Disclaimer: I write from the heart. It’s pretty organic. My grammar sucks and I don’t really care cuz it’s my blog lol If you don’t agree with my thoughts/views, that’s absolutely cool just please be kind. This post will mostly be my thoughts and opinions, not so much a traditional review. You’ve been warned! Lol Please feel free to chat in the comments or DM me anytime over on Twitter or Instagram (but I’m not usually on IG anymore lol I’ll find it eventually though!) I’d love the conversation. A lot of friends IRL aren’t into this kind of stuff and I need someone to chat with about it!! Hehe Also, ummm this post is gonna be LONG. Sorry, friends. Ok, don’t say I didn’t warn ya…here we go!
Ya know, as a society, we are always striving for more. We want bigger, better, faster but we rarely stop and consider the consequences. People aren’t happy in their own skin or enjoying the beauty of nature. Here, where I live, I used to be surrounded by GREEN. Now, the Green is mostly gone. In its place you now find buildings, parking lots, for sale signs on what little green is left. People cry in the summertime, “Boo hoo the flooding is out of control.” Ya know who did that? You did! You took away nature. You took away the soil, plants, trees that absorb all of that extra rain water. I want to scream, “You did this! Be more mindful!” but who really listens? They want more buildings, more shops, more freakin Chinese take-out. (and yes, I love me some sweet and sour chicken too!) *eye roll* Its made me wanna move to somewhere Green again.
My point is, bigger isn’t always better. Everything is connected and there are consequences for every choice. This book focused on our choices over the past 500 years. I think the author did a brilliant job of bringing awareness to something we are rarely aware of. Here’s my review/thoughts!
I gave Fantasyland 4 out of 5 stars. If you choose to read this book, I think you will gain a lot of knowledge and awareness about our history as a country. You will learn about how religion came into America and how it shaped America. You will learn about medicine, politics, Hollywood, so much more. This book is about people seeking a fantasy of the world they want. It’s about people influencing how we think every single day and we didn’t even realize it. It’s quite interesting and yet frustrating how one thought in one area shapes the others. You really have to read it. I suck at explaining this one. lol
I enjoyed the authors voice/writing style. It was welcoming, easy to understand and had a good flow.
There’s this crazy dichotomy between him kind of slamming things I do indeed believe in and yet him making total sense and that intrigued me. Lol I’m very open-minded to seeing other viewpoints and he really gave me some! I enjoy thinking about things in a new way. I love a good challenge in thought aaand I love to challenge thought. So this was cool. Lol Also, he was crazy sarcastic and I am ridiculously sarcastic. I loved it! Hehe
General Thoughts and Opinions:
I love how this book really focused in on how our perceptions (not truth/fact) drive us to believe something. Then we act on that and spread our personal perceptions to others. Get it? The next person interprets what they heard using their own system of beliefs and passes that on. On and on we go.
Have you ever heard of our Reticular Activating System? I learned about it in college many years ago and was reminded of it when typing this up. Basically, the human brain can only take in and process so much information at one time. So if I walk into a room, there’s SO much to see/feel/hear/smell/touch. Our bodies can’t take in ALL of it, so our brain chooses which things to “record” and which ones to throw away. Guess how? Based on our likes, dislikes, perceptions, past experiences, etc. So it’s all subjective. I may be drawn to the video game that is playing and never catch that people are speaking to me. I filtered them out, oops! Now I don’t remember them even being there. You may go straight to those people but never notice the two fighting in the corner. Then your version of reality is that everyone was having a great time when you arrived. It’s perception and not always the entire picture. This is where this book hit home for me. I really enjoyed this discussion about perception and spreading of information. My examples may suck, but I hope you get my point. lol
This book makes you wanna go out there and FIND the truth rather than wait for someone to inform you via book/documentary/etc because it’s their interpretation. By the same right, my own thoughts would be biased, wouldn’t they? hehe As a free thinker, I think that’s kinda cool to think about. (How many times can I use the word “think” in one sentence? Lol!) Such. A. Nerd. lol
In my opinion, this book is about bringing awareness to the fact that we are constantly spammed with “facts” that aren’t facts, truths that maybe only have the tiniest grain of truth, and other peoples perceptions. We take in all of this information and we tend to believe it. It effects society as a whole and can really mess with us personally if we buy into the “wrong” thing.
People take advantage of how we “fall for” this propaganda/branding and it’s heartbreaking to read about how people dupe others on their quest for power. 500 years and we still haven’t evolved from that. How sad, right? People quickly learn how to take advantage to gain the upper hand. “Ohhh this is what works? I’ll get rich? Ok! Let’s do that!” No compassion. No empathy. No thoughts of a bigger picture and damage that could be done. Then they use that power and we blindly follow. Over and over again. Protect yourself by thinking/researching before acting. Question everything. I’ll repeat that later…and then probably again. haha
It’s so hard to get the truth because everything is a sales pitch anymore. Even as humans, we sell an image of ourselves. Look at instagram…uh huh. We project what we want the world to see, but not necessarily what’s true. We dye our hair, wear make up, and try to look hot to go on a first date. We sell an image. Is that bad? Certainly not! It’s just that we project an image and hope someone likes us based on that image. How about you like me with no make-up (I almost never wear makeup lol) and my yoga pants with a hoodie? That’s the real me, baby. Whatcha think of that? lol And Social Media… Hence the obsession with numbers of followers or how many Likes we get. Who cares? It’s not a measurement of your worth, that’s for damn sure.
The thing about this too is that people don’t know they are being fed misinformation or even biased information (instagram or online/news in general). So they aren’t blindly following/falling in line, they go by what they read/heard/saw. We need to question more, I think. I’m pretty skeptical and I don’t hand out trust on a silver platter. So I tend to question A LOT. I’m super private online and don’t give out any personal info/pics until I’ve known people for years. Even then, I seek proof first. Haha Trust, it’s a bitch. Sorry!
For example, he brings up some cults in this book. I’ve always felt bad for people caught up in cults. They are just searching for a purpose and happiness only to be taken advantage of. Oftentimes, they are taken in/exploited at times when they are at their weakest and they don’t see the “danger” before them. It’s hard not to feel for them. I definitely can’t judge them for pursuing what they felt could be a better life or wanting to fit in somewhere. Judgment never helped anyone. Knowledge is power though. Awareness, in the form of this book, is key to stopping things like that from happening, right? Moral of the story, read more! hehe
To me, there’s science and there’s everything else. There’s science in everything, no doubt, but I’m referring to something tangible. Science, generally speaking, is something that can be proved or disproved using a lab for example, ya get me? It’s facts and data. The “everything else”: astrology, a belief that there is life out there besides our planet (yup, aliens), the ancient Mayans or Toltec Archetypes (hehe my 2021 goals) these are things I believe in but I’m not sure if I call them science. Hmm? Food for thought. That’s a personal opinion, not a truth. Religion, however, is not a science. It’s myth. It’s spiritual, not science. This again is my opinion. It factors into the book, so I mention my views now.
So, when discussing religion, I should mention that this book had more religious discussion in it than I expected. I thought it had more political connotations and that’s why I read it first (because of what we are currently experiencing). This is not a fault of the book or the brilliant woman who recommended it. I love religious discussion and I enjoyed the look back at how religion shaped this country, how it shaped how people thought and how it still happens. That said, I was glad that I read a large part of The Secret Teachings of All Ages first. (It’s basically an encyclopedia of religious people/events, how everything is connected, and so much more.) Fantasyland tended to give the abridged version of what happened in order to keep the pacing. Which is great! Except the devils in the details and this girl has too many questions not to give me details! Haha
I personally think the cool thing about the differences between religions, is that if you sit back and really take in each perspective, it can open your eyes to so much more. Ya get me? You can think for yourself and interpret for yourself what feels true to you because now you have many perspectives. This is why I enjoy this kind of …study/thought. I don’t “follow.” Never been a follower. I like to think for myself and make my own choices, whether people are happy about that or not. lol So I love exploring this stuff. Since I was a kid, I was on a quest to learn more about different religions and WHY they believe what they believe. I used to climb trees barefoot, with a book of course, and imagine I was with the Mayans reading hieroglyphs in order to find treasure. Yup, Fun fact about me there. Lol The author, however, believes this pick and choose religion thing leads to Fantasyland. I respect that and see his point, but I like having choices. hehe
My religious beliefs..hmmm. I grew up Catholic, was forced into attending church and these Catechism classes (ugh, repressed memories….make it stop! lol) BUT I did believe in God/Jesus/Mary/Heaven/Hell….you get the idea.
As I grew older, I stopped attending church, kept Jesus in my heart, and questioned the hell outta everything.
So when I learned that the Catholic church was massively against the LGBTQ community….haha I abandoned that church so damn fast. Bye bye being Catholic. I went on a journey of self-discovery. I read books on Christianity and tried to see where I “fit in”, what could I stand behind and what did I believe in? I hopped around a bit (got to do Habitat for Humanity! So rewarding!) but nothing took root.
I still had so many questions and wanted to seek out other religions for their answers. This area of interest was dropped from my life for a bit though (long story) but I have picked it back up and exploring thoughts/ideas/myself is my main focus now. I love to learn though. So as for religion, I don’t know what I believe exactly. Reading books like this and Secret Teachings, it really opens my eyes to things I didn’t know and my hunger for more knowledge is pretty insatiable. I highly respect everyone’s right to have their own beliefs and welcome conversations on this topic! 🙂 My friends all have their own unique religious beliefs and I think that diversity is cool.
If I had to define how I feel about spirituality at the moment, I’d say that I believe all things are connected. The cosmos, the earth, every living thing on this planet, it’s all connected. You can’t eliminate or harm one organism without it affecting the whole. Cause and effect is basic science, right?
So if that’s a species going extinct or harming people who are different from you…everything is connected and serious consequences happen. We need to show compassion all the way across the board. There’s a ripple effect, ya know?
I wanna learn from my consequences and become a better person. So maybe for some that’s therapy to unlock past pain or for me maybe that’s ancient Toltec Archetypes. Either way, I want to continue to dig even deeper into myself and find my remaining flaws and correct them. I want to keep improving because if I’m staying stagnant and never growing, what’s the point? Who’s that benefit?
I surround myself with wonderful, incredible friends who call me out on my BS. I take what they say to heart, I learn, I grow. This is what I’m referring too. I don’t like “Yes Men” who tell you what you wanna hear. How can you improve when people tell you everything you do is “right?” How do you know to go apologize if someone is whispering “No, it’s all THEIR fault” in your ear…when it was really YOUR fault. Ya get me? I thrive on and am drawn to blunt honesty and I avoid everything else like the plague. Lol! So that’s where I’m at. It’s more about self-growth and connection than traditional religion right now for me. Hope that makes sense. I’m working on it hehe
Also, I think I’ll cover more religious conversations when I write up something about The Secret Teachings of All Ages. It makes more sense to do it there. Not that I didn’t just write a damn book here lol
Ok, remember how I mentioned that this book was more religious to me than political, well the last chapters really hit home. I won’t dwell because it’ll just get me all fired up. I will mention a few things though. (Part VI is an epic section!)
There was so much to learn in so few pages left. I mean, the Republicans stand on global warming alone had me practically pulling out my hair. UGH! I have family with this same “deny, deny, deny” mentality and I’ve given up even trying to speak to them about it because it’s so contentious. I mean I understand the whole “stick your fingers in your ears and pretend it’s not happening” ignorance thing. Some people just can’t deal, but you are subjecting this planet and future generations (people you care about, right?) to suffering! How’s that make sense? Love and compassion are not and should not be bipartisan.
Fun Fact from the book: In the Senate and House in 2014, only 8 out of 278 Republicans publicly acknowledged global warming is real. I mean, cmon.
There are conversations in this book about racism in politics. This topic deserves it’s own post and not just a blurb here. I’d recommend reading the facts in this book to learn more about our not-so-distant history with this subject. It’s too heartbreaking to get into. All I can say is that we are ALL human and we ALL deserve to be treated as such. As a country, and as whole, we don’t do enough. We haven’t learned enough from our mistakes, we haven’t come nearly far enough, we aren’t trying hard enough. Equal rights. Equal pay. No Judgment or discrimination. Compassion. Empathy. Cmon! And stop making it a “fad” where something big happens and we care and 1 month later it’s no longer discussed. Disgusting! Differences make us unique and beautiful and special! We ALL have so much to contribute to this world. Too many people hurt. So much suffering. Heartbreaking. Moving on.
The author discusses Republicans and in my opinion, these people are “Trumpers.” I don’t want to paint the entire Republican party with the same brush as Trump’s Lapdogs. In my opinion, the US needs 2 differing sides of opinion. (I’m sorta Republocrat/whatever the Demo version is or something lol I don’t like labels. I believe in legalizing marijuana, a woman’s right to choose, people can totally have guns for protection but w/strict laws, and of course LGBTQ rights/marriage. Don’t @ me to fight me on these. I stand by my beliefs.) I think what makes our country great, is the ability to have a healthy debate and ya can’t always win. This presidency however has royally effed up our system. It’s a damn free for all. Everyone is protecting their own asses. No one is looking out for this country. Fight fight fight and no cooperation. It’s a mess. If I keep going, this will never end lol So let’s wrap this up!
I think, in general, many people just want that quick jump to the top. They value the wrong damn stuff. Life should be about positive connections, not possessions. They value fame and money way too much and they will do what they feel they need to do to get it. For example, I always joke with my friend that I’m going to do these incredible things when I win the lottery. Funny story, I’ve never played the damn lottery! Lol It’s a running joke. It’s ok if you think I’m a nerd, I feel ya. My point is, some people aren’t just joking. Some people want the easy way and they don’t do good things when they get it. Those are the kinds of people mentioned in this book. Whether they are good/bad isn’t my concern. I’m not casting judgment. I do worry, however, about those who buy into the stories and fall for the tricks. So friends, always fact check like I mentioned earlier. Get references. Do what you can do to stay a little skeptical until you have reason to let your guard down. Or at least, that’s MY way of thinking. Question everything. Do your research. Think for yourself. Don’t be afraid to use your voice! 🙂
I think this all comes down to awareness. An awareness of branding and propaganda. An Awareness of my perceptions and how they mold my beliefs (a project for 2021 for me anyway hehe). An awareness of facts and research before believing something…which I try and do already but this really solidified that. I’m thankful I was recommended this book and more thankful I got a chance to read it. Pretty cool stuff!
Credit Where Credit Is Due: Book Recommended by Michelle Rodriguez @MRodOfficial over on Twitter if you are interested in this book or topics like it. She posts some really cool stuff, lots of food for thought! Also, if interested, check out her facebook page for more discussions about spirituality. Such a treasure trove!
I guess that’s all folks! When I finish my next nonfiction book, I’ll probably be back with another discussion/review post. I have 3 to choose from and as is typically me…can’t decide which one to read next. Hehe OH and if ya wanna chat about anything I said…I’m here for it, ok? Your girl needs “me” time, deep thinking convos and all! Lol Solitary Covid life is a bitch!! Hahaha
Byeeee, Friends! 🙂