The static format of this forum was conceived as an on-line journal, seeking submissions with substantial content that should be preserved but which would also allow for expansion and rebuttal. This seemed to be a better way to handle intelligent dialogue than the dynamic forums, which better serve as support communities, but where the sometimes very interesting and valuable contributions are quickly buried in on-going chatter.
Essentially it failed as a Forum. There was precisely one contribution submitted in all the time it was available. Where it has more or less succeeded is as a platform for the presentation of my take on the Buddha's science of Awakening.
Loka. The World
1. What is perceived through the senses. Through the eye: Light (rūpa). Through the ear, nose, tongue, and body: Sounds, scents, savours, contact = substantiality. Through the mind: Perception, sense experience, sensation, intention, consciousness = things (dhammas). 2. the world of the perceiving existing being. 3. The location of or gathering place of beings. A focal point of existing things. For the individual being it is 'his' body; for groups of beings it is 'their' concensus reality. In sort 'loca' is a name for where beings and things that have come into existence are located. A focal point of existence.
Loka [cp. Vedic loka in its oldest meaning "space, open space." For etymology see rocati. To the etymology feeling of the Pāli hearer loka is closely related in quality to ruppati (as in pop. etymology of rūpa) and rujati. As regards the latter the etymology runs "lujjati kho loko ti vuccati" S IV.52, ... see lujjana. The Dhtp 531 gives root lok (loc) in sense of dassana] world, primarily "visible world," then in general as "space or sphere of creation," with various degrees of substantiality. Often (unspecified) in the comprehensive sense of "universe." Sometimes the term is applied collectively to the creatures inhabiting this or vararious other worlds, thus, "man, mankind, people, beings." - Loka is not a fixed and definate term. It comprises immateriality as well as materiality and emphasizes either one or the other meaning according to the view applied to the object or category in question. Thus a translation of "sphere, plane, division, order" interchanges with "world." Whenever the spatial element prevails we speak of its "regional" meaning as contrasted with "applied" meaning. The fundamental notion however is that of substantiality, to which is closely related the specific Buddhist notion of impermanence (loka = lujjati).
Rocati [Vedic rocate, ruc, Idg. °leuq, as in Latin luceo to be bright (cp. lūx light, lūmen, lūna etc.); Sanskrit rocana splendid, ruci light, roka and rukṣa light; Av. raocant shining; Gr. amfi-lu/kh twi-light, leuko/s white; also with 1: Sanskrit loka world, locate to perceive, locana eye; Lith. laukti to await; Goth. liuhap light = Ohg. lioht, E. light; Oir loche lightning. - The Dhtp (and Dhtm) gives 2 roots ruc, viz. the one with meaning "ditti" (Dhtp 37), the other as "rocana" (Dhtp 395), both signifying "light" or "splendour," but the second probably to be taken in sense of "pleasing"]
Lujjati [Pass. of ruj, corresponding to Sanskrit rujyate. Dhtp 400 gives luj as sep. root with meaning vināsa. See rujati] to be broken up, to break (up), to be destroyed; to go asunder, to fall apart
Editorial Content of What's New Pages is migrated into the main body of this site as follows:
Discussions relating to the analysis of specific suttas: located under the Dhammatalk Forum Heading: Dhammatalk, Sutta Vibangha: Sutta Analysis
Essays on various subjects: in their relevant subject categories on the Forum. Some will go into new pages, some will be added to existing threads.
Short memorable quotes from the suttas: placed in the 'One-Liners' section.
Inspiring quotes from outside the Dhamma: placed in the Section just below: Inspirational and (hopefully) Thought Provoking Quotations and Short Essays from Outside the Strictly Buddhist Literature.
Tips for beginners, Questions from beginners. Dhamma discussions of general interest.
Kaccha! Worthy to debate.
Low Talk. The detailed version of 'Samma Vaca': High Talk.
Authenticity. On the misguided and consummate way to consider authenticity in Buddhist studies.
Stop and Think. Commentary on MN 30. Dealing with the arguments of Leigh Brasington supporting a supposed late alteration of this sutta.
You Can Lead A Horse to Water, but You Can't Make Her Drink The Dhamma can but show the way. Attainment of the goal is a matter of personal effort.
Qualifications for Stream-entry. The Buddha teaches that when a layman is able to identify in himself that he is free from the five sources of guilty dread in poor ethical behavior, when he has solid faith in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, and when he has wised up to the aristocratic method, he may call himself a Streamwinner and assure himself that rebirth below human states is finished.
A Course on Stream-Entry. Eliminating Dread, Mastering the Four Dimensions, Penetrating the Aristocratic Method, Declaring Intent
Seeing Dhamma. On understanding the Four Truths.
The Four Inceptions of Deliberation. The orthodox way of practicing the Four Satipatthanas. If you are coming to Buddhism fresh, you will find here a most reasonable approach to self-examination and the insights and calm that will result. If you are coming from some previous practice calling itself 'Vipassana' or Insight Meditation, commercial or otherwise, you will find here what you should have been told about this practice from the start.
Self-Control. Get a grip! Its Essential.
On Energy On the importance of managing energy allocation.
Know Your Own Mind. An outline of AN 10.51 wherein The Buddha admonishes the bhikkhus to examine themselves for faults and then to make a strong effort to get rid of any faults found; this as a key to the comprehension of their hearts.
In the Dark. A little something to keep you awake at night.
Kama: Sense Pleasures. Similes that illustrate the dangers in Pleasures of the Senses.
The Outcome in Rebirth of Three Ways of Making Kamma. Eight outcomes from the performance of meritorous action graded as to extent of the giving and virtuous behavior involved.
AN 8.42 and the Uposatha. Eight essential factors in the observation of the Buddhist Sabbath with an explanation of why this practice is so fruitful.
It Ends! It Ends!. An adaptation of SN 3.22.21 wherein the Buddha explains to Ananda that the saying of seers of old 'Its Ending! Its Ending!' points to the perception that form, sense-experience, perception, own-making and consiousness are ending things.
If This Be Madness On mental illness.
The End On the experience of the approach of Death.
Tips on the practice of cultivating ethical standards and behavior.
Even so, Rāhula,
of anyone for whom there is no shame at intentional lying,
of him I say
that there is no evil he cannot do.
The Buddha to his son. MN 61, Horner translation.
As the plantain, bamboo, and the rush
Is each by the fruit it bears undone,
So the sinner is by men's homage slain,
As by her embryo the mule.
SN 1.6.12, Mrs. Rhys Davids translation, slightly edited.
On the Basis for Ethical Conduct Various suttas dealing with the advantages of establishing virtuous conduct.
Neither Collaborate nor Resist Heart-freed, a beggar neither collaborates with nor resists anyone, and whatever is expressed in wordly terms is not siezed upon.
Better to Walk Alone Inspirational quote from the Vinaya.
Yathā ahaɱ tathā ete||
Yathā ete tathā ahaɱ||
Attānaɱ upamaɱ katvā||
Na haneyya na ghātaye.|| ||
Suchas I am thus are those,
suchas those are thus am I,
making the assumption of likeness,
neither kill nor rob.
read Bhikkhu Thanissaro's translation
Focusing on understanding the Dhamma.
In the same way as the ocean always and throughout tastes of salt,
so the Dhamma always and throughout tastes of freedom.
The Core Dhammas
The Four Settings-up of Mind
The Four Consummate Efforts
The Four Paths to Supernormal Powers
The Five Forces
The Five Powers
The Seven Dimensions of Self-Awakening
The Aristocratic Eight-Dimensional High Way
The Paths The Buddha describes the paths to the Pure Abodes. Includes a table showing the meditation practice, the co-factor (the sort of individual or experience), the immediate destiny, and any subsequent destiny.
On Being Debtless On understanding what it means when arahants say they have become debtless.
On Chanting About Dhamma Recitation in Sing-song or Plain-song or chanting.
The Three Characteristics On the importance of understanding the correct translation of these three terms. On the idea of devine madness.
Who Is An Arahant? A gathering place for a number of suttas describing the arahant, what he can and cannot do, how he understands things, etc.
Nāga Discussing the term used for large animals such as snakes and elephants and for their mythical equivalants and for very large beings of any species.
The Self-Rising Nature of Existence and Pain Discussion of the Paṭicca Samuppada in the context of explaining the term samudaya, 'self-rising' or 'arising to' or 'arising as the self'.
In the Seen See Only the Seen Discussion of this well-known sutta which is the source of a catch-phrase-teaching of Zen Buddhism.
Seen in This Life On the description of the Dhamma as being within view, timeless, come-see-able, leading-on, individually to be experienced by the wise.
On Letting Go of the Eye The Buddha explains that one must see the satisfactions, disadvantages, and the way of escape from the personal sense spheres in order to attain enlightenment.
SUTTA VIBANGHA: SUTTA ANALYSIS A Sub-section in which selected suttas will have individual pages devoted to analysis and discussion. This link goes to the contents list of suttas discussed.
A Translation for Piṭicca Various terms that convey the idea of the appearance of one thing resulting in the appearance of another.
The Seven Dimensions of Self-Awakening An introductory list of the seven. Link to the 'full description'.
Pain A fragment on the subject of Pain.
I Am Not MiPhone At about the same time as the arising of the Buddha the people known as Moche in the Paruvian Andes built a temple dedicated to the Moon in which there was a chamber which had a fresco that has come to be called 'the revolt of the objects'. This fresco depicts man-created objects such as shields and weapons which have taken on arms and legs and have turned against their creator, man ...
Perception Beyond Existence In response to a question by Ananda, Sariputta confirms that there is perception beyond existence. + An extensive list of supporting documentation.
Unshakable Freedom Commentary on MN 29. Strongly related to the above discussion 'Perception Beyond Existence'. On the vital distinction between Vimutti (freedom) and Vimokkha (release).
Reasoning out the Paticca Samuppada A presentation in detail from the perspective of one reasoning out the sequence.
Seven Persons A different way of classifying the varying degrees of progress in the Buddha's system.
All Things Considered The Buddha teaches ten important ideas by posing them as questions that might be asked of Buddhists by outsiders.
Food for Thought. After the Buddha has taught the four foods, Moliya Phagguna asks who it is that feeds on the consciousness food. Gotama responds correcting his thinking from 'who feeds?' to 'what results from feeding on?', which leads into the chain of interdependent factors (paticca samuppada).
Essential Dhamma When speaking of 'The Dhamma', capital "D", it is these things that are being spoken of.
Seven Classes of Experience and Ten Classes of Happiness Tables showing the different classes. With sutta references. Note here I have called the akinkannancaayatana 'The Sphere where Nothing's Real. Changed from my previous translation '~ Nothing's Had'; usually translated by others as '~ Nothingness. This change made pondering the meaning of the term which is that of 'impossibility of owning' which some experience tells me is the sense that there is nothing real in what is nevertheless the world as ordinarily perceived.
The Load. A path to Nibbana based on analysis of the stockpiles (khandha: body, sense-experience, perception, own-making, and consciousness)
Approaches to Nibbana. A table showing a few of the major approaches to Nibbana. There is not just one way!
Sanity Test. On the value of understanding the Buddha's teaching that pain is born of affection.
Separating the Wheat from the Chaff. On the various things one should take into consideration when determining the value of a teaching or a teacher.
Setting Priorities. On the importance of setting priorities.
Destiny is Self-Made, A straight-forward presentation of kamma.
The Ten Powers and the Four Confidences of the Tathāgata, A list and first stab at a good translation of these two groups of attributes of the Tathāgata.
The Last Seven Buddhas A table giving some information about the past seven buddhas and a longer list of the 24 Buddhas preceding Gotama.
The Sutra of the Forty-two Sections A very early (c A.D. 64), possibly the first work on the Dhamma translated into Chinese. As the translator mentions, this is not a known 'sutta' and it is not a Mahayana document. It reflects the Dhamma as we have it in the Pali. It looks like a 'quick summary'.
The Eighteen Schools of Buddhism by Vasumitra The author reproduces a strange work of the 'forecasting the past' sort. For those who are curious.
Wonderland Grasping the Dragon by the wrong end. How wrong view ends in rebirth in Hell.
Original Sources: Examining the Definition and Constructive Use of Original Sources in the Study of Buddhism.
Again. I lefa a ova...
Is Nibbana Conditioned? Putting forth the idea that it is mistranslation that is the source of this debate.
Follow-up discussion of Vinnana Anidassana.
Discussing the ramifications of the mistranslation of 'sankhara' as 'conditioned' on the understanding of the consciousness of the Arahant.
Naya The Knack
In the same way that a person who has never done an intentional harmful deeds
can never experience harmful results from his intentional harmful deeds;
so from the time a person abandons intentional harmful deeds
no new harmful results will be forthcoming.
as an intermediate fail-safe precautionary step,
by the generation of powerful compensatory good kamma
such as with the development of the heart of good will
such as are the consequences of past deeds
that must be experienced
relative to the mass of good kamma so developed,
and by a balanced, happy mind
that is, much less severly,
and with detached understanding.
by the powerful effects
of the kamma which is the intent to end kamma
that is generated by intentional non-reaction
to the consequences of past deeds that arise,
in the form of unpleasant, pleasant or not-unpleasant-but-not-pleasant sense-experiences,
all past kamma is understood,
and has no footing for future arising.
Tips on, statements about, and questions concerning Samadhi practice, whether walking, standing still, sitting or lying down.
Acquiring upright posture
The Magic Carpet Ride
Go to your place to be alone. Sit down, sitting up straight, legs crossed in front, and bring your mind to your mouth and then to your resperations. In the style of the Emptiness Sutta, let go of all the world except for the body and the small area where you are sitting. With your eyes only just open, gazing down at the mouth such that the image of the body is just recognizable, imagine you are riding a magic carpet.
If you slouch back the magic carpet will tip back and dump you off.
If you slouch forward the magic carpet will tip forward and dump you off.
If you slouch twisting to the left the magic carpet will twist to the left and dump you off.
If you slouch twisting to the right the magic carpet will twist to the right and dump ou off.
If you stretch up to the back the magic carpet will tip back and dump you off.
If you stretch up to the front the magic carpet will tip forward and dump you off.
If you arch to the left the magic carpet will twist to the left and dump you off.
If you arch to the right the magic carpet will twist to the right and dump you off.
If you fall asleep you will slump.
If you are taken up by a train of thought you will twist.
If you are perfectly balanced, focused and alert the magic carpet will fly in whatsoever direction you wish
and soon you will be able to maintain your balance without effort or thought and can let go of the tensions that arise without slouching or stretching.
Vitakka and Vicara in Jhāna The Buddha describes six situations in which hearing Dhamma before dying can produce either non-returning or arahantship. Primarily discussing the rational way to approach understanding arahantship and jhana attainments in both self and others.
The Light of Thabor The meditation practice of the 'Quietists' c. 1341 and its striking resemblance to the 1st Jhana.
On SN 4.41.6 On what stops at what point as one progresses through the jhanas. Also discusses SN 4.43.3 on the same topic.
Developing Psychic Powers and Jhāna Practice that Leads to Awakening An analysis of Majjhima Nikaya 128.
Helpful Perceptions Perceptions which are very helpful to seekers.
The Dreaming Body An interesting parallel between the teachings of Don Juan concerning the Dreming body and the development of the Buddhist mind-made body. Also touches on being conscious while sleeping.
Before Retiring into Seclusion
Five things which should be mastered before considering retirement into seclusion:
Being content with any clothing.
Being content with any food.
Being content with any lodging.
Being content with any medical treatment.
Having as a principle purpose the elimination of lust.
Adapted from AN 5.127
A translators corner.
"Speech, originally, was the device whereby Man learned, imperfectly, to transmit the thoughts and emotions of his mind. By setting up arbitrary sounds and combinations of sounds to represent certain mental nuances, he developed a method of communication - but one which in its clumsiness and thick-thumbed inadequacy degenerated all the delicacy of the mind into gross and guttural signaling.
Down - down - the results can be followed: and all the suffering that humanity ever knew can be traced to the one fact that no man in the history of the Galaxy, until Hari Seldon, and very few men thereafter, could really understand one another. Every human being lived behind an impenetrable wall of choking mist within which no other but he existed. Occasionally there were the dim signals from deep within the cavern in which another man was located - so that each might grope towards the other. Yet because they did not know one another, and could not understand one another, and dared not trust one another, and felt from infancy the terrors and insecurity of that ultimate isolation - there was the hunted fear of man for man, the savage rapacity of man toward man.
-Second Foundation, Vol. 3 of the Foundation Trillogy, by Isaac Asimov, Everyman's Library, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2010, pg. 493
We must object to the statement that no man has ever understood his fellow men, and to the one that suggests that Hari Seldon, standing in for Isaac Asimov, did, at least in so far as it is demonstrated in this book. What is the case is that very few have ever learned how to understand their fellow men from those that did understand and taught the way to do so in a way that could have been understood by them.
Bhagavam-mūlakā no bhante dhammā||
We-uns* things, bhante, are Lucky-man-rooted,
*We-uns = We ones. 'Our'; U.S. dialect. Sometimes "We's"
Let go of 'Causation' We all, not just Buddhists, need to let go of the idea of Causation. This is a concept rooted in the idea of God The Creator. The reality is that causation is a mystery. What we can know is proximate or economic cause, association, correlation, relatedness, driving force and such terms as indicate the relatedness of this to that.
O. von Hinuber, Pali as an Artificial Language From Indologica.com, The Online Journal of the International Association of Sanskrit Studies, Volume X (1982), Proceedings of the "Conference-Seminar of Indological Studies", Article #10. PDF
Vitakka and Vicara Discussing the translation, meaning and uses of these two terms.
Moha A significant change in the usual translation of 'moha' as 'delusion' (Hare's 'infatuation'). I am suggesting 'confusion'.
Sakkāya: Own Body Buddha teaches that because of shape, sense-experience, perception, own-making and sense-consciousness the view that there is only one correct way of seeing things with regard to body arises and that the escape therefrom is through seeing the inconstance, pain, and non-self in these things.
Āsavas: Influences Dealing with the difficulties of translating this term.
Saññā-Vedayita-Nirodha: The Ending of Sense-Perception and Sense-Experience' Dealing with the necessity in English of distinguishing between 'experience' and 'sense-experience'. Also touches on the topic of whether or not Nibbana is reached gradually or spontaneously.
Anusaya: Reaction: The Follow-on Experience The way this term is usually translated it has been made into a mystery. 'The Lurking Tendency'. Something remote from 'reaction'. But it is, in simple terms, the reaction and probably should be translated using this term.
Upekkhā and Upekkh'Indriyaɱ Detachment and the Detachment-Force Upon an experience that arises from either body or mind that is neither unpleasant nor pleasant, identify that experience as having given rise to the detachment-force and use it as a detachment-power to attain detachment. When detachment has been achieved, let go of the force and power of detachment.
No Other Thing Just So Effective The difficulty in translating the phrase: Nāhaṃ bhikkhave, aññaṃ ekadhammam pi samanupassāmi yo evaṃ ... .
Kāye Kāye-anupassī Viharati Living Seeing Body Following Upon Body Discussing the various translations of this phrase.
Samudaya Suggesting that this term be translated: "arising to the self" or 'arising as the self.'
Parivīmaɱsa and Yoniso-Manisikara, Discussing a term that comes up in SN 2.12.51 in an outline of the practice to be used by the person interested in comprehending the Paticca Samuppada. Sheds light on the term Yoniso-Manisikara.
Past, Future, Present Discussing the word order of this series.
Nivarana: Diversions The Pali word Nīvaraṇa: should be being translated 'Diversion', not 'obstruction' or 'obstacle, or check.
Citta, Mano, and Vinnana as Synonyms, Discussing how these terms can sometimes be thought of as synonyms and sometimes not.
Translating Compounds, Suggesting that compounds be translated as compounds more frequently than is at present the case.
Saŋsāra, on the understanding of the term Saŋsāra,.
Yakka, on the understanding of the term 'yakka'.
Digitized Pali, Links to the unproofread, superficially reformatted files of the Dhammakaya-input Pali Text Society hard copy version of the Pali texts, otherwise known as 'the Goettingen files' and to the original Sri Lanka Buddha Jayanti Tripitaka Series Pali texts. These files are the 'raw' unproofed, unedited and unformatted original files. The Pali text linked-to from the translations on this site has, for the most part, been proofed against the hard copy of the PTS Pali. Where the sutta was not proofread it will most closely resemble the BJT version.
Desire and Temptation, on understanding the role of 'upadāna' as being the thinking, pondering, plan making, wishing, desiring, wanting and action taken in order to produce existence (bhava) in a world of sense-experience.
Paṭibhāna, and translating AN 4.132. Discussion of translating the term 'paṭtbhāna' and relevant subjects.
If Not Mine Discussion of the difficulty in translating the ditthi:
no ca me siyā,||
na me bhavissati.|| ||
On the Importance of the Pali Text Society Translations A long-winded explanaion of why it was so important that the complete set of Pali Text Society translations of the Sutta Pitaka be made freely and easily available.
Digital Pali Reader
Download links for a tool in the form of a Mozilla Firefox extension, much like a hard-copy language reader, facilitating study of the Pali language.
Make it Make sense
On translating similies in parallel with what they are supposed to illustrate.
The Eye in the back of the Head
Translating the term pacchāpure-saññī describing how to develop this ability to see both what is in front and in back of one while simultaneously being able to understand and deal with it.
YonisoManasikaro Studious Etiological Examination
SatiParimukkham Put a look of Satisfaction on your face.
How is Translation Possible? Not as tough as understanding the lingo of today's kids!
Recommended for diacritical input:
The Genovation Keypad. A programmable keypad I use to input Pali characters. @ U.S. $140. See specs at Genovation.com It takes about an hour to set up and will save you hours of time and your wrists and fingers much pain. This is not a paid advertisement. I have received no compensation in any form for this recommendation.
Reviews of books, audios, videos, websites, etc. In this section 'review' is to be understood as 'response'; 'publication' is to be understood as a communication allowing for or begging for a response. Selection for review is based on relevance to the topics of this site.
The Ornament of Lay Followers Translated by Giulio Agostini, The Pali Text Society.
I cannot recommend this book as it is really a translation of a commentary on a commentary on Buddhaghosa's editing of the original commentaries which is to say that it affirms and elaborates on and stands a high probability of adding to the errors of the originals
Denial of Death, by Ernest Becker
Not recommended. Facing the chaos. Face the chaos and learn how to escape it, not how to yield to blind faith that a Supreme Creator God has a good plan.
The Buddha before Buddhism, by Gil Fronsdal.
Not recommended. A flawed work by a flawed author. Don't waste your time, read the original documentation.
Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe
A very moving story. So powerful that it is considered to have been one of the contributing causes of the U.S. Civil War. It is, in story form, a thorough examination of the evils of the institution of slavery. The review shows how this story is relevant today to the Buddhist.
Remembrance of Things Past, The definitive French Pleiade edition translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terrence Kilmartin, with Volume III, Part 7: Time Regained, translated by Andreas Mayor
A classic of French literature that deals with an individual's experience of 'Temporary Release' without the knowledge of Buddhist theory.
Limitless, Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish and Robert De Niro
Director: Neil Burger
Movie Review. Take a pill, experience great super-normal powers, murder, steal, write a best-seller, have lots of sex, get rich, become President of the U.S.
The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, Reviewed by L.S. Cousins, A PDF file. From The Journal of Buddhist Ethics, Volume 4 1997. What looks like a fair review, but the real value is in a sort of appendix where Cousins goes over the translations of specific terms comparing the translations of Bhk. Bodhi with those of Bhk. Nanamoli, Ms. Horner, and K.R. Norman.
Seven Pillers of Wisdom, T.E. Lawrence
Rememberance Rock, Carl Sandburg
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William Shirer
Too High to Fail, Doug Fine
The Doctrine of Awakening, Julius Evola
Zen Simply Sitting, Philippe Coupey
Desolation Angels, Jack Kerouac
Success Happens Burroughs, Junky
I See You Mara Kornfield, The Wise Heart
Much Ado about Nothing Lattin, The Harvard Psychedelic Club
I'm Over All That Shirley MacLaine
I Am A Strange Loop Douglas Hofstadter
2001 A Space Oddesy. Stanley Kubrick, Director. Relevance: Pajapati's Problem. Creates in the viewer the overwhelming sense of boredom experienced by 'the one and only.' Some people, and some robots call this the best movie ever made. I could barely force myself to watch it through. Pretentious in the extreme. Slow. Plodding. Disrespectful of the viewer's intelligence. Looks like the idea was cop't from Kurt Vonnegut; the whole history of mankind being directed at one point ... in this case the return of man to a point where he begins the whole story again. Every scene goes on and on interminably. ... and did I say the movie was boring? I side with the computer that wants to scuttle the whole project.
Franz Kafka, The Trial: Not really helpful. Pajapati's problem alowed to become paranoia, no helpful or edifying solution pointed to.
Knut Hamsun, Hunger Hamsun has not yet reached Pajapati's problem in this one. Here he portrays a true to life, autobiographical picture of his struggles with hunger. Really useful from the point of view of understanding why Food is #1. So much of his trouble results from poor training in understanding ethics which allows his pride to bring him back to starvation again and again.
Mysteries. Another early work which reveals the madness faced by the mind that has reached into the upper atmosphere without adequate training in ethics. This book was the inspiration for the yellow suit of The King of New York (aka P.P.). As an aside the first thing one will encounter when beginning to read Hamsun is the bewilderment on the part of reviewers as to how it could be possible for such an intelligent, sensitive person to also have been a Nazi sympathizer. Even casual reading of Mysteries should answer that question. The seeds of a radical political view are a central theme! There is no mystery as to how the writer of this book could come to champion the early Hitler as a crusader for a break-away from somnambulist politics, the idea that Hitler espoused of detachment from all current political forms in favor of a more noble past. At a later point there is good reason to think that Hamsun's Nazism was a ruse used to gain influence with Hitler so as to attain the liberation of Nazi prisoners in Scandinavia. Still, he clearly advocated racial purity; he considered the U.S., for example, as destined to fail as it was becoming a mongrel nation. (I prefer to see it in more positive terms as a nation of hybrid strains, one which has and could still result in hybrid vigor and which is certainly producing a human of extraordinary physical, if perhaps too feminine beauty.) The book is a great read. It is often laugh-out-loud funny in a mad sort of way when the central character piles lie upon lie, outrageous action upon outrageous action making every aspect of the world crumble around him. However it has little use for anyone who does not already appreciate the dangers of irrational behavior.