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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 2:39 pm 
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Location: Beyond the paradigm.
Parlez, you rock! :cool: I feel like I'm On the Road with Parlez. Oh what a trip! :applause2:

Parlez wrote:
...so the scene can be filmed, so to speak, AS IT IS. Purely.
The Buddhists have a word, 'suchness', that describes the essence, or completeness, of things...


Are you suggesting, the Buddhist idea of reaching 'Nirvana'? or "One-ness' with the world around them?

Parlez wrote:
If you can cut through the
:censored: and see people and things for their perfect, unique, complete 'suchness', including yourself, you stop trying to make everything conform to you or vice verse.


Over the years, a few times I have been called 'selfish' by Asians because of this lack of perception. If anyone ever goes to Asia, this concept is extremely important to understand and directly affects your ability to get 'in' with the locals. Shantaram has this theme in it too.

Parlez wrote:
I like to think (because I really like Antoine) that this is
what he's after, even if he doesn't know it.



And yes, Antoinne, although odd, essentially is a GOOD person trying not to bother or be bothered by others. Johnny is good at getting us to love humanity. Heck, now I even think Pirates were excelent piano players, and had a excellent sense of humor. THe other day I watched Peter Pan, and Captain Hook does have alot of good qualities! (Despite the fact that he tries to kill people!)



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“The scariest enemy is from within. Allowing yourself to be limited and conform to what you're expected to conform to.”~JD
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 Post subject: Re: Happy Days Question #4 - Reality
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 3:22 pm 
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Liz wrote:
Pg. 40. “I try to leave my days free, allowing myself only the bare minimum of distractions from reality.”
What reality is Antoine talking about?
Now, I didn't think of Buddhism when I read this, I thought of a Frenchman--Rene Descartes--and his "I think, therefore I am." Descartes questioned the reality of everything around him. How do we know that everything around us is real? How do we know it's not all just an elaborate trick (since he was educated by Jesuits, he thought the source might be the devil) set up to confuse us? To Descartes, the thinking mind was reality. Even observations could be misperceived.

Is Antoine doing his best to reduce his life to its essentials, its bare minimum?

I need much more than five minutes of my lunch time to ponder this.


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 Post subject: Re: Happy Days Question #4 - Reality
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 3:44 pm 
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fansmom wrote:
Liz wrote:
Pg. 40. “I try to leave my days free, allowing myself only the bare minimum of distractions from reality.”
What reality is Antoine talking about?
Now, I didn't think of Buddhism when I read this, I thought of a Frenchman--Rene Descartes--and his "I think, therefore I am." Descartes questioned the reality of everything around him. How do we know that everything around us is real? How do we know it's not all just an elaborate trick (since he was educated by Jesuits, he thought the source might be the devil) set up to confuse us? To Descartes, the thinking mind was reality. Even observations could be misperceived.

Is Antoine doing his best to reduce his life to its essentials, its bare minimum?

I need much more than five minutes of my lunch time to ponder this.


This is probably closer to the reality of the book. I know nothing of Descartes.



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 3:47 pm 
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Lizbaba when I read that passage, my initial reaction was...Huh?? :-? And I'm not all that sure I have a handle on it even now, but I'll take a stab. When I think about Antoine I see him in his room, thinking and re-thinking his epitaph, and I imagine contemplating his death. Since he is so disengaged from life, death and what it means (ending?? nothingness??? purgatory??? damnation???? paradise???) maybe he see's that as his reality. I hope I'm making sense here, the little grey cells refuse to cooperate today.

Live in Depp
Boo



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"With this hand I will cup your.... Oh goodness no!"~~Victor Van Dort

"The theater is my drug, and my illness is so far advanced that my physic must be of the highest quality."~~John Wilmot
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:00 pm 
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Boo-Radley wrote:
Lizbaba when I read that passage, my initial reaction was...Huh?? :-? And I'm not all that sure I have a handle on it even now, but I'll take a stab. When I think about Antoine I see him in his room, thinking and re-thinking his epitaph, and I imagine contemplating his death. Since he is so disengaged from life, death and what it means (ending?? nothingness??? purgatory??? damnation???? paradise???) maybe he see's that as his reality. I hope I'm making sense here, the little grey cells refuse to cooperate today.

Live in Depp
Boo

I think you are making a lot of sense. These are the main lines in front of each chapter:
Here I am dead and buried, as if I had really lived.
Cradle to coffin, from one box to another.
The earth with gentle step I trod, may I lie gently 'neath the sod.
Don't worry, you didn't miss anything.
All my life I've let myself die.



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:19 pm 
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Depputante wrote:
I like this 'Buddhist theme' runnign through the book, but the only reason that we found it is because of the Tidbit research about what we think to be the author's religious preferences, and he also said he did not want readers to delve into his life in order to read the book! SO... do you think this religious theme has validity in the book or not? (Perhaps this is a future question? ....so I'll leave this here, and hope it's NOT answered untill we here from our own ONBC-Baba's.) Perhaps it's just a simple, meaning of life, and death theme, and we're reading too much into the book? :-?


Who, us? :rotflmao:

We don't have a question per se on his not wanting readers to delve into his life; nor do we have a specific question about a religious theme. However, talking about a theme might get into a future question. Thanks for asking.



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 Post subject: Re: Happy Days Question #4 - Reality
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:30 pm 
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fansmom wrote:
Liz wrote:
Pg. 40. “I try to leave my days free, allowing myself only the bare minimum of distractions from reality.”
What reality is Antoine talking about?
Now, I didn't think of Buddhism when I read this, I thought of a Frenchman--Rene Descartes--and his "I think, therefore I am." Descartes questioned the reality of everything around him. How do we know that everything around us is real? How do we know it's not all just an elaborate trick (since he was educated by Jesuits, he thought the source might be the devil) set up to confuse us? To Descartes, the thinking mind was reality. Even observations could be misperceived.


That just makes my head :-) . If that's the case, no wonder he can't have any distractions. :lol:

fansmom wrote:
Is Antoine doing his best to reduce his life to its essentials, its bare minimum?


This made me think of how many religions look down upon the flesh and material things. If we strip away those things we are not distracted and thus we are allowed to focus on what is really important--spirituality--whatever religious or non-religious form that takes.



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The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:34 pm 
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gemini wrote:
Boo-Radley wrote:
Lizbaba when I read that passage, my initial reaction was...Huh?? :-? And I'm not all that sure I have a handle on it even now, but I'll take a stab. When I think about Antoine I see him in his room, thinking and re-thinking his epitaph, and I imagine contemplating his death. Since he is so disengaged from life, death and what it means (ending?? nothingness??? purgatory??? damnation???? paradise???) maybe he see's that as his reality. I hope I'm making sense here, the little grey cells refuse to cooperate today.

Live in Depp
Boo

I think you are making a lot of sense. These are the main lines in front of each chapter:
Here I am dead and buried, as if I had really lived.
Cradle to coffin, from one box to another.
The earth with gentle step I trod, may I lie gently 'neath the sod.
Don't worry, you didn't miss anything.
All my life I've let myself die.


I'm glad you compiled these sentences, Gemini.
They confuse me, and I find them depressing. Not 'floating' here at all anywhere.



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“The scariest enemy is from within. Allowing yourself to be limited and conform to what you're expected to conform to.”~JD
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:37 pm 
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This question shows the huge dichotimy that the book is. It amazes me that people can write like that, putting two things together, such as life/death, and then making a story out of those thoughts.

This is a really hard question.



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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:45 pm 
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Liz wrote:
Depputante wrote:
I like this 'Buddhist theme' runnign through the book, but the only reason that we found it is because of the Tidbit research about what we think to be the author's religious preferences, and he also said he did not want readers to delve into his life in order to read the book! SO... do you think this religious theme has validity in the book or not? (Perhaps this is a future question? ....so I'll leave this here, and hope it's NOT answered untill we here from our own ONBC-Baba's.) Perhaps it's just a simple, meaning of life, and death theme, and we're reading too much into the book? :-?


Who, us? :rotflmao:

We don't have a question per se on his not wanting readers to delve into his life; nor do we have a specific question about a religious theme. However, talking about a theme might get into a future question. Thanks for asking.


Ok then:
Do you think this 'religious' theme has validity in the book or not?
Have we gone off on a Buddhist tangent because the author simply travelled to Buddhist countries, and possibly has Buddhist tendencies?
Could it be any religion?
Is there religious leanings in the book at all, or is Antoinne simply striving for 'balance' and contemplating life/death ?

Although I like this theme, but is it all just assumptions?
Sometimes the answers are just in front of our noses and we fail to see them.

Always questioning. I am a :capnjack: today.



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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 5:28 pm 
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gemini wrote:
Boo-Radley wrote:
Lizbaba when I read that passage, my initial reaction was...Huh?? :-? And I'm not all that sure I have a handle on it even now, but I'll take a stab. When I think about Antoine I see him in his room, thinking and re-thinking his epitaph, and I imagine contemplating his death. Since he is so disengaged from life, death and what it means (ending?? nothingness??? purgatory??? damnation???? paradise???) maybe he see's that as his reality. I hope I'm making sense here, the little grey cells refuse to cooperate today.

Live in Depp
Boo

I think you are making a lot of sense. These are the main lines in front of each chapter:
Here I am dead and buried, as if I had really lived.
Cradle to coffin, from one box to another.
The earth with gentle step I trod, may I lie gently 'neath the sod.
Don't worry, you didn't miss anything.
All my life I've let myself die.


Exactly gemini, it just seems to me that all his life Antoine has been more concerned with death than life, for whatever reason he just doesn't see the point of living, but death he's into it. We've been talking about Bhuddism as a catalyst for Happy Days, but I've also been thinking about existentialism as well, that life has no meaning beyond that which we impose on it, and so therefore that meaning is temporary as we are temporary. Maybe Antoine is hoping to find the meaning in death, that he has been unable to find in life.

Live in Depp
Boo


Last edited by Boo-Radley on Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.


_________________________________________________________
"With this hand I will cup your.... Oh goodness no!"~~Victor Van Dort

"The theater is my drug, and my illness is so far advanced that my physic must be of the highest quality."~~John Wilmot
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 5:52 pm 
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To me, the reality he is referring to in this passage is death and anything that distracts his focus from the inevitability of that no longer has any purpose in his life.

He says on pg. 3," At eighteen, I felt I I had experienced everything that constitutes, roughly speaking, the average full life...I decided to live resigned to my lot, without any fuss or expectations, and prepare myself for what was coming."

Then on pg. 12 "I do not consider my companions with a critical, wickedly ironic eye. I simply witness the unbearable decline that lies in wait for us all, with the absurdity of death for a finale. I can no longer live oustide of that truth."

I'm not sure I would attribute any religious overtones or ideals to Antoine but I think there are aspects of it in the book.

As far as a specific question on religion, no we don't have one coming up but we do have a cultural question coming up that may get into discussion of religion.



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 Post subject: Re: Happy Days Question #4 - Reality
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 6:00 pm 
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[quote="Liz"][size=18]Pg. 40. “I try to leave my days free, allowing myself only the bare minimum of distractions from reality.”

The part here that comes to me is when he is on his bench...someone aks him questions. . .he shrugs ( does that a lot) and leaves.
Avoidence. That's his reality. Just go along BEING THERE ( like Peter Sellers in the movie of the same name). Seems his only reality is deep inside himself, and he just wants others to BE THERE with him. . .period.

If I wanted to learn more about life and death, I'd be talking to all the people who have come to that last stage of their life, for they have truly lived - whether or not they're in a nursing home.

There's my 2 bits! Lady Jill :disco:


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 Post subject: Re: Happy Days Question #4 - Reality
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:03 pm 
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Liz wrote:
Pg. 40. “I try to leave my days free, allowing myself only the bare minimum of distractions from reality.”

What reality is Antoine talking about?


When I read that I think its the reality of the fact that he cant deal with reality. So he hides away in this retirement home. He stays away from the anything that make him feel like he is living so he doesnt have to deal with anything.



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:25 pm 
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You all make great points about Buddhism, Existantialism etc. It's so hard to define reality in real life, why should we expect it so be easy in a book? :lol:

The thought that occurs to me is of strongly spiritual people who believe that this life on earth is only a small part of a much bigger reality - an eternal reality, if you will. Most religions have a variation on the same theme of eternal life that goes on much further than life on earth, and that this life is merely a preparation for the continuation yet to come.

Which, to me, is very depressing - to think that this life is only a test or a preparation, that it means no more than a way of categorising people for the future.

So, anyway, none of that is implicit in the book obviously but that's the "reality" I find myself thinking of for Antoine.



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