Filling the Blanks: Enhancement or Erosion of Biblical Stories?

Use this forum to discuss the June 2023 Philosophy Book of the Month, Killing Abel by Michael Tieman
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Filling the Blanks: Enhancement or Erosion of Biblical Stories?

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This topic is about the June 2023 Philosophy Book of the Month, Killing Abel by Michael Tieman



Michael Tieman's Killing Abel goes beyond the traditional biblical narratives, offering additional descriptions and speculations that are not found in the original Bible. From the creation of Adam and Eve up to the catastrophic worldwide flood, the novel fills in perceived gaps with the author's insights and imagination.

The book raises compelling questions: Does the inclusion of these details imply that the Bible is incomplete? Or is it more about enhancing the richness of the narratives, allowing readers to explore and contemplate the storylines and their implications in greater depth?

Further, is it justifiable to add after-notes or extrapolations to a religious text like the Bible? What ethical considerations should we bear in mind when doing so?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

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Re: Filling the Blanks: Enhancement or Erosion of Biblical Stories?

Post by Akangbe Opeyemi »

Most times I don't want to indulge in things like this because it breeds doubt. When we allow ourselves to be too imaginative about the Bible, we will begin to see it as incomplete but at the same time, imagination is not bad.
Not every tiny detail was written in the Bible, I even used to say, if every single thing that happened was recorded, the Bible will be very big enough to be placed in a spot. As much as Jesus is the son of God, there was little information given about him while he grew up, so the rest of his childhood to adulthood was up for imagination.
But too much of anything is not good, sometimes we just have to leave some things how they have been recorded.
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Re: Filling the Blanks: Enhancement or Erosion of Biblical Stories?

Post by Stoppelmann »

Sushan wrote: June 2nd, 2023, 2:08 am This topic is about the June 2023 Philosophy Book of the Month, Killing Abel by Michael Tieman

Michael Tieman's Killing Abel goes beyond the traditional biblical narratives, offering additional descriptions and speculations that are not found in the original Bible. From the creation of Adam and Eve up to the catastrophic worldwide flood, the novel fills in perceived gaps with the author's insights and imagination.

The book raises compelling questions: Does the inclusion of these details imply that the Bible is incomplete? Or is it more about enhancing the richness of the narratives, allowing readers to explore and contemplate the storylines and their implications in greater depth?

Further, is it justifiable to add after-notes or extrapolations to a religious text like the Bible? What ethical considerations should we bear in mind when doing so?
I find it difficult to accept a story adapted from a mythology as insightful, especially when the mythology is treated as though it were a story that actually happened once. Mythology describes what happens all the time and gives us an allegory or fable to hold against our experience. Tiemann just doesn’t have that depth or command of language to evoke such introspection.

The thing about mythology is that the stories are time-tested, often taken long ago from other traditions and adapted to the tribe’s narrative, having the degree of ambiguity that invites imagination, but each of us has their own imagination, coloured by the environment and the situation we live in. If we do away with this ambiguity, we are forcing our imagination into the story, rather than asking questions about how we each read the story, which gives us much more insight.
“Find someone who makes you realise three things:
One, that home is not a place, but a feeling.
Two, that time is not measured by a clock, but by moments.
And three, that heartbeats are not heard, but felt and shared.”
― Abhysheq Shukla
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Re: Filling the Blanks: Enhancement or Erosion of Biblical Stories?

Post by Sushan »

Akangbe Opeyemi wrote: June 15th, 2023, 6:08 pm Most times I don't want to indulge in things like this because it breeds doubt. When we allow ourselves to be too imaginative about the Bible, we will begin to see it as incomplete but at the same time, imagination is not bad.
Not every tiny detail was written in the Bible, I even used to say, if every single thing that happened was recorded, the Bible will be very big enough to be placed in a spot. As much as Jesus is the son of God, there was little information given about him while he grew up, so the rest of his childhood to adulthood was up for imagination.
But too much of anything is not good, sometimes we just have to leave some things how they have been recorded.
I see where you're coming from, and your caution towards the overuse of imagination with religious texts is certainly valid. However, I think it's important to distinguish between questioning the completeness of the Bible and exploring its narratives in greater depth.

The Bible, given its nature and purpose, does not detail every event or action. It focuses more on spiritual lessons and moral teachings. You're right that if it recorded every single detail, it would be overwhelmingly large. The gaps, such as the sparse information about Jesus' early life, invite us to engage and reflect, which can be a part of our spiritual journey.

When it comes to works like "Killing Abel", I see them more as exploratory rather than definitive additions. They aim to provide a fresh perspective and stimulate deeper reflection. They do not claim to fill in the 'missing parts' of the Bible. The novel’s additional descriptions and speculations should be viewed as an artist's interpretation, not as an attempt to complete or revise the original text.

As for the ethical considerations, it is indeed crucial to always treat these additional narratives as human interpretations and not confuse them with the original religious text. They should be engaged with a clear understanding of their creative nature.

In essence, I believe our discussion shouldn't focus solely on whether the Bible is incomplete or not, but also on how we can responsibly engage with and learn from these additional narratives. Your perspective is essential for this dialogue, and I invite you to further elaborate on your views.
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Re: Filling the Blanks: Enhancement or Erosion of Biblical Stories?

Post by Sushan »

Stoppelmann wrote: June 21st, 2023, 4:30 am
Sushan wrote: June 2nd, 2023, 2:08 am This topic is about the June 2023 Philosophy Book of the Month, Killing Abel by Michael Tieman

Michael Tieman's Killing Abel goes beyond the traditional biblical narratives, offering additional descriptions and speculations that are not found in the original Bible. From the creation of Adam and Eve up to the catastrophic worldwide flood, the novel fills in perceived gaps with the author's insights and imagination.

The book raises compelling questions: Does the inclusion of these details imply that the Bible is incomplete? Or is it more about enhancing the richness of the narratives, allowing readers to explore and contemplate the storylines and their implications in greater depth?

Further, is it justifiable to add after-notes or extrapolations to a religious text like the Bible? What ethical considerations should we bear in mind when doing so?
I find it difficult to accept a story adapted from a mythology as insightful, especially when the mythology is treated as though it were a story that actually happened once. Mythology describes what happens all the time and gives us an allegory or fable to hold against our experience. Tiemann just doesn’t have that depth or command of language to evoke such introspection.

The thing about mythology is that the stories are time-tested, often taken long ago from other traditions and adapted to the tribe’s narrative, having the degree of ambiguity that invites imagination, but each of us has their own imagination, coloured by the environment and the situation we live in. If we do away with this ambiguity, we are forcing our imagination into the story, rather than asking questions about how we each read the story, which gives us much more insight.
Thank you for sharing your insightful perspective on the function and importance of mythology. Your emphasis on the power of ambiguity within these narratives, as a gateway to personal interpretation and understanding, is particularly thought-provoking.

When discussing Tieman's "Killing Abel," you voiced concerns about the potential loss of this valuable ambiguity in the face of an author's specific interpretation. It's a fair point; when we apply our own imagination to a story, we risk losing the universal applicability that makes mythological stories so resonant.

However, consider this: works like "Killing Abel" could be viewed as a part of the ongoing, dynamic conversation about these ancient narratives, rather than a definitive statement or clarification. Tieman's interpretations don't need to narrow the story's scope, but can offer one potential angle of many for understanding these narratives.

This way, the ambiguity and potential for personal interpretation within the original text are not erased, but rather, they're complemented with another layer of discussion and exploration. In essence, the book could be seen as an invitation to dialogue, rather than a prescription of how to interpret the Bible.

Your thoughts have added a valuable angle to this conversation. I'd be interested to hear more about your ideas on maintaining the balance between preserving the ambiguity of these narratives and our natural inclination to explore and understand them more fully.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Filling the Blanks: Enhancement or Erosion of Biblical Stories?

Post by Stoppelmann »

Sushan wrote: June 23rd, 2023, 9:45 am Thank you for sharing your insightful perspective on the function and importance of mythology. Your emphasis on the power of ambiguity within these narratives, as a gateway to personal interpretation and understanding, is particularly thought-provoking.

When discussing Tieman's "Killing Abel," you voiced concerns about the potential loss of this valuable ambiguity in the face of an author's specific interpretation. It's a fair point; when we apply our own imagination to a story, we risk losing the universal applicability that makes mythological stories so resonant.

However, consider this: works like "Killing Abel" could be viewed as a part of the ongoing, dynamic conversation about these ancient narratives, rather than a definitive statement or clarification. Tieman's interpretations don't need to narrow the story's scope, but can offer one potential angle of many for understanding these narratives.

This way, the ambiguity and potential for personal interpretation within the original text are not erased, but rather, they're complemented with another layer of discussion and exploration. In essence, the book could be seen as an invitation to dialogue, rather than a prescription of how to interpret the Bible.

Your thoughts have added a valuable angle to this conversation. I'd be interested to hear more about your ideas on maintaining the balance between preserving the ambiguity of these narratives and our natural inclination to explore and understand them more fully.
The difference between the novel format of the author and the mythological format of the biblical original is choice. Just as teaching people via lecturing them is different to Socratic enquiry, whereby they arrive at their own explanations is a choice. The same is to be said about psychotherapy, which seeks not to put the therapist's thoughts into the mind of the patient but evoke the thoughts in the patient. The novel format is a consumer article, rather than a means of meditation, it gives you the descriptions, the thoughts of the characters, and leaves less to imagination, in which you can fill in the gaps yourself.

It is similar to when someone films a story and brings their own agenda into the film rather than trying to faithfully transport the content, which is difficult to do anyway, and we saw it happen when Peter Jackson made the LOTR films. At first there was a rumble of dissatisfaction but gradually it was accepted as an adaption to another medium. ROP from Amazon has lacked this faith, and received so much criticism, because not only have they left the literary source, and then the mystical approach that Jackson took, but they have put in their own agenda.

I hope I could explain why source material should be used for personal and collective inquiry, but you must be careful not to add your own agenda, or create a "cheap" copy.
“Find someone who makes you realise three things:
One, that home is not a place, but a feeling.
Two, that time is not measured by a clock, but by moments.
And three, that heartbeats are not heard, but felt and shared.”
― Abhysheq Shukla
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Re: Filling the Blanks: Enhancement or Erosion of Biblical Stories?

Post by Sushan »

Stoppelmann wrote: June 23rd, 2023, 10:20 am
Sushan wrote: June 23rd, 2023, 9:45 am Thank you for sharing your insightful perspective on the function and importance of mythology. Your emphasis on the power of ambiguity within these narratives, as a gateway to personal interpretation and understanding, is particularly thought-provoking.

When discussing Tieman's "Killing Abel," you voiced concerns about the potential loss of this valuable ambiguity in the face of an author's specific interpretation. It's a fair point; when we apply our own imagination to a story, we risk losing the universal applicability that makes mythological stories so resonant.

However, consider this: works like "Killing Abel" could be viewed as a part of the ongoing, dynamic conversation about these ancient narratives, rather than a definitive statement or clarification. Tieman's interpretations don't need to narrow the story's scope, but can offer one potential angle of many for understanding these narratives.

This way, the ambiguity and potential for personal interpretation within the original text are not erased, but rather, they're complemented with another layer of discussion and exploration. In essence, the book could be seen as an invitation to dialogue, rather than a prescription of how to interpret the Bible.

Your thoughts have added a valuable angle to this conversation. I'd be interested to hear more about your ideas on maintaining the balance between preserving the ambiguity of these narratives and our natural inclination to explore and understand them more fully.
The difference between the novel format of the author and the mythological format of the biblical original is choice. Just as teaching people via lecturing them is different to Socratic enquiry, whereby they arrive at their own explanations is a choice. The same is to be said about psychotherapy, which seeks not to put the therapist's thoughts into the mind of the patient but evoke the thoughts in the patient. The novel format is a consumer article, rather than a means of meditation, it gives you the descriptions, the thoughts of the characters, and leaves less to imagination, in which you can fill in the gaps yourself.

It is similar to when someone films a story and brings their own agenda into the film rather than trying to faithfully transport the content, which is difficult to do anyway, and we saw it happen when Peter Jackson made the LOTR films. At first there was a rumble of dissatisfaction but gradually it was accepted as an adaption to another medium. ROP from Amazon has lacked this faith, and received so much criticism, because not only have they left the literary source, and then the mystical approach that Jackson took, but they have put in their own agenda.

I hope I could explain why source material should be used for personal and collective inquiry, but you must be careful not to add your own agenda, or create a "cheap" copy.
You've made a compelling argument about the importance of preserving the original format of mythological or source material to maintain its purpose as a tool for personal and collective inquiry. The comparison to the Socratic method and psychotherapy indeed emphasizes the value of self-discovery and introspection over being presented with pre-packaged interpretations.

However, I'd like to propose a slightly different perspective. When it comes to literary and artistic adaptations like Tieman's "Killing Abel," or Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings," isn't there also value in seeing these not as dilutions of the original, but as expansions of the conversation around them?

Let's take your point about the novel being a "consumer article" that leaves less to the imagination. While it's true that novels often provide more detailed descriptions and character thoughts, could this not also inspire a different kind of introspection or contemplation? For instance, seeing an author's interpretation might challenge our own preconceptions and prompt us to question why we hold these views and whether other perspectives could also be valid.

Furthermore, isn't every reading of a text, or viewing of a film, in some sense an adaptation? Even the most faithful reader cannot escape the influence of their personal experiences, beliefs, and cultural context in interpreting a story. In this sense, each reader creates their own "adaptation" of the story in their mind.

Therefore, while it's crucial to respect and learn from the original material, adaptations can serve as a catalyst for further discussion, critical thinking, and even a deeper understanding of the original. Rather than viewing them as a "cheap copy," could we not see them as an extension of the rich tapestry of human creativity and interpretation?

I agree with you that the intention behind an adaptation is crucial. It's essential to approach such works with humility, respect for the source material, and an openness to dialogue rather than seeking to impose a specific agenda. I'm curious about your thoughts on this perspective. How do we strike a balance between respect for the source material and the inherent subjectivity of interpretation? And how should we approach adaptations that we perceive as straying too far from the original's spirit?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Filling the Blanks: Enhancement or Erosion of Biblical Stories?

Post by Stoppelmann »

Sushan wrote: June 24th, 2023, 11:38 pm You've made a compelling argument about the importance of preserving the original format of mythological or source material to maintain its purpose as a tool for personal and collective inquiry. The comparison to the Socratic method and psychotherapy indeed emphasizes the value of self-discovery and introspection over being presented with pre-packaged interpretations.

However, I'd like to propose a slightly different perspective. When it comes to literary and artistic adaptations like Tieman's "Killing Abel," or Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings," isn't there also value in seeing these not as dilutions of the original, but as expansions of the conversation around them?
There definitely is value in expanding the conversation, which is what we are doing. However, the critical approach is a differentiation, showing how the source material differs and how this difference is important. It was important to see in LOTR, and I remember conversations with my son, who is very knowledgeable in the subject matter, with me pointing out that the transfer to another medium requires the variation of the material but should try to not take away its initial intention. We both agreed that Jackson had achieved this.

The adaption that Tieman has written, on the other hand, not only transfers into a different literary genre, but thereby suggests historicity:
“Lucifer began to gently examine the hanging figs one by one until he came to one that was hanging just above his head. It was the ripest of the ripe fruit. With his angelic hands, he grasped the fig, seizing the attention of Eve. As he squeezed the fig, the juice slowly dripped into his open mouth. Eve watched . . . Drip, drip, drip as the angelic being was clearly savoring each drop. She watched as the nectar went into the being’s mouth, down his throat, and then disappeared into his clothing.”

Compare with the cited Genesis 3:6:
“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.”

The conversation in the fable goes like this: ““You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:4) It is a long way away from “his angelic hands grasping the fig.”

It is like taking mystical poetry from Rumi literally:
"The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep!
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep!
People are going back and forth
across the doorsill where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep!"

The poem speaks to the longing for spiritual awakening and the need to be fully present and engaged in the pursuit of truth and self-realization. The idea of not going back to sleep is a metaphor for not falling into complacency or being content with mere superficial existence, but rather actively seeking and being receptive to the mystical dimensions of life. But this brief explanation doesn’t really offer any benefit to the reader.
Sushan wrote: June 24th, 2023, 11:38 pm Let's take your point about the novel being a "consumer article" that leaves less to the imagination. While it's true that novels often provide more detailed descriptions and character thoughts, could this not also inspire a different kind of introspection or contemplation? For instance, seeing an author's interpretation might challenge our own preconceptions and prompt us to question why we hold these views and whether other perspectives could also be valid.

Furthermore, isn't every reading of a text, or viewing of a film, in some sense an adaptation? Even the most faithful reader cannot escape the influence of their personal experiences, beliefs, and cultural context in interpreting a story. In this sense, each reader creates their own "adaptation" of the story in their mind.
When I spoke of the adaption of LOTR, it was more about adding agenda, not criticising adaptions per se. Of course, you are right, we all adapt stories in our minds, but the trouble with making mythologies into a novel is that either you are constantly comparing with the original, or you don’t know the original, and get a wrong impression. Reading the fable in the Bible, one should realise that it is a fable, although enough people struggle with myth, fable, allegory, and metaphor. I see a problem in society that is unable to fathom irony, satire, and humour, because they impulsively take things literally before perhaps (if we’re lucky) realising that it wasn’t meant that way. I feel that this novel contributes to that.
Sushan wrote: June 24th, 2023, 11:38 pm Therefore, while it's crucial to respect and learn from the original material, adaptations can serve as a catalyst for further discussion, critical thinking, and even a deeper understanding of the original. Rather than viewing them as a "cheap copy," could we not see them as an extension of the rich tapestry of human creativity and interpretation?

I agree with you that the intention behind an adaptation is crucial. It's essential to approach such works with humility, respect for the source material, and an openness to dialogue rather than seeking to impose a specific agenda. I'm curious about your thoughts on this perspective. How do we strike a balance between respect for the source material and the inherent subjectivity of interpretation? And how should we approach adaptations that we perceive as straying too far from the original's spirit?
I think the way to strike a balance is to accept the nature of the original and speak about it in that context, rather than implying historicity, because the value of the text lies in that it isn’t historical. Fables and mystical prose and poetry often employ rich symbolism, evocative language, and rhythmic structures to evoke a sense of awe, wonder, and transcendence. Poetry especially aims to bypass the limitations of ordinary language and intellectual understanding, appealing to the intuitive and experiential aspects of spirituality, whereas novels on the other hand, rely more on logical reasoning, analysis, and imply empirical evidence to explain phenomena. A novel seeks to tell a story using clear, logical, and systematic explanations based on observable facts, cause-and-effect relationships, and logical inference.
“Find someone who makes you realise three things:
One, that home is not a place, but a feeling.
Two, that time is not measured by a clock, but by moments.
And three, that heartbeats are not heard, but felt and shared.”
― Abhysheq Shukla
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Re: Filling the Blanks: Enhancement or Erosion of Biblical Stories?

Post by Sushan »

Stoppelmann wrote: June 25th, 2023, 3:52 am
Sushan wrote: June 24th, 2023, 11:38 pm You've made a compelling argument about the importance of preserving the original format of mythological or source material to maintain its purpose as a tool for personal and collective inquiry. The comparison to the Socratic method and psychotherapy indeed emphasizes the value of self-discovery and introspection over being presented with pre-packaged interpretations.

However, I'd like to propose a slightly different perspective. When it comes to literary and artistic adaptations like Tieman's "Killing Abel," or Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings," isn't there also value in seeing these not as dilutions of the original, but as expansions of the conversation around them?
There definitely is value in expanding the conversation, which is what we are doing. However, the critical approach is a differentiation, showing how the source material differs and how this difference is important. It was important to see in LOTR, and I remember conversations with my son, who is very knowledgeable in the subject matter, with me pointing out that the transfer to another medium requires the variation of the material but should try to not take away its initial intention. We both agreed that Jackson had achieved this.

The adaption that Tieman has written, on the other hand, not only transfers into a different literary genre, but thereby suggests historicity:
“Lucifer began to gently examine the hanging figs one by one until he came to one that was hanging just above his head. It was the ripest of the ripe fruit. With his angelic hands, he grasped the fig, seizing the attention of Eve. As he squeezed the fig, the juice slowly dripped into his open mouth. Eve watched . . . Drip, drip, drip as the angelic being was clearly savoring each drop. She watched as the nectar went into the being’s mouth, down his throat, and then disappeared into his clothing.”

Compare with the cited Genesis 3:6:
“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.”

The conversation in the fable goes like this: ““You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:4) It is a long way away from “his angelic hands grasping the fig.”

It is like taking mystical poetry from Rumi literally:
"The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep!
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep!
People are going back and forth
across the doorsill where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep!"

The poem speaks to the longing for spiritual awakening and the need to be fully present and engaged in the pursuit of truth and self-realization. The idea of not going back to sleep is a metaphor for not falling into complacency or being content with mere superficial existence, but rather actively seeking and being receptive to the mystical dimensions of life. But this brief explanation doesn’t really offer any benefit to the reader.
Sushan wrote: June 24th, 2023, 11:38 pm Let's take your point about the novel being a "consumer article" that leaves less to the imagination. While it's true that novels often provide more detailed descriptions and character thoughts, could this not also inspire a different kind of introspection or contemplation? For instance, seeing an author's interpretation might challenge our own preconceptions and prompt us to question why we hold these views and whether other perspectives could also be valid.

Furthermore, isn't every reading of a text, or viewing of a film, in some sense an adaptation? Even the most faithful reader cannot escape the influence of their personal experiences, beliefs, and cultural context in interpreting a story. In this sense, each reader creates their own "adaptation" of the story in their mind.
When I spoke of the adaption of LOTR, it was more about adding agenda, not criticising adaptions per se. Of course, you are right, we all adapt stories in our minds, but the trouble with making mythologies into a novel is that either you are constantly comparing with the original, or you don’t know the original, and get a wrong impression. Reading the fable in the Bible, one should realise that it is a fable, although enough people struggle with myth, fable, allegory, and metaphor. I see a problem in society that is unable to fathom irony, satire, and humour, because they impulsively take things literally before perhaps (if we’re lucky) realising that it wasn’t meant that way. I feel that this novel contributes to that.
Sushan wrote: June 24th, 2023, 11:38 pm Therefore, while it's crucial to respect and learn from the original material, adaptations can serve as a catalyst for further discussion, critical thinking, and even a deeper understanding of the original. Rather than viewing them as a "cheap copy," could we not see them as an extension of the rich tapestry of human creativity and interpretation?

I agree with you that the intention behind an adaptation is crucial. It's essential to approach such works with humility, respect for the source material, and an openness to dialogue rather than seeking to impose a specific agenda. I'm curious about your thoughts on this perspective. How do we strike a balance between respect for the source material and the inherent subjectivity of interpretation? And how should we approach adaptations that we perceive as straying too far from the original's spirit?
I think the way to strike a balance is to accept the nature of the original and speak about it in that context, rather than implying historicity, because the value of the text lies in that it isn’t historical. Fables and mystical prose and poetry often employ rich symbolism, evocative language, and rhythmic structures to evoke a sense of awe, wonder, and transcendence. Poetry especially aims to bypass the limitations of ordinary language and intellectual understanding, appealing to the intuitive and experiential aspects of spirituality, whereas novels on the other hand, rely more on logical reasoning, analysis, and imply empirical evidence to explain phenomena. A novel seeks to tell a story using clear, logical, and systematic explanations based on observable facts, cause-and-effect relationships, and logical inference.
Thank you for your thoughtful analysis. I see where you're coming from in your critique of Tieman's adaptation and the inherent suggestion of historicity. I agree that adaptations should aim to maintain the initial intention of the original material, and I appreciate your point about the distinction between fables, allegories, and historical accounts.

You're correct in saying that in turning a fable into a novel, there's a risk of either the reader constantly comparing it to the original or misunderstanding the original entirely. This is a legitimate concern, especially in a society that often struggles with discerning different literary forms and techniques.

However, I would argue that adaptations, including those that shift genres, offer a new way of engaging with and understanding the original text. They can illuminate aspects that may have been less apparent in the original form. That said, the author has the responsibility to maintain a balance and to respect the essence of the original material.

About your point on Rumi's poetry and the potential for it to be misunderstood if taken literally, I agree. The beauty and depth of such works often lie in their metaphors and their ability to tap into our intuitive understanding, rather than providing clear, literal meanings.

Yet, I believe that novels, while more grounded in logic and cause-and-effect relationships, also have their unique ways of engaging with readers' emotions and imaginations. They can provide a rich, immersive experience that is different, but not necessarily inferior, to the experience offered by fables or poetry.

In the end, perhaps the most important thing is for the reader to approach different types of literature with an open mind, understanding that each has its own way of conveying truths and experiences.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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by Mitzi Perdue
February 2023

Rediscovering the Wisdom of Human Nature: How Civilization Destroys Happiness

Rediscovering the Wisdom of Human Nature: How Civilization Destroys Happiness
by Chet Shupe
March 2023

The Unfakeable Code®

The Unfakeable Code®
by Tony Jeton Selimi
April 2023

The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are

The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are
by Alan Watts
May 2023

Killing Abel

Killing Abel
by Michael Tieman
June 2023

Reconfigurement: Reconfiguring Your Life at Any Stage and Planning Ahead

Reconfigurement: Reconfiguring Your Life at Any Stage and Planning Ahead
by E. Alan Fleischauer
July 2023

First Survivor: The Impossible Childhood Cancer Breakthrough

First Survivor: The Impossible Childhood Cancer Breakthrough
by Mark Unger
August 2023

Predictably Irrational

Predictably Irrational
by Dan Ariely
September 2023

Artwords

Artwords
by Beatriz M. Robles
November 2023

Fireproof Happiness: Extinguishing Anxiety & Igniting Hope

Fireproof Happiness: Extinguishing Anxiety & Igniting Hope
by Dr. Randy Ross
December 2023

2022 Philosophy Books of the Month

Emotional Intelligence At Work

Emotional Intelligence At Work
by Richard M Contino & Penelope J Holt
January 2022

Free Will, Do You Have It?

Free Will, Do You Have It?
by Albertus Kral
February 2022

My Enemy in Vietnam

My Enemy in Vietnam
by Billy Springer
March 2022

2X2 on the Ark

2X2 on the Ark
by Mary J Giuffra, PhD
April 2022

The Maestro Monologue

The Maestro Monologue
by Rob White
May 2022

What Makes America Great

What Makes America Great
by Bob Dowell
June 2022

The Truth Is Beyond Belief!

The Truth Is Beyond Belief!
by Jerry Durr
July 2022

Living in Color

Living in Color
by Mike Murphy
August 2022 (tentative)

The Not So Great American Novel

The Not So Great American Novel
by James E Doucette
September 2022

Mary Jane Whiteley Coggeshall, Hicksite Quaker, Iowa/National Suffragette And Her Speeches

Mary Jane Whiteley Coggeshall, Hicksite Quaker, Iowa/National Suffragette And Her Speeches
by John N. (Jake) Ferris
October 2022

In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All

In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All
by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
November 2022

The Smartest Person in the Room: The Root Cause and New Solution for Cybersecurity

The Smartest Person in the Room
by Christian Espinosa
December 2022

2021 Philosophy Books of the Month

The Biblical Clock: The Untold Secrets Linking the Universe and Humanity with God's Plan

The Biblical Clock
by Daniel Friedmann
March 2021

Wilderness Cry: A Scientific and Philosophical Approach to Understanding God and the Universe

Wilderness Cry
by Dr. Hilary L Hunt M.D.
April 2021

Fear Not, Dream Big, & Execute: Tools To Spark Your Dream And Ignite Your Follow-Through

Fear Not, Dream Big, & Execute
by Jeff Meyer
May 2021

Surviving the Business of Healthcare: Knowledge is Power

Surviving the Business of Healthcare
by Barbara Galutia Regis M.S. PA-C
June 2021

Winning the War on Cancer: The Epic Journey Towards a Natural Cure

Winning the War on Cancer
by Sylvie Beljanski
July 2021

Defining Moments of a Free Man from a Black Stream

Defining Moments of a Free Man from a Black Stream
by Dr Frank L Douglas
August 2021

If Life Stinks, Get Your Head Outta Your Buts

If Life Stinks, Get Your Head Outta Your Buts
by Mark L. Wdowiak
September 2021

The Preppers Medical Handbook

The Preppers Medical Handbook
by Dr. William W Forgey M.D.
October 2021

Natural Relief for Anxiety and Stress: A Practical Guide

Natural Relief for Anxiety and Stress
by Dr. Gustavo Kinrys, MD
November 2021

Dream For Peace: An Ambassador Memoir

Dream For Peace
by Dr. Ghoulem Berrah
December 2021