The Psychology of Totalitarianism: A Book Review

I chose to experience this book in audio form and I’m glad I did. As someone who tries to grasp every morsel of a book, I may have become bogged down in it otherwise.
Unless you’ve had an excellent liberal arts education, the frequent world historical references may cause you to be Googling and/or refreshing your knowledge at the expense of the deep and well-described essence of the text. Within every reference is a clear explanation of the time period so you don’t have to recall all your own facts.
I’m blown away how (somewhat scarily) this book describes the intrinsic human tendency to drift toward totalitarianism and draws an undisputable correlation to our experiences before, during, and since, the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s been a perfect storm for our self-destructive behavior.
The book does not point fingers or make judgements but simply explains Mass Formation Psychosis.
In fact, I felt relieved that there isn’t likely organized malicious wrongdoing on a large scale, but instead, this phenomenon is arising from widespread fear and uncertainty. It’s dangerous and destructive just the same. But there’s actually a hopeful thread that makes our future seem less grim… yet still uncertain.
More than explaining just a psychological phenomenon, the book offers many reference-based cases and gets to the center of defining our humanity and human limitations in general.
[spoiler alert] Poets, artists, and Nature lovers just may be closer to the ‘truth’ of our existence than the dogmatically logic-based scientists.
I’m going to re-experience this fascinating book soon because all the enlightening and affirming information could not possibly be absorbed-to my liking- in one dose. You’ll definitely feel more educated once you read it.
If you’re curious, logical, anxious, or find yourself just shaking your head every day, this book is for you!

Here’s a short clip of the author explaining a sliver of his findings:


BTW-the audio version is not read by the author so if you find his Belgian accent distracting, it’s more clearly understandable.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=mass+formation+psychosis&&view=detail&mid=4A9D029B0483AC21D4724A9D029B0483AC21D472&&FORM=VRDGAR&ru=%2Fvideos%2Fsearch%3Fq%3Dmass%2520formation%2520psychosis%26%26FORM%3DVDVVXX

Book Review- So B. It by Sarah Weeks

I happened on a thrift store last weekend and gravitated to… the book nook.
My mission was to find a few books to offer my 15 year old granddaughter.
This book had a Scholastic label and an interesting synopsis.
<So I bought it… brought it home and… I READ IT>
It was a delightful read! I loved it!
Thirteen year old Heidi was living a nontraditional life with a mentally disabled mother and a caregiving neighbor who had her own baggage. Then, one day, she needs answers to “who she is?” and “where she came from?”. Her trek to find answers and her innocent approach to life’s toughest themes made this tale both gripping and heartwarming.
I highly recommend it to kids age 13 to 100!


It was made into a movie in 2017. I had no idea until I looked for the Amazon image for this post.



A reblog: Book Review: Embrace Your Weird — Dave Williams

Embrace Your Weird: Face Your Fears and Unleash Creativity by Felicia Day I’ll begin this review with a quote from the book’s introduction: “Simply put, this book is about uncovering, unblocking, and letting loose FEELING. And then activating ways to SHARE THAT FEELING.” Simply put, this book is wonderful. It’s not a “how to” book […]

Book Review: Embrace Your Weird — Dave Williams

Mason wants to know…

What’s your favourite book? Make a post to tell me about that book. Put this link in your post to create a pingback or simply share the link in the comments. Don’t forget to come back and read some of the posts if you share. Most importantly have fun my friends.

A wonderful blogger has asked us to write a post about our favorite book.
That is a really hard question?!
My first love of a book was The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling.
I discovered it in my teens and it was also the first book that I reread.
Adventure…Nature…Animals… I was hooked!



Then came my discovery of the short story!
Ray Bradbury’s Illustrated Man blew my mind!
That is likely my choice for all time favorite.
Short stories are my favorite genre.
That’s why I enjoy flash fiction so much. Every word counts quite like poetry. I’m a ‘get to the point’ person in general so, although there are some dandy long novels, the short story works its magic well for me.


Thanks Mason, for this opportunity and prompt!



Magic of Books – Masons Mind Menagerie (wordpress.com)

Defining Sanity and Humanity

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I’ve been away from my blog for some time. Knowing it exists, and that I would return, was always a comforting thought. I am pages from completing a fascinating, enlightening, true story and could wait, no longer, to share it.
I am grappling with the term “forever changed” by this book. Instead, I think it is more accurate, in my own case, to say “finally aware” or “forever defined”.
This is a firsthand story of a brain scientist’s stroke. There is a wealth of science about symptoms and perceptions, from the victim’s view. It is an essential part of the story and, really, not hard to learn and appreciate but the overall message and “insight” into the human psyche will “blow you away”!
We are a single being which operates, through our world, by using two separate, yet connected, brain hemispheres. The story exposes the purpose and function of those hemispheres in enlightening detail. The author’s conclusions about the necessity for both to function in unison in order to offer a life “rich” in a common conscientiousness are extraordinary, possibly, life changing.
As I read this book, I was thankful for my years with children for my primarily hopeful perspective about living “in the moment”. Jill Bolte Taylor hits the “nail on the head”, in my opinion, about how much of our own happiness is a matter of how we CHOSE to perceive the world. Embracing how ordinary events make us “feel” (emotionally and physiologically) just may be the biggest tool in the counteracting of everyday depression and sadness.
The author does not disregard the fact that our mental health is subject to chemical reactions beyond our control. The awareness that we CAN control much of it, though, (beyond brain damage and illness) offers a primer in a more fulfilling, happy, existence.
Incidentally, the carefree, forgiving, nature of man’s best friend seems to further explain why our Left Brains (containing speech and ego) can be our worst enemy if left to control too much of our time. On the other hand, who wants children, or dogs, making critical decisions?
As with everything we learn about life, balance is the best medicine.
I’ve barely scratched the surface of the wisdom between the covers of this book!

  • How to recognize a stroke.
  • How to treat stroke victims.
  • The recuperative power of sleep.
  • How our brains interpret the world.
  • The importance of patience and kindness.

I give this book 11 stars out of 10.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks…Book Review

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An amazing story that needed telling!

This book is a non-fictional glimpse of scientific advances and the horrid racial inequality in our “not very distant” past. It is a riveting read. The story chronicles the struggles of poor black folks during the 50’s and 60’s, in a way, that will leave you forever changed. The sacrifices of those who advanced medical research are present, along with, the greed which always follows the money.

Many of the legal, and ethical, dilemmas, exposed in this text, are unresolved to this day. The author does not attempt to decide the “right” from “wrong” but, very effectively, invites the reader into the lives of real people. I laughed, I cried, and I feel enlightened by this book. A must read for those who endeavor to be educated and informed.

Going Wild

51gpiNPzMPL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_ (1)As I’ve stated before, this blog is meant to be a journal for my grandchildren. I wish I could have one from my grandparents. I would love to see their inner thoughts and principles documented to be shared with future generations. I was lucky. I spent a great deal of time with my grandparents. Their memories and principles are a part of who I am.

Even though I spend an enormous amount of time (by today’s standards) with my granddaughters, I still enjoy accumulating thoughts for their pleasure and reflection one day.

I am currently reading a book which touches something very dear to me. It is The Nature Principle by Richard Louv. I suspect there will be a greater need for the wisdom, presented between these covers, in the future and want to document my first impression of this book.

The connection between human beings and “Mother Nature” is fading. I believe that we must not allow our kids to grow up in, what I believe, is a two-dimensional environment. When we are out-of-doors and surrounded by natural things, we absorb an appreciation of our worth and rejuvenate our sense of well-being. Just the other day, my granddaughter (age 8) was feeling ultra-emotional about being left behind by her mother. I said, “Why don’t you go outside for awhile?” She did. The transformation was immediate. She calmed and came back indoors wearing a smile. This method, of adding balance, works for me everyday. I sometimes just step outside for a few moments yet find my mood benefits very much.

I’ve hardly dipped into the book but already know what, I believe, the author knows about our integral connection to the natural world and its importance to human health. I have described my feelings in the forest as “comfortably insignificant”. Somehow, the realization of forces and life struggles outside of one’s own “bubble” put things in a wonderful perspective.

The first evidence this book cited, was the “instinctive intuition” available to those who have had a nature connection in their lives, as opposed to, those who have not. A study of soldiers who have avoided roadside bombs simply from their “whole view” of their surroundings is quite revealing. Those soldiers who came from rural settings, and/or had hunted or hiked the wilds, somehow noticed the “something’s wrong with this picture” element. Their success in identifying “trouble”, well out weighed, those who had spent their youthful time in front of TV and video realities. I call the latter, a “two-dimensional” view. These people are not accustom to using ALL of their senses in order to navigate the world. They have never felt fully vulnerable like one does in the wild. Total safety, allows us not to need the details and detective work of survival. Interestingly, the other group who was “in tune” with danger, and had highly developed instincts, were those from rough neighborhoods in the cities. Feeling vulnerable, obviously, makes us wise and sharp.

My time in the woods has offered me the view, of a deer approaching, from my sense of smell alone. On a few occasions, I have smelled the wet fur (somewhat like a wet dog) before I have heard or seen the animal. We humans have many amazing abilities that our indoor existence has atrophied. These instincts are not simply meant to be kept alive but, may be crucial, in keeping us alive.

As far as detective work, I use it all of the time. Until now, I thought everyone did. For instance, this may seem weird, but I have a bird feeder within view of my bathroom window. It is very close to my parking area behind the house. In the morning, I am often in the bathroom when my day care friends arrive. If I believe I hear a car in my driveway, I look to my bird feeder. If the birds are still boldly feeding, I know a car really did not enter the area. If the birds scatter, then I expect a door slam to follow.

Everyday, I tell my kids to be detectives. Just last week, I was changing a diaper, right after the “drop off” time. I turned to one kid and said,” Your mom left the diaper bag in the car last night, didn’t she?” The 6-year-old was surprised and said, “Yes…she did!”

Then I asked her, how did I know that fact? She shrugged.
“It’s in the clues. Your brother’s diaper wipes are very cold. If she had just put them into the car, they would be warm.”

We use the “detective method” all day long. I believe it is very much a part of keeping kids really engaged with their environment. The skills for logical deduction are very important.

So, I will post other enlightening finds from this exceptional book. In the meantime, make time to be “wild”. 😉