. Shepherd explains how we tend to ignore what our bodies are telling us—for example, the physiological effects of stress on the body often go overlooked or unattended—because we are too engrossed with what’s going on in our minds.
Our sense of being in the world comes from experiencing the present, but most of us are always wrapped up in the past or what’s going to happen in the future. Our anxiety increases when we live too much inside our heads, apart from “just being.” Our deeper purpose in life is overshadowed by anxiety and fear.
Insightful Book Ignites New Sense of Being
The book is interspersed with different exercises that Shepherd describes as “a point of departure, a bridge to newness, a form of practice to facilitate the voluntary sabotage of long-standing patterns.” These exercises are opportunities to allow us to practice reconnecting with our bodies and rediscovering how to be present.
I found these exercises to be extremely relaxing and comforting, particularly coming out of a busy day. I think this book will be well-received by people seeking a new sense of “wholeness” or a new method of living beyond an anxious, self-absorbed, and disenchanted life.
New Self, New World is an exceptionally well-written and insightful book demonstrative of Shepherd’s philosophical intellect. I suspect readers will have to pause frequently during their reading experience, as Shepherd presents so much information, reflection is necessary.
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