For as long as people have felt adrift there has been somebody determined to straighten their course. Self-help bookshelves are crammed with such promises. But for all the advice and theories packaged countless ways, the message is almost always the same: true solace comes from within.
And while that is also the message in Konrad Bus’ entry into the crowded genre, readers are going have to dig deep to pull it out. Although billed as “the perfect philosophy,” the author instead offers a jumble of ideas in his book, Hope: The Perfect Philosophy, that seem more like repetitious ramblings than useful counsel.
Bus careens from a sort of New Age wisdom (“Everything you see is the light once you are the light”) to fundamental preaching about the temptations of the devil (“The devil make [sic] you work for the money if you are not aware, he will make you drink alcohol, have sex, addict you from others and he will tell you lies, just like on tv”). He warns direly that “[The] Beast is everywhere,” then wanders into the truly bizarre by complaining that the government is covering up its knowledge of aliens. (“Secret agents won’t ever say anything about the most secret creatures visiting our planet.”)
Still, buried in the disjointed musing is a potentially salvageable premise. The author suggests that to truly understand ourselves we must abandon comfort to help sort out what is important. Although few people are willing to give up all possessions and turn their back on relationships to that end, there could be value in the idea that through dark times we emerge stronger. (“You will find out how long you can stay lonely and alone, how tough you are … what you are afraid of.”). His strongest point comes in finding a difference between the concept of “Me” and “I am,” the former being selfish while the latter symbolizes strength.
Despite a few illuminating moments, the book is a challenging read overall. While the author may feel he has unlocked some valuable wisdom in his own head, he has failed to focus his ideas. As a result, his thoughts don’t translate well to the written page.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.