Showing posts with label Steinbeck. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Steinbeck. Show all posts

Monday, March 15, 2010

Suspension of Disbelief

Credibility of Miracles - Beliefnet

Has anyone on the board had the experience of being able to believe something that wasn't actually believable to you, simply by deciding to do so?

"I assume here you are not talking about suspension of disbelief. Part of enjoying a movie or a book is accepting for the duration of the experience that the characters are real or suspending disbelief in the fact that they are fictional creations. I have no issues at all with doing this, but when the credits roll or the book is closed the characters are back in the category of fictional. The problem I have with believers is that they cannot make this distinction. They put the Bible back on the shelf, but God doesn't go away.

This is characteristic of small children. Dick, Jane and Spot are real and stay in the childs world. On my 5th birthday I got The Red Pony as a gift, and for a year or so Jody was my best friend. He went with me to school, I played in his barn. As my mind matured I learned the difference between my real friends and Jody. I always wondered why my religious friends did not make this distinction with their real friends and God."

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Red Pony

I passed on the ancient boxed first edition given to me on my birthday when I was 5 to Gabriel for his 6th. When I get there next time, I will add to the inscription: Gabriel, I learned to read with this book. I also learned to cry. Both are important to know.

Steinbeck is not an easy writer to read, as he writes of real people, with real lives. Like all great fiction he can put more truth about living on every page, than any other type of writing. It may not be nice truth, but it is truth worth knowing.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Is atheism a belief system? - Beliefnet
I have no beliefs. Belief gets in the way of learning.
Lazarus Long: Time Enough For Love, Robert A Heinlein, 1973 p20.

J'C "This policy has served me well since I adopted it shortly after the book came out."
MANY People of VARIOUS 'Faith' Communities
endorse/embrace one or more
'Sacred Texts' ...

J'C: "I will readily admit I have learned more about living from avowedly fictional texts 'This is a work of fiction, any resemblance to actual persons or places is purely coincidental' usually by atheist authors than I have ever learned from 'Sacred Texts' or Liturgies or Creeds which I have studied extensively. The quote itself makes the thought of Time Enough For Love or any other fiction as something to believe in an oxymoron."

J'C: I think the difference is, from another of my fictional reread texts East of Eden, Steinbeck, is that Sacred Texts say "Thou Must" and the fiction says "Thou Mayest." Steinbeck was wrestling with the story of Cain and God's command "Timshel" usually translated as Thou Shalt (triumph over sin,) occasionally as "Thou must." "Timshel" take control over your behavior, take responsibility for your actions, especially your sins, and you may become a better person because of the learning experience and triumph over the mistakes you have made.