the mind altering effects of literature

Not quite philosophy discussions, debates, various thought experiments and other topics of interest.

the mind altering effects of literature

Postby moranity on February 9th, 2016, 8:17 pm 

have you read some Philip K **** and then interpreted events as part of an alien generated hallucination?
has reading a Zen Buddhist phrase suddenly shattered your reality, plummeting you into mental free fall?
has Damnation Game, by wassisname left you in a battle for your very soul?
for me reading has always been a way to manipulate my experience of reality, sometimes in ways that are terrifying.
Also, i love the idea that some books, such as ones by a certain french fellow, can destroy your sanity, it both makes me feel challenged to read the book, and a little wary. I do know that some books have fundamentally influenced the way i experience the world and others have allowed me to experience how it is in other worlds, seemingly directly.
for me the best writer is William Burroughs, as he makes me experience a reality of his own that is living and complete, this reality seeps in under the words, as the words pass through your mind, as though information is being transferred through something other than the meaning of the words, and it's not just the tempo, or sound, it's as though he makes a perfect description of one aspect of his total mind state, his verbal thoughts, then transfers them completely to the work, then, as you read them and replay the thoughts, slowly the total mind state is rebuilt inside you, not just the thoughts.
now that sounds pretty bonkers
anyhows, anyone else got any tales of fiction induced altered states?
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Re: the mind altering effects of literature

Postby BadgerJelly on February 10th, 2016, 12:08 am 

I used to think many things are thought were not worth mentioning or considered stupid by most people then I read some philosophical works ...

I highly recommend Kant Critic of Pure Reason simply because once you've read it cover to cover things like Dickens seems like a comic strip. The amount of concentration and backtracking required to handle Kant is an exercise that makes reading anything else relatively simple.

I am not sure I would say anything I have read has altered my mental state. Certainly things I read influence my view. I am of the opinion that you should think as deeply as possible about something and come to your own ideas and questioning before being influenced by others thoughts (probably the reason I could read Kant from cover to cover).

I view books (whatever the subject matter) as maps that help you to navigate your own sense of reality.
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Re: the mind altering effects of literature

Postby Serpent on February 10th, 2016, 1:10 am 

Every good book does something to your mind. Usually it's just to show you a different facet of a subject, or a different perspective on it; sometimes it's an introduction to how some very different kind of person experiences the world; sometimes, it's a new vista for your imagination. For me, at 19, Ray Bradbury added a whole new dimension to possible worlds ... as well as a door into sf.
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Re: the mind altering effects of literature

Postby moranity on February 10th, 2016, 7:32 am 

Ah yes, Serpent, i love Ray Bradbury, Farenheight wassit and "something wicked comes this way" are my favourites, but i do enjoy all his stuff.
I remember three intelligent fellows taking a sentence each to try and decipherer one of Freud's treatise, sounds similar to your experience with Kant, BadgerJelly, i am pondering attempting him, hell, i've read "war and peace", "Ulyseses", etc, how hard can it be?? tee hee.
is great that we can read the thoughts of such fellows
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Re: the mind altering effects of literature

Postby BadgerJelly on February 11th, 2016, 12:11 am 

moranity » February 10th, 2016, 7:32 pm wrote:Ah yes, Serpent, i love Ray Bradbury, Farenheight wassit and "something wicked comes this way" are my favourites, but i do enjoy all his stuff.
I remember three intelligent fellows taking a sentence each to try and decipherer one of Freud's treatise, sounds similar to your experience with Kant, BadgerJelly, i am pondering attempting him, hell, i've read "war and peace", "Ulyseses", etc, how hard can it be?? tee hee.
is great that we can read the thoughts of such fellows


You'll see after you have spent around 30 mins reading the first paragraph! It is a challenge but well worth the effort. It does get a little easier but you'll certainly find yourself backtracking quite often which can be frustrating.

I have started War and Peace ... like I said "comic strip" compare to Kant. Another I found interesting was Heidegger. I found him pedantic and somewhat off the mark with what Husserl did before him although some of his terminology is quite useful although baffling to the uninitiated (eg. the being of beings beingness).
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Re: the mind altering effects of literature

Postby moranity on February 11th, 2016, 8:28 am 

Hi BadgerJelly,
i recon that "War and Peace" may be the best novel i've read, along with some others, the author is so incisive in his critique of his character's motivations, it's like being sandblasted, shame he turned it on himself.
I have just started "Critique of Pure Reason", i do love the internet, i shall probably end up having to buy it as an actual physical book, is very hard to backtrack on a pdf, i find, while keeping ya finger in the page ya was at, so ya can switch between the two pages quickly.
And books feel nice.
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