From the preface and foreword by fellow Prometheus-award-winning
novelist, Brad Linaweaver:
Over the years many fans of J. Neil Schulman have said they want
another book by him. Sometimes you get what you ask for … but
it’s not always what you think you want.
Neil Schulman is one of those writers who doesn’t just write the
same book over and over and over. He writes a book when he has
something to say.
Neil crams more into single paragraphs than other libertarians
put into entire boring tomes. He can rattle off more limitations on
our supposed free speech that most of us ever consider. He can
recite a list of cultural taboos to frighten the staunchest social
conservative. Neil is a libertarian. So why is he so often in hot
water with other libertarians, the natural audience for this book?
A libertarian defends the right to be wrong. It takes a lot of
effort to initiate force or fraud. Short of that, the libertarian
is tolerant of actions that liberals and conservatives cannot
understand. But a libertarian also has the right to judge the value
A libertarian can have common sense. He can weigh the good and
the bad in the shadowlands where ideas have yet to be put into
practice. There is one kind of libertarian who will derive no
benefit from the words that follow. That is someone who has no
“The Lord ain’t my shepherd Cause I ain’t no sheep. I’m a god in
a body Not Little Bo Peep.”
By Steven Vandervelde on September 4, 2013
Review of J Neil Schulman’s new book, The Heartmost
“The Lord ain’t my shepherd
Cause I ain’t no sheep.
I’m a god in a body
Not Little Bo Peep.”
What is the essence of the individual human identity? We might
call it the personality or the ego, that which makes me, me. Is it
any less real to call it the soul, the spirit or the divine spark?
I do not see why it should be, if we are talking about the same
thing. Thus, the above poem could be misleading to anyone who
decides not to read further.
Schulman is a philosopher, not a theologian. He writes about his
own personal experience and his interpretation of that experience,
and never demands that we accept his view on faith. He is not
trying to create a cult following. He is attempting to open a
reasoned discussion. Basically, his is telling us a story, a story
about what happened to him, and what he thinks it means. We are
free to take it or leave it, to accept the possibility that he
believes what he is saying and not trying to fool us, or to refuse
to understand and misrepresent his intention, as, unfortunately,
many have done.
In the end, it does not really matter if Neil’s personal
understanding of his experience is true or false. It is his
experience, not ours. What matters is how we chose to understand
what he is telling us. No understanding will be gained by a swift
and superficial reading of his thoughts.
It is crystal clear to anyone who has written poetry, to anyone
how has written fiction, or told a story, that there are other
forms of communication besides solid logic and hard