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What fictional texts do you admit helped shape your views about yourself, life, love, etc...? 
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Post What fictional texts do you admit helped shape your views about yourself, life, love, etc...?
Have you ever read a piece of fiction that opened your eyes and your mind to new possibilities in your real life? Of course you have! Share here!


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Post Re: What fictional texts do you admit helped shape your views about yourself, life, love, etc...?
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Post Re: What fictional texts do you admit helped shape your views about yourself, life, love, etc...?
R. LeBeaux wrote:
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The title looks uber cool. ;)


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Post Re: What fictional texts do you admit helped shape your views about yourself, life, love, etc...?
RE: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Since R. LeBeaux didn’t mention anything about it, I looked this one up, and it was apparently quite a famous book that sold five million copies worldwide. I’d never heard of it before, but from the descriptions I found, it sounds pretty deep, maybe a little too deep for me. Still, I’m intrigued and am thinking about trying it. For others out there who aren’t familiar with it, here are some quotes from the Wikipedia page:

In ZAMM, Pirsig explores the meaning and concept of quality, a term he deems to be undefinable. Pirsig's thesis is that to truly experience quality one must both embrace and apply it as best fits the requirements of the situation. According to Pirsig, such an approach would avoid a great deal of frustration and dissatisfaction common to modern life.

The book details two types of personalities: those who are interested mostly in gestalts (romantic viewpoints, such as Zen, focused on being "In the moment", and not on rational analysis), and those who seek to know the details, understand the inner workings, and master the mechanics (classic viewpoints with application of rational analysis, vis-a-vis motorcycle maintenance) and so on.

Pirsig aims towards a perception of the world that embraces both sides, the rational and the romantic. This means encompassing "irrational" sources of wisdom and understanding as well as science, reason and technology. In particular, this must include bursts of creativity and intuition that seemingly come from nowhere and are not (in his view) rationally explicable. Pirsig seeks to demonstrate that rationality and Zen-like "being in the moment" can harmoniously coexist. He suggests such a combination of rationality and romanticism can potentially bring a higher quality of life.


Like I said, pretty deep stuff. I’m wondering if you, or anyone else, might have any comments on it.


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Post Re: What fictional texts do you admit helped shape your views about yourself, life, love, etc...?
The Little Engine that Could :)

C'mon, everyone must have been influenced by this book.



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Post Re: What fictional texts do you admit helped shape your views about yourself, life, love, etc...?
kelstan wrote:
The Little Engine that Could :)

C'mon, everyone must have been influenced by this book.


Okay, I'll admit it. This one probably gave me the guts to attend my first kindergarten class.


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Post Re: What fictional texts do you admit helped shape your views about yourself, life, love, etc...?
Avid Reader wrote:
RE: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Since R. LeBeaux didn’t mention anything about it, I looked this one up, and it was apparently quite a famous book that sold five million copies worldwide. I’d never heard of it before, but from the descriptions I found, it sounds pretty deep, maybe a little too deep for me. Still, I’m intrigued and am thinking about trying it. For others out there who aren’t familiar with it, here are some quotes from the Wikipedia page:

In ZAMM, Pirsig explores the meaning and concept of quality, a term he deems to be undefinable. Pirsig's thesis is that to truly experience quality one must both embrace and apply it as best fits the requirements of the situation. According to Pirsig, such an approach would avoid a great deal of frustration and dissatisfaction common to modern life.

The book details two types of personalities: those who are interested mostly in gestalts (romantic viewpoints, such as Zen, focused on being "In the moment", and not on rational analysis), and those who seek to know the details, understand the inner workings, and master the mechanics (classic viewpoints with application of rational analysis, vis-a-vis motorcycle maintenance) and so on.

Pirsig aims towards a perception of the world that embraces both sides, the rational and the romantic. This means encompassing "irrational" sources of wisdom and understanding as well as science, reason and technology. In particular, this must include bursts of creativity and intuition that seemingly come from nowhere and are not (in his view) rationally explicable. Pirsig seeks to demonstrate that rationality and Zen-like "being in the moment" can harmoniously coexist. He suggests such a combination of rationality and romanticism can potentially bring a higher quality of life.


Like I said, pretty deep stuff. I’m wondering if you, or anyone else, might have any comments on it.


This was one of my favorite books and was a big influence on me. It is very easy to read. The only thing I recall offhand from it was how tightening a spark plug is an exercise in Zen Buddhism because you have to get the feel exactly right, just like an archer has to get into the zone to hit the bullseye.

It is a bit like The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse which we recently read here, as a western interpretation of Buddhism. That was also a big influence on me.

Other novels that had the biggest influence on me included The Lord of the Rings by Tolkein, novels by Solzhenitsyn such as Lenin in Zurich, everything by Carlos Castaneda, and science fiction books by John Wyndham, Robert Heinlein and Robert Silverberg. And The Jungle Books by Rudyand Kipling.


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Post Re: What fictional texts do you admit helped shape your views about yourself, life, love, etc...?
Avid Reader wrote:
RE: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Since R. LeBeaux didn’t mention anything about it, I looked this one up, and it was apparently quite a famous book that sold five million copies worldwide. I’d never heard of it before, but from the descriptions I found, it sounds pretty deep, maybe a little too deep for me. Still, I’m intrigued and am thinking about trying it. For others out there who aren’t familiar with it, here are some quotes from the Wikipedia page:

In ZAMM, Pirsig explores the meaning and concept of quality, a term he deems to be undefinable. Pirsig's thesis is that to truly experience quality one must both embrace and apply it as best fits the requirements of the situation. According to Pirsig, such an approach would avoid a great deal of frustration and dissatisfaction common to modern life.

The book details two types of personalities: those who are interested mostly in gestalts (romantic viewpoints, such as Zen, focused on being "In the moment", and not on rational analysis), and those who seek to know the details, understand the inner workings, and master the mechanics (classic viewpoints with application of rational analysis, vis-a-vis motorcycle maintenance) and so on.

Pirsig aims towards a perception of the world that embraces both sides, the rational and the romantic. This means encompassing "irrational" sources of wisdom and understanding as well as science, reason and technology. In particular, this must include bursts of creativity and intuition that seemingly come from nowhere and are not (in his view) rationally explicable. Pirsig seeks to demonstrate that rationality and Zen-like "being in the moment" can harmoniously coexist. He suggests such a combination of rationality and romanticism can potentially bring a higher quality of life.


Like I said, pretty deep stuff. I’m wondering if you, or anyone else, might have any comments on it.


I've never read this book, but it may be a little deep for now considering that I just started a large volume of Grimm's Fairytales that I got on sale from Barnes and Noble. It's UNABRIDGED and wonderful. :)

If it matters, I'm a details person with the bursts of creativity...


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Post Re: What fictional texts do you admit helped shape your views about yourself, life, love, etc...?
R. LeBeaux wrote:
kelstan wrote:
The Little Engine that Could :)

C'mon, everyone must have been influenced by this book.


Okay, I'll admit it. This one probably gave me the guts to attend my first kindergarten class.


I admit it; I love The Little Engine That Could. EVERYBODY has to know at least one line from this book.


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Post Re: What fictional texts do you admit helped shape your views about yourself, life, love, etc...?
tjamesmoss.author wrote:
EVERYBODY has to know at least one line from this book.


"I think I can, I think I can, I think I can..."


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Post Re: What fictional texts do you admit helped shape your views about yourself, life, love, etc...?
It's usually my policy not to discuss religion or politics online. It tends to be a pointless exercise in my experience. But in order to respond honestly here, I'll have to temporarily violate my own taboo.

My relationship with god and religion is mixed. I attended church regularly growing up, but I never could bring myself to believe strongly enough to really be one of the faith. On the other hand, I never could bring myself to disbelieve strongly enough to be an atheist, either. While science was great at explaining many of the world's mysteries, it was the things science could not explain that kept me wondering. Like, if the universe started out as a big bang of exploding mass, where did the mass that exploded come from? Little things like that always bugged me.

When I finally broke down and read Dan Brown's "The Da Vince Code", it spoke strongly to me. I could see why the pope had banned it. (Only to die shortly after, which always seemed to me to contain some sort of judgement to those who dared contemplate it). Mostly the reason it spoke to me was because it rather pointedly described much of the origins of the modern church, and the sources behind most of the parts of modern religion that I could never bring myself to swallow whole. Well, I said to myself, this doesn't much surprise me, but it certainly cements my dislike of organized religion. Whatever and whoever god really is, you don't need to be a drone in a pew to gain His divine approval.

It was not until much later that I finally read the book that actually takes place before "The Da Vinci Code". When I did, I was instantly captivated. Ironically, "Angels and Demons" did more to re-affirm my belief in god than anything else ever has. The character of the priest who is also an avid scientist caught me immediately. His opinion that his study of the most complex sciences was not sacrilegious, but actually a means by which he can see god's hand and the tools by which He created the universe echoed in a part of me that had always struggled to find the words for my own feelings. Further, Brown's explanation of real-world scientific achievements in the creation of matter and anti-matter finally resolved my own mixed feelings on the existence of god. If this is how the universe really started, then only god could have been the guidance behind such incredible forces, because without directed guidance, the creation of matter could not happen naturally. Then, in a real twist of irony, the camerlengo's speech before the tv cameras in the conclave actually restored some of my goodwill toward the church, or at least a few of its representatives. I might not respect their history much, but I can accept their role. How weird is that? Well, it was a hell of a speech, no mistake.

Finally, the third Robert Langdon story, "The Lost Symbol" gave me much food for thought. Not about the masons. No, they are just an amusement as far as I am concerned. But it brought the whole field of noetic sciences to my attention. Some of the actual experiments Brown describes in his book just blow you away, so I had to go to the Institute of Noetic Sciences website to see how much was fiction and how much was fact. It truly astounds me! Also, the character Dr. Katharine explains how many of the most ancient texts and lessons contain incredibly advanced knowledge that is only now being understood by cutting edge physicists, such as modern string theory, and the actual possible meaning of mana from heaven. I used to laugh at the claim that man was created in god's image. Now I truly have to wonder. I think about these things and feel awed at the world I live in. But it also makes me wonder just how dumb we modern people have let ourselves become since letting our tools do most of the tasks we used to use our brains for. From super computers to the humble abacus. Have we, as a species, allowed out metal abilities to atrophy? It is something I often ponder whenever I get to thinking about Brown's books and what I got from them.

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Post Re: What fictional texts do you admit helped shape your views about yourself, life, love, etc...?
DamianLake wrote:
When I finally broke down and read Dan Brown's "The Da Vince Code", it spoke strongly to me.


Since you don’t mention it, I thought I you might want to check out the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln. Published in 1982, the book is basically a report on a research project into the possible marriage and lineage of Christ, and it formed the basis for Dan Brown's The Da Vince Code. In fact, Brown makes reference to this book, also liberally using most of its premises as key plot elements. In 2005 Baigent and Leigh unsuccessfully sued Brown's publisher, Random House for plagiarism on the grounds that Brown's book makes extensive use of their research and that one of the characters (Leigh) has the surname Teabing, which is an anagram of Baigent, and has a physical description strongly resembling Henry Lincoln. The court ruled that because it was published as a work of (alleged) history, its premises legally could be freely interpreted in any subsequent fictional work without copyright infringement.

I read the book in 1983 and was fascinated by the conjectures made, though later I heard that most professional historians and scholars in related fields had reacted negatively to it.

If you are interested, it is available in a more-recent illustrated version and also in standard paperback at:

Illustrated:

amazon.com/Holy-Blood-Grail-Illustrated ... amp;sr=1-1

Standard Paperback:

amazon.com/Blood-Michael-Baigent-Richar ... amp;sr=1-4

There is also an extensive analysis of the book on Wikepedia that includes a long list of other books you might be interested in. That page is at:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holy_Blood_an ... Holy_Grail

Image


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