Make Believe

A Meditation on Individual Philosophy, edited by John H. Moore

Published by Turnstone Books. First published 1973. Paperback: 0 85500 014 7

Many years ago, I was put in touch with an elderly man who had who helped me in my search into the areas of deeper meaning of our existence. He gave me a copy of Make Believe and told me how he would read books, usually three times in different ways.

Later, when I was home, I gave the book a cursory glance, decided it didn’t really interest me (after all, it wasn’t written by Idries Shah) and I promptly forgot about it. Over the course of the next forty odd years it managed to survive two house moves, the condition deteriorating somewhat but still in one piece.

A few years ago, I picked it up again as I had begun to think along the lines of ‘nothing is accidental’, why had Cliff Ainsworth given me this particular book and remembering also how he emphasized the different ways of reading. It then struck me that he was actually telling me how to read ‘Make Believe’. This was the trigger that started my interest and it proved to be very worthwhile.

It consists of a series of short chapters, each one accompanied by a drawing, rather in the manner of some of the diagrams of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. There is no list of contents but most chapters have references to footnotes which are at the end of the book.

  1. Proposition
  2. Evolution
  3. God
  4. Introduction
  5. Interpretation
  6. Experience
  7. Beliefs
  8. Responsibility
  9. Knowledge
  10. Education
  11. Names and Properties
  12. Body-Image as the Self
  13. Duality
  14. Interference
  15. Discrimination
  16. Identity
  17. The Self
  18. Nothing
  19. Perfection
  1. I Am
  2. Reality & Illusion
  3. Mind
  4. Contents of Mind
  5. Realisation
  6. Mattering
  7. Liberation
  8. Goodness
  9. Desire
  10. Possession
  11. Attention
  12. Thinking
  13. Memory
  14. One, Two, Three
  15. Love
  16. Death
  17. Space & Time
  18. Silence
  19. In Other Words

The footnotes which amplify each chapter are eclectic, including quotes from all major religions and many philosophers from various geographical regions eg:

Acts of John, Srimad Bhagavatam, Plato, Matthew, Al-ghazzali, Plotoniu, Seng Ts’an, Attar, William Blake, Gospel According To Thomas Radhakrishnan, J var der Leeuw and so on.

Although the book is now out of print, it can still be purchased pre-owned from various sites. I have found it has helped me to become less obsessive and ‘a chapter a day’ keeps the fiends at bay.