Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, by Yuval Noah Harari, is likely the most interesting book I’ve read in recent years. And if I were allowed to carry only one box of books with me to Indiana when we move, my copy of Sapiens would be in that box. It’s that good.
In this blog post titled How Did Humans Get Smart?, Bill Gates shared with the world what he thought of this immensely important book. Gates observed, “What’s unique about Harari’s take is that he focuses on the power of stories and myths to bring people together.”
As I’ve gotten older, Vera, I’ve acquired a greater awareness of the power of story and myths, as well as the illusory nature of truth and reality. Harari’s deeply informative and interesting walk through the history of sapiens helps us understand. And in our understanding, we become more aware and, in my mind, more fully human. We become better able to distinguish fiction from reality.
To do the book justice would require a very long blog post. Read Gates’s review instead. But better yet, read the book.
And then consider the practice employed by Mr. Harari to help him get in touch with reality. He meditates two hours a day — one hour at the beginning and one hour at the end of the work day.
Meditation keeps fiction at bay. And once fiction is held at bay, reality is allowed to break through.
Read the book, Vera (at the appropriate time, of course!).
(P.S. I thought it made sense to promote a history book following my anti-history course post! See, I love history. It’s history courses (in general) that I think are a waste of time.)