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TeeDee

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Nov 6, 2008
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Which Book/Thesis/Audio book/Podcast/Lecture has changed your mind & opinion the most or given you a new way of thinking on any particular topic. One that has either challenged & changed your opinion on any given topic or personal belief.

Links appreciated.
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
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Not exactly life-changing but certainly questioned my assumptions on what actually happened over the two hundred or so years after Europeans set foot in North America - not as one-sided as I thought:

"The Company - The Rise and Fall of the Hudson's Bay Empire" by Stephen L Brown


Not the easiest read but if I can do it anyone can :)
 
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TeeDee

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Nov 6, 2008
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Not exactly life-changing but certainly questioned my assumptions on what actually happened over the two hundred or so years after Europeans set foot in North America - not as one-sided as I thought:

"The Company - The Rise and Fall of the Hudson's Bay Empire" by Stephen L Brown


Not the easiest read but if I can do it anyone can :)

Thanks Broc for kicking it off.
 
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hudd4444

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Mar 13, 2019
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Kent
'Dharma Bums' , Jack Kerouac. Read at 18 and set me of on my travelling bug.

A year later, found a book in my mates fathers book case, 'The third eye' by Lobsang Rampa. It was about a young tibetain Lama growing up but had a real impact on me. After reading it I was like "I'd like to be a monk" What I later found out was that the author wasn't actually who he said he was at the time it was written in the sixties. He was actually an Irish plumber! I loved that when I found out.

A couple of years later, 'The art of living' about vipassana meditation. This was really life change. I went on to sit a 10 day silent meditation retreat...madness but I got hooked.

Three or four years ago I ended up as a monk in Thailand for a year. Best year of my life. I might go back.
 

TeeDee

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Nov 6, 2008
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'Dharma Bums' , Jack Kerouac. Read at 18 and set me of on my travelling bug.

A year later, found a book in my mates fathers book case, 'The third eye' by Lobsang Rampa. It was about a young tibetain Lama growing up but had a real impact on me. After reading it I was like "I'd like to be a monk" What I later found out was that the author wasn't actually who he said he was at the time it was written in the sixties. He was actually an Irish plumber! I loved that when I found out.

A couple of years later, 'The art of living' about vipassana meditation. This was really life change. I went on to sit a 10 day silent meditation retreat...madness but I got hooked.

Three or four years ago I ended up as a monk in Thailand for a year. Best year of my life. I might go back.

A year as Monk? Sounds like quite the internal spiritual awakening you've had.
Many Thanks for posting.
 
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hudd4444

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A year as Monk? Sounds like quite the internal spiritual awakening you've had.
Many Thanks for posting.
Yeah. About 15 months. I lived part of the time in a cave in a national park on the Mekong River. The location was unbelievable.

I wouldn't call myself religious, the meditation was non-sectarian although Buddhist by name. It opened my eyes to change, which is at the core of the teaching. Seeing change within and without, not reacting to it, seeing it pass, really quite beautiful and I am forever thankful for it.
 

hudd4444

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Mar 13, 2019
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Kent
What was cool about the monastery was that outside of the formal practice we would learn amazing skills.

I learnt to make my own robes, hand sewn, learnt to use a singer too. We would make dye from the jack fruit tree to colour the clothe. Made a few brooms from nature, learnt to crochet. I became the maintenance monk as I was good with my hands when most of the others were more intellectual types, were I have a background in construction.
 
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Lean'n'mean

Nomad
Nov 18, 2020
339
133
France
'The Year-Long Day' - by A.E. Maxwell & Ivar Ruud.
It helped give direction to & an understanding of, all the confusing & hair brained ideas I had whizzing around my suburban head in the late 70s.
My well thumbed copy,. It's one of the few things that I still have from that time, it seems to follow me about.
151299481_165469545381186_9127500976166388134_o.jpg
 
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oldtimer

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Sep 27, 2005
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Oxfordshire and Pyrenees-Orientales, France
Open University Course A101.(1982)
I did this course when I was already in my 40s and with professional qualifications. The course taught me a lot about myself and the extent to which my views, opinions and life views were the result of the cultural baggage I had been carrying and the weakness of the education I had been subjected to up till then. Above all it started me on the path towards disciplined and rigorous critical thinking, invaluable in subsequent post-graduate work in educational philosophy.

I am very suspicious of questions such as yours, TeeDee, which could be taken to imply that one book/thesis/lecture can provide the answer to anything. I would quote, "A little learning is a dangerous thing" if I could remember who said it ! However, I think you have avoided that trap yourself by provoking debate through starting another of your intellectually interesting threads. The interesting answers are those which raise questions.

PS Given the membership of the Forum, I confidently expect Henry David Thoreau's "Walden" to get a mention!
 
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TeeDee

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Nov 6, 2008
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I am very suspicious of questions such as yours, TeeDee, which could be taken to imply that one book/thesis/lecture can provide the answer to anything. I would quote, "A little learning is a dangerous thing" if I could remember who said it ! However, I think you have avoided that trap yourself by provoking debate through starting another of your intellectually interesting threads. The interesting answers are those which raise questions.

More lockdown bemusement than any sort of critical thinking or personal epiphany on my part. I don't think any one thing can provide more than stimulus for new and interesting thoughts - that sounds kinda deep to me when I type it.. I guess I just like stuff that either challenges me or I somehow come away from feeling different.

Or maybe I'm just looking for suggestions on what to spank my Three Audible Book credits for.

Thanks OT.
 
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punkrockcaveman

Full Member
Jan 28, 2017
795
603
yorks
Could I recommend a YouTube film? I'll try and think of some books, I know there's a few that have changed my thinking over the years, I've read a lot of stuff by Ian Niall which has been good. Bill Bryson has some good ones too.

Watch Patagonias Damnation, I highly recommend. It's about Dams and Salmon, but on another level, a lot about first nations and humans in general.
 
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Machiavelli

Full Member
May 21, 2009
85
20
Good Ole' Lancashire
I spent many years chasing money, starting out working in investment banking, then working my way up in the world of management. It took a decade and a significant chunk of personal debt from trying to live the ‘life of my dreams’ to realise that the career trap was making me unhappy, living my own nightmare. I’m now unpicking the stitches of my life, finding ways to live with less, to make my passion a sustainable way of life, and spend more time with my family.

In terms of my inspiration, I really enjoyed ‘The Way Home: Tales from a life without technology’ by Mark Boyle. I also find Roger Deakin’s work to be really inspiring, especially ‘Notes from Walnut Tree Farm’.
 

fenix

Forager
Jul 8, 2008
118
85
Kent
The Singing Citadel by Michael Moorcock.
I really struggled with reading and writing at primary school, I had to got a specialist literacy centre once a week because I was so bad, and nearly got held back a year. But one day my dad gave me this book to read, and haven't stopped reading since. I started secondary school in the lowest form, jumped to the highest a year later and ended up graduating for uni. It truly opened the world up to me.
 

Laurentius

Native
Aug 13, 2009
1,999
290
Knowhere
I am tempted to say the Communist manifesto, which I read as a teen that turned me into the dangerous radical I am today, but actually I would say that it led me on to a more gentle Socialism embodied in William Morrises "News from Nowhere" Now I may have many objects in my house that are neither useful nor beautiful (shame on me) but Morris was an inspiring character who led me to the belief that there can be art in every days objects. He hated the factory system, and made and inspired many beautiful objects, from furnishings to fine books, a real polymath and pioneer of today's ecological movement in his use of natural materials and dyes. I joined the William Morris society back in 1978 and have attended many lectures and exhibitions based around him and his circle. Do I see evidence of his principles a plenty in this forum? You bet I do whenever I look at the pictures of things that people on here have made.
 

Brizzlebush

Full Member
Feb 9, 2019
212
108
Bristol
This is such a great idea for a thread.
Thanks TeeDee.
I think I'll need to go away and have a good think, but to kick off:

I can certainly relate to Hud4444's post about retreats and Buddhism, having spent some time in Thailand and Laos myself. I very nearly did the same. I read a book whilst I was out there, about a white Englishman who ordained as a Buddhist monk, and then moved to Thailand. It was fascinating. "Pra Farang" I think it was called.
The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying is a wonderful book in a similar vein.

I've been reading Akala's book "Natives"- (Race and class in the ruins of empire); recently. It's certainly an eye-opener to white privilege, the lies that politicians tell, and how little I thought I knew about slavery.
 

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