“The Natural Mind – Waking Up” is Alan Macmillan Orr’s 250-topic, 2-volume magnum opus into what it truly means to be human. The massive book took five years to write and covers diverse topics, from love to gambling, zoos, prostitution, supermarkets, banks, desire and so on. Orr drew from his personal experiences as he traveled the world searching for meaning, observing, and formulating opinions on the dire human condition. He shares what he learned through “The Natural Mind” and also encourages you, the readers, to contribute to the book’s evolution.
The book is written in a light, friendly tone, much like how a friend would talk to you while in a thoughtful mood. Orr offers no religious, moral, or political views. The purpose of the book is not to brainwash you to mindlessly agree with him, but to just share his experiences and opinions and let you decide if they are of any value. The book aims to open a dialogue with the reader, in a way that books of its kind has never done before (more on that in a bit).
At its core is the idea that in order to find our purpose in life, we have to shift our perspective to one that refuses to accept anything that traditional agents of socialization (school, church, government, peers, etc) try to feed us. In other words, we have to change the way we think in order to truly change who we are – for the better, of course. This is a state that Orr calls The Natural Mind.
The author created the Evolving Book Project along with “The Natural Mind”. The project basically allows you to log in and contribute to the book’s content. All you have to do is choose a topic, write what you know and feel about it then save it. The book is re-published every year containing new content contributed by the readers. This way, Orr saves the book from being part of “dead” literature – those whose ideas are only by one person during one period of time.
Now, if you find the premise interesting, start reading! Don’t be scared of the 2,000+ pages. “The Natural Mind” is written in such a way that you can read separate anecdotes and articles according to what interests you the most. There is no particular order. Once you start reading, maybe you can even share your own experiences to the world along with Orr.
The book is under public domain.