Saturday, 22 March 2008

Fiction or Non-Fiction, by Art Ramsay

"Love is the only interaction with another that consistently works, no matter what." From Art Ramsay's new book, Seven Stones of Wisdom.

"Since the 1970's a plethora of self-help books have emerged, giving us information about why things are happening in our lives and what to do about it. Their range of interests is striking and cover almost every aspect of lives. We have been given, for example, guidance for more healthy, athletic, and beautiful bodies, handling our emotions, or how to be successful.
All of the millions of books that have dealt with the thousands of issues we may face in life have been written as non-fiction. Why? Because non-fiction deals with "real life" issues, and sets out to explain the why of it, and how to fix it either in the moment, or over a period of time.

But what if fiction could help us deal with the situations in our lives that are sabotaging us and guide us to better way of seeing things? Wouldn't it be great to read a intriguing story about people and learn something about ourselves, our issues, as well? There have been fiction books that have done that and have even been made into movies. Two are Dan Millman's Way of the Peaceful Warrior, and James Redfield's The Celestine Prophecy.

The difference between how a non-fiction book helps us deal with something in our lives that we want to "fix", and how a fiction book does that is in the way the situations are approached. Essentially, the non-fiction, self-help book works on a micro level, whereas the fiction book mostly works at the macro level.

So what does that mean? On the micro level we deal with a method to lose fat, a process to move past a barrier keeping us from succeeding, or a way to bring more peace into our lives. On the macro level, we look more to the 'inner' aspect of what is keeping us stuck or causing situations to occur repeatedly in our lives. Granted many non-fiction books go there also, but not in the same way. In the fiction book we stand back and look at the big picture, macro, while in the non-fiction we deal more with a specific thing, micro.

They both have their place in our lives, and used as is appropriate for each situation that occurs. I have read, and have on my bookshelves, hundreds of non-fiction books over the years. They have all served me well and helped me get to where I am today spiritually. But I am moved more to action when I become immersed in an intriguing, even mysterious, story of how a character, or characters have moved through their own issues and come out the other side victorious."

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