SELF & UNSELF
Who am I? Such an easy question, and yet I keep getting it wrong.
An original, wide-ranging and accessible philosophy of all and everything, presenting the source and synthesis of metaphysics, science, art, language, sex, gender, character, culture, history, self-knowledge, love and death. Neither optimistic nor pessimistic, neither objective nor subjective, neither theist nor atheist, Self & Unself expresses the unfathomable paradox at the root of all branches of human experience, providing the reader with a new, radical ground of understanding, solving, en route, all the actually important questions of philosophy; who I am, who you are, why we are here and what on earth is going on.
‘Allen applies the idea of [the] separation between self and unself through every aspect of our being, thinking and living and explains how the problem is always essentially the same, whether it manifests itself in mediocrity and shallowness, in the confusion between language and reality or in the degradation of art …this work is not only intellectually stimulating but also uplifting.’
Everything? Yes, nothing.
- Why has nobody come anywhere near solving the mysteries of science?
- Why are philosophers baffled by reality?
- Why must the mediocre man rely on method?
- Why do the realest times of our lives feel unreal?
- Why do great people look like great people?
- Why do we find masks so terrifying?
- Why doesn’t the anxious mind get the joke?
- Why do people almost never suffer for the reasons they think they do?
- Why does the mind go looking for things to feel bad about?
- Why do people cling to absurd beliefs?
- Why did we build this god-awful world?
Self and Unself solves these, and many other mysterious whys, by laying bare the what that lies behind them.
SELF & UNSELF IS AVAILABLE FROM ONLINE RETAILERS — avoid Amazon though — Blackwells in the UK, and Barnes and Noble in the US are more ethical and more likely to be stocking my books). If you want me to get a higher slice, you can order directly FROM MY BOOKSHOP
…this book is extraordinary …Allen has written a book that has both a metaphysical rigor and a fierce aliveness to it!… Very unique, well crafted, and deeply enriching! - Amazon review (Ted Saad)
Truly original, deeply researched and intellectually supercharged, Self and Unself is an account of who and what we - civilised humanity, as we like to flatter ourselves - are truly. - Goodreads review (‘Mr. Paul’)
I think it is an extraordinary achievement, full of revelation and truth. - Reader email (‘Michael’)
Thoroughly engaging, riveting, discombobulating, confronting and insightful. It's hard to find original wisdom and understanding these days but this has it. - Review on Twitter (‘@Thingsthatmat’)
…the best thing you've written. Difficult at times, in the sense that it makes it impossible not to recognise how self-ish I am. Much easier when books tell you the problem is everyone else! - Reader email (‘John’)
I have just finished Self and Unself and want to say how much I enjoyed reading it, and what a wonderful work it is. - Reader email (‘P’)
Mindblowing. Nothing like it exists. - Reader email (‘A.G.’)
‘…it is quite possibly the most difficult reading I have ever undertaken. Not because [the] prose isn’t masterful and the subject matter wholly gripping, but [because]… my self isn't particularly keen [on] examination…’ - Reader email (‘Mr.W.’)
…a delightfully accurate portrayal of basically everything, with fresh / age old insights and a relatively clear steering toward how one might gain more contentment in life; living. - Goodreads review (‘Aden Weir’)