(is it) all creative non-fiction

(is it) all creative non-fiction

Postby smiileyjen101 » Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:58 am

No matter whether you are Eckhart Tolle, Stephen Hawking, the Dalai Lama, Eben Alexander, Einstein, Shirley Maclaine, or the authors of the Bible, the Koran, Dan Millman or Tony Robbins - and even what we tell ourselves and others (if we're being honest) is all 'creative non-fiction'?

The simple definition of the terminology for the fastest growing and increasingly prolific writings and sharing between humans is 'True stories well told.'

The literature of reality, with all of the pain and the secrets that authors confess, is helping to connect the nation and the world in a meaningful and intimate way."
Lee Gutkind - You can't make this stuff up


The basis for the genre is considered to have four major elements
1. Documentable subject matter - you didn't just make it up out of your imagination
2. Exhaustive research on elements of the subject matter - supplying perspectives and credibility by verifiable reference in the texts.
3. The 'scene' - not just journalism - fleshing out the who, what, where, when, how and why in more than just the raw data.
4. Polished writing that allows a reader to follow.


I was researching something else, but realised that many of the discussions about ET and others on this forum hold texts to be more than this - more than an author's perspective of what a subject entails in their experience, knowledge, awareness etc

It 'niggled' at me in the discussions about ET's finding his way to his new awareness being 'instant' - any time I read that I wonder if they missed the bit that said he had been sitting on a park bench for two years questioning and worrying the life out of the notion he used to have that knowledge and intelligence was everything - and then he looked around and realised it wasn't > change of focus / perspective.

His books are detailing his journeying and perspectives in uncovering the falsities that created his suffering.

By using the four principles/elements in writing creative non-fiction books about the 'subject', he is sharing those realisations and the elements of the subject that he considered important in the process.

He does also add prescriptive advice, and at other times speaks to the reader as he might in a conversation with them (eg: random selection from the pages of ANE: 'To refrain from identifying with the the body doesn't mean that you neglect, despise or no longer care for it. If it is strong, beautiful or vigorous, you can enjoy and appreciate those attributes - while they last. You can also improve the body's condition through right nutrition and exercise. If you don't equate the body with who you are, when beauty fades, vigor diminishes, or the body becomes incapacitated, this will not affect your sense of worth or identity in any way. etc


So when questions are asked is this being made more complicated than it need be, or why did one consider this and not that, or how can I believe it - the answer is ... it's not about you - it's the author's perspective on a topic based on their knowledge and experiences.

Any non-fiction is this ^

Must be why I love to ask - who says?

Thoughts?
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
http://www.balancinginfluences.com
User avatar
smiileyjen101
 
Posts: 3688
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:44 am

Re: (is it) all creative non-fiction

Postby Fore » Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:11 am

Thoughts?... And formations current and past is who says. The question is can you will them to cease or is the wave and undertow overwhelming. Can one even simply observe their breathing process for one minute 8-12 breaths without this wave crashing upon them, and the undertow dragging them out into the ocean of mental chatter?


The ocean theme is because I'm coming at you from the beautiful beach town of Tambor Costa Rica, back to the snow of Toronto Canada tomorrow. tried to book for an extra week but no go, the family is really sad to leave. :cry:

Oh well it's all good and it's all changing. :)

Can you supply a link to the part where ET said he was worrying on the park bench for two years, not doubting you but this is not how I recall this, I thought he spent the two years on the bench in a state of bliss, relatively little thought?
User avatar
Fore
 
Posts: 664
Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:20 pm

Re: (is it) all creative non-fiction

Postby smiileyjen101 » Thu Mar 13, 2014 5:05 am

Can you supply a link to the part where ET said he was worrying on the park bench for two years, not doubting you but this is not how I recall this, I thought he spent the two years on the bench in a state of bliss, relatively little thought?

You are absolutely right Fore, thanks for questioning

He even says so in the early pages of the introduction to PON "I spent almost two years sitting on park benches in a state of the most intense joy.'

The confusion as to the timeline of events is all mine :lol:

I read ANE first, where he speaks about his turmoil and awareness glimpses and questioning in his first year of college and the timelines are unclear until you 'marry' the information from both books, which I've obviously done sloppily.

- ANE - 25 (ish) yr old 'intellectual in the making' at college after watching a woman talking to herself, then realising his thoughts came out loud - and he had a brief shift in the men's room (p33 ANE) where

'For a moment I was able to stand back from my own mind and see it from a deeper perspective, as it were. There was a brief shift from thinking to awareness. I was still in the men's room but alone now, looking at my face in the mirror. At that moment of detachment from my mind I laughed out loud. It may have sounded insane, but it was the laughter of sanity, the laughter of the big-bellied Buddha. "Life isn't as serious as my mind makes it out to be." That's what the laughter seemed to be saying. But it was only a glimpse, very quickly to be forgotten. I would spend the next three years in anxiety and depression, completely identified with my mind. I had to get close to suicide before awareness returned, and then it was much more than a glimpse. I became free of compulsive thinking and of the false, mind-made I.


The last bolded part is where I got the idea it was not 'instant' for him, albeit it was not on the park bench as I've previously said, my apologies.

Whereas the incident in PON is when he was 29 (ish) - his 'I cannot live with myself any longer' notion.
After which, he says he was drawn into a vortex of energy.. (p4)
then..
for the next five months, I lived in a state of uninterrupted deep peace and bliss. After that, it diminished somewhat in intensity, or perhaps it just seemed to because it became my natural state. I could still function in the world, although I realized that nothing I ever did could possibly add anything to what I already had.


and even later than that (p5)..
Later I also learned to go into that inner timeless and deathless realm that I had originally perceived as a void and remain fully conscious.

.. then it was with this state of mind that he found himself sitting on park benches.

A time came (not specifically time-framed as to his age or the passing of time since he was 25 and had the 'glimpse' of awareness) but I see now this was after his 29(ish) years + five months + after that... + even later :wink: that he found himself 'for awhile' with no relationships, no job, no home, no socially defined identity' - spending almost two years sitting on park benches 'in a state of the most intense joy.'

And after that, realised the 'undercurrent of peace' that increases or decreases in intensity, doesn't leave.

I'd still say from all this that it wasn't 'instant', even if I had the time and place/s a bit mixed up.

I've just realised the importance of something he's written about after those experiences -

'Before I knew it, I had an external identity again. I had become a spiritual teacher.'



Fore said: Thoughts?... And formations current and past is who says. The question is can you will them to cease or is the wave and undertow overwhelming. Can one even simply observe their breathing process for one minute 8-12 breaths without this wave crashing upon them, and the undertow dragging them out into the ocean of mental chatter?

If there is awareness the 'undercurrent of peace' is abiding ....

ET - PON introduction p6 -
Later people would come up to me and say:"I want what you have. Can you give it to me or show me how to get it?"
And I would say: "You have it already. You just can't feel it because your mind is making too much noise.'



Rug up for your return to Canada :D
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
http://www.balancinginfluences.com
User avatar
smiileyjen101
 
Posts: 3688
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:44 am

Re: (is it) all creative non-fiction

Postby treasuretheday » Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:48 pm

I really enjoyed your post, Jen! Fun!

Interesting that you are delving into the art of creative non-fiction writing. (I thought you had that covered!). What comes up for me from what you offer here is how often reading about the experiences of others moves one no closer to knowing a thing about those experiences. It can be so much dry "research!" As Sighclone noted on the Ego thread, we have to "taste" for ourselves.

But there are notable exceptions! We may not actually "taste," but we get a feeling of what happens from reading truly creative non-fiction. (And certainly from reading great poetry and great fiction! Poetry especially! :wink: )

When we read something that emerges from the wellsprings, poetry or prose, it calls forth our own knowing and holds a mirror to truths we have lived. Such writing doesn't merely "inform," or educate, it ignites the spark at our core! The writers Sighclone mentioned on the Ego thread ... how gifted they are --- at writing from and to the heart, at showing, rather than telling, at connecting souls to Larger Life. They call out to us, pull us in, remind us of what we already knew, but forgot; gracefully articulate what we couldn't even clumsily say. Magical!

Merely cataloging or enumerating "events" is what non-fiction can be reduced to. But "fleshing out the who, what, where, when, how and why in more than just the raw data" is the golden opportunity! And in part that is what leads to the magic that makes a soul connection!

Strikes me that the forum gives us an opportunity to "practice" this creative endeavor, and to "feel" if not taste, a variety of experiences through the outpourings of others.
Life itself is the proper binge.
-Julia Child
User avatar
treasuretheday
 
Posts: 660
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:42 pm
Location: Virginia Beach, VA, USA

Re: (is it) all creative non-fiction

Postby SandyJoy » Thu Mar 13, 2014 5:06 pm

Nice ideas here. This is great Treasure, your comments are right in line with what I have evolved into doing. It took me years to realize I have another way to express what I see and know into words---- This is my way and It's not for everyone, which suites me just fine.
You are not finished, until you play in that meadow and live there. You can, you know. But only you can take yourself there.
User avatar
SandyJoy
 
Posts: 873
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:42 am

Re: (is it) all creative non-fiction

Postby Sighclone » Fri Mar 14, 2014 6:24 am

As regards this forum, approximately 99.9999993469% of all the words here are non-fiction. But creative, expressive, deep, poetic, clear, enigmatic, mind-blowing and fun.

but non-fiction.....

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
User avatar
Sighclone
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 6182
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:22 pm

Re: (is it) all creative non-fiction

Postby coriolis » Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:50 pm

A fiction producing non fiction?
Isn't that kind of like a lie telling the truth?

Oh what a tangled web we weave when we practice to perceive :lol:
Look deeply inside yourself and try to find yourself.
The ensuing failure is the true finding
---- Wu Hsin
User avatar
coriolis
 
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2007 5:51 pm

Re: (is it) all creative non-fiction

Postby Sighclone » Fri Mar 14, 2014 6:34 pm

Poetry arises from and reports to a Source which is as far from fiction as anything can be.

But prose involves the mind more directly. And the mind produces the fiction that we exist as people. Most of the forum posts, and work from those authors smiileyjen referenced in the original post, however, often seem to come from a similar place -- they are deeply felt, authentically presented, and carry with them a fragrance of Unity. Many many times I have read a post in response to another post and moved my hands back from the keyboard...."I could not have said that any better" arises for me. Yes, I might have written it differently, but not better. Much written here by regular contributors makes me smile -- "that is exactly how I feel about that...I have had exactly that same experience, etc." coriolis - you are certainly in that group. The difference is in choice of words, order and style, but not in the fundamental message. Different colors in a radiant rainbow. Not a lot of duality....

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
User avatar
Sighclone
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 6182
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:22 pm

Re: (is it) all creative non-fiction

Postby treasuretheday » Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:56 pm

Sighclone wrote:Poetry arises from and reports to a Source which is as far from fiction as anything can be.
Bravo! Very well said! :)

But the boundary between fiction and nonfiction is pretty blurry as far as I am concerned! (And I am not really concerned about it!). Does the intertwining make the web "tangled" or intricately woven?

Poetry arises from and reports to a Source... sublime! A Source that is closer than our own heartbeat. As it arises from and reports to this Source, poetry awakens the heart, quiets the mind, connects us to deeper wisdom.

Spectacular poet Mary Oliver describes a poem:

It wants to open itself
like the door of a little temple
so that you might step inside and be cooled and refreshed,
and less yourself than part of everything.


Emily Dickinson wrote:

If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that it is poetry.
Life itself is the proper binge.
-Julia Child
User avatar
treasuretheday
 
Posts: 660
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:42 pm
Location: Virginia Beach, VA, USA

Re: (is it) all creative non-fiction

Postby Sighclone » Sat Mar 15, 2014 6:41 pm

The boundary is fuzzy. If a novel can make you cry, is it poetry?

"The poet's eye in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name."

Shakespeare - "A Midsummer Night's Dream" - Act V, Scene i


Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
User avatar
Sighclone
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 6182
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:22 pm

Re: (is it) all creative non-fiction

Postby smiileyjen101 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:04 am

The boundary is fuzzy. If a novel can make you cry, is it poetry?

Good question Andy.
The boundary is indeed fuzzy. Much in fiction, or indeed science fiction or historical fiction is that which can be imagined to be real (even if not here now us), the possibility of it - the potential of experience falling from the same source & creativity.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
http://www.balancinginfluences.com
User avatar
smiileyjen101
 
Posts: 3688
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:44 am

Re: (is it) all creative non-fiction

Postby treasuretheday » Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:26 pm

Sighclone wrote:The boundary is fuzzy. If a novel can make you cry, is it poetry?
Or if a soup can label can make you smile, is it poetry?
(Andy Warhol found visual art there!).

Oooh, and don't Bill's words about the mysteries of poetics positively glow! Thanks for the delicious excerpt, Sighclone! That was a delightful treat!

Bill must have made a habit of leaving the certainty of the shore to become immersed in deep waters. That writing did not result from "reasoning." He excavated such riches from the depths. Simply put, from feeling, not through thinking, he created beauty that deeply touches most everyone who encounters his work! I imagine he must have been very sensitive to the nuances and shadings of his feelings to so deftly give them voice through words. Maybe he intentionally set about educating himself to pay attention to and honor his feelings.

And someone could do that ...create magic through the text of a soup can label. I think it possible. (Someone who really loves soup!) And why shouldn't our soup can labels be well and beautifully written? Why shouldn't they hold a bit of magic? We've just come to expect "blah!"

The literati don't regard nonfiction as a "literary" genre. By those "in the know," an essay about love and a soup can label are thought equally banal. Neither the essay nor the label could ever be literature. Neither could ever be "art!"

But spirit-filled writing connects with the indwelling spirit -- no matter where it shows up or under what category or within which genre we insist upon placing it. Even if the critics refuse to see and define it as art, what could be more artful than to set hearts ablaze? Obviously, this is not about techniques --- an MFA can't prepare one to do this, imo!
Life itself is the proper binge.
-Julia Child
User avatar
treasuretheday
 
Posts: 660
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:42 pm
Location: Virginia Beach, VA, USA

Re: (is it) all creative non-fiction

Postby Fore » Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:34 am

smiileyjen101 wrote:The last bolded part is where I got the idea it was not 'instant' for him, albeit it was not on the park bench as I've previously said, my apologies.

His bit with the lady in the streetcar sounds like an insight knowledge(he awakened a little with wisdom)
smiileyjen101 wrote:Whereas the incident in PON is when he was 29 (ish) - his 'I cannot live with myself any longer' notion.
After which, he says he was drawn into a vortex of energy.. (p4)
then..

This sounds like the experience of Nibbana/Nirvana, permanent shift in awareness.
smiileyjen101 wrote:and even later than that (p5).. Later I also learned to go into that inner timeless and deathless realm that I had originally perceived as a void and remain fully conscious.

This sounds like Eckhart cultivated this awareness to the point where he could will the mind to enter and remain in Nibbanic peace.

smiileyjen101 wrote:A time came (not specifically time-framed as to his age or the passing of time since he was 25 and had the 'glimpse' of awareness) but I see now this was after his 29(ish) years + five months + after that... + even later :wink: that he found himself 'for awhile' with no relationships, no job, no home, no socially defined identity' - spending almost two years sitting on park benches 'in a state of the most intense joy.'

I don't know for sure but I suspect that he was developing in awareness over these 2 yrs on the bench, cultivating awareness.

smiileyjen101 wrote:I'd still say from all this that it wasn't 'instant', even if I had the time and place/s a bit mixed up.

His initial experience of Nibbana was instantaneous and had a permanent effect on the mind, but I agree that he was probably developing in awareness over those years purifying the mind. His initial experience did seem to be very powerful and did seem to remove much of those unconscious thoughts as per his description. I have always wondered if initially after that fateful evening, did he awaken with all these thoughts cleared or did he slowly eradicate them bit by bit over those years on the bench? To follow some Buddhist teachings his first experience of Nibbana would eradicate self-view, belief in rites and ritual, and any doubt in the teachings of the enlightened ones. Subsequent experiences would further eradicate greed hatred and ill-will and so on...... with each experience of Nibanna it is to become a deeper experience until one has completely purified the mind full awakening/enlightenment.

smiileyjen101 wrote:'Before I knew it, I had an external identity again. I had become a spiritual teacher.'

Yes, he has a gift with communicating to others.


smiileyjen101 wrote:ET - PON introduction p6 - Later people would come up to me and say:"I want what you have. Can you give it to me or show me how to get it?"
And I would say: "You have it already. You just can't feel it because your mind is making too much noise.'


I find this statement of his misleading, You can't feel awareness, you are awareness.
smiileyjen101 wrote:Rug up for your return to Canada :D

Rugs, mats, carpets, and anything else I can find. It's friggin cold here. :D
User avatar
Fore
 
Posts: 664
Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:20 pm

Re: (is it) all creative non-fiction

Postby Sighclone » Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:50 am

"You have it already. You just can't feel it because your mind is making too much noise.'

I find this statement of his misleading, You can't feel awareness, you are awareness.


Delightful refinement, fore. But just because you "are" awareness does that mean you cannot feel it? Yes, the eye cannot see itself; yes, the tooth cannot bite itself. But since we are Pure Awareness appearing to take momentary form in the apparent world of infinite plurality, is awareness not felt? You can lose something you have, you cannot lose something you are. If I am loud, I can hear it. If I am not sleeping, I am aware of being awake. If I am experiencing nirvikalpa Samadhi in meditation, or even in daily life, and later talk about it or write about it, in that transcendent bliss, did I not feel it? I do understand the distinction made by some between awareness and consciousness, the latter needing an object or sensation "to be conscious of", and the two words used differently only for that distinction. But I think we can know and feel who we are. If not, how would we know? Why would the words "Pure Awareness" resonate?

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
User avatar
Sighclone
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 6182
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:22 pm

Re: (is it) all creative non-fiction

Postby smiileyjen101 » Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:17 am

ET said: You have it already. You just can't feel it because your mind is making too much noise.'

Fore said: I find this statement of his misleading, You can't feel awareness, you are awareness.


Sighclone said: Delightful refinement, fore.


I loved the mixed sensory illustration in the original quote, it speaks to me of the cloaks of illusion covering up what is, and the nonsense of 'trying' to find yourself outside of yourself - in the way that folks following 'gurus' do thinking if they put a different cloak on it will make the difference they're searching for.

I also think you can feel awareness - for me it's a nakedness, naked of the illusions, naked of the cloaks that we draw around our selves, the labels, the boundaries etc an almost intangible flow of energies meeting other naked energies - like unconfined electricity, or water - not only is there the sense of the properties, but of the energy within the properties.

Fore said: His initial experience of Nibbana was instantaneous and had a permanent effect on the mind, but I agree that he was probably developing in awareness over those years purifying the mind. His initial experience did seem to be very powerful and did seem to remove much of those unconscious thoughts as per his description. I have always wondered if initially after that fateful evening, did he awaken with all these thoughts cleared or did he slowly eradicate them bit by bit over those years on the bench?

Interesting musing Fore. It occurred to me that his realisation in the awareness that followed the expression that he could no longer live with himself (the worrying etc etc self) is a little like the 'F.. it prayer' described in the movie 360 - it's such a deep level of honesty and submission to what is - there are no answers and then there are no longer any questions to which the same answer can not be applied - and I don't mean complacency or withdrawal, I do mean active submission / acceptance.
When you have felt that resonance, it's easy to recognise when you are not 'in' it, to feel the noise so to speak, and with that awareness peel back the layers/cloaks making the noise.


smiileyjen101 wrote:
ET said:
'Before I knew it, I had an external identity again. I had become a spiritual teacher.'

Fore said: Yes, he has a gift with communicating to others.

My interest in highlighting this is that he does / did not stay without a sense of his external identity - whether he had become a spiritual teacher or a bricklayer would have made no difference to him, to the essence of him - it's just how life panned out - so too with his other 'roles' that are often up for discussion - business person, seminar presenter, author, husband etc the cloaks are not glued on or unconsciously held, they are light and interchangeable dressings in situational circumstances, all with the inherent knowledge that

I could still function in the world, although I realized that nothing I ever did could possibly add anything to what I already had.

and
the 'undercurrent of peace' that increases or decreases in intensity, doesn't leave.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
http://www.balancinginfluences.com
User avatar
smiileyjen101
 
Posts: 3688
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:44 am

Next

Return to Recommended Books

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron