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The protagonist in Stranger in a Strange Land JMS comes from Mars, taught by spirits that sail across the landscape (sages? Monks? Gurus?). Shortly after arriving he starts to grok what's going on and chameleon like change his body and behavior to maximize his interaction with the earth. Mind body visualization intention yoga. Is this the first time this concept appears in sci fi?

  • Thanks 14111 I"ll give it a shot.Yoga as well as some other disciplines is not just the physical practice involving poses designed to improve balance,strength, flexibility and proprioception that most of us are familiar with. There are yamas and nyamas(roughly rules of behavior) such as kindness, compassion, respect,not stealing others time,etc. there is the increased ability of the practitioner to read or be conscious of his/her body and its health, strength, condition in the present moment. Value is placed on being in the moment (present) in order to experience living more fully – Eric Nov 19 '17 at 7:13
  • As apposition to living in the future (where we can never be) or the past where we can never be again. In order to achieve a desired outcome, one must create a detailed accurate image or visualization of what one wants. Without a vision one wanders aimlessly. Focus and intention affect the body directly. Focus on form and performance result in improvement. It in now recognized that the single most important factor in recovery from trauma and disease is attitude weather positive or negative. – Eric Nov 19 '17 at 7:25
  • It's been decades since I read "Stranger" but I am sure I didn't imagine the Or misrember the references in the text to JMS intentionally changing his physicality, and to some extent determining outcomes almost effortlessly. – Eric Nov 19 '17 at 7:33
  • So long before my introduction to yoga and eastern thought I took as an adolescent this implied philosophy and began to use it in my life. – Eric Nov 19 '17 at 7:36
  • While I can't think of any earlier examples off the top of my head, I highly doubt Heinlein was the first to write a character who changes things by visualizing the desired change in detail (which I think is the main point of your question), as the pattern of thoughts that the mental model of a thing is intimately connected to or is in some way the same as the real thing has existed for a very long time (it is what's usually called magical thinking). – Jules Nov 19 '17 at 11:27

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