Nick Owen's first two collections of stories have been my constant companions in my work as a teacher educator. Accessible, with a wide range of material, underpinned by interesting and thought-provoking theory. 'The Salmon of Knowledge' goes one step further in my view. This time, the author's story is a stronger theme through the book, allowing us to empathise or argue with him. The knowledge base of this book is expertly assembled in the introduction - science, spirituality, zen and complexity theory among other influences. The central tenet of the book - that we need to 'reintegrate ourselves' is a valuable idea in these troubled times. Economics has failed (again) to create 'happiness'; people all over the world seem to be resoting to explanations which provide them with certainty, often at the margins of political engagement. Nick Owen's stories and thoughts provide a key to a door through which we can learn to live with uncertainty. This collection will make you and your listeners think and talk. And from this may come wisdom and calm, and even a delight in uncertainty, and an acceptance of complexity. A superb book - for students and teachers who want to engage in dialogue, for anyone who believes that spending a few 'lazy' minutes thinking and pondering is valuable.
Once again, Nick Owen has produced a remarkable and unique book of stories. Why unique? Well, rather like, Magic of Metaphor 2, he has interwoven the tales with more universal theories and with a smattering of Zen. And yet, this time, he has cleverly demonstrated, story by story, how it can best be used in service of one's work, life, shadow and self. This psychological and philosophical approach goes beyond the average book of stories and takes you into a new realm of understanding. In other words, it encourages introspection and just makes you think. For many of us, life today is busy, hectic and often leaves us feeling like something is missing. In "Salmon", Nick frequently reconnects us with who we are by reminding us of the benefits of maintaining presence.
The stories are drawn from all parts of the globe, time past and time present and the overarching theme for me is about connection and relationship. We are connected to our primeval selves (the place where storytelling began with our ancestors around a camp fire)to our younger selves, where storytelling takes us back to our childhood and also our relationship to universal interconnectedness.
And again, Nick expertly references each story to show how it can most usefully be applied.
This book is a "must have" purchase for those of us engaged in the work of developing people in whatever capacity that might be.
Do buy it.
Be prepared to be amused, enlightened and delighted.
The Salmon of Knowledge offers through a wide range of stories, from many backgrounds and traditions, a framework of increasingly challenging stories that assist in broadening thinking, knowledge and ultimately the sense of being needed by leaders, coaches and individuals in the exploration of life's mysteries. Practically, they can be used to lead and motivate teams and individuals who might be stuck, in need of encouragement or to maintain peak performance.
The pathways and avenues Nick is himself exploring are offered to the reader for their consideration.
There are two things that make this a great book. Firstly, the collection of so many great little stories in one place is fantatsic. Secondly, the introductions to each section are extremely rich in insights and entertainment.
Stories... Ah, stories. Whose ears don't immediately prick up with attention when there is the prospect of a story? Why is that do you think?
Is it because we wish to hear about someone else, about their woes or happiness as some kind of voyeur?
Is it because stories tell us something about ourselves, and because it is only a story, what we learn about ourselves is more palatable than if we were told directly?
Is it because of the way a story can change our mood in an instant as we join with the hero in grappling with the dragon, or ride off into the sunset with the love of our life?
Is it because stories allow us to live out the unfulfilled portions of our lives as we piggy back on the escapades of the protagonists?
It's all of these and many more.
Some of the stories had me laughing out loud and drawing curious looks from those around me on the train. Others engaged my mind and wouldn't let go until I had ferreted out their meaning for me. Then with a sigh of understanding, I could move on, much the richer for having read them.
This book is such a collection of stories that will give you insight into yourself and your relationship with the world around you. There is much more here than just the words on the pages. Well worth the read, and well worth the thinking that will inevitably flow from the reading.
The Salmon of Knowledge is an original book that examines both the therapeutic and practical application of metaphor and storytelling in the 21st Century. Nick Owen draws out the Zen philosophy and psychological thinking behind NLP techniques and shows how they can inform our wider understanding, in terms of what we know, believe and value. This stimulating text identifies a number of themes related to human development and flourishing and deals with some very serious issues in a sensitive and light-hearted way.
Many of the stories are taken from international folk tales, old and new, which provide 'bite size' illumination in terms of fostering self-awareness and different perspectives on life and the challenges that life presents us with. The writing is straightforward and unpretentious and does not impose solutions upon the reader rather it invites them to formulate their own solutions by using the stories as a touchstone for reflection, problem solving and personal transformation.
The stories themselves are particularly interesting and engaging so many will want to read the book from cover to cover. However, because the stories are listed thematically the book works equally well as a reference text and is very easy to dip in and out of. In fact this is a book that you want to return to again and again. For those therapists, business managers and teachers who are tired or frustrated with traditional approaches Nick Owen offers an alternative based upon storytelling lateral thinking and creative problem solving.
We are constantly facing a big number of problems in our lives. And there is an equally big number of solutions for those problems. Only, problems and solutions rarely match by themselves. We see the world as a heap of parts, pieces, fragments, and do not consider the connections, the rich and complex and powerful forces of the world. Which is, at the same time, one and multiple. Nick's stories tell us how we can explore the treasures of our experiences by shifting the point of view, and looking at all the directions that people, facts and things may take. The way Nick Owen hands us the stories is a flow from deep reflections, through touching events of his own life, to the plain delivery of the stories themselves. He doesn't cook the food for us, but tells us how differently we can cook it for ourselves. We see problems and solutions, but reading "The Salmon of knowledge" we catch the idea that problems and solutions are just two sides of one coin. And maybe our lives are just parts of one life. The Salmon of Knowledge: Stories for Work, Life, the Dark Shadow and OneSelf: Stories for Work, Life and Oneself
Yet another book full of ideas from Nick Owen.Thanks. I loved his The Magic of Metaphor, More Magic of Metaphor and now this too. For personal development and in the classroom Nick gives us bite size stories which make real connections and like the TARDIS have much more on the inside than meets the eye. Great reference system
This is a special book overflowing with insight and knowledge for the journey of life that we are taking part in. If the reader is ready the pages can lead them to a more, illuminated, enriched and purposeful life. I recommend the reader to keep the book by their bedside for morning and evening reflection and inspiration.