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I have two different german editions. Selfactualizers, particularly young ones, take note: Albert Schweitzer had degrees in musicology, philosophy, theology and medicine, practicing throughout his life as both an organist and as a physicianmostly as a medical missionary, his musical performances and many publications supporting his aid work Beyond this he was both a peace and environmental activist Polylingual, he did charitable fundraising and political work throughout much of the world and throughout virtually all of his life, a life which ended at the age of ninety in equatorial Africa.More than anyone else, Albert Schweitzer was the family hero at my home and at the home of my maternal grandparents. Out of My Life and Thought shatters the old myth and allows us to glimpse the real Albert Schweitzer, a man whose moral example is as relevant and compelling in the s as it was in the s on first publication Eloquent and heartfelt Los Angeles TimesOf the many highly esteemed books Albert Schweitzer penned in his life, he valued his autobiography the most He had become a legend and he wanted to remind readers that he was just a man, and a man who had learned from many others He had been fortunate to be in the right places at the right times, to meet people of thought and sympathy He wanted to report his debts to them He wanted to clarify his reasons and methods for his undertakings and to respond to some of his critics And, he wished to honor something greater than he wasreverence for life Reverence for Life became his life's motto, and it brought him pain as well as joy as he sought to respect how precious and unique each life is Schweitzer believed there was a way to live in the world, accept it, take joy from itand who could know this better than a man who had placed himself so much in it, given so much for it, and had been ready to receive experience as a gift to be thankful forIn addition to a preface by Rhena Schweitzer Miller and Antje Bultmann Lemke, this translation incorporates revisions and additions Schweitzer made for the French translation ofand those he made for thirty years in his own copy of the original German editionThis fascinating volume is the autobiography of the worldfamous missionary doctor, organist, philosopher, theologian, and Nobel Peace Prizewinner, newly translated, researched, and corrected on the basis of recently discovered material BooklistAn authentic twentiethcentury classic Few books in our time have had a greater impact on the life and values of untold numbers of peopleNorman Cousins A master of philosophy, theology, music and medicine Albert Schweitzer is a towering figure in Christian academia from the 20th century This autobiography gives insight not only into Schweitzer’s life and work ethic (he worked nonstop, his play [i.e playing the organ] was still also his work) He worked on multiple books at a time, built organs, and trained to be a doctor serving in Africa at numerous times There are some jarring but honest reflections in the book, one on the “primitiveness” of the African people: “In my exchanges with these primitive people I naturally asked myself the much debated question of whether they were mere prisoners of tradition, or whether they were capable of independent thought In my conversations I had with them I found to my surprise that they were farinterested in the elemental questions about the meaning of life and the nature of good and evil than I had supposed.” His acceptance of colonialism is not done triumphantly but because he views it as an altruistic task: “Have we whites the right to impose our rule on primitive and semi primitive peoples? My answer to this question is based only on my own experience before and after World War I No, if we want only to rule and draw material advantage from their country Yes, if we seriously desire to educate them and help them to attain a state of wellbeing' If there was any possibility that these peoples could live by and for themselves we should leave them to themselves…Our only possible course is to exercise the power we have for the benefit of the native people and thus justify morally what we do Even colonization can allege some acts of moral value It has put an end to the slave trade; it has stopped the perpetual wars that the African peoples formerly waged with one another, and it has thus established a lasting peace in large portions of the world.” There is a glaring resemblance to the one sidedness of Pax Romana, and yet at the same time Schweitzer doesn’t appear very different from the way many Westerner’s today still view their work in“primitive” nations (we just use different language like “the third world” or “the developing world”).It might be easy to stamp a “white saviour” complex on to Schweitzer But, in his own words, he didn’t go to Africa to save them or even to preach, although when locals asked him he would He went because he had a remarkable sense of duty because of his privilege He had good health, the benefits of an education, the ability to “heal” through medicine So he went to a place where he saw had need and where he felt called to He was an imperfect man with a lot of skills who ventured to another place to use his skills for the benefit of the people, he just happened to be white and they just happened to be black Schweitzer’s work as a whole comes into focus when he grapples with what is his greatest problem with the civilization he lives in: the lack of reverence for life His defining Pauline contribution is that in Christ Christians have their Being, their very nature, some how intertwined with Christ himself (thus mysticism) For Schweitzer if Christians simply realised this fact, that they live in Messiah, it would restore some kind of dignity to the world But, because Christianity to him has lost its foundation it does not recognise its identity and therefore can’t act accordingly: “Christianity cannot take the place of thinking, but it must be founded on it.” But however concerned I was with the suffering in the world, I never let myself become lost in brooding over it I always held firmly to the thought that each of us can do a little to bring some portion of it to an end Thus I gradually came to the conclusion that all we can understand about the problem is that we must follow our own way as those who want to bring about deliverance A.S.Dr Albert Schweitzer is a hero of mine and this book was on my shelf for many years Though the writing can be dense due to the academic style and musings on the nature of Christianity, love, service, and music, it is a wonderful thing to be transported in to the words and thoughts of someone I so admire I felt a kinship to the doctor throughout this autobiography to his ideas surrounding Reverence for Life, service to others, and to actively experiencing life instead of accepting the words or greed, capitalism, and authority at face value Interestingly enough, he speaks to the ills of a thoughtless world in his time: the early 1900's Much of the same sentiment can translate to the modern day pursuits of amaterialistic society I've scribbled notes in the margins and highlighted passages for future reference.**Popsugar Challenge 2017: Book written by someone you admire. There is one verse in the Bible that speaks of only 144,000 people being saved, and if I recall correctly, it's found in Revelation Before I had competent and patient theology professors who elucidated upon that 144,000, I became an atheist temporarily After all, I was an asshole, and there was no argument in that I definitely wouldn't be saved if only 144,000 people would be, especially over the course of history It was my mistake that I took religious literature to be literal in nature, but this book made me think.Albert Schweitzer, honestly, definitely has the chance to be among those 144,000 Some people describe him as a modern saint, and, frankly, I respect him a lotthan Mother Teresa Schweitzer was a genius: in this book, he describes his twenties to be productive in terms of the literature that he wrote, and he wrote analyses from Bach to Christ He was undoubtedly a genius, but despite his family and friends' arguments, he went on to serve as a medical missionary in Africa Unlike Teresa, he actually served the natives with his medical ability Although his efforts could be considered futile in the grand scheme of things (and he himself recognized it), he kept on helping the Africans despite a few hours of sleep each night while still trying to develop his thoughts regarding philosophy and eschatology He was tireless in the service of others, and was instrumental in saving thousands of people's lives during the two World Wars He wasof a saint than Mother Teresa Despite my respect towards him, though, this wasn't a very creative book of his He probably wasn't as skilled as storyteller as he was an academician, but his expositions in this autobiography weren't very enjoyable I still admire the man from the bottom of my heart: he was a doctor I could look up to, andimportantly, a person I could look up to He just didn't write this autobiography very well. This isa collection of writings interspaced with events from his life than an autobiography Despite it being quite heavy in places especially around church organs, and the theological discussions of Christianity, I found it an interesting but slow read Whilst he believed himself devoutly religious it seemed to me that thehe analysed the fundamental contradictions of the bible and the different interpretations thethe absurdity of the enterprise of religion is revealed Ironically the mission in Africa to which he applied initially wanted nothing to do with him because of the controversy of his research into the bible His is one of the few books about life in the First World War that revealed some compassion and mutual respect between prisoners and their jailors One other aspect of his thoughts I found very impressive was his awareness back in 1910 of the harm that imperialism / colonialism would bring to Africa He was very perceptive to see that the country would be exploited for its raw materials and be sold industrialiased goods in return that would trap the continent in a never ending cycle of dependency and exploitation. I still have the Epilogue to finish but my husband is taking his Kindle with him home tomorrow A quick look at the Epilogue makes me think that will be just fine I tired of Schweitzer's long summaries of the books he was writing, particularly The Philosophy of Civilization I wonder how anyone could think that he could write such a book and so confidently state that Reverence for Life was the answer to his quest for meaning Sentences like Instead the nineteenth century lost itself in the nonessentials are just too vague and yet opinionated However, I do greatly admire Schweitzer and his abilities in so many facets of lifegiving organ recitals, writing about Bach, preaching, teaching, doctoring, and even handson building and directing construction projects He is honest about his abilities and sometimes lack of them when he talks about barely passing exams.His wife gets mentioned rarely and his daughter gets mentioned even lessthe first time two years after her birth I may need to read a biography of Albertand possibly Heleneto learn One of those depressing books in that when it is done you ask yourself what have I done with my life? As an autobiography, uneven and disjointed I admire his emphasis on social action and reasoned thought as opposed to tradition and external control in religion However, in this my first exposure to his writing, I find him just a touch too arrogant when he describes his philosophy, a little too confident that he has answered all questions It's as if coming up with the phrase Reverence for Life suddenly settles every philosophical question Then, in another moment, he's a selfproclaimed expert on organs and seems certain that only he knows how Bach would have performed his organ music Of course, he may truly have been a recognized expert in all his diverse interests, I don't know But I wanted to hearabout what he had done for medical missions in Africa Of course, he wrote the autobiography only midway through his life and still made several trips to Africa after its publication Was it a little too soon to be writing an autobiography? I could be totally wrong and I do want to look into some of his other writings as well as other biographers about him Nevertheless, I just had the impression I would be encountering a great, brilliant, and humble man of selfless action I found some of the selfless action, but so far have not found the humility or the depth of philosophy that I would have expected.