Wednesday, September 14, 2005

More on books

I went to national Bookstore this afternoon to finally buy The Examined Life. It only sold for PHP 75 because it had a 50% discount. What a bargain!

I'm also planning on buying the rest of 'The Road Less Traveled trilogy': Further Along the Road Less Traveled and The Road Less Traveled And Beyond. I've read the first book of the trilogy a year or so ago and I really liked it. The book is full of insights and wisdom. M. Scott Peck is actually a psychiatrist, and it's amazing how he blends his knowledge in psychology and psychiatry with spirituality. It's absolutely insightful!

I remember one night while my Pangga and I were in Dumaguete, I was helping her with her reports, it was very late and we still had loads of job to do, I was rambling to her about The Road Less Traveled, the insights I've gathered from it, and I was talking on and on and on... I felt like I was actually at the height of enlightenment, like I was the Buddha himself, sharing wisdom... I felt like I understood the relationship and significance of everything -- philosophy, sociology, religion, political science, art, etc., things I've always been interested in... I felt like I could explain it all... I asked her to ask me any question about life and existence and told her I could probably answer it... The meaning of life? Well, it's like this... The purpose of existence? Well, this is how it is... I felt like I could answer any question about human life... Things, or life, made sense to me... LOL... Was it merely the effect of lack of sleep? =)

Anyway, the book is a must-read for anyone interested in spiritual growth.

Another book of Mr. Peck is Glimpses of the Devil : A Psychiatrist's Personal Accounts of Possession, Exorcism, and Redemption. Very intriguing stuff, eh? I think in this book he is trying to prove the existence of devils or demons. You might dismiss it as simply nonsense. You might say, how can a psychiatrist talk about demonic possessions!? You might dismiss it the same way most thinking, rational people might dismiss, for example, new age stuff. Actually, Mr. Peck was once a skeptic. He did not believe in devils or angels or any supernatural beings. He converted to Christianity only later in his practice as a psychiatrist, led by his reason and by his continuous search for the truth. He was not yet a Christian when he wrote The Road Less Traveled. I think his succeeding works then attempt to show the relationship between psychology and spirituality.

I personally believe in devils, not simply as abstracts or symbols, but as real beings... I've always wanted to reconcile my faith with my want to be rational. I believe my faith can be supported by reason. :) Thus, I'm always trying to educate myself on spiritual or theological stuff. We as Christians all have an obligation to understand our faith more deeply. We all need to study theology. :)

On my way out of the book store I saw copies of Angels and Demons in a shelf. I picked it up and read the first page... It was actually a page-turner. I got excited. How I wished I could bring it home and read it. Why do books have to be so expensive?

I remember several months ago my Pangga and I were attending this lecture on Da Vinci's Code at Cebu Normal University. The guest speaker was a theologian from the States. In his presentation he attempted to refute the claims Dan Brown made in his novel. He presented archaeological and historical facts to point out the errors in Brown's story. It was a great talk, one which I learned a lot from. That's why I so want to read the novel, to consider for myself the claims, and to read the books that attempt to debunk them. I just want to hear both sides of the debate, that's all. There's nothing to worry about naman di ba if you're interested in the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? Hehe. Anyway, the theologian-speaker's wife was there, and I overheard her asking a girl from the audience: "Have you read Da Vinci's Code?" The girl: "No". The theologian-speaker's wife: "That's good. You don't want to distort your mind with that." (Or words to that effect). And I was thinking, isn't there something wrong with that idea? I mean, to close your mind to a book just because the ideas there are "dangerous"? Like I said, if you're after the truth, or are confident that you are in Truth's side, what's there to be afraid of?

Another book that got my interest is St. Ignatius Loyola's Spiritual Exercises. Wouldn't it be nice if one could practice those exercises in one's life, to deepen one's spirituality? (I've learned there are actually many versions of the exercises).

I also dropped by Kyregma at the J.Y. Square Mall. I saw an illustrated version of Thomas a Kempis' The Imitation of Christ. It costs a fortune! But it's hardbound. I also saw an "updated" version of it (The original was written, I think, in the 15th century, and remains the second-most translated piece of literature next to the Bible. Did I get that right? :)). I want to compare the updated and the "non-updated" version and decide which one is better to buy. (Update! The good news is, you can actually read the text [modern English translation] online! Isn't that amazing? Here: The Imitation of Christ)

Sigh. Too many books. Too little money. I guess that's one of the reasons why we are not a country of readers. Books are just too expensive. But aren't books necessities of life also, in the same way food, clothing, and shelter are? Food nourish our body, books nourish our mind. Clothing and shelter protect us from the harmful elements of the environment, books protect us from the harmful forces of ignorance and irrationality. Food enable us to grow physically and function properly in our daily activities, books allow us to grow in knowledge and wisdom and function wisely in our daily affairs with other men. :) So, books should really be our priority also, if we want to maintain a healthy life. Of course, we also need to develop a personal relationship with the Lord, for us to grow spiritually. :)

No comments:

eXTReMe Tracker