#nonfiction #philosophical #psychological
We did not enter this world with a manual. This book is the next best thing. As the world’s only emotional beings is it not truly astonishing that we function through emotions that we do not remotely understand or control? How then can we possibly understand or control ourselves? Bound together by a total ignorance of the human condition, we conduct our lives unaware of how we are meant to live.
Am I Loved? is nothing if not about being human. It is a book of secrets. A book about life, how life has been lived by a parade of humanity 65 billion names long all of whom have got it wrong, failing to understand how things are meant to be. This book defines the human condition as it is and, unknown until now, how it has always been. Our emotions exist not to benefit us but to safeguard our genes, protecting the life within us. Thus is the language of our emotions translated for us to understand, their crucial interaction with the greatest human need of all, our need to be loved, duly explained. All else flows from this.
We spend our lives intent on surviving when fulfilment comes from loving and being loved. Nature’s Protections serve to liberate us yet we allow them to inhibit our lives without realising that the majority of our many emotional problems are solvable simply by a proper understanding of the human condition. Understanding what we do not understand will be a hugely fulfilling experience significantly enhancing the quality of our lives. Am I Loved? explains how this may be done enabling us to get everything right.
Publisher: Umbria Press
Insightful and thought-provoking – 5 stars
Am I Loved? Is an insightful contribution into the human condition and how we manage the myriad of emotions which we experience and which impact on our existence. It proposes a way forward in which we can understand and channel our emotions so that we gain greater happiness and fulfilment. It left me, the reader, with the tools to begin re-examining my own emotional outlook and how I relate to others so that I do not solely survive but love and be loved in a way I had not previously contemplated in quite the same way.
The author delves into the realms of history, faith, genes and psychology and it is clear he has spent many years of research before producing his own thoughts. His book encourages us to comprehend the forces at play within ourselves and our emotions, why they exist and how they relate to our innate need to be loved. Whilst the read contained a number of concepts unfamiliar to me, the book did well in introducing them step by step so that by the end the way forward made practical sense.
I feel that this is a book I will want to return to again and again as I contemplate my relationships with others and also my own psyche.
Reviewed by Tina Williams
Please note, a copy of this book was given to me by the author in return for a fair and honest review.
Syndicated Interview with John Bieber
In short, what is the primary message behind Am I Loved??
The very things that make us human are those that cause us to feel ill at ease in our humanity because right back to the first human being everyone has got everything wrong. For how can we function as sophisticated emotional beings when we can neither understand nor control our emotions? This book examines the human condition establishing where and why we have gone wrong and how we can now get everything right leading to a more fulfilling and meaningful existence and the chance to feel truly comfortable in ourselves and at ease in our nature for the very first time.
What initially inspired you the write the book?
My experience as a Divorce lawyer witnessing people in huge distress who were rendered incapable of taking constructive decisions due to the onslaught of their emotions. This led me to write a book on the emotional side of divorce which in turn led to a detailed study of our emotions. which were clearly not understood at all.
What is your goal for the book following publication?
None particularly although I would love my book to be accepted as the definitive analysis of the human condition.
What was the writing process like for such an epic tome? Did the book involve a lot of research and if so, where did your research take you?
I read widely around the subject. See my bibliography. Every book seemed to miss the point but by considering them all I was able to build my theories from where theirs’ had left off.
Is Am I Loved? your first book? If not, how does it differ to your previous book(s)?
No. If Divorce is the Only Way? (Penguin) was my first published book although I have written two unpublished novels and have a play I would love to write but probably never will.
In your opinion, what one thing most defines us as humans?
Our overwhelming need to be loved.
Is it truly possible to fully control and manage our emotions?
No. Emotions come to us fully formed responding to the needs of our genes for the preservation of life, rather than to our personal needs. And so, preserving the Life within us they are beyond our control. The best we can do is to try to control our reactions to them by the suppression of anger or the masking of sadness or surprise.
Why is it so necessary to understand our emotions?
Because all personal feelings and human intercourse flows through them.
Could you tell us more about the concept of ‘The Speechless Real’?
The Speechless Real is not my term it originated with Jacques Barzun. It is the reason for our ignorance of how we function. It envelops us all blotting out a full understanding of the human condition to the extent that no one can even explain what it feels like to be alive although all of us experience that feeling all the time every day. In this way people will believe that despite its limitations the way we live is the only way there is despite the misery and sadness this may engender. It is a block on understanding inimical to a full knowledge of the human condition that my book seeks to dispel.
Why do we have such a strong need to be and feel loved?
These needs are our greatest needs, again designed for the better protection of life.
What is the link between our emotions and our need to be loved?
Very strong. Our Supreme Sense analyses our every emotion by reference to the effect that such emotions have on our need to be loved. Hence the question “Am I Loved? “A negative emotion will have a negative effect whilst a positive emotion will have a positive effect enabling us, though our Supreme Sense, to gauge how we are surviving at any one time.
Could you tell us more about the fundamental role our genes play in our existence?
Inhabiting a parallel universe to our own, feeling nothing, caring for nothing and intending nothing save for their own preservation, genes exist beyond our senses. We do not feel them, we are not aware of physically carrying them, but as the architects and builders of Creation they are the sine qua non of all existence. Life may be Nature’s most treasured and precious creation and the host bodies of Creation her greatest triumph, but ultimately both Life and Creation are wholly dependent upon genes for survival.
How can we learn to feel truly comfortable in ourselves?
Read my book! Understand the human condition as I have explained it which incidentally holds out the beguiling prospect of our being able to resolve the majority of our emotional problems with far greater facility. There is really too much to explain in a single answer. It has taken a book to set out.
Why do humans so often misunderstand, and/or misinterpret, emotions?
Because they arise unsummoned responding to the need of our genes for the preservation of Life, rather than to our personal needs as we would construe them.
How, as humans, does our nature and emotions differ to that of other species?
We have far larger brains, and the special gifts of a substantial range of emotions, the capacity to love and the great need to be loved. In addition, of course, we have the dexterity of our thumbs not given to the majority of species which makes a huge difference.
How can we live a truly fulfilled existence?
By understanding the human condition as I have explained it.
What are some of the most frequently misunderstood or misinterpreted human emotions?
The desire that everyone should conform leading to grief beginning in the playground, and, if unchecked, eventually causing some of the world’s worst atrocities.
Does Am I Loved? explore religion? Could you tell us more about the relationship between religion and human emotions?
Yes, in two chapters. We love God because we want him to love and bless us in return. We do so as we believe in him as a matter of faith. Paradoxically, the worse things become the more we turn to him to protect us. However, God cannot love us in return as he cannot requite our love. It follows that in giving him our love we may have given him something we should have given each other. Spinoza said if you really love God you should not expect him to love you in return. How many people would pass that test? Two huge questions are also raised. What would happen if we could prove either that God did or did not exist? Why should God have emotions?
The book explores some fundamental questions; in addition to those about love, what other big questions do you look into in the book?
Emotions, genes, survival, folly of pursuing survival rather than love, heredity, religion, why so many people seek love from an invisible God, the Supreme Sense, Nature’s Morality, consciousness, Creation, ancestry, fear, happiness, ignorance, Life, Nature, Nature’s Protections, reproduction.
And finally, what would you like readers to take away from the book after reading it?
A feeling of relief in discovering that Nature never intended us to function as imperfect beings after all. That the human condition as explained offers a whole new take on life offering the opportunity of greater happiness and fulfilment and the chance to feel comfortable in ourselves and at ease in our nature for the very first time. That our emotions can be managed after all that life begins to make sense.