Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

A Conspiracy to Love: Living A Life of Joy, Generosity, and Power, By River Smith

March 02, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 161

First, this is a self-transformation book. It is a "glass-could-be-half-full" book if you have the courage to (ful) fill it. Refreshingly, any political or otherwise dogmatic agenda you might intuit as subtext is, in fact, not implicit. Smith's text and subtext are both explicitly the project of creating conditions equality and coexistence: for everyone. He addresses the way we eat, speak, move, think and interact with others, suggesting ways not only to make yourself and others happier and more productive, but also to get what you want. So it is altruistic and constructively selfish; or self-empowering is perhaps more appropriate.

Smith cites real examples from his experience as a social activist and a therapist. He provides practical explanations, sometimes with open ended questions meant to provoke thoughtfulness or simply because such self and social transformations can be complex and require the reader to do the work. There are times when these examples spring seemingly out of the blue, yet Smith does so with the useful effect of a re-sensitizing shock to the system; overcoming indifference to the suffering of others, distant or near, is part of his project. Midway through the book, a cogent philosophy emerges as a symbiosis between self and world.

A Conspiracy to Love: Living a Life of Joy, Generosity, and Power is a conspiracy because it threatens the passive way individuals and cultures continue to accept suffering and how we reluctantly or unconsciously pass this ideology on to future generations. In this sense, Smith's book is more than a self-help, make-you-feel-better-about-your-place-in-the-world guide. Smith's project is revolutionary in its call to expose the conditions that make suffering and hate possible; this exposing exposition challenges the reader to change his or her way of thinking and extend that personal transformation to a that of analogous conditions in the world.

Smith's reciprocating, dual process begins with deconstructing the individual, revealing the conditions which prevent the individual from becoming more loving, open and confident. The newly authentic individual is then primed to extend that selfness to others, generosity being, fortuitously, a natural inclination for happier, self-reliant people. This reciprocating dualism is not a dichotomy. The integrated self and social transformations will necessarily reflect on and reconstruct each other, reinscribing conditions more conducive to love than hate in personal and social realms. This self-world progression (paying it forward) is necessarily self-reliant and becoming generous.

For the most part, the book doesn't promote a political ethos, but the book does express the need for social change and the need to end persecution of women, homosexuals, African-Americans, and the list goes on. Yes, he does mention the gross inequality between the 1 and the 99 percent. But, for readers who may cringe at reading anything seemingly antithetical to their beliefs, the book is not inherently political. His analogies stay consistent to the point expressed in the subtitle: constructing and redistributing conditions for joy and generosity. Subsequent redistributions of power and wealth will take care of themselves.

Reviewed by: Nicole Sorkin, Pacific Book Review

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:

River Smith


Self Help

Finding and collecting vintage comic books for fun and profit is something that is interesting, but can be difficult. With so many places to look, narrowing down the options can be painstaking, until

By: Jorge Orduna l Book Reviews > Comics Humor l July 07, 2012 lViews: 286

Action packed story that reads like you are there in person. Lieutenant Commander Andrew Carlson was a U.S. Navy Seal. He was as rough and tough as they come. He was part of a mission to be inserted

By: Cy Hilterman l Book Reviews > Mysteries Thrillers l July 06, 2012 lViews: 278

"Look Me In The Eye, If You Dare!" Okay, all of You "Internet Millionaire Moguls," I want some answers, and I want them now.

By: Travis L Perkins l Book Reviews > Internet Marketing l June 29, 2012 lViews: 309

Crush it is a great "How to" book on using social media and being real with yourself on what you do. Gary is very passionate about what he does. The key to his success is blending who he is with what

By: Joe Mosed l Book Reviews > Internet Marketing l June 29, 2012 lViews: 546

My resolution this year was to knuckle down and do something to bring in some new clients for my practice, so I was pleased to see that Internet Marketing Bible for Accountants looked like it might

By: Karen K Jefferson l Book Reviews > Internet Marketing l June 29, 2012 lViews: 295

When promoting your business online, are you using internet marketing? If you have yet to spread your branches into the online world, you ought to consider doing so.

By: Joyce McNeill Christopher l Book Reviews > Internet Marketing l June 29, 2012 lViews: 281

People usually define luck as a success or failure brought by chance, as something that is outside of their control. Yet luck has many components, and depending on the abilities you have, develop,

By: Laura De Giorgiol Book Reviews > Self Helpl June 29, 2012 lViews: 200

July starts with an explosion of fireworks and celebration. It is always such a fun day and a reminder about what it means to be free.

By: Katherine Allenl Book Reviews > Self Helpl June 29, 2012 lViews: 202

The book under review is titled as ' The Journal of Oriental Research'. This has been published in the year 2007 and has nine articles in English. Rajasekara the author of kavyamimamsa has very

By: Santhanam Nagarajanl Book Reviews > Self Helpl June 24, 2012 lViews: 203

Rakesh Sethi's new book "Cruising Through Turbulence" asks key questions about the pursuit of money, financial security, and what brings happiness. It explores philosophical questions in an

By: Tyler Tichelaarl Book Reviews > Self Helpl June 21, 2012 lViews: 146

In the book titled, "The one minute millionaire" written by Mark Victor Hansen published by Vermillon and distributed by Ruba and Company, the author briefly describes a parable about Michelle, a

By: Gauri Sankarl Book Reviews > Self Helpl June 16, 2012 lViews: 150

"All You Need Is Love" - watched by 400 million in 26 countries when broadcast via satellite in 1967 - sounded true to a generation. Everyone and their cat agreed on principle. It felt the natural

By: Beat Schindlerl Book Reviews > Self Helpl May 29, 2012 lViews: 149

In the world of Sagaria - a place not so different than ours, other than virtually all the animals can talk and have roughly equal status in society - there are adventures to be had...

By: Nicole Sorkinl Book Reviews > SciFi Fantasy Horrorl April 16, 2012 lViews: 172

Traveling can be a tiring activity, whether you're driving across the state or flying halfway around the world. As Lila L. Pinord demonstrates in her novel In Time, flitting across space and time at

By: Nicole Sorkinl Book Reviews > SciFi Fantasy Horrorl March 29, 2012 lViews: 152

We all have heard the old adage "Never judge a book by its cover," but let's face it, we all make snap judgments about everything, everyone, all of the time. The way someone dresses, their hairstyle,

By: Nicole Sorkinl Book Reviews > Reference Encyclopedial June 25, 2010 lViews: 194

Discuss this Article

comments powered by Disqus