The Heartmost Desire
From the preface and foreword by fellow Prometheus-award-winning novelist, Brad Linaweaver:
Over the years many fans of J. Neil Schulman have said they want another book by him. Sometimes you get what you ask for ... but it's not always what you think you want.
Neil Schulman is one of those writers who doesn't just write the same book over and over and over. He writes a book when he has something to say.
Neil crams more into single paragraphs than other libertarians put into entire boring tomes. He can rattle off more limitations on our supposed free speech that most of us ever consider. He can recite a list of cultural taboos to frighten the staunchest social conservative. Neil is a libertarian. So why is he so often in hot water with other libertarians, the natural audience for this book? ...
A libertarian defends the right to be wrong. It takes a lot of effort to initiate force or fraud. Short of that, the libertarian is tolerant of actions that liberals and conservatives cannot understand. But a libertarian also has the right to judge the value of values.
A libertarian can have common sense. He can weigh the good and the bad in the shadowlands where ideas have yet to be put into practice. There is one kind of libertarian who will derive no benefit from the words that follow. That is someone who has no heart.
"The Lord ain't my shepherd Cause I ain't no sheep. I'm a god in a body Not Little Bo Peep."
By Steven Vandervelde on September 4, 2013
Review of J Neil Schulman's new book, The Heartmost Desire
"The Lord ain't my shepherd
Cause I ain't no sheep.
I'm a god in a body
Not Little Bo Peep."
What is the essence of the individual human identity? We might call it the personality or the ego, that which makes me, me. Is it any less real to call it the soul, the spirit or the divine spark? I do not see why it should be, if we are talking about the same thing. Thus, the above poem could be misleading to anyone who decides not to read further.
Schulman is a philosopher, not a theologian. He writes about his own personal experience and his interpretation of that experience, and never demands that we accept his view on faith. He is not trying to create a cult following. He is attempting to open a reasoned discussion. Basically, his is telling us a story, a story about what happened to him, and what he thinks it means. We are free to take it or leave it, to accept the possibility that he believes what he is saying and not trying to fool us, or to refuse to understand and misrepresent his intention, as, unfortunately, many have done.
In the end, it does not really matter if Neil's personal understanding of his experience is true or false. It is his experience, not ours. What matters is how we chose to understand what he is telling us. No understanding will be gained by a swift and superficial reading of his thoughts.
It is crystal clear to anyone who has written poetry, to anyone how has written fiction, or told a story, that there are other forms of communication besides solid logic and hard reason.