Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Discuss the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes.

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Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
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Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Anna Hernandez 2 wrote: January 28th, 2023, 3:55 pm 'We fight together not merely as evolutionarily programmed robot-like sympathetic social humans desperately seeking to avoid pain, discomfort, and death.' (losing it. looking to next sentence for clarification)
'Granted, those qualities of our human nature do certainly play a role in our deeper and more spiritual war.' (lost. end of paragraph)

We fight together not merely as humans but as... what? (this is a cliffhanger in my mind lol any guidance welcome)
Hi, Anna,

I think you are misreading a "but" in there. There is no 'but' in that sentence.

To make the sentence more clear, you can take out the phrase "evolutionarily programmed robot-like".

Then the sections reads as follows:
'The common struggle this book will show goes much deeper.

We fight together not merely as sympathetic social humans desperately seeking to avoid pain, discomfort, and death. Granted, those qualities of our human nature do certainly play a role in our deeper and more spiritual war.

Nonetheless, in addition to our [shared] bodily human fight against pain, death, and discomfort, we also fight for something. Something deeper, something more fundamental, something one can call spiritual.
Is that more clear?


In any case, I have just now updated my version of manuscript slightly to make the above changes so that it will be more readable and understandable in future edition. So thank you for bringing this to my attention!
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Sheilaread wrote: February 1st, 2023, 3:46 am Hello
I was re-reading and realized I did not understand this part completely, the first time through; thank you.

That is not a reference to some kind of philosophical metaphysical dualism. Rather, the truths in this book are agreeable to metaphysical dualists and monists alike. One could even argue that the differences between most forms of dualism and monism are merely semantics. In fact, some philosophers argue that all philosophy is just word games.

Regardless, those are not arguments for this book. Rather, this duality is a conceptual duality, not a metaphysical duality.
You are not the only one! :)

An earlier poster already asked about that, and so I explained what I meant by in more detail in this reply.

I'll also make a note to add some clarification to that paragraph in a future edition of the book.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by Jack King 2 »

This is the first for me

For those of us who find ourselves on the luckier side of this “tale of two cities”, starving children epitomize a much larger They. It is the They that suffer most.
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Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by Sugar Rush »

First, I do not consider myself a philosopher although I do enjoy reading the philosophical positions of different people. So, while I understood the book mostly because of the simple English employed most times, I had to pause to wonder if what I feel the author means may be the same thing with what the author actually meant. Understanding as it was was not my issue.
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Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Jack King 2 wrote: March 5th, 2023, 3:33 pm For those of us who find ourselves on the luckier side of this “tale of two cities”, starving children epitomize a much larger They. It is the They that suffer most.
This would be an alternative way of saying it:

For the roughly 50% of us who are wealthier than most other humans, starving children epitomize those who find themselves in the bottom 50%.

In yet other words, children who slowly and painfully starve to death are an epitomizing example of the 50% of humans on this planet who suffer more than average.

Does that help clarify what I meant?
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by Chinemezu Okafor »

I really enjoyed this book. I saw the world in a whole new light. As regards understanding every sentence in this book, I believe I did understand them. But the way I understood them might be different from the way other readers out there perceive them.
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Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by ahassan_96 »

I can only describe this book in one word, inspiring! Honestly, there wasn't a single part of this book that came to me as a misunderstanding. The author tried to put everything into perspective by relating to actual experiences we often come across. This is one of the best philosophical books I've read, and I feel uplifted to be part of the experience.
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Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by Vivian Writes »

At first, I wasn’t sure that I understood the Humpty Dumpty analogy because of how heavy it was, especially since I’ve only thought about Humpty Dumpty as a nursery rhyme. But on further thought, I realized that it was pretty straightforward. Then something is “Temporal Unity of Selves” caught my attention: the idea that some people lie to themselves about what makes them happy. At first, if flew over my head but I came to realize that the author might have meant this in relation to building discipline and lasting habits that might be painful in the interim but bring about lasting happiness. It was a good read, overall, and on deeper analysis, I understood everything.
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Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by Maliha Naveed »

On the first page of your book, you say, "To speak of freedom and peace, one challenges violent oppressor; one challenges murderers, rapists, and enslavers, the most dangerous of whom may be the ones who claim to commit such violence for the alleged greater good."
When I first read this, the concept of 'honor killing' came to my mind instantly. In some parts of the world, this evil practice is still prevailing. Correct me if I am wrong, but is this what the phrase 'alleged greater good' imply? Because those who believe in and practise 'honor killing', believe that it's good for their families and their honor.
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Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Hi, Maliha Naveed,

Thank you for your question! :)

Maliha Naveed wrote: March 31st, 2023, 2:46 am On the first page of your book, you say, "To speak of freedom and peace, one challenges violent oppressor; one challenges murderers, rapists, and enslavers, the most dangerous of whom may be the ones who claim to commit such violence for the alleged greater good."
When I first read this, the concept of 'honor killing' came to my mind instantly. In some parts of the world, this evil practice is still prevailing. Correct me if I am wrong, but is this what the phrase 'alleged greater good' imply? Because those who believe in and practise 'honor killing', believe that it's good for their families and their honor.
Yes, so-called "honor killing" is indeed, unfortunately, a prime example of what I meant.


In case you are curious for more elaboration, I elaborated more on the same subject of violent utilitarianism and people committing severe aggressive violence (e.g. murder, rape, slavery, and even genocide) for the alleged 'greater good'/ in the following topics on these forums:

- Dangerous Moral Busybodies | "A tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive."

- A World Blinded by Sadistic Anger | How the dangerous superstition of justice leads to aggressive violence and misery

- Orwellian Agent-Smithism | How Control Freaks, God Complexes, And Violent Nanny Statism Attack Freedom and Diversity

- Friends, I ask you to oppose all non-consensual non-defensive violence, even when it's legal or done by your own government.


On the more spiritual side, particularly for those of us who sociopolitically already practice the peaceful principle of live and let live, I also touch loosely on the same idea in my topic, Whether you are looking for a savior or someone to save, or both, look into a mirror. In that topic, I write, in part:

Scott wrote: December 9th, 2022, 6:22 pm Many times, people aren't really looking to be happy--meaning to have consistent inner peace--but rather looking for an excuse or scapegoat for their misery.

There's no shortage of unhappy people wanting to give you advice, if not put a literal or metaphorical gun to your head and force you to take their literally miserable advice and live by their literally miserable standards. Many would rule the world because they cannot rule themselves, at least not in a way that lets them be truly happy with inner peace.

[Read Full Post]

The false miserable idea that the world is awful and desperately needs to be saved--by any means necessary no matter how aggressively violent and brutal--is typically a symptom of the violent saver's own persistent deep-rooted misery, meaning their lack of the true happiness that is inner peace and spiritual freedom.

Once we see that, it becomes easier to understand how even the Nazis thought they were the good guys, whose ends justified their means. So too is it surely true of the brutal murderers committing brutal honor killings. The destructive bloody horror of what such a person honestly sees as 'doing good ' reflects the spiritual misery in their own heart and the horrible self-created hell in which they themselves live.

I have hate in my heart for nobody. In some ways, I can sympathize with the most brutal most of all. I don't wish to be like them, but sometimes I can most easily say of them: Forgive them, for they know what they do. That is because, in a way, they are the most misguided. While it is mostly if not entirely self-created, they are utterly blinded by their own deep hellish suffering and their own lack of spiritual freedom.

In the words of Alan Watts, all the do-gooders are troublemakers.

For those who follow the teachings of my book, whether because they read it or just happen to otherwise, the opposite is the case. We have the consistent true happiness that is inner peace and spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline). Our loving free-spirited inner peace is reflected in our actions, our art, our kindness, and even our eyes. You can see it and feel it when you talk to one of us, or even when you sit in silence nearby. I have a feeling that you are just like me in this way, so when I say us, I do mean us.


With love,
Scott
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by Maliha Naveed »

"... a dream can become an out-of-control nightmare, especially insofar as you forget your true power, namely your power of choice..."
1- What is the relation between our dreams and our choice to dream? Do we have a choice here?
2- How can we choose if the dream be pleasant or a nightmare? Also, Freud says, 'there is an intimate bond, with laws of its own, between the unintelligible and complicated nature of the dream and the difficulties attending communication of the thoughts connected with the dream."
When so many of our dreams are unintelligible and complicated arising from our thoughts while we are awake, how can we simplify them?
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Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by Nletachi Otuokere »

In It Together was a really fun book to read. This is the first Scott novel have I read, and I wasn't disappointed. In order to better address your query, I can say that I was able to comprehend each sentence and felt something within each one.
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Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by Surabhi Rani »

First of all, let me bring this fact to your knowledge that I could at least sense the meanings of almost every word in the book. I had no confusion about the ideas that the book conveyed. However, could you please expand on the following sentence on page no.134 'Neither the lion nor the antelope is evil as one chases the other, whether the lion eats a bloody meal or starves as he is denied by a fast antelope?' I find the above sentence relatable and want to be sure about it's meaning.
Last edited by Surabhi Rani on May 23rd, 2023, 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by Davy Ifedigbo »

Initially, the heading of the publication left me bewildered. I pondered upon the precise conflict that could potentially unify every individual, given that certain individuals appear to experience no conflicts whatsoever. My comprehension improved upon completing the reading material.
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Re: Did you understand every sentence in the book, "In It Together"? If not, what part did you first not understand?

Post by Sonia Gonzalez »

The book was written in simple and clear language, but what I love about philosophy books is that (most of the time) you cannot ask the author to explain it; you need to discuss it and interpret it with yourself or someone else. I might not have understood every sentence the way it was intended to, but I loved how I interpreted it and its impact on me. Maybe if I were to ask for an explanation, it would have a different impact, and that is not necessarily something bad, but it would not have been mine.
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