Message Boards Message Boards

Meditation Culture

Fiction novels

Toggle
Fiction novels
Answer
9/8/17 4:26 PM
Do enlightened people write novels ? Does having a super quiet mind kill off creativity ?

RE: Fiction novels
Answer
9/9/17 4:00 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
Have to admit, I've gone from a frequent fiction reader pre-dharma to hardly ever reading fiction now - I still read a lot but all non-fiction. I find it much harder to suspend myself in a fantasy world which feels like a shame. Much lower tolerance to bullshit writing. Could be just related to aging rather than meditation, I suppose.

RE: Fiction novels
Answer
9/9/17 5:26 AM as a reply to Lewis James.
Parables are a kind of fiction, or at least a creative re-telling. In MTCB Daniel wrote a one act play. And from what I can gather the Buddha went on and on and on about all sorts of things. So I suspect that insight doesn't prevent creative communication, including fiction. 

I also started to go off fiction, but this was before taking up meditation. I had read so many novels that I started to find them increasingly unsatifying after a while.  Nothing to do with dharma.

RE: Fiction novels
Answer
9/9/17 9:03 AM as a reply to curious.
Dune ? Kinda spiritual. I also read a really bad spiritual sci fi book by Uri Geller years ago - stick to bending cutlery, yeah ?
Turns out there's a whole load of buddhistish fiction out there. But no daydreaming, no fiction ?

RE: Fiction novels
Answer
9/11/17 1:53 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
Definitely check out Ursula K Le Guin, particularly A Wizard of Earthsea, as that novel reads like an insight map from beginnig to end. The whole series is good stuff.

If I ever manage to get myself free of some reasonable portion of my doctorly obligations, I have actually dreamed of writing novels that contain entirely real insight experiences and magick that happened to real people and only the fantasy characters and the remainder of the plot would be fiction.

RE: Fiction novels
Answer
9/11/17 3:01 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
I saw a talk by Stephen Bachelor recently where he mentioned that the west is lacking in art inspired by Buddhism, and how art is one of the main ways the west will "digest" Buddhist ideas to come to a cultural understanding of Buddhism, which I thought was an interesting idea. He recommended A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki, an American-Canadian Zen priest. Incidentally searching for her name brought me to this blog you might like https://buddhistfictionblog.wordpress.com/

RE: Fiction novels
Answer
9/11/17 4:18 AM as a reply to Adam.
A Wizard of Earthsea is excellent indeed, as is most of LeGuin's work!

Some other recommendations (apologies if this is getting a little off topic... but would be interested in other recommendations on similar themes to see if I can kickstart my fiction reading! That blog looks great, cheers @Adam):

Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon. A man on Earth finds himself suddenly disembodied and travels through the universe to various other civilisations to observe and merge with them, amongst them species of intelligent plants, group minds, intelligent stars, eventually working up to the 'Star Maker', a kind of passive creator spirit behind everything who doesn't suffer. Very insightful for a British novel from 1937, the philosophy is a bit wonky, but CS Lewis called it 'devil worship' so that's good enough for me emoticon

Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny (1967). On a desolated future Earth, the Hindu caste system has been implemented as rule of law, and technology has been created to transfer the self from body to body, with the creators of the technology at the top of the hierarchy, suppressing the technology level of the proles to medieval levels. The protagnist is supposed to be... Buddha pulled back out of nirvana? Something weird like that. But is basically an edgy tech enthusiast who believes technology should be available to the masses and uses Buddhism to try and disrupt the culture and take back power from the 'gods'. Bit fast and loose on the Buddhist/Hindu philosophy but an entertaining read.

RE: Fiction novels
Answer
9/11/17 4:30 AM as a reply to Lewis James.
Also check out the book Woken Furies, the third book of the series by Richard K Morgan, particularly the section that discusses the virtual monastery, but all of the series has deep discussions of identity, as a key part of the world is the ability to digitize consciousness, which allows body swapping, identity copying, and being downloaded into virtual environments, all of which allows for deep explorations of concepts like rebirth, the human condition, and identity at a level not typically seen in most books of fiction.

RE: Fiction novels
Answer
9/11/17 4:39 AM as a reply to Lewis James.
Hm I just started reading Olaf Stapledon's Last and First Men.
I've been wondering about the idea of evolution and consciousness, how that fits in with religious ideas of human nature, how we have materialist ideas of progress in which human suffering reduces over time and eventually stops, and how the idea of progress spills over into the idea of general spiritual liberation in New Age and buddhist and other millenial thinking. And how it all fits with the idea common in religions that this is always a human world, they tend not to conceive of humans evolving out of existence in the far future.

All these interesting suggestions..

RE: Fiction novels
Answer
9/11/17 11:08 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
Julian May has written some very interesting SF in her Intervention series, Galactic Milieu and Pliocene Exile books. The idea of the growth of human spirituality when true psi powers begin to manifest strongly, become a growing technology and even become a point of note when humanity finally is contacted by Alien races.She posits a concept of Unity; shared by all sentient species that forms a bridge between races that initially scares the hell out of humanity! Very good stuff. What would spirituality become if we could definitely see into each others minds!



[quote=
Stickman2]Hm I just started reading Olaf Stapledon's Last and First Men.
I've been wondering about the idea of evolution and consciousness, how that fits in with religious ideas of human nature, how we have materialist ideas of progress in which human suffering reduces over time and eventually stops, and how the idea of progress spills over into the idea of general spiritual liberation in New Age and buddhist and other millenial thinking. And how it all fits with the idea common in religions that this is always a human world, they tend not to conceive of humans evolving out of existence in the far future.

All these interesting suggestions..