Young Adult Lit/Crit

March 5, 2008

Crutcher and Eastern philosophy/religion

Filed under: Uncategorized — scrollman @ 8:27 am

I’m curious to know if Chris was, at any time in his life, influenced by eastern philosophy/religion (Taoism, Buddhism etc.)  I find that his view of the universe is closely aligned with eastern thought, and I’m wondering if this is a purely coincidental connection, or if there is something more to it.   I really enjoy his sojourns into existential thought, especially his sense that we are all  “connected into infinity.”  I’m very impressed by how “deep” his novels go into the metaphysical realm, and by how well he integrates spiritual themes, without being too didactic.  There is such a great potential for discussion relating to philosophy/spirituality/ religion in these works; I’m wondering, however, if we begin to enter another danger zone when we discuss these topics with our students.




  1. Jonathan,

    I AM the Buddha. He he. Only kidding. Actually I’ve run into Eastern thought a few times in my career. In fact I went to Eastern Washington State. Another he he.

    The Eastern thought connection was never formal really, though I did work with a child psychiatrist who was a Buddhist monk. No matter how you saw something, he was able to show it to you from the other side. I learned that you can’t be a lot of help for anyone unless you can see the world through his or her eyes, to whatever degree you’re able. I’ve always been interested in what I considered Zen to be; basically “what is.” Beliefs and beliefs systems kill us in that they are exclusive of each other so much of the time. I found that out the hard way, over and over. Some sense of “release” seems to be necessary to make real change. That’s some of my thought about this… would be more than willing to discuss it further. CC

    Comment by Chris Crutcher — March 5, 2008 @ 7:19 pm

  2. Hi Chris,

    Everyone is the Buddha. He he. I was actually raised in the Jewish faith but have been attracted to Eastern thought and spirituality since I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and the Tao of Pooh in high school. I find it fascinating how people from completely different backgrounds can come to the same conclusions about life, the universe, and everything. I guess this just goes to show how connected we all are on a basic human level. I think you’re right when you say that belief systems all too often exclude one another. As a human culture, we need to embrace what is similar in all of us rather than what is different. I think your books do an amazing job of reflecting this notion. Looking forward to meeting you this afternoon.


    Comment by scrollman — March 6, 2008 @ 8:32 am

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