Besides reading all kinds of PCT related papers and books, I also enjoy reading other stuff. Since PCT however, I noticed that I really enjoy understanding everything I’m reading (and re-reading) from a PCT perspective. When non-fictional psychological literature doesn’t match PCT, I notice that my interest quickly disappears.
However, there are a number of books that, without explicit connection, do match PCT. I would love to discuss these works with other PCT’ers (that’s the reading-club part).
I’ll start my list here:
1. Robert Pirsig - Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance.
The author searches for an understanding of ‘quality’, and I believe he finds it in the connection between precise perception in the here-and-now and his ideals. Quality emerges in that process, and I think that this is a description of control.
2. Spinoza - Ethica (and other works or secondary works).
Spinoza, a 17th century Dutch philosopher, wrote about how humans function and how to live a good life. I have the sense that his view matches PCT very close; he doesn’t use the word control, but the model he outlines has many overlapping aspects. Spinoza’s view on emotions is particularly interesting - he recognizes that sadness comes from a loss of perfection (perfection in this sense meaning control); joy from a step towards perfection. I have tried to read Spinoza before, but failed. With the PCT framework, I now have the sense that I understand what it’s about.
3. Oliver Sacks
I just listened to the audiobook versions of a few books of Oliver Sacks; An Anthropologist on Mars; the Mind’s eye and A River of Consciousness. Oliver Sacks was a man with very precise observations, and his descriptions of neurological cases are beautiful. Moreover, in his work on consciousness, I think he touches many aspects that could relate to PCT. If anyone is interested, I’d love to reread this work in a precise way and note where to connect PCT.
4. Astrid Lindgren
I recently read Ronia the Robber’s Daughter ( Ronja rövardotter, 1981) to my children, and noticed how in this story, conflict between people and inside of people is beautifully described, and resolution is reached by going up a level. Ronia is torn between her father, the Robber, and her own principles of being good to people; torn between her own Robber’s band and the band of her friend Birk. These conflicts are described in many ways. Eventually, through some dramatic and emotional scenes, Ronia manages to unity the competing robbers. It’s the perfect MOL story of resolving conflict by going up a level.
Any more suggestions, ideas?