Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Virtual Book Tour (VBT) & Giveaway - Untangled:Contemplation & Entanglement by Henry J. Sienkiewicz

Untangled: Contemplation And Entanglement
by Henry J. Sienkiewicz

Henry J. Sienkiewicz has served in multiple positions within the United States Federal Senior Executive Service since 2008. His previous commercial experience was as the founder and chief executive officer for Open Travel Software, an award-winning software developer focused on the global travel community, and in the chief information officer role at three technology companies.  He or his companies have been the recipient of multiple awards for innovations or achievement in the technology industry.  He retired as a United States Army Reserve lieutenant colonel in July 2008.
Henry holds a bachelor of arts from the University of Notre Dame and a master of science from Johns Hopkins University. He is also a graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College.
In 2006, he completed and published his first book, Centerlined, which dealt with interpersonal and organizational dynamics.
Henry resides in Alexandria, Virginia.
Website Book Site | Facebook | Twitter

Genre:  Practical Philosophy/Self-help
Publisher:  DogEar Publishing 
Release Date: April 2013

In a  social media-centric, Twitter-driven world we live, the complexity created by the entanglements has caused an overload Called a Walden for the Internet Age, Untangled draws from the rich traditions of both Eastern and Western philosophy to tease apart the hyper-connected web of the modern world and challenges the reader to recognize and embrace contemplation as a way cope. 
Through a highly approachable framework and the imagery of a journey through the heartland of Taiwan, Untangled provides the reader with the background of entanglement and contemplation, and identifies and discusses the three pillars of contemplation - silence, stillness and solitude.  The book closes with a series of actions that allow anyone to untangled through active contemplation in daily life. 


A Big Ball of Twine

We learn the rope of life by untying its knots.
—Jean Toomer
As we reached the first stopping point, we opened our packs and found chaos. The ropes that we had neatly packed were completely jumbled. The gear we had carefully stowed had been shifted around; it was an unrecognizable mess.
The jostling and shifting from the simple movement of the journey caused our coils of rope to transform from a neat roll to an entangled mess. We thought that we had taken care to pack them; the journey ensured that we had a mess to deal with.

Our mental backpacks are similar. Sometimes, regardless of the care we have taken, our world becomes a completely entangled mess in ways that we had not expected. Our journey ensures that we have a mess to deal with.
Many writers have used the terms connected and hyperconnected to describe our current state. I think that the term entanglement is more reflective of the state of our condition.
Connection implies that there has been an encounter but does not imply that the relationship is persistent. As will be discussed later, entanglement means two or more “things” have formed some type of permanent bond. This permanent bond is why I think that the term entanglement is more expressive of our actual condition.
Entanglement has many layers and many textures. It may be accidental or intentional. Entanglement may be in ways that may or may not be are attractive. Entanglement may or may not have relevancy to our lives. Entanglement may or may not have real meaning.
Entanglement may be the vines that catch your feet. Or it may be the limbs that brush your arms. Or it could be the rope that safely holds you onto the mountain.
Contemplation lets us mentally sort through the mess of entanglement that we all carry with us and allows us to repack meaningfully.

Authors blog post

Thank you for giving me a chance to connect with your readers.  I relish the idea of discussing the intersection of literature and travel.  In my current book, Untangled, I use a journey through the heart of Taiwan as a metaphor for the journey that we all go through as we contemplate the complexity of life.  

In Untangled, I write a great deal about understanding the “other.”  I address the philosophical notion of seeing strangers not necessarily as bad but simply as unknowns.  In doing so I rely upon the writings of two wonderful philosophers, Hannah Arendt and Ken Wilbur, to help me formulate my notion of striving for commonality and embracing community in the midst of the chaos created by a social-media driven world. 

For Untangled, I started with the classical premise that the unexamined life is not worth living. However, given the constant flow of the entanglements of modern life, is it even possible for us to examine life?   Stimuli bombard each of our senses every second.    The enablement and empowerment that comes with technology has the potential to make the world fundamentally better.  We can’t cast aside the connectivity and the technology. However, social media and the like also have given us dozens of new ways to grab our attention.   We can barely go a minute without our phone buzzing at least once.  We constantly check our Twitter feed.  Active contemplation, the type of contemplation I focus on in Untangled, lets you find the distance to focus on the things that ultimately matter.  

In my mind, travel is fundamental to our growth and finding distance.  It is fundamental in at least three ways.  First, travel breaks you out of your comfort zone as it allows you to journey down trails that you might have not thought to.  Second, travel lets you encounter the “other” in a meaningful fashion; travel lets you see the basic humanity of the cultures that you are exploring.  You experience the fundamental similarities of the whole of mankind.  Finally travel gives you the confidence to engage in life.  By dealing with the unknowns of travel you become better at dealing with the unknowns of life. 
I would like to thank you, again, for the privilege of connecting with your readers.  If your readers wish to order the book directly from the website (www.untangledthebook.com) they can use the 20% off discount code.  Untangled is currently available at select fine bookstores, on-line at the major on-line stores.  It is also available in the major ebook formats.