Re: What is the most influential book you've read?
Friedrich Nietzsche's "Thus spoke Zarathustra", especially the following lines:
"The strong spirit demands to carry much, but finds that what it is given to carry is not enough, it demands only the most difficult. This spirit piles on whatever it can, becoming a Camel. This camel bears the weight of his task, but eventually finds his work meaningless and illusory, he finds himself, in a spiritual desert.
This Camel no longer finds meaning in the values subscribed to him; he is a spirit too strong to take on this task, he no longer wishes to bear the weight of values that do not come from his own. The Camel becomes a Lion, the spirit that fights against these false values in order to find his own place, his own freedom. The Lion is the no-saying spirit, but his role is not only to deny, but to make room for new yeas.
This Lion becomes a Child. What is this child? He is a new beginning. This requires first a forgetting of the old, and then, the start of a new game. He is the beginning of a new wheel, his piece the center of a motion that picks up new pieces along its path, creating a new world along its way."
Indeed, Nietzsche was more of a mystic than a philosopher. I value the spirit of the lion highly.