i really need to know what/where to find ray's philosophy. it is imaprative that i find this information!!! help would be greatly appericated! please send me links/info/quotes...anything!!!!
mostly need information in corolation to Fahrenheit 451.
I think that the only person who can answer that question is the man himself.
Some of his autobiographical pieces (essays, book introductions etc.) may offer some insight, and with close reading of his stories you can deduce his ideas about spirituality, humanity and human nature etc.
His philosophy is quite clear in F.451. Ask yourself:
In the novel, what are the overriding emotions and motivations of people in society?
In this imagined future, what is it that humanity has lost?
What is it that brings a sense of hope and salvation at the end of the novel?
Your question is enormous in scope, and cannot really be answered "in a nutshell" (sorry!). You'll have to closely read Ray's work, apply your own analysis, and see what it "says" to you.
Ray Bradbury's philosphy is much like new age stuff. And some is not. He talks about re-incarnation, and believes you live on with good works being reproduced in others. Much of that thinking is what is popular in today's culture.
But what drives Ray Bradbury, from what I have read, is an incessant desire to escape emotional death. Or his incompleted work would give death an edge. So his philosphy is more than a Unitarian belief. Driven by muses? Driven by something certainly. I get a little afraid when I hear people doing automatic writing, or in touch with some spirit that dictates. At the same time, Bradbury says things like , "God has priviledged us with the ability to represent Him in this part of the cosmos and to go our and change things, one hopes, for the better." That, on the 10th anniversary of the Apollo landing on the moon.
Complex would be my take on Ray Bradbury's philosophy. Not Christian, but not an agnostic. More like a very large ego in search of more of who he is as a man, I would suggest. And that is quite universal in this day and age.
Agree with Crumley. Got to read his stuff carefully and thoughtfully. His philosophy is spread out throughout his works. I'm studying that aspect of his work myself, and have been for some time. I think it is part of what makes him more than just a great story-teller (not that there'd be anything wrong with that!).
Look also to his poetry.
Ray Bradbury is always answering the questions thru his works. It's not that complicated unless you are searching after the rabbit without a personal road map and marking notes down as the rabbit runs thru the mysterious forest. In that case, what do you have to base your observation on except the rudimentary markings of the moving rabbit, which, in such a case, means nothing. That is to say, we the reader colorize our interpretation of Bradbury's works. We begin looking for something the author may not have meant, may not have been conscience of when he wrote it, or subconsciously is writing and may not agree with another's observation. Why I believe this applies is because we are not talking about a steelworker and why he has placed the beams of the building materials just so, or why the concrete mixer-man placed so much sand and mix together. Cut and dried is so much easier than the flights of imaginative fiction and poetry that wrestle with sense and perspective, often, to perplexing combinations of logic.
Got his philosophy from the man himself yesterday. He said to always do what you love, rather than trying to love what you do!
And to live every day with happiness and joy. He said he's never been melancholy a day in his life (other than the occasional exception of a relative/friend passing).
So I would shorten his philosophy to "love and joy!"
Couldn't agree with you more that your summation (his summation being shared with us) is a good encapsulation of his overriding philosophy.
But does he have a vision of what it is that constitutes and creates "happiness and joy?" Is there a God, and if so, what is his/its nature? Why does he use so much religious symbolism in his writing? Surely, though he is not religious in a simplistic, orthodox way, his sense of spirit is important to him (perhaps is his religion); else, why discuss it so much? What is the role of human relationships vrs isolation that captures his sense of what contributes to or defines happiness? What is the relationship between man and others and how does that tie in to happiness and joy? What is love? Can we find happiness without it? What is the role of laughter, etc.?
I talked with Ray about how much he "puts in" to his stories in terms of "preaching". His answer was "not much". He tells stories that come from inside himself. Whatever symbolism is there, is generally seen by the reader. That doesn't mean he never puts it in, or that he does not put it in subjectively. Nor does it mean that seeking to understand what his metaphors and symbols are saying (or can be interpreted as saying) is a fruitless effort.
"Live forever" . . . What does that mean . . .?
Live Forever, according to Ray, means living on in your children and your children's children, via your ideas and dreams and hopes. That's what he means.
I think Ray means a lot of things to all of us. We all tend to build him up as the ideal father-friend we know so well in our own heads, I know I have over the years. He gives me faith in all kinds of things, from a good and gentle God, clear down to recessed animal tendencies in all of us that are powerful personality traits in mankind (some good, some evil). He's a thinker and a dreamer, whose not afraid to use science, religion, philosophy, history, and, well, really cool dinosaurs to tell a damn fine tail. I think he is the magician he always said he wanted to be remembered as. And I think he would be a bit amused to find us trying to pigeon-hole his philosophy. Read, Zen in the Art of Writing. A lot of what he is comes out in that book. But most of all, read every damned book and short story he's written. And at the end, you'll find yourself wanting to read them all again.
I think another good source is in the book, "Conversations with Ray Bradbury". These interviews have some fascinating insights into what he thinks.
The attempt to understand and reflect on Ray's philosophical views does not necessarily lead to "pigeon-holing". That expression seems to imply an artifical construct where you narrowly define his views in an attempt to limit them/him. The thing I'm working on is an attempt to expand on his views while retaining an honest loyalty to them.
Nard: I agree that he sees the live forever phrase as living on in your children (interestingly, a Jewish idea dating back for centuries), but also have read where he can live forever in his writing. Can we live forever in the things we create? Is living forever only good for parents and artists? Can a businessperson live forever in what they create? Does a person like Neil Armstrong live forever? How about the thousands of "faceless/nameless" engineers who put him up there?
As a believing Christian, for me to say "Live forever!"...means that God has taken me and purposely inserted me into the complete character of his Son, Jesus.
Since the Father only recognizes one person, his Son, I now am recognized by God by being found in his son, Christ. This hope that is implanted within me by God once I know Christ, is intended to fully consume me. Since Christ always was (He is referred to as the 'Word' in scripture, before becoming Jesus. Example: John 1 vs 1 "...in the beginning was the Word..." ) I too will live forever because Christ has permeated who He always is throughly thruout who I once was and, hence, have now become.
All this other stuff, is worldly nonsense.
I understand and accept your description of your own beliefs. I think the scripture in Galations 2:20 captures a lot of this for me, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave his life for me." When we claim to be Christian, are we "acting" Christian or are we truly Christian, by virtue of the indwelling Christ?
Now as to Ray, a passage I really like from the book, "Conversations with Ray Bradbury" (on page 180-181) states:
"Yes, metaphor is really it. I was influenced by all the Greek myths, the Roman myths, and all those metaphors. The Old Testament, the New Testament--both are full of metaphors. Egyptian mythology; metaphors. The great poetry of the world, it's all metaphors. The great motion pictures, all metaphors . . .So I've grown up on a diet of metaphors. If young writers would find those writers who can give them metaphors by the bushel and the peck, then they'll become better writers, to learn how to capsule-lize things, and present them in metaphorical form. . . most of the science fiction films out there are abominations, you know. They're mindless. So you can't learn from those kinds of films. You'ge got to find something like 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind', which at least has a philosophical, religious metaphor at it's center."
I think it's clear from this passage, that even though Bradbury downplays his conscious efforts to use metaphors to teach things, the metaphors are behind the "why" of what he writes. He loves to talk about how his stories are just stories, but at the same time he stresses that his power as a writer is in his metaphors. And he acknowledges that the point of a metaphor is that it is to be "unpacked" in order to unravel and reveal the philosophical and religious ideas within the stories. Without these philosophical and religious ideas, he both says and implies, the stories are abominations and are mindless.
So the effort to unpack his metaphors and symbols to try and get at the underlying religious and philosophical assumptions is an undertaking that is essential to a full understanding and enjoyment of Bradbury's work. Can his stories be thoroughly enjoyed at simply a story and/or linguistic level? Of course, but his own comments indicate that there are metaphors to be unpacked, and there are religious and philosophical assumptions to be understood.
The effort, in the case of Ray Bradbury (and some other writers of fantasy and science ficiton) to unpack those metaphors to get at the truth hidden within, is well rewarded.
(1) Explain why you must think these are my beliefs? I could no more come up with these things than there be a man on the moon who invented Post Toasties. This is basic Christianity.
(2) You can't be Christian if Christ ain't in you. You can behave the walk all you want. It don't do nothin'for nothin'! (somebody said that. I'll go along with it!)
(3) Unless Bradbury is struck with the Holy Spirit, then metaphors to him will always be metaphors and his ideas of life and death will never change. Understanding the Godly things do not come by rationalization or intellectual investigation, but solely by God's act of mercy.
Well, the thread is on Bradbury's philosophy, not mine. But I think the role of reason is a definite factor in religion--even "true" christianity. We are given the text of scripture, which aquires meaning for us only in our understanding of it. In Isaiah God invites us to "reason together", and in Acts, Paul is cited as "reasoning from scripture". God tells us to meditate in his words, to ponder them, to apply our hearts to them, to study them. I think real religion is a matter of a cojoined effort of being open to God's spirit, and of applying ourselves to a careful STUDY of his Word. When religion is totally devoid of reason, it veers into cults and extremes that give religion a bad name. Scriptures are here to help bring our understanding, our hearts, and our souls to God. It is, I would suggest, very difficult to understand scripture without applying our minds to an analysis of what it means. Scripture is filled with metaphor and allegory (as Bradbury rightly points out), and metaphors and allegories--by definition--must be understood. Christ repeatedly gave metaphors and berated his disciples for their inability or unwillingness to UNDERSTAND what they meant.
It's probable that you and I differ on this. While I respect your views and commitment, I don't believe reason and the intellect are ignored in the quest for religious truth. If God gave us our reason and intellect as a gift, I believe it is because He wants us to use them.
Nevertheless, it is not my task to determine whether or not Ray's religious and philosophical views are metaphysically right, just to try to better understand what they are.
That exercise, I would argue, will allow us to appreciate Bradbury's writing and thought even more.
Maybe Ray could comment here on his own philosophy(ies), or someone, even I, will phone him? I almost called him this past weekend. Though he's probably busy, at least in the evening on writing.
"Be independent and co-independent," someone once advised me that I respect and admire and while that is part or whole of another's philosophy, I like that.
Thanks and Best Wishes,
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