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    Books That Changed Your Life

    Are there any books you credit with changing the course of your life? There are probably several for me, but the one I always think of is Where Do We Go From Here?, a collection of short stories edited by Isaac Asimov.

    I was around 12 or 13, I think, when I first read it. The stories that really got to my imagination were "—And He Built A Crooked House" and "A Subway Named Mobius". That extra dimensions could hypothetically exist was a thought that had never occurred to me. I was already pretty good at math and soon realized, with a little help from an uncle, that these extra dimensions could be described using plain old Euclidean geometry (I didn't know about non-Euclidean geometry yet.)

    Most importantly, I began searching for science fiction books by authors that had contributed to Where Do We Go From Here?. Arthur C. Clarke and Robert A. Heinlein were two of the biggies. In time I would eventually end up questioning practically everything I had ever been taught to believe; this is how I transitioned between the child-me to the eventual adult-me. I lived in a troubled home, and this escape I got from reading about all these alternative possibilities saved me from a life of...I don't know. I feel I would have been miserable in my adulthood though.

    Anyway, I now own the actual book that I read nearly 40 years ago and it is one of my proudest possessions.

    #2
    Awareness by Osho. I thought it was a self-defense book about street awareness cause that was the only type of awareness i knew about back then. I was in my early twenties trying to adjust to society. I was also Catholic during those times. That book was the first book to badly bruised up my ego and led me to re-examine my life. I am forever grateful for that.

    I still have the book somewhere. I haven't read it in many years. I guess some books choose you.

    Comment


      #3
      Don't have one such book myself, that i can credit for having such a profound impact.

      Comment


        #4
        I read this book once
        it's interesting what TD/TB said about books finding you because I do think that sometimes
        and especially this book
        It was called the Seat of the Soul and it was this silly new age book all about vibrating on a higher plane and things like that. I dont typically read such things but for whatever reason I ended up with this book and started reading it.

        I was in this terrible on and off again relationship at the time with a dude who wasn't that nice to me, and one day he said something really fucking horrible to me. And so I stopped talking to him for a while, and just picked up this book that had mysteriously appeared in my house and started reading it. There was a chapter on forgiveness and of not holding on to resentment and hurt and understanding why others lash out. I dont even really remember much of it, I just know this guy wrote me an email apologizing and I wrote him back this very sincere email forgiving him and that was the first time I really felt the power of forgiveness. We never dated again but we became good friends and I could tell the whole thing had affected him and he was trying to be a better, kinder person. And after that happened I entered into what was probably the happiest time of my life for a couple of years. I always felt very zen and positive, vibrating on a higher plane and shit haha, and everything always worked out for me during that time period because I just sort of...knew it would work out like it was supposed to. I had trust in the universe and the universe didn't betray my trust.

        New age stuff like that still sounds stupid to me even though I know there's something to it because I've experienced it haha

        Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.

        Comment


          #5
          this is a great topic btw

          Comment


          • Din Djarin
            Din Djarin commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes, I almost feel sorry for not having such a book to name! :P
            I was without doubt affected by books, movies, music etc (as is everybody), but i would say its all of it together and hard to narrow it down how and which

          • Meliai
            Meliai commented
            Editing a comment
            Din Djarin yeah there are definitely many books that have impacted me and challenged and changed my perspective, but I wouldnt say they changed my life in any profound way

          • Jessica
            Jessica commented
            Editing a comment
            Seconded. Good idea, Dice.

          #6
          What Meliai said here is basically what I was thinking. It sounds like something I would write even.

          there are definitely many books that have impacted me and challenged and changed my perspective, but I wouldnt say they changed my life in any profound way

          If I think about it, I guess a few things come to mind... There are no books that have really had the same impact on me as music where I had to play a guitar but some of the psychedelic literature I read in college from the likes of Terence Mckenna (Food of the Gods), Rick Strassman (DMT: The Spirit Molecule) and pseduonym author DMTurner were inspirational and I had about a year or so where I entertained the idea of pursuing psychedelic research. However, at the time, psychedelic research was really limited, just starting to gain some traction and I was lost on how to go about pursuing it. I didn't feel like it was something I could go to an advisor for and help them structure my classes to pursue. I looked into working for MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) for a summer and also tried to do an internship as a research assistant for one of my professors involving alcohol studies, which I thought could be a foot in the door but there was only a couple positions available for MAPS and one for the research assistant and I was not selected.


          Of Fiction books that challenged and changed perspective:

          I've mentioned I Robot a few times. I was used to Hollywood Robots and AI: The Terminator, Agent Smith, C3p0 all really one dimensional characters where, I don't know if I'll explain this well but they're basically Monsters, very distinct from humans. For instance The Terminator time travels, the Matrix basically becomes known because of Agent Smith and I forgot C3p0's story but I know he does some kind of arbitrary side quests and gets worshipped by Ewoks. Perhaps the only exception that I had seen at that time was Ash from Alien, but he was mostly a peripheral character.
          I Robot blew my mind because the way the Robots are presented, they have moral based dilemmas, thrust into scenarios which are nuanced and seemingly require thought. While not all the situations literally seem relatable to humans, the general concepts involved where they enact on a decision seem really human and it prompts existential, deep questions like "What does it mean to be human?"

          Rant by Chuck Palahinuk: I wouldn't even consider the story here to be great but the alternative World that Palahinuk creates basically is like a recombination of our world. There are some fictional scenarios but he has an uncanny ability to capture people's personality and so when he puts a character in an absurd unreal situation, it basically gets me thinking "Oh I could totally see that". Might as well mention Fight Club too, although I saw the movie first. I think there are a lot of ideas in that book that seem a bit prescient and applicable to what we're seeing with the riots/protests.

          Comment


          • Jessica
            Jessica commented
            Editing a comment
            Ooh I haven't read Rant. He's one of my favourite writers without a doubt.

          #7
          Last edited by mallyboppa; 08-10-2020, 01:30 PM.

          Comment


          • Audiogen
            Audiogen commented
            Editing a comment
            What were the stories that changed your life?

            Did you have hard realizations?
            Did you come out of this with new perspective?

          • mallyboppa
            mallyboppa commented
            Editing a comment
            fuckin A

          • tumbling.dice
            tumbling.dice commented
            Editing a comment
            This is when Mally realized he preferred men.

          #8
          Hmm, I could see certain books influencing my life a little but I'm not sure I would define them as "life changing".

          ​​​​​I guess most recently would be Michael Tellinger, thought it took me a long time to read his book. Took a long time to process too. And to comprehend. It was probably the second most difficult book I have tried to read mostly because I don't understand some things and those things were all in the book so I had to stop and research a lot.

          I think Zacharia Sitchin pushed me into these influenced directions but really my sister told me about him and I also thought it was all bullshit the moment she told me about anicent aliens. I came away hooked for sure.

          So maybe my life changed spiritually a little bit. I dunno if you'd call installing ancient alien data in your brain a spiritual life changing moment though haha.

          But yeah, Michael Tellinger - Slave Species Of The Gods I guess was a pivotel understanding moment in my life, which I really started to understand who I am as a person, my limitations, my weaknesses and strengths and why and just why I'm wired the way I am as a human and when I look at everybody else, I get why they're all like the way they are too.
          Last edited by Irminsul; 08-10-2020, 03:08 PM.

          Comment


            #9
            "Huck Finn" , "Stranger in a strange land " and "The Nightland " are some of my most memorable reads !

            The Crabtree carpet loom tuners book changed my life most I guess

            Comment


              #10
              Conversations With God

              ​​The Stone and the Flute

              The Dark Tower series

              ​​​​Jonathan Livingston Seagull

              The Way of Happiness...? I don't remember if that's right. But goes with I was going to agree with Mel and Dice that books find us. Especially walking around NZ where I'd just pick books up from free exchanges and leave them at the next one, or in a hut. It frequently felt that I was "meant" to pick up the ones I did.

              ​​​​​​

              ​​​​​​

              Comment


              • eggsprog
                eggsprog commented
                Editing a comment
                What did you take from the dark tower? Besides knowing that Blaine is a pain.

              • Jessica
                Jessica commented
                Editing a comment
                eggsprog man i remember remembering this comment at some point between when you posted it and now.. like "omg! i never responded to that comment!" and then clearly i forgot again and only am here now because someone just liked the post.. but yes i specifically WANTED to answer it, and originally didn't the moment i read it so i could give it proper time.

                but yeah, basically, there are things that i think are not *literally* about the truth of reality but also.. are about the truth of reality.. lol.. if that makes sense. That it's *something like that*.. so in the case of Dark Tower.. the multitude of realities.. and the way the same names can be different things.. like, the suggestion that you can just create new reality out of everything that has ever existed.. that's what I felt was one of the "hidden messages". The idea that existence is cyclical.. the ending is one of my favourites. Just everything to do with the weirdness of what reality actually is, beneath the accepted and understood parts : )

              • eggsprog
                eggsprog commented
                Editing a comment
                Jessica Now that I think about it, I can definitely see some parallels in your book

              #11
              This is a difficult question to answer because every book changes you, at least a little bit.

              Imagine:

              You decide to read a novel on Tuesday, you get really into the book and want to finish the chapter before you run to the grocery store. So, you run to the grocery store 15 minutes later than you otherwise would have had you not been reading. Because of the 15 minute delay, you drive past someone you wouldn't have normally driven past, and they kind of recognize you so they spend about 5 extra seconds looking at your face, and consequently run a stop sign. This causes a small accident, which you are involved in. Because of the commotion of the accident, you don't even go to the grocery store. Had there not been an accident at all, you would have met the person you would have married at the store. Consequently, you wipe out several entire generation of potential children that you and that person may have had.

              Anyway, I know that wasn't what you were really asking. I think most of the books that influenced me were read when I was in high school or middle school. I remember "Ishmael" really changing the way I looked at the world. There was also a textbook called "critical thinking and decision making" that really influence my ability to evaluate media and general scientific content. I can't even tell you how valuable this was to me, and it continues to serve me into a adulthood.

              Comment


                #12
                Originally posted by Youfreeme View Post
                This is a difficult question to answer because every book changes you, at least a little bit.

                Imagine:

                You decide to read a novel on Tuesday, you get really into the book and want to finish the chapter before you run to the grocery store. So, you run to the grocery store 15 minutes later than you otherwise would have had you not been reading. Because of the 15 minute delay, you drive past someone you wouldn't have normally driven past, and they kind of recognize you so they spend about 5 extra seconds looking at your face, and consequently run a stop sign. This causes a small accident, which you are involved in. Because of the commotion of the accident, you don't even go to the grocery store. Had there not been an accident at all, you would have met the person you would have married at the store. Consequently, you wipe out several entire generation of potential children that you and that person may have had.
                How do you run and drive simultaneously?


                Comment


                  #13
                  Originally posted by Audiogen View Post

                  How do you run and drive simultaneously?

                  I think they like to call it "ghost riding the whip"

                  Comment


                    #14
                    Originally posted by Undies View Post

                    I think they like to call it "ghost riding the whip"
                    Ahhh... I see. Being that it was Tuesday, I was having trouble imaging that. Apparently I need to get out more.

                    Comment


                      #15
                      Originally posted by mallyboppa View Post
                      "Huck Finn" , "Stranger in a strange land " and "The Nightland " are some of my most memorable reads !

                      The Crabtree carpet loom tuners book changed my life most I guess
                      Stranger In A Strange Land is one of my faves! 😀

                      Comment

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