Overtly didactic, I would have liked this book less if we hadn't just had an in-depth discussion about transformative education last night in our semiotics seminar. The power of Zen stories and koans to still the mind and help people to perceive what is up close and cluttering our minds is part of transformation. Without becoming aware of broader forces and trends that work to shape us and boss us around, it can be difficult to transform.
What I enjoy in a transformative experience is the having of the experience, not having an author tell me I should
. This book clearly links the idea of 'here's a bit of Zen story' with 'here's how to apply it in modern life.' Literature has this kind of power to provide an experience, but when it turns into a sermon I feel like I am participating in advertising or proselyting rather than art. I do not prefer didactic books, even when I agree with them. Didactic literature usually assumes a transmission model of teaching (no interpretant), and a passive learner waiting for 'messages'.