This notion arose after I had concluded, around a year ago, that I had by then written everything I have felt the need to put in my various weblogs, in private journals, and in unpublished creative writings. I have permanently assigned my 2.5 novels-in-progress to ‘the drawer’. Some small writings have been published but not widely disseminated.
So, upon embarking on my 87th year, I have been without plans for writing. Nonetheless I have since then spontaneously (i.e., without a plan) published a small number of ‘blog’ articles and, of course, have continued to correspond with others.
Currently my only plan, which began as whimsy, is to issue a written final report on ‘life, the universe and everything.’ (Credit to British writer Douglas Adams.) The target date for the report is January 7, 2027, the 90th anniversary of my birth. I have set a limit of two pages.
Where to begin?
I will newly read and, mostly, read anew 40 books I have selected from the 600 I have retained after several large purges. Their titles and authors are listed below. I will take notes.
I have no preconceived notion on where this lengthy task will take me.
It may be that I will stop my reading and the taking of notes before the pages of all 40 books pass through my visual field.
I have this notion, already, that I may ultimately start from a different premise than do any (I suspect) of these learned tomes.
The Vitruvian Man, Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519 CE).
The premise may be something like the following:
- There is life on Earth.
- We don’t know if there is life (as we define it) anywhere else.
- There have been and are countless forms of life, of which humans are one.
- Each form of life is programmed by its genetic code to advance its genetic code by creating progeny.
- If a given life form is not successful in projecting its genetic code into the future, it will cease to be an extant life form.
- Humans, as with all life forms, are programmed as above.
- If my final report may have any relevance to humans, it should reveal or hypothesize the manner in which we may be successful in advancing our genetic code until such time as we may get tired of doing this.
I am interested in the reader’s response to this premise.
Here are the books:
Armstrong, K. (2007). The Great Transformation: The World in the Time of Buddha, Socrates, Confucius and Jeremiah. Atlantic Books.
Barber, E. W., & Barber, P. T. (2006). When They Severed Earth from Sky: How the Human Mind Shapes Myth. Princeton University Press.
Calasso, R. (2019). The Unnamable Present. Allen Lane.
Chin, A. (2007). The Authentic Confucius: A Life of Thought and Politics. Scribner.
Deresiewicz, W. (2022). The End of Solitude: Selected Essays on Culture and Society. Henry Holt.
De Unamuno, M. (1954). Tragic Sense of Life. Courier Corporation.
Edinger, E. F. (1992). Transformation of the God-image: An Elucidation of Jung’s Answer to Job. Inner City Books.
Gray, J. (2003). Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals. Granta Books (UK).
Grof, S. (1985). East & West: Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science. Robert Briggs Assoc.
Harada, S. (2018). Not One Single Thing: A Commentary on the Platform Sutra. Wisdom Publications.
Huang, C. A., & Huang, A. C. (1987d). Embrace Tiger, Return to Mountain: The Essence of Tai Ji. Celestial Arts.
Huxley, A., & Smith, H. (2013). The Divine Within: Selected Writings on Enlightenment. Harper Perennial Modern Classics.
Jones, R. S. (1983). Physics As Metaphor. Plume Books.
Jung, C. G. (1995). Memories, Dreams, Reflections. Harper Perennial.
Jung, C.G. (1991). Aion: Researches Into the Phenomenology of the Self, Volume 20 of Bollingen series. Routledge.
Kingsley, P. (2018). Catafalque (2-Volume Set): Carl Jung and the End of Humanity. Catafalque Press.
Kuijsten, M. (2006). Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness: Julian Jaynes’s Bicameral Mind Theory Revisited. Julian Jaynes Society.
Loy, D. R. (2019). Nonduality: In Buddhism and Beyond. Simon and Schuster.
MacIntyre, A. C. (2007). After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory. University of Notre Dame Press.
Needleman, J. (1982). Consciousness and Tradition. Crossroad Publishing Company.
Needleman, J. (1986). Sin and Scientism. Robert Briggs Assoc.
Needleman, J. (1988). A Sense of the Cosmos: The Encounter of Modern Science and Ancient Truth.
Needleman, J. (2003). The Heart of Philosophy. National Geographic Books.
Pelletier, K. R. (1985). A New Age: Problems & Potential. Robert Briggs Assoc.
Rhinelander, P. H. (1974c). Is Man Incomprehensible to Man? [By] Philip H. Rhinelander. The Portable Stanford.
Ribi, A. (2013). The search for Roots: C. G. Jung and the tradition of Gnosis. Gnosis Archive Books.
Rovelli, C. (2019). The order of time. Penguin.
Russell, B. (1999). The Problems of Philosophy. Courier Corporation.
Scruton, R. (2002). Spinoza: A very short introduction. Oxford Paperbacks.
Van Der Post, L. (1975). Jung and the Story of Our Time. Pantheon.
Watts, A. (2020). The two hands of God: The Myths of Polarity. New World Library.
Watts, A. (1989). The Way of Zen. Vintage.
Wilson, C. (1986). The Laurel & Hardy Theory of Consciousness.
Young, A. M. (1985). The Brain Scale of Dr. Brunier. Robert Briggs Assoc.
Young, A. M. (1990). Which Way Out?: And Other Essays. Robert Briggs Assoc.
Zukav, G. (1979). The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics. William Morrow.