Bollingen Tower as seen from Lake Zürich.

Book Reading – Deep Work – by Cal Newport Page 1

Just began reading the book “Deep Work” – Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport.

If I have to take the premise of “Deep Work” into reading this book as well, then the first page itself can take a few days to ruminate. For example, people and places mentioned on first page are:

  • Swiss Village Bollingen
  • Carl Jung
  • India
  • Mason Currey for his book “Daily Rituals”

Taking advantage of my suspected ADHD syndrome, let us look are few summaries of the book “Daily Rituals”:

A 1 Page Summary by Kevin shares:

Stephen King writes every day, including birthdays and holidays, and has a daily quota of 2,000 words.

For more juicier stuff hop over to his page.

Another longer summary is by Nathaniel Eliason who lists many profiled personalities in the book. An excerpt on Buckminster Fuller:

After trying many schemes, Bucky found a schedule that worked for him: He catnapped for approximately thirty minutes after each six hours of work; sooner if signaled by what he called “broken fixation of interest.” It worked (for him). I can personally attest that many of his younger colleagues and students could not keep up with him.

Nevertheless, despite the apparent success of his high-frequency-sleep experiment, Fuller did not stick with it indefinitely; eventually his wife complained of his odd hours, and Bucky went back to a more normal schedule, although he continued to take catnaps during the day as needed.

Coming back to another mention on the first page of the book “Deep Work” – Carl Jung visiting India. Here are some excerpts from “Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams and Reflections, Pages 272-288” shared on a blog by Mr. Purrington in Carl Jung’s own words:

  • My journey to India, in 1938, was not taken on my own initiative. It arose out of an invitation from the British Government of India to take part in the celebrations connected with the twenty-fifth anniversary of the University of Calcutta.
  • For the Oriental the problem of morality does not appear to take first place, as it does for us. To the Oriental, good and evil are meaningfully contained in nature, and are merely varying degrees of the same thing. I saw that Indian spirituality contains as much of evil as of good.
  • The Christian strives for good and succumbs to evil; the Indian feels himself to be outside good and evil, and seeks to realize this state by meditation or yoga.
  • The Indian’s goal is not moral perfection, but the condition of nirdvandva. He wishes to free himself from nature; in keeping with this aim, he seeks in meditation the condition of imagelessness and emptiness. I, on the other hand, wish to persist in the state of lively contemplation of nature and of the psychic images.
  • A new side of Buddhism was revealed to me there. I grasped the life of the Buddha as the reality of the self which had broken through and laid claim to a personal life. For Buddha, the self stands above all gods, a unus mundus which represents the essence of human existence and of the world as a whole.
  • As Buddha, by virtue of his insight, was far in advance of the Brahma gods, so Christ cried out to the Jews, “You are gods” (John 10:34) ; but men were incapable of understanding what he meant.
  • But India did not pass me by without a trace; it left tracks which lead from one infinity into another infinity

Finally, the reference to Swiss Village Bollingen – Jung bought a land here and built a castle with four towers – called “Bollingen Tower”. He built that, as Newport tell us, to begin his “Deep Work”.

Bollingen Tower as seen from Lake Zürich.
Bollingen Tower as seen from Lake Zürich.


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