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Thread: Your Top 5 - Most Influential Books

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    dormant jigglypuff's Avatar
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    Your Top 5 - Most Influential Books

    what are your top 5 most personally influential books, and why?

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    Sysop Ptah's Avatar
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    No particular order

    . Commodore 64 Programmer's Reference Guide - facilitated the first quantum-leap spark of my early programming developments
    . AD&D Deities and Demigods - A) observe my avatar and B) there's a whole formative childhood anecdote/memory involved
    . The Timeless Way of Building - helped develop my intuitive side for developing/deconstructing complex systems; design-patterns, etc
    . Please Understand Me II - duh
    . (This book on the C++ compiler and runtime that I encountered as a freshman in highschool; wish I could remember its title and/or author) - really fueled the fire of my next-level-up programming work/development back then

    These were personally influential in the sense that if you removed them from my lifepath, I would be a very different person now. Two pertain to my Ti side, two to my Ne side, and the other just cements and shapes a path in my paracosm.

    edit: of those, I suppose I could only recommend The Timeless Way of Building and Please Understand Me II to a general audience, at least those given to intuition, creativity and/or curiosity. That is, N-types.

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    This is super-difficult.

    In terms of life advice:

    Adolph Freiherr von Knigge - On Human Relations
    Balthasar Gracián - The Art of Worldly Wisdom
    Arthur Schopenhauer - The Wisdom of Life

    ...which are all excellent resources on what kind of human to be, in order to lead a decent life and be at peace with oneself and others.

    In terms of artistic awareness? Probably Goethe's Faust I and all of Grillparzer's poems. Though there's many more I could think of... hm.

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    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    Sometimes books are influential because of when they fall into your hands, and not so much because of their quality. I can think of some "influential" books whose main ideas could have been better represented by other books that did not fall into my hands when I needed them most. And I realized by reading those later. But by then, instead of being a mind-shattering moment, it was more like, "Well, thanks, but I put a lot of those pieces together over the past 10 years already." I guess what I mean to say is that a book can be much more valuable for the simple direction it points you in than for its actual complexity.

    That said:

    -Brave New World - Huxley
    -The Second Sex - Beauvoir
    -The Flowers of Evil - Baudelaire
    -The State and Revolution - Lenin
    -The Phenomenology of Mind - Hegel
    -The Art of War - Sun Tzu


    Edit: Other influences were Bakunin, Marx and Freud while Goethe's Faust was probably the best book I've read in my lifetime so far.

    As for people whose writings were unimpressive but whose example was more important, Che Guevara. Shocking, I know.
    Last edited by Madrigal; 11-25-2016 at 06:01 PM.
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    Bodhisattva DaDaMan's Avatar
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    Essays and Aphorisms - Arthur Schopenhauer ( my first introduction to philosophy). I recently bought both volumes of "The World as will and representation" and I looking forward to getting lost in them.
    Thus spoke Zarathustra - Nietzsche ( I dislike Nietzche but he has influenced me)
    Freedom from the known - J Krishnamurti
    Tao te Ching - Lao Tzu
    The will to meaning - Victor Frankl

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    singularity precursor Limey's Avatar
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    The Moon's a balloon - David Niven (his autobiography and a great example of how to live life like an adventure tale)
    CISSP study guide - (I could imagine that someone might say only an INTJ would include study reference material here)
    Brave new world - Aldous Huxley (people are already in these categories from a nature point of view, building a better society from an anthropological perspective is the next generation)
    Animal Farm - George Orwell ("human nature" impedes communism)
    Harry and Hortense at Hormone high - Paul Zindel (some teen reading that I felt moved by)

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    DOA Space Invaders Champion Neville's Avatar
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    The Hatchet
    The Lord of the Rings
    The Hyperion Cantos
    “Then there you lie like the one warm spark in the heart of an arctic crystal.”

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    Dr.Awkward Robcore's Avatar
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    No particular order:

    The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle
    I: Reality and Subjectivity, by David R. Hawkins
    I Am That, Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
    Tao Te Ching and Chuang Tsu
    The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck

    Runners up which could be in the top 5 any other day of the week:
    The Cloud of Unknowing and the Book of Privy Counseling, by unknown Christian mystic
    Bhagavad Gita translated by George Thompson
    Man's Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl
    The Spiritual Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi w/ foreword by C.G. Jung
    The Dhammapada
    The Sedona Method, by Hale Dwoskin
    A Course in Miracles Workbook
    Any of the other books by David R. Hawkins
    ...the origin of emotional sickness lay in people’s belief that they were their personalities...
    "The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong." ~Carl Jung

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    singularity precursor Limey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robcore View Post
    No particular order:

    The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle
    I: Reality and Subjectivity, by David R. Hawkins
    I Am That, Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
    Tao Te Ching and Chuang Tsu
    The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck

    Runners up which could be in the top 5 any other day of the week:
    The Cloud of Unknowing and the Book of Privy Counseling, by unknown Christian mystic
    Bhagavad Gita translated by George Thompson
    Man's Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl
    The Spiritual Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi w/ foreword by C.G. Jung
    The Dhammapada
    The Sedona Method, by Hale Dwoskin
    A Course in Miracles Workbook
    Any of the other books by David R. Hawkins
    Have you read any Dawkins? -if so, what were your impressions?

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    Dr.Awkward Robcore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Limey View Post
    Have you read any Dawkins? -if so, what were your impressions?
    I've read a little by him...mostly excerpts here and there...seen quite a number of interviews. May have read the first 30 pages of TGD at one point ages ago...not sure. I've read many arguments against belief...haven't been impressed by any of them. My impression was that his book should have been called 'The Religion Delusion', or 'The Dogma Delusion', or "The Pro-Atheism book which fails to consider the merits of mysticism", or something else. He seems like a smart enough guy...I mean, I think the whole concept of memetics is an incredibly important contribution to sociology/psychology and whatnot...but with regard to his attitude toward God and Spirituality...he seems to be motivated more by distaste for religion than by anything scientific. TGD and its overall agenda seems more political than scientific, I guess.
    I am certainly willing to be persuaded on the matter of belief...I have flip flopped back and forth numerous times through my life...but as it pertains to Dawkins, I've also been discouraged to read him further because I've never come across one of his followers that could articulate a good argument based on their learning...at least not an argument against the reasons for how and why I believe (which is admittedly a tall order, because it is a bit of an obscure approach).
    Also, as something of a people loving introvert, I tend to play apologist for many of the incredible religious/spiritual people that I know...which probably gives me a bit of teflonitis when it comes to the anti-crowd (not something I'm proud of...aside from being at the defense of good people that don't deserve the vitriol that's leveled at them).
    ...the origin of emotional sickness lay in people’s belief that they were their personalities...
    "The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong." ~Carl Jung

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