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! All I can say he moves you through a process that will reveal Truth from many different layers of reality, while always pointing you to what is prior to experience and knowledge… Very unique, well crafted, and deeply enriching! - Ted Saad
Some books are necessary in a way that very few are. This is such a book… 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. I am 64. I spent 40 years working in jobs which gave me no real pleasure, just a sense of achievement at completing tasks, whilst all the time thinking that there must be more to life but not seeing what it might be. Self and Unself is it, and I wish I had read it before I started on the work treadmill. - Reader email (‘Michael’)
I've read your stuff since the Gentle Apocalypse days and I think so far this is 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’)