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The World Is Made of Stories

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  144 ratings  ·  23 reviews
In this dynamic and utterly novel presentation, David Loy explores the fascinating proposition that the stories we tell--about what is and is not possible, about ourselves, about right and wrong, life and death, about the world and everything in it--become the very building blocks of our experience and of reality itself. Loy uses an intriguing mixture of quotations from fa ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published August 31st 2010 by Wisdom Publications (first published May 10th 2010)
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3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  144 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Viv JM
Sep 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: buddhism, author-male
Mindblowing. I think I need to read this a couple more times for it to all sink in! Luckily it's not a very long book :-)
Julie Johnson
Wonderful little book.
Dec 20, 2011 is currently reading it
Have to read this three more times when I finish the first time!
Karl Nehring
Apr 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Engaging, challenging, informative, speculative -- a wonderful read!
Nov 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
We tell stories. We live within stories. We understand through stories. We are stories. Can we not story? One story is that we are how the universe makes meaning. What story are you living? What part do you play in others' stories? What story would you like to live? Can you change the story you are telling yourself? What's your story about God? What's God's story? What cannot be storied?
This small volume, about 100 pages, will stop you in your tracks, provoke, inspire, and may help free you from
Rivera Sun
May 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
I like to drink tea while I read. There is a pause between reading a passage and pouring the hot water into the teapot that David R. Loy's book is perfectly designed for. It is written in a series of provocative short quotes from notable figures and comments by David. He strings each chapter together in a loose flow of meditative thoughts that made me stop and ponder frequently. Each section unravels this great story we call reality and brings the reader/thinker into a mind-state before story. I ...more
Frank Jude
Feb 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: buddhism, philosophy
This is a wonderful book; every page worthy of deeper investigation, and reflection. I read it fairly quickly, all the time knowing I'd be reading it again and again. In fact, I'm already contemplating gathering a group of friends to read and discuss this story about stories and storying.

David Loy has created a new type of book with this study; rich in quotes from a diverse group of writers and thinkers, Loy then dialogues with the quilt of voices.

Mar 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A delightful book mostly of quotations with some explicatory transitions.

Fiction as "laboratories for moral experimentation"p.63

"The earth is not sacred in Abrahamic religions but God's Word is. ... Idolatry was supplanted by bibliolatry" p. 78.

Like Salwak's The Wonders of Solitude, this is one of those little books nice to have close at hand for a quick browse.
Jun 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers of Carse's "Finite and Infinite Games"
Shelves: personal-library
A short, pithy, quotation-filled book about the forms, uses, and effect of narrative(s) on human existence. The book is written from a light Buddhist perspective - fans of Wittgenstein will either be confirmed or bored by the middle half of this book. I was confirmed - hence the four stars.
Feb 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
a reflection on the way we create and live in and through our narratives, Loy's thoughts certainly had me engaged in some deeper contemplation of meaning, story, and mystery.
Brionna Lewis
Sep 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Brilliant. Thought-provoking. Wordy. Very wordy. Could have given it four stars or even five....but damn those words.
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you read this book, you will soon find its flaws and supeficiality. If instead you immerse in it, you will appretiate its depth and the great way the author used in weaving its pieces of enlighntment.
Dec 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Very interesting for most of it. Pages from about 70 to somewhere around 80 degenerated into common political shibboleths. Picked up again after.
Steve Wiggins
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the most intriguing aspects of humanity is the very different way eastern and western cultures look at life. For many of us raised in the western hemisphere there's only one workable paradigm for life and that is rationalism. More precisely, scientific rationalism. When exposed to how eastern thinker envision the world we're left with a bewildered "huh?" Loy helps to make that transition a little easier.

A Buddhist, Loy reflects on stories in this little book. More specifically, he argues
Jan 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
More meditation than narrative, this book muses on the formative role that stories have in our lives: how the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves—personal stories, cultural stories, political stories, religious stories—shape our individual and collective identities. Yes, the world is made of stories. WE are made of stories. The self is a construction, and stories are the raw material from which we build. The author, though, is a Buddhist, so he also wants us to consider that our story-cons ...more
Arnie Kozak
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
I picked up a copy of The World is Made of Stories at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies bookstore. I've been wanting to read this for some time. It is a slim volume (my favorite kind) that is a conversation between Loy and quotes from philosophers and literary greats. It is a meandering, often stream of consciousness contemplation on the storied nature of existence. Despite being a Buddhist teacher, it's not all about Buddhism. Much reflection on politics, imagination, and Christianity too. ...more
John Fredrickson
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is an extraordinary book, one which I will almost certainly re-read. It is almost a themed collection of aphorisms or thoughts about how we make up our own little worlds by the stories that we tell ourselves. These short little expositions are easily and quickly read, and can really make you aware of the way that you make your own experience, potentially giving you more freedom to write a different life story.
Steve Greenleaf
Dec 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
An outstanding book of aphorisms, quotes, and thoughts. Loy weaves myth, literature, Christianity, science, and Buddhism into a whole cloth that addresses some of the vexing issues between them and suggests resolutions. A delight to read.
Kirsten Cutler
Apr 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
A font of wisdom from many different voices integrated around the meaning of life.
Kevin Hodgson
Sep 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
The title is the best part of this book.
Jack Oughton
Aug 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've read this about 6 times now and every time I get something new out of it.
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David Robert Loy is an American author and authorized teacher in the Sanbo Kyodan lineage of Japanese Zen Buddhism.
“You must be emptied of that with which you are full, so you may be filled with that whereof you are empty. Augustine” 1 likes
“your head. Sally Kempton” 0 likes
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