The Experience of Kirism



Readers of Volume 1 of kirism and individuals with a lived experience of kirism have been sharing their thoughts and stories with us. Here is a sampling. If you would like to share your story with us, please send it to us at Also, let us know if we can post it or if you would prefer that it remain private. Thank you!

Volume One

what People are Saying


“I found Volume 1 of kirism to be completely accessible. It is clear and lacking in jargon and I liked the classic numbered principles format. I think this philosophy fully understands the human condition in the 21st century and our need for new tools to understand personal responsibility and to access, if possible, our purposes and personal meaning. I like that you acknowledged that meaning and purpose are not a given, and that, while we might not find meaning, we are to do the next right thing, and the next, whether or not it feels meaningful. You are honest with the reader while still being kind. I found that reading about kirism left me feeling quite hopeful. I think with the uncertain future of this planet there will be much to despair about and we will need a philosophy like kirism”

Jane E.

“Kirism is a rational, comprehensive, and compassionate call to be a better human being. Dr. Maisel’s new philosophy proposes that we make deliberate choices: What is the moral code I wish to live by? What meaning can I make today? He paints a portrait of autonomous, fully awake individuals who are equipped to face a turbulent world, grounded in self-designed guiding principles for the project that is their life. Kirism is a promise to ourselves that in any given moment, we will do ‘the next right thing.’ Self-pity, giving up, and wondering why we should bother could instead be a lifelong series of calm, committed returns to one’s path after setbacks, with each return glinting like a bead in a ‘necklace of recommitments.’ If kirism were widely adopted, what a fine species we could be!”

Clare Thorbes

“Philosophy is a complex subject and in general difficult to read. But Volume 1 of kirism is easy to read because of its clarity and your ability to break down the philosophical concepts into bite-size bits. The subject is interesting and thought-provoking and the books are well-written, easy to understand, and fun to read.”

Tina McCoy

“In Volume 1 of kirism, Dr. Maisel has brilliantly constructed and eloquently expressed a synthesis of ideas he has been presenting to the world for decades. In the face of the absurdity of an uncaring universe, he explains, our way forward is to create our own meaning and to manage life according to that decision. Aspects of that notion have appeared in his many life-saving books of advice. Now he expands those ideas into a cohesive philosophy of life. 

“Written with a light, playful touch and imbued with his gentle steeliness, kirism provides a road map: how we make meaning; how we can deal with the inevitable roiling uncertainty of setbacks; how to exhibit courage and individualism; how to find an ethical core; and how to think wisely through the thickets of life. “The kirist way is courageous and dangerous,” Dr. Maisel writes. Yet it is necessary and calmly thrilling, and this book is a call to awaken and act as we must.”

Andres Kabel

“As a philosophy, kirism reflects a great understanding of what it means to be human with the unique blessings and burdens of consciousness. As a conversation, I particularly admire the way kirism champions the uniqueness of the individual wherever he or she may be on life’s path, emphasizing the role of choice and personal responsibility. Kirism is a no less than a call to bring forth the best part of who we are, and all that we are truly capable of being.”

Naomi L. Moore

“Volume 1 of kirism is very powerful text that has taken me a while to get through. I accept your provocation that I get to choose what I deem is important. But I struggle with the self-obligation aspect, to base each decision or choice in an absurd obligation to do the right thing. My first response (from my formed personality) is why? Why do I have to do that? What is the logic of this? I know, even as I write this, that what I want is permission to live an easy life, doing what I want, so I would say that I am not yet ready to call myself a kirist, nor to raise my personal bar as high as yours (at least initially). The challenge does seem too hard, so I wonder how to address this rebellion, this want for an easy life, even as I try to do things to make myself proud. As you say, it is not comfortable to sit in the space of competing values.”

Sharon McGann

“Kirism is a new approach to a philosophy of life’s meaning and purpose that explores the psychology of the individual and all their feelings and thoughts, contradictions and impermanence. Dr. Maisel’s new work reads brilliantly like a Socratic dialogue with excellent examples of our contradictory behavior, desires and ambition. I very much like the concept that we live in the room that is our mind. That makes the mind a place of magic transformation that we can visualize and give solidarity to and better view the drama and flux of our ever-changing mind. Perhaps the quintessence of meaning is to surrender to no meaning and still live a purposeful and joyous life.”

Jean Ainslie

“I’ve been reading Book V, Absurd Rebellion. I keep saying to myself: Yes, that’s how I see it. Yes, that’s how I feel. Yes, that’s how my clients talk, act and feel. Yes, that’s how we effect change individually and together (freedom, self-obligation and self-authorship). Yes, that’s how we’re going to get out of this mess. Yes, yes, and yes.”

Coleen Chandler

“Wow. What a gift. Having read just about every spiritual text and scripture from every religion, I loved the structure of this piece. It felt scriptural in its style with short paragraphs, all connected, but each could also stand on its own. It’s like you write your own bible, but took out all the nonsense about god, guilt, irrelevant stories and other time-wasting things that make other scriptures boring, dense and confusing. Too many atheists are mean, evangelical and basically just jerks. You found a way to address the issue of god in a non-threatening, clear, philosophical way that doesn’t induce guilt or attack people who believe in a creator. Sweet.

“Book VI on individuality was my favorite section by far. As someone who has struggled with being a fierce individual, I found this part to be soothing and something to revisit. Many of these tempests you wrote are brilliant as affirmations. It would be great to turn kirism into some sort of daily reader so you could parse out the philosophy one bite at a time.”

Scott Ginsberg

“What I like is that this philosophy is a thinking one, it supports the individual at the same time reminding the individual of his or her responsibilities and self-obligations. It speaks to multi purposes of life, which I love. I am 69. When I was 14 I had a good friend named Trevor. He and I would sit on my front stoop on hot summer nights and talk about the meaning of life to the wee hours. There were few self-help books out there in 1964 but we caught the bus and went downtown to a bookstore in search of a book that would explain the meaning of life. We did not find it.    

“At 21, I came up with a code of life. It was a good start for me. I was conscious. Your book covers all of these things so well and I am not finished reading it yet. Kirism as you explain it flows easily and draws the reader forward to keep on. It was affirming because I support this philosophy of life. It challenges and it allows people to be, to feel like crap knowing others acknowledge it and that it will pass. It can make people stop to question their path and their desires.

“It reminds us all that we have a choice every moment of every day in how we live, in how we treat self and others, in how we see and view the world. It helps readers to consider the qualities they wish to maintain in their lives and why. It is a fine philosophy. I believe it could help many people feel less alienated, less alone, less fearful.   I believe it could bring hope where despair has filled most of a person’s mind and life. It is a good thing you are doing.”

Wendy Kinsey

“Kirism is a philosophic approach to living a life of purpose uniquely formulated to help individuals interested in finding meaning, right here and right now.  Because its fundamental practice is to ask oneself, early and often, ‘What do I believe in?  What matters to me NOW?’ and to act in alignment with the answers, kirism will help anyone wishing for more self-awareness and intention in life to find it. The essential truths of kirism will most certainly foster radical goodness and powerful self-determination in the reader of this work.”

Dianne Ochiltree


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