I discovered Yuval Harari’s book: Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind, in one of my favorite Youtube channels: Alux.com. Alux’s wonderful description of the book in, 15 Books You Should Read This Summer, made me purchase it. I read the book, and I don’t regret buying it.
Sapiens is the best book I have read in 2018. The book narrates how man evolved and makes you understand where our belief systems came from. It also provides mind-opening information about religion, political structures, the importance of knowledge and the main factors that enabled Europe to conquer the world.
The most powerful lesson I learned from the book is ‘KNOWLEDGE IS POWER,’ because knowledge was what enabled the Europeans to colonize the whole world.
I gathered the following insightful quotes from the book.
- “Buddha spent six years meditating on the essence, causes, and cures for human anguish. In the end, he came to the realization that suffering is not caused by ill fortune, by social injustice, or by divine whims. Rather, suffering is caused by the behavior patterns of one’s minds.” – Yuval Noah Harari.
- “As Nietzsche put it, if you have a WHY to live, you can bear almost any ‘HOW.’ A meaningful life can be extremely satisfying even in the midst of hardship whereas a meaningless life is a terrible ordeal no matter how comfortable it is.” – Yuval Noah Harari.
- “In the Middle Ages, the rich spent their money carelessly on extravagant luxuries, whereas peasants lived frugally minding every penny. Today, the tables have turned. The rich take great care managing their assets and investments while the less well go into debt buying cars and televisions they don’t really need.” – Yuval Noah Harari.
- “If you experience sadness without craving the sadness to go away, you continue to feel sadness but you don’t suffer from it. There can actually be richness in the sadness. If you experience joy without craving that the joy lingers and intensifies, you continue to feel joy without losing your peace of mind” – Yuval Noah Harari.
- “Both scientist and conqueror began by admitting ignorance – they both said, I don’t know what’s out there. They both felt to go out and make new discoveries. And they both hoped the new knowledge thus acquired would make them masters of the world.” – Yuval Noah Harari.
- “The supreme commandment of the rich is ‘Invest! The supreme commandment of the rest of us is Buy! – Yuval Noah Harari.
- “In the previous eras, the standard of beauty was set by the handful of people who lived next door to you. Today the media and the fashion industry expose us to a totally unrealistic standard of beauty. They search out the most gorgeous people on the planet and then parade them constantly before our eyes. No wonder we are far less happy with the way we look.’ – Yuval Noah Harari.
- “The findings demonstrate that happiness is not the surplus of pleasant over unpleasant moments. Rather happiness consists in seeing one’s life in its entirety as meaningful and worthwhile.” – Yuval Noah Harari.
- “If God knew in advance that a particular person would use her free will to choose evil, and that as a result she would be punished for this by eternal tortures in hell. Why did God create her?” – Yuval Noah Harari.
- Monotheism explains order but is mystified by evil. Dualism explains evil but is puzzled by order. There is one logical way of solving the riddle: to argue that there is a single Omnipotent God who created the entire universe – and he’s evil. But nobody in history has had the stomach for such a belief.” – Yuval Noah Harari.
- “The most cherished desires of the present-day are shaped by romantic, nationalist, capitalist and humanist myths that have been around for centuries. Friends giving advice often tell each other, ‘Follow your heart.’ But the heart is a double agent that usually takes its instructions from dominant myths of the day, and the very recommendation to ‘follow your heart’ was implanted in our minds by a combination of nineteenth-century Romantic myths and twentieth-century consumerist myths.” – Yuval Noah Harari.
Which do you think is the most enlightening quote?
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