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Table of Contents
1 The Beginning 1
2 An Unexpected Encounter of the Third Kind 9
3 Old Friend and Foe 17
4 Blue Skies 55
5 Gaia 57
6 9/11/2001 101
7 Financial Markets 109
8 A Tale from a Coffee Shop 111
9 Philanthropy and the Art of Technical Analysis 119
10 The Merits and Hazards of Technical Analysis 127
11 Greed and Fear 135
12 The Divine Proportions 139
13 Marker Timing 155
14 The Ichimoku Kinkõ Hyõ 161
15 The Final Call 169
The Golden Principles 179
About the Author 201
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite Coffee Shop University by Mario Kfoury takes us on an almost 10,000 year journey through the history of man's attempt to understand the Universe and his place in it. Through the life of the author, born in Beirut now living in California, we examine and briefly look at all of the great philosophies of humankind, from the teaching of Buddha, Confucius, Lau Tsu, right through the history of man, up to today's new understanding being uncovered in the area of quantum physics. The author also casts a scathing eye across the bastardisation of good teachings at the hands of organised religion. The ultimate conclusion appears to be that life is a never ending search for knowledge and social justice. Our lives and the future direction of humanity are in our own hands. We, as individuals, can and should make a difference to our world. As a starting point for examining the purpose of our life, Coffee Shop University is a useful tool. The author, Kfoury, has clearly done his research well and I suspect there are very few philosophies or religions he has failed to cover in this book. The size of the book has meant that many important and interesting theories are given no more than a passing mention. As I said, if you are looking for something that lays out the full gamut of man's spiritual journey on this earth to allow you to find something of interest to further examine, then this would be a great book for that purpose. I did find Coffee Shop University an enjoyable read for two reasons; the author has similar beliefs to my own with respect to man's point in being, and because of the breadth of history he managed to cover, albeit just touching the surface. A good, solid introduction to philosophy and worth the read.
Coffee Shop University: A Book about Mythology, Spirituality,Philosophy, Psychology, Religion, Politics, Economics and the Ecology... by Mario Kfoury is a nonfiction read that deals with powerful existential, religious, philosophical and realistic themes. The book reads like the author's mental journey; its confrontation with the harsh realities of life, a departure from mainstream contemporary culture to adopt a solution-oriented mindset. In this book, the author shares personal experiences and combines Western thought with Eastern philosophy and spirituality to compel readers to look reality in the face, opening their eyes to dread truths about human nature, and offering reflections on topics such as existence, change, conflict,truth, well-being, purpose, and many things in between. This is a book that will appeal to philosophers, theologians, moralists, and sociologists, a multidisciplinary book that is intelligently written, thought-provoking and laced with deep insights. Every page is filled with astounding wisdom. The author interacts with life and with philosophers from the beginning of the history of human thought,featuring Socrates, Plato and many others. Mario Kfoury makes relevant references to great thinkers like the Tao, Albert Einstein, Dharma, and many others. I was particularly excited by the depth of thought and the clarity of expression. For instance, about war, for instance, he states: "Any fight, no matter the form or style, is a balance of stamina, distance and timing." A bit further down he observes that war is nothing other than an individual fight on a collective scale and it never reaches a final verdict nor a perfect settlement. I learned that the greatest victory is one that requires no battle. Coffee Shop University: A Book about Mythology, Spirituality, Philosophy, Psychology, Religion,Politics, Economics and the Ecology... is a book for readers who want to take life seriously and who love to indulge in mental labor. The writing is excellent and accessible and the ideas are expressed with vivid clarity and simplicity of phrase.
Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott for US Review "I’ve always been like this: a rebel who wouldn’t settle for anything less than that which would steal his heart away." This philosophical investigation by the author is designed to lead the reader to conclusions about the nature of the universe and the meaning of life. In so doing, the reader will travel the same path that the author took. In Part I of his book, Kfoury recalls his time as a young man newly come to the US from strife-torn Lebanon. His quest begins when he attends a meeting of Native Americans while living in Los Angeles. The meeting includes a “smudging ceremony” in which smoke is used to purify the atmosphere and awaken the mind to the color and sacred elements of the natural world. Never having considered these aspects before, the author is prompted to learn more and begins a lengthy study of religion, culture, myth, and philosophy at his local library. In Part II, Kfoury has come to Florida to pursue his dream of becoming a pilot. There he meets Gaia, a fellow skydiver who surprises him by visiting the same library he goes to in the evenings. The two of them begin to chat, acknowledging the remarkable coincidence of their common interests in culture, mythology, and, most importantly, the underlying search for the meaning of life implied by their choice of reading material. Kfoury and Gaia, whose name is synonymous with Earth, have long, soulful conversations about God and religion as the author becomes convinced that most of the world’s religions are based on imagination rather than fact. Later, back in California, he begins dabbling in the business of finance. In a favorite café, he encounters a man calling himself Pythagoras who shares knowledge of the rules of finance such as the Dow Theory. Meeting this mysterious, highly knowledgeable figure a third time, Kfoury is surprised when Pythagoras says, “Gaia sends her regards.” At that third encounter, Pythagoras gives him a scroll called The Golden Principles, encapsulating all that the author has learned on his life journey thus far. Among its list of wise sayings is the proposition that monotheistic religions worship a “man-god” and are “therefore destined for war,” and the suggestion that, by contrast, a matriarchy is a social contract, a “culture of life.” The advice offered includes practicing random acts of kindness, accepting uncertainty, and examining one’s actions each night before sleep in order to better oneself for the next day. The scroll concludes with “Live your life in exclamation, not in explanation.” Kfoury has seen the world through the eyes of an investor, a student of martial arts, an aviator, and a tech analyst. In his book, he speaks not as an expert but takes on the role of pilgrim or student. His book reads like a textbook of the subjects he has examined to educate himself: religion, mythology, psychology, and the art of financial trading. His writing style engages the reader by presenting this plethora of factual, potentially dry material through events and conversations. At times his guides, Gaia and Pythagoras, seem a bit too wordy; but they have much knowledge to convey. Throughout, it is clear that the author wishes to share what he has gleaned with an audience that may be as naïve on these subjects as he once was. Kfoury’s book provides guideposts for a serious seeker to reach a deeper understanding of eternal verities through focused exploration. RECOMMENDED by the US Review
Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite Coffee Shop University: A Book About Mythology, Spirituality, Philosophy, Psychology, Religion, Politics, Economics and the Ecology can best be described as a collection of thoughts, musings, and reflections by Mario Kfoury on variety of subjects, most of which are in the realm of metaphysics, psychology, and philosophy. Coffee Shop University starts off with a self-introduction by Mario and then the book is broken down into simple chapters, each usually dealing with a certain point in Mario’s life. As Mario tells some of his life story in these pages, we learn about his background from Lebanon, his experiences in America and Europe, some of the influential people in his life, his various professions which included hard physical training in the gym, and of course his own philosophical ideas and discourses on life and its meaning. In Coffee Shop University, Mario touches upon various topics and ideas from the Eastern philosophies such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Taoism, and more, along with ancient Greek philosophy and notable teachings from these fields. Not only this, Mario also discusses aspects of psychology and the scientific movement of the last few centuries, along with thoughts on economics, politics, religion, spirituality, and existential questions about prophets, God, meaning of life and death, and the universe. The writing style is pleasant to read, and is very straightforward, engaging, and interesting. I liked reading about some aspects of his life and, more importantly, his fascinating ideas and insights about life. I would highly recommend this book.
Reviewed By Maria Beltran for Readers’ Favorite Review Rating: 5 Stars Coffee Shop University by Mario Kfoury begins in Bailey's Gym, Los Angeles, California in the fall of 1999, but it gives the reader a glimpse of the great minds of spirituality, philosophy, religion, psychology, ecology and economics of the last few centuries, as well as our reality today. In fifteen concise chapters, we also get to know the life and mind of the author as he does the business of living. The book navigates from Confucius and Buddha, to Aristotle and Plato, and to Elliot, who studied the movement of the prices of the stock market and commodity futures market. If that may sound like an intimidating read, the reader will be in for a surprise because, above all, this book tells of one man’s journey to find the meaning of life. Mario Kfoury’s Coffee Shop University does not try to examine the minds of the great thinkers of the world. Instead, he tells his own unique story and his experiences as he tries to make sense of our complex and ever changing world. Born in the Middle East, having lived in Europe, and now residing in the United States of America, Kfoury’s view is unique because he traverses different cultures as well as careers. The book closes with a chapter on the Final Call, and a note on the golden principles setting readers on a path of reflecting, understanding and, most probably, getting a seed of a foundation on how to find ourselves in the whole grand scheme of this thing called life.
Verdict: Filled with great concepts for living, loving, and investing, COFFEE SHOP UNIVERSITY briefly surveys some of the greatest teachings throughout history and presents them in a loosely styled memoir that makes complex ideas more accessible. by Carol Michaels for IndieReader Part nonfiction, part memoir (with a little fiction added for interest), this unusual book of 207 pages takes a cursory look at an expansive amount of philosophical thought through the ages. The author, a private investor and technical analyst originally from Beirut Lebanon, moved to Los Angeles, California, as a young man intent on breaking free from religious, political, and cultural restraints that dictated how he should think and behave. While spending years in America training in martial arts, physical education, and aviation, he also read whatever interdisciplinary books he could find to broaden his worldview and bridge the gap between science and spirituality. The fictional aspects of his book include chance meetings with a talkative expert on psychology named “Gaia” and an even more verbose investment expert named “Pythagoras.” These characters presumably provide a friendlier way to address challenging subjects to the reader. In 15 chapters, the book cites scholars on the subjects of mythology, spirituality, philosophy, psychology, religion, politics, economics, and ecology. To include such a broad survey of ideas, naturally the work of teachers and their specific teachings are highly abbreviated. The author goes after the pithiest nuggets of wisdom. For example “The tools of living have evolved, but the causes of conflict and persecution remain the same” and “The only way to transcend narrow mindedness, self-consciousness and subjectivity is through unraveling content from symbolism, and life from reality,” are among many key ideas. Although the memoir aspect attempts to make the book more engaging by personalizing the philosophies, these tidbits (such as the author’s boxing and aviation training) could be better woven into the text. Instead, skeletal scenes of working out at the gym, fighting in a boxing match, and flying an airplane feel like add-ons, rather than integral aspects of the narration. The last few chapters take another left turn and focus almost exclusively on the philosophy of investing. Although an impressive collection of important ideas overall, the book lacks a smooth integration of nonfiction, fiction, and memoir. Filled with great concepts for living, loving, and investing, this book also includes end notes and a bibliography. The final chapter culminates in “The Golden Principles,” a synthesis of all the philosophies contained in the book. COFFEE SHOP UNIVERSITY blends nonfiction and memoir to tell one man’s story of how delving into philosophies from around the world and throughout time helped lead him down the path of self-knowledge necessary for wisdom, virtue, and love.
Debut author and private investor Kfoury presents a self-reflective meditation on religion, the stock market, and existence in general. The book begins in 1999 with the author living in Los Angeles. He’d left Lebanon for America in 1987 and was “devoted to becoming independent, experiencing the American dream and testing what they taught us at school about real life.” This mission would take Kfoury to martial arts training in California, flight school in Florida, and to London, England, while “following [his] bliss.” The book is only loosely based on the author’s tangible experiences, though; the primary focus is on headier topics, such as Stockholm syndrome, karma, and the difference between “religious morals and secular ethics.” Later portions explore the stock market through the eyes of a trader, discussing the importance of the “Elliot Wave Theory,” used to forecast financial markets; the origin of candlestick charts, which signify price fluctuations, with rice trader Munehisa Homma in the 18th century; and how “Most people on the short term charts are sitting ducks for the big guys with the big guns to slaughter.” The final pages contain what the author calls “The Golden Principles,” such as “All monotheistic religions are guilty of worshiping ‘man-god’, therefore destined for war.” There are quite a few ideas to take in, overall—some thick with jargon (“All the Moving Averages calculations of the IKH are based on the 50% retracement of their respective periods”) and others alive with sentiment, such as the idea that the financial market is a “ruthless and amazing teacher.” This combination makes for a book that’s dense, impassioned, and unique. Although the book is less than 200 pages long, including a lengthy bibliography, it offers a large amount of material for readers to chew on. Chewing and digesting are two different things, however, and unless readers have more than a cursory knowledge of finance and philosophy, they may need to do further research to get a fuller understanding of what the author’s trying to convey. Some of the work’s humanizing portions, such as a reference to Baz Luhrmann’s 1999 single “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” and a story of a flight over the Hudson River, help to ground it, though it’s still, by and large, a book of ideas, and some of those ideas end up being more convincing than others. For example, in Kfoury’s account of a deep conversation that he had in 1990s Florida with a woman named Gaia, she insists that “God is not a man. She might be a woman, or neither, but definitely not a man.” Whether this assertion is intended to be a deep truth or simply a counterargument to established religion is unclear. Other statements, though, come across as more insightful, such as the author’s chapter-ending realization that “God exists, but not the way they tell us about.” By the end of the book, the reader will certainly find themselves dwelling on something new. A dense, personal collection of thoughts on many of life’s great mysteries.
"Totally different to what I have read by now but really impressive. As I told you it made me think about situations and theories which some of them I knew and others didn't but never actually analyze them or realized their meanings. A simple book but so deep, so easy to read but so complicated, if that is the write word to describe what I want to say."
Reviewed by Samantha Dewitt (Rivera) for Readers' Favorite Mario Kfoury has lived a life much like any of us, but as he continued on he chose to change that life, seeking out a greater purpose to it. Finding it in not just one religion, or even just in religion at all, but also from a number of other aspects of economics, politics and more. Understanding the world around you and how you fit into it isn’t easy, but in Coffee Shop University, Mario Kfoury has given us a bit of a jump start. There are different aspects of the world and different things that have happened which can influence the way you see yourself. Religions, politics and a whole lot more play a role in our lives and who we become as human beings, and this book is a crash course in those things. There’s a whole lot more to life than just going on from one day to the next and Mario Kfoury has definitely figured that out. In this book you not only follow his life and evolution, but get the information you might need to start checking into your own improvement. Whether it’s learning about Buddhism and Hinduism or different aspects of history, you’ll see there is a whole lot to growing yourself. Short stories throughout this book help you see where the author has been and where they’re coming from as you continue your own journey in Coffee Shop University by Mario Kfoury. It’s all about his story at the same time as the advice, and that’s a great way to really see how the process can work, because it’s been done once, and can definitely be done again ... by you.