Chapter 1

I wonder, dear reader, how you came to be reading this book. Either it’s pure coincidence, or someone recommended it to you, or maybe—and this would definitely be my preferred option—it has already gained some popularity among people. Unless it was the title that lured you. Quite a tempting prospect, isn’t it? Whatever the reason, I’m really happy you’re reading my book because it means that I’ve managed to finish it. This is not that obvious at the current stage of production, with ninety-five words so far (including “with ninety-five words so far”). It also means that I found a publisher for it, which is even less obvious. If I’ve been looking for one at all. Enticed by the prospect of making more money, I could have published it myself.
This book tells no story, either made-up or true. So if light, easily digestible prose is your thing, you might want to consider reading something else. The same goes for anyone looking for quick and easy ways to attain inner harmony, get ahead in business, shed excess pounds, or master three languages in five weeks (or five languages in three weeks)—whether selectively or all at once—with success assured and no effort required. Well, this text might be of some assistance in finding inner peace, but the process isn’t going to be a quick or effortless one. And to the readers who misinterpreted the title, let me tell you right away: this is not a health guide either. Consider yourself warned. I mention all this because every prudent author, before reaching for a pen (or rather for a keyboard), needs to think about the prospective readership. The broader the target, the smaller the risk of missing it—with or without a publisher.
After many conversations in which I indicated what I was going to write about (in a veiled way, of course, camouflaging myself as a potential author), I gained the impression that the topic might be of interest to quite a few people. Not bad so far. On the other hand, consuming the content of this book, not to mention digesting it, requires some intellectual effort that not everyone might be willing to make. Some might even not be able to. We need to bear in mind that a large proportion of Homo sapiens representatives are still at a relatively early stage of development. This is perfectly understandable given the time we’ve had at our disposal. One way or another, the desired broad target can shrink significantly.
Although, perversely, it doesn’t have to be that way. In the seclusion of our minds, the majority of us like to count ourselves as the elite minority able to reason quite efficiently. There is some contradiction here because the majority cannot be a minority, but from a personal perspective everything seems okay. So dedicating this book to the intellectual cream may prove a clever marketing strategy. I dedicate then, since I consider myself a reasonable author. Let’s do a quick poll now… Bingo! The number of potential readers is heading north again! (…)