The Fool's Reading List
The Fools Reading List is a curated collection of texts from various spiritual and philosophical traditions, as well as scientific sources. The list is divided into six categories, each with its own theme, suggesting the importance of addressing multiple aspects of human understanding and growth. The list is structured to guide members on their journey of self-discovery and personal growth, and serves as a foundation for Foolosophy teachings.
The list can be seen as an attempt to provide a comprehensive, interdisciplinary education, spanning philosophy, science, history, spirituality, personal development, ethics, and even fiction. The structure of the list is designed to guide readers on a journey of self-discovery, intellectual growth, and practical life skills. The thematic categorization encourages readers to explore different aspects of human experience, while also fostering connections between the various works. It is a multifaceted educational experience, inviting readers to engage with a diverse array of perspectives and ideas. The structure of the list, with its thematic categorization and emphasis on interdisciplinary connections, encourages readers to think holistically and develop a well-rounded understanding of themselves and the world around them.
1. Any fool knows...
- The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
- Plato’s Republic
- Chaos: Making of a new science
- What if?
- The Big Picture (Carroll)
- Guns, Germs, and Steel
- Enlightenment now (Pinker)
- Life 3.0
- Consciousness explained
- The perennial philosophy
2. Role playing...
- Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance
- The Hero with a Thousand faces
- King, Warrior, Magician, Lover
- Psychotherapy East and West
- The Moral Landscape
- Living buddha, living Christ
- The way of the Bodhisattva
- The Four Loves
3. Never Break Character...
- Nicomachean Ethics
- Radical Honesty
- The 5 love languages
- Gurdjieff a beginners guide
- The book: on the taboo against knowing who you are
- Towards a Psychology of Being
- Kant in 90 minutes
- Bhagavad Gita
- Meditations (Arelious)
4. Have some Imagination...
- I, Robot
- Revelation Space
- Star Maker
5. CAUTION: these books contain power, should be read last, and handled with EXTREME caution...
- How to win friends and influence people
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
- Talking to strangers
- The Lucifer Effect
- The dictator’s handbook
- 48 Laws of Power
- The Laws of Human Nature
- Just the arguments
6. Don’t forget the little things...
- The Book of Awesome
The first category, "Any fool knows...", sets the stage by offering a broad foundation of knowledge, emphasizing the importance of understanding our place in the universe, the history of human civilization, and the nature of consciousness. Many of the works in this section, such as "Sapiens," "Guns, Germs, and Steel," and "The Big Picture," provide historical and scientific context, while "Consciousness Explained" and "The Perennial Philosophy" delve into the mysteries of the human mind and the spiritual dimension of life.
The second and third categories, "Role playing..." and "Never Break Character...", focus on personal growth and the cultivation of moral character. These sections encourage readers to engage in self-reflection, consider the roles they play in society, and develop their ethical and relational skills. By including texts from diverse spiritual traditions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, and Stoicism, as well as secular works like "The Moral Landscape" and "Radical Honesty," Upaya highlights the importance of an open-minded, inclusive approach to personal development.
The fourth category, "Have some Imagination...", demonstrates the value of literature and storytelling in fostering creativity and expanding the mind. These science fiction works invite readers to envision alternative worlds and possibilities, providing a refreshing counterbalance to the more theoretical and philosophical texts in the other categories.
The fifth category, "CAUTION: these books contain power...", addresses the darker side of human nature, exploring the dynamics of power, manipulation, and persuasion. This section comes with a warning, emphasizing the importance of using this knowledge responsibly and ethically. The inclusion of this category suggests that Upaya believes in the importance of understanding the full range of human behavior, both for self-protection and as a tool for positive change.
Finally, the sixth category, "Don't forget the little things...", serves as a gentle reminder to appreciate the everyday joys and pleasures of life, adding an element of mindfulness and gratitude to the reading list.
The relationships between the books within and across the categories are essential in shaping the overarching narrative of the Fool's Reading List. For example, the exploration of human history and civilization in "Sapiens" and "Guns, Germs, and Steel" provides a backdrop for understanding the ethical and spiritual concerns addressed in "Nicomachean Ethics" and "The Dhammapada." Similarly, the synthesis of Eastern and Western thought in "Psychotherapy East and West" can be seen as a bridge between the philosophical works in the first category and the spiritual texts in the second.
In some cases, the books on the list challenge or complement each other, encouraging readers to think critically and form their own opinions. For instance, Sam Harris' "The Moral Landscape" advocates for a scientific approach to morality, while texts like "The Way of the Bodhisattva" and "Living Buddha, Living Christ" emphasize the importance of spiritual wisdom and compassion.
Overall, the Fool's Reading List offers a rich, multifaceted educational experience, inviting readers to engage with a diverse array of perspectives and ideas. The structure of the list, with its thematic categorization and emphasis on interdisciplinary connections, encourages readers to think holistically and develop a well-rounded understanding of themselves and the world around them. While some readers may not agree with every perspective presented in the list, its comprehensive nature provides ample opportunities for reflection, debate, and personal growth. The list's structure also encourages readers to apply the knowledge gained from the books to their own lives.