Samstag, August 19, 2006

Krishnamurti: excerpt from public talk in 1962

I'm not alone in my views on the world. Totally out of the blue, I've stumbled upon some texts by Krishnamurti, and I'm reading them now, but here is an excerpt from one of his public talks in 1962 in London. I guess I will be posting other stuff by him later.

"Actually we are the result of many influences; and intelligence, it seems to me, is that quality which enables the mind to be aware of every influence, or as many as possible, and to walk through them all without becoming entangled in them, without being twisted or impregnated by them. To be constantly aware of influence and throw it off - this, I feel, is the very essence of intelligence.
What is important is to listen to propaganda, to what is being said now, and see directly for yourself what is true and what is false; but this you cannot do according to your evaluations, your likes and dislikes, which are merely the response of your cultural conditioning. Surely to see truly is to see the fact as it is; and this seeing is an immediate thing, it is not a question of time."


Contaminated by Society

I started reading "The Companions" by Sherri S. Tepper, hoping it's a bit like "Grass" but at the same time totally different. Because of my previous post about Society, I'll give an antidote for that Society:

* People in masses are poisonous. Whenever we come into private space, we should wash them off.

Sherri S. Tepper (The Companions)


Sonntag, August 13, 2006

Locked in Society

Are we all held by society? Is society our golden cage? Within we can move freely. But can we ever break free? We're blessed with ignorance as Moorcock said it so well: is the prisoner a prisoner because he lives in a cage, or because he knows he lives in a cage? Accordantly, do we all know we live in a place called society? This society question was also tackled many times by Vonnegut (see previous postings). The Bester novels 'The Stars My Destination' and 'The Demolished Man' are both inbedded in a strict society. Here are some Bester quotations to consider:

* A man is a member of society first, and an individual second. You must go along with society, whether it chooses destruction or not.

*The man who upsets the morphology of society is a cancer. The man who gives his own decisions priority over society is a criminal.

Needless to say that I myself want to disagree with the above. But then again, maybe I am naive.


Samstag, August 12, 2006

short notes on some SF novels

I just finished a couple of books. So here is what I think about them.

Starting a Vonnegut novel is always a thrill, knowing it's going to be weird, and you'll be dazzled with a lot of quotations to learn from. So I was a bit disappointed reading Galapagos. Although the storyline is absurd, and Vonnegut does his 'timetrick' again, something is missing.
In contrast, I was surprised reading The Cosmic Puppets from Philip K. Dick. It's one of his earlier works (before Time out of Joint), so expectations were not that high. I always heard Dick's earlier work was lousy, but reading The Cosmic Puppets tells me otherwise. OK, it's not a masterwork, but it's fun to read, it's easy to read, and there's suspense. The story is simple: a guy returns to his birthvillage and cannot recognize anything: the people and the buildings are all changed. So what happened?

Finally, I'm racing through Alfred Bester's The Stars My Destination, also known as Tiger! Tiger! It's refreshing reading a SF novel that is probably not contaminated by Dick's ideas, it being written in the fifties. The central theme is teleportation, inbedded in a story of hate and revenge. The leading character Gully Foyle is, in my humble opinion, really unique. Now I'm almost at the end of it. Will the tiger be eaten?

In Bester's novels The Demolished Man and The Stars My Destination, there are always one or more telepaths involved. Is that why the 'head'-telepath in the series Babylon 5 was named Bester? I wonder.

Freitag, August 11, 2006

The restaurant at the end of the universe

Life's bad enough as it is without wanting to invent any more of it.

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