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Stranger in a Strange Land
shrim wrote in everyday_tao
Just finished reading it, has anyone else read?  I found that there was a lot of Taoist elements in it.

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I've read it, but it was a few years ago so my memory is a bit foggy.
What about it exactly did you find Taoist?

Well, first of all there's the whole "grok" thing. Understanding something fully, and "cherishing" it, even the negative aspects of it. There's a lot about patience, waiting for things to unfold, accepting that you don't have to understand everything right away. It also stresses that fact that everything and everyone is God. "Thou art God" is a common phrase throughout the majority of the book. The whole Martian mentality just seems very Taoist to me; the discipline and accepting responsibility for all your actions and the outcomes.

I thought it was a very good book but admittedly I thought it was a bit too far into the classic scifi element. I could see where the main character could have had a taoist philosophy in many ways. Although I think that most people couldn't really function in society (or society couldn't function with them) if they were such a purist. A true neutral person, which I believe is where pure taoism lays, is an anomaly. Which is probably why the book works so well. I think most people who embrace Taoism lean to a particular side of the fence and/or move their position.

If you liked the book Heinlein wrote many other thought provoking books. You may have seen the movie but "Starship Troopers" is far removed from the Hollywood schlock that was in the movie (that being said - I still liked the movie). It's very aggressive with the thought of being a citizen and having to server but it also has, what could be construed as taoist overtones.

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