Desert Island books religious/secular/mixture

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
zan
Posts: 534
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:57 pm

Desert Island books religious/secular/mixture

Post by zan » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:53 pm

In each scenario assume that you only own a total of five books, not a total of them all, twenty books would be an easier question than just five :tongue:. We are assuming that survival is not an issue on the island so books on water purification, medicine and such are not necessary.

What five religious books would you bring to a desert island?

What five secular fiction books would you bring?

What five secular non-fiction books would you bring?

What five would you bring if it could be a mixture of the three?




Edited to bring the line about "Assuming that survival is not an issue..." from next to the secular non-fiction line to the top.
Last edited by zan on Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:34 am, edited 3 times in total.
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. Look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Look elsewhere. See my writings like word games, nothing more.

zan
Posts: 534
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:57 pm

Re: Desert Island books religious/secular/mixture

Post by zan » Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:57 pm

The Vimuttimagga
The Majjhima Nikaya
The Visuddhimagga
Manual of Insight
The Samyutta Nikaya

I feel like that may be enough sutta material and enough commentary to explain it to make it reasonable to practice.

Lord of the Rings
Slaughterhouse Five
The Complete Sherlock Holmes
American Gods
Eaters of the Dead

This list is always changing. Too many good books out there.


On the Origin of Species
A Star Atlas of some kind
Art History of some kind
Oxford Family Encyclopedia
National Geographics Photo Ark


Seems like I would not get too bored with this list.


The Visuddhimagga
The Samyutta Nikaya
Manual of Insight
The Majjhima Nikaya
The Silmarillion

I do not know that I would actually bring any secular books if I had to choose from only five books, but if I must follow my own rules and post some kind of mixture then the Silmarillion would have to be on that list :)
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. Look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Look elsewhere. See my writings like word games, nothing more.

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 4420
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: Desert Island books religious/secular/mixture

Post by Sam Vara » Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:00 pm

1)
Majjhima Nikaya
Samyutta Nikaya
Anguttara Nikaya
The Bible
Dhammapada

2)
Henry James The Portrait of a Lady
Italo Calvino Invisible Cities
W. Somerset Maugham Of Human Bondage
Shakespeare's Plays
Victor Hugo Les Miserables

3)
Boswell's Life of Johnson
Letters of John Keats
Gilbert White The Natural History of Selborne
Oxford English Dictionary
Pain Free by Pete Egoscue (self help physiotherapy)

4)
MN
SN
Shakespeare
OED
Invisible Cities

Here's a more radical thought. As one day we are going to have to give up attending to other people's words altogether, the desert island might be a golden opportunity to give them all up. To rely on my memories of what other people said until those memories themselves give out; and then, as Hamlet said, The rest is silence.

EDIT: About eighteen months ago, the monk who has accepted me as a student and is teaching me meditation said to me: "You don't need to read any more Dhamma. You already know enough. Reading about Dhamma is better than reading fiction, but don't even read about Dhamma!"

I haven't been able to follow this advice.

alan
Posts: 3092
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: Desert Island books religious/secular/mixture

Post by alan » Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:28 am

If it was a "desert" island, I'd drop all books, and bring as much water as possible.
Deserts are dry, you know.
Did you mean a "deserted Island"--one with no people, but enough water and food to keep you alive, at least long enough to read books?
In that case, I would not bring the Bible, unless I needed paper to start fires.

zan
Posts: 534
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:57 pm

Re: Desert Island books religious/secular/mixture

Post by zan » Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:50 am

Sam Vara wrote:1)
Majjhima Nikaya
Samyutta Nikaya
Anguttara Nikaya
The Bible
Dhammapada

2)
Henry James The Portrait of a Lady
Italo Calvino Invisible Cities
W. Somerset Maugham Of Human Bondage
Shakespeare's Plays
Victor Hugo Les Miserables

3)
Boswell's Life of Johnson
Letters of John Keats
Gilbert White The Natural History of Selborne
Oxford English Dictionary
Pain Free by Pete Egoscue (self help physiotherapy)

4)
MN
SN
Shakespeare
OED
Invisible Cities

Here's a more radical thought. As one day we are going to have to give up attending to other people's words altogether, the desert island might be a golden opportunity to give them all up. To rely on my memories of what other people said until those memories themselves give out; and then, as Hamlet said, The rest is silence.

EDIT: About eighteen months ago, the monk who has accepted me as a student and is teaching me meditation said to me: "You don't need to read any more Dhamma. You already know enough. Reading about Dhamma is better than reading fiction, but don't even read about Dhamma!"

I haven't been able to follow this advice.

What great lists! I haven't even heard of some of those books, they sound interesting! I love Shakespeare so much and now I'm wondering if my copy of his complete works belongs on my list. Particularly a good choice because it's far from one story! Isn't the Dhammapada extremely short? Or do you know of an edition that's filled out with lots of commentary or other material?

Your radical thought is interesting. At rare times I think this way too. At other times I'm more whimsical. I think I would meet in the middle and bring books just in case I changed my mind, truly needed Dhamma info or got really, really bored.

Your last line had me literally laughing out loud. I was following along, thinking you were going to say you don't read any more and when it said you haven't been able to follow this advice I started laughing (I hope this was supposed to be funny and I'm not being rude? If not, sincere apologies!!!). Thank you.

Edit: Also, I considered the dictionary and was pleased I wasn't the only one who thought that would be a good idea!
Last edited by zan on Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:15 am, edited 4 times in total.
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. Look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Look elsewhere. See my writings like word games, nothing more.

zan
Posts: 534
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:57 pm

Re: Desert Island books religious/secular/mixture

Post by zan » Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:50 am

alan wrote:If it was a "desert" island, I'd drop all books, and bring as much water as possible.
Deserts are dry, you know.
Did you mean a "deserted Island"--one with no people, but enough water and food to keep you alive, at least long enough to read books?
In that case, I would not bring the Bible, unless I needed paper to start fires.
At one point I specified that survival is not an issue, maybe I need to bring that to the top of the post. Also, the word "desert" used to have the same meaning as "deserted" in some contexts and the trend continues today in this kind of phrasing. I do not know why. For example Robinson Crusoe is set on a "desert island" which is lush with forest, freshwater streams, grapes, many other edible plants and even goats.

Maybe something to do with tense? "To desert" means to leave. So maybe a "desert island" is one that people have left or never came to? In any respect, for some reason it is commonly phrased this way.

EDIT:

From Merriam Webster Dictionary:

"What's the 'Desert' in 'Desert Island'?
It's not a desert—it's deserted

Desert island can be a confusing phrase. Most people probably assume that it can only be a hot, sandy place with a palm tree or two, an impression supported by countless New Yorker cartoons and TV commercials, conforming with the definition of desertplay as “arid land with usually sparse vegetation and hot temperatures.” We assume that the desert in desert island is the noun desert. In fact, the definition is simply "an island where no people live," so the desert in desert island is actually an archaic form of deserted: it refers to an island that is uninhabited, not one that is covered with sand (with the obligatory palm tree)."

Either way, the game is that you list your books regardless of whatever other ideas you may have. But you knew that already :tongue:. So, what are your books :smile: ?
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. Look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Look elsewhere. See my writings like word games, nothing more.

alan
Posts: 3092
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: Desert Island books religious/secular/mixture

Post by alan » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:22 am

Well ok then, i'd bring the Patrick O'Brian series. Captian Aubrey and Stephen Maturin. Love those guys.
Other books, If I could get them, would be about how to grow edible plants on a deserted--excuse me--desert island.

zan
Posts: 534
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:57 pm

Re: Desert Island books religious/secular/mixture

Post by zan » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:28 am

alan wrote:Well ok then, i'd bring the Patrick O'Brian series. Captian Aubrey and Stephen Maturin. Love those guys.
Other books, If I could get them, would be about how to grow edible plants on a deserted--excuse me--desert island.
Allright! Now we're talking :). So why no Dhamma books? Have you got some suttas memorized? Also you can bring something more fun than a book on growing edible plants, survival is no concern on the island. More likely than you'd think: Alexander Selkirk actually got marooned on a desert island and had more than enough food and water and was able to build a nice little shelter and domesticated cats to keep his hut rat free. He also domesticated goats to keep an easy food supply. When a boat found him he was in extremely good health and actually treated the sailors, who were suffering from scurvy, with plants from around the island. He is even said to have raced the dog from the ship to see who could get to a goat first and he won, he was even barefoot!

Let's assume our island is similar to his and also that whatever other survival equipment or books or whatever you may think of are unnecessary.
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. Look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Look elsewhere. See my writings like word games, nothing more.

alan
Posts: 3092
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: Desert Island books religious/secular/mixture

Post by alan » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:36 am

If survival is not an issue, the whole thing falls apart.
If I knew I'd stay alive, or be rescued, I'd bring books on edible plants.
Last edited by alan on Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

alan
Posts: 3092
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: Desert Island books religious/secular/mixture

Post by alan » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:38 am

But, if I knew I was going to die, I'd bring a gun, and use it on myself.

zan
Posts: 534
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:57 pm

Re: Desert Island books religious/secular/mixture

Post by zan » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:39 am

alan wrote:If survival is not an issue, the whole thing falls apart.
If I new I'd stay alive, or be rescued, I'd bring books on edible plants.
If you don't want to play the game then oh well.
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. Look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Look elsewhere. See my writings like word games, nothing more.

zan
Posts: 534
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:57 pm

Re: Desert Island books religious/secular/mixture

Post by zan » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:41 am

alan wrote:But, if I knew I was going to die, I'd bring a gun, and use it on myself.
Wow, this took a dark turn. It's just a silly hypothetical designed to make people consider what their favorite books are in a fun, exciting scenario. If you don't want to play along that's a let down . Thanks anyway.
Last edited by zan on Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. Look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Look elsewhere. See my writings like word games, nothing more.

alan
Posts: 3092
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: Desert Island books religious/secular/mixture

Post by alan » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:44 am

You are correct--it's silly.
But have you read Patrick O'Brian? Great stuff.

zan
Posts: 534
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:57 pm

Re: Desert Island books religious/secular/mixture

Post by zan » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:47 am

alan wrote:You are correct--it's silly.
But have you read Patrick O'Brian? Great stuff.
No. Googling it and it sounds like good stuff! I like sea novels. I may look into them, thanks.
Never read anything I write as an accurate statement about anything whatsoever. Look to wiser ones than I. Look to wise texts. Look elsewhere. See my writings like word games, nothing more.

alan
Posts: 3092
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: Desert Island books religious/secular/mixture

Post by alan » Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:03 am

Aslo, John LeCarre. I'd bring his books.

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 62 guests