Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I Surf, Therefore I Am

I got Peter Kreeft's latest book in the mail yesterday, and, even though I'm only 10 pages into it, know it's going to be a classic. A short description:

This is the first book about surfing ever written by a philosopher. The author, a 70-year-old surfanatic, has been Professor of Philosophy at Boston College for over 40 years and has written 50 other books on philosophy, religion, and culture. But compared to this one, the others are nothing but straw.

It gives ten compelling existential reasons why everyone should surf: reasons from the great philosophers: Moses, Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tzu, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Jesus, Machiavelli, Freud, and George Morey. It explains how surfing is the easiest and most delightful way in the world to attain what you most deeply long for, for it can make you good, mystical, peaceful, wise, heavenly, happy, sexy, and even rich.

It also contains a manifesto defending bodyboarding as true surfing, not “sponging,” and a short handbook of seven practical lessons for beginners in this noble art. The book is suffused with the offbeat and unpredictable humor that characterizes both the sea herself and those who have fallen in love with her.

3 comments:

Terri said...

i facilitate a skills group for people who struggle with strong emotions and impulsive behaviors. One of the skills is called "urge surfing" and involves imagining that the urge you're struggling with is a huge wave that rises up out of the ocean and seeing yourself surfing that wave...just riding it as skillfully as possible and watching it as it comes and goes. does this count? cause if this counts, i surf all the time, therefore i am. :)

Tom said...

I'll let you slide on this one, Terri, and acknowledge that fact that you is. :)

Your group sounds very interesting; I had the impulse to join but fought it, so guess I don't need it after all. :)

Terri said...

you misunderstand urge surfing if you think it's about fighting the urge. you ride it. you let it be exactly what it is without trying to get rid of it or jumping in head first. very different.

thanks for letting this slide. i'm too chicken to paddle out and ride actual waves. plus, when you urge surf, you hardly ever get eaten by a shark.