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Thread: Purpose of reading.

  1. #1
    Haribol Acharya blazeofglory's Avatar
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    Purpose of reading.

    Why do we read after all? What utility is there in reading books? Can not we do without reading in life? Are we better off in terms of our level of thinking, in terms of culturing our mind, in terms of intensifyng our sensitivity to the world and its people? Have we been successful in finding the meaing of life and the purpose of living and in establishing mutuality and understanding with the rest of the world. Do we read to entertain ourselves?

    I beleive both ends are not met with by reading books, ordinarily speaking. Yet we cannot do away with the habit of reading in this millenium. It has been in point of fact a very intergral part of life, and it has pervaded our life deeply and profoundly.

    The problem again does not cease. The problem is choosing good books from thosuands we come upon on boos shelves in publlic libraries or in book stores.
    Some books simply confuse you and mist your vision and gets you astray and such misleading books need to be avoided.

    There is no such idea as to which book to be preferred to which from thosuands there. It is your personal and private choice. Parents or teachers can be of help in choosing good ones from bad ones but the ultimate decision is yours and exclusively yours.

    What I worte here afore sounds I am advising as if I am more knowledgeable in deciding. No. This is my view and you have yours and you can discard this idea.

    Yes we must discard ideas, for there are millions of ideas and they siimply confuse and coomote us and at times they disillusion us.

    No books have disillusioned me more than books of religions and spirituality. They have rather than wideniing my vision or horizon of thinking and undersnading human beings, narrowded down my scope of vision and delimited my range of thinking and constricted my perspective and mindsets. Yet I read them now more and more. They are really awakening. I may sound paradoxical . The fact is now I know the books I choose are really illuminating and they are bradening the path to undestanding the meaning of life. These books unlke those previous ones do not layer my mind, rather they distangle me from vague ideas.

    Books should be chosen in a way that keeps us clear of nets of things or out of boxes of prejudices and biases. We are normally programmed and are wired to certain patterns of thinking and we must de-pattern our thinking proccesses.

    As far as the domain of truth or understanding the meaning of life I do not subscribe to the fact that I am better off in undersnading it than any illitrate farmers of Asia and Africa. I equally wonder at the creation of the universe. Despite my level of knowledge, asademic degrees or erudition I have greater heights comared with those illitrate ones, yet as far as understanding our destiny and the world we live in is concered I am as ignorant as them, may be not better off than even animal beings about the the nature of things and the mystery of the universe.

    These ideas are in fact not mine despite that there has been assimilation or fusion or profusion within me. These are programmed and processed the way computer programmings are done.

    Sources: Zen Buddism, J. Kroshnamurti, Sufi Poems, Khalil Gibran, yet most of all the Awakwened OSHO.

    The prgrammed or shaped the course of my thinking.

    I am in debt to them.

    If your are interested in exploring beyond please give your comments

    “Those who seek to satisfy the mind of man by hampering it with ceremonies and music and affecting charity and devotion have lost their original nature””

    “If water derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind! The mind of the sage, being in repose, becomes the mirror of the universe, the speculum of all creation.

  2. #2
    Registered User the silent x's Avatar
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    now, everything you just said is a matter of perspective, what you may think limits you mind, i may think it broadens my view of everything, there is no real way for anyone to tell you what to think, they can try for years to tell you things over and over, but it is your choice to listen to them just as it is your choice to read books,

    now to comments on your sig, the quote by john lennon is stupid. peace is not about whether you work hard to promote it or not, oeace is about the human mind allowing another mind to take a certain amount of control away from you. the only way to have world peace is to have everyone think the same way. if you can do that, then there will be no reason to get indignant about anything and thus peace is reached. but not everyone will accept the same way of thinking, people are all different. the people have to be willing to accept this way of thinking, if i say think this way, some people aren't going to like me telling them what to do, thus they will resist me and demote peace.
    life philosophy: "if one wants to succeed, they must become independent, if one wants to be independent, one must strive past the dificulties, using them to shape future desicions, like a sword being folded, every fold is a hardship overcome, and every fold removes one more imperfection that would destroy the completed version"

    # of 1st Dans, Black Belts achieved- 2 (1 Hapkido, Sun Moo Kwan), (1 Tae Kwon Do)

  3. #3
    Registered User bookworm57's Avatar
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    Question

    peace is not about whether you work hard to promote it or not, peace is about the human mind allowing another mind to take a certain amount of control away from you. The only way to have world peace is to have everyone think the same way. if you can do that, then there will be no reason to get indignant about anything and thus peace is reached. but not everyone will accept the same way of thinking, people are all different. the people have to be willing to accept this way of thinking, if i say think this way, some people aren't going to like me telling them what to do, thus they will resist me and demote peace.[/QUOTE]

    I agree with this, but I'm not sure I understand the bit about allowing another mind to take a certain amount of control away from you. Wouldn't that make one person dominant and the other submissive? I can't see how that can be called peace.
    untitled

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    The millions of options in the a bookstore have nothing to do with Reading and Literature, so they do not relate to your questions.
    They have to do with industry and a society that need to buy goods. It have only 100 years while reading/writing thousands.

  5. #5
    High Priest of Folly Pelican King's Avatar
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    Can you tell me why reading and writing is anymore corrupting than speaking? It's just another medium of communication, and people have to be critical enough to deal with whatever information they happen to pass by. Also it can be advantageous to someone to read something you don't agree with. Reading critically allows someone to gain knowledge no matter which one of the "thousands on the bookshelves" they encounter.

    One reason to put books above other communication such as talking or television is that not all books are written for other people, many people have diaries or journals which is a valuable personal and creative outlet.

    Maybe we should all stop talking and just write to each other

  6. #6
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    "Some books simply confuse you and mist your vision and gets you astray and such misleading books need to be avoided"

    What an odd idea. It implies that people read with their minds switched off. Books, TV, people, can't lead you astray as long as you keep thinking while you are being presented with information. Granted, some people are easily swayed to different ways of thinking through clever presentation of information, but this surely isn't a reason to avoid particular categories of books? It seems much more wrong to me to limit your reading in the fear you may be 'swayed' than to openly and critically approach such works. For example, the theme of violence. I abhor violence, yet I am interested in reading works on it, that even promote it, in order to try to understand it. By understanding something I can hopefully avoid it in my own life, and come to an idea about why others practice it, and how they can be convinced to cease. The statement I quote above seems to imply readers are blind and unthinking. Maybe some are. I'm not.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Pelican King View Post
    Can you tell me why reading and writing is anymore corrupting than speaking? It's just another medium of communication, and people have to be critical enough to deal with whatever information they happen to pass by.
    Quoted for truth. Reading is not fundamentally different than speaking, as they are both means of conveying ideas.

    Why do we read after all? What utility is there in reading books? Can not we do without reading in life? Are we better off in terms of our level of thinking, in terms of culturing our mind, in terms of intensifyng our sensitivity to the world and its people? Have we been successful in finding the meaing of life and the purpose of living and in establishing mutuality and understanding with the rest of the world. Do we read to entertain ourselves?
    Most of us read because we have to, and those who like it are probably doing it for entertainment, or more specifically, not to learn anything. As for the meaning of life bit towards the end, there is none.

  8. #8
    "An open book is meaningless without an open mind" (who said that? unpretentious 'moi')

    The question is posed - why do we read. Any response has to be subjective.

    There are a number of reasons why people read. These reasons can be different for different people, and can be different for the same people at different times. I will not demean the intelligence of readers here by giving examples to support that argument.

    It is said that when we teach, we learn. I know that I was made aware of much of the reading, and writing, process when I spent some time teaching these subjects at a university in the Republic of China. Life is also a learning process, so, while no longer a teacher, I am still a student.

    To stimulate interest, I would often start out a new course with an introduction to my students of the importance, and beauty of reading, and writing. These are two attributes that evolution has brought to us which have helped to distinguish, and separate, us even from our nearest ' relatives' in the animal kingdom. At least, so far, no other animal has mastered these liberal arts, in spite of many attempts by interested, gifted, and patient, practitioners to prove otherwise.

    That in itself should be sufficient for all of us to use, and enjoy, this unique gift, and not permit it to be filed with the 'to be taken for granted ' attributes in our life.

    However, there is one other feature of reading during my teaching years that was brought home to me. When we read we are in silent communication with the writer. In other words, when next you read, observe how you often make silent murmurs of assent, or disagreement, and even pose questions, to the writer. Perhaps this is more obvious when you are more critically reading a non professional writer as in this essay. But it is not so obvious, when, say, reading Shakespeare, Austin, Hardy, or even Christie et al.

    To be able to spend time and be entertained by these literary giants, or, if studying, great men and women of many persuasions, and learning, is surely a wondrous thing indeed. And all for the price of a book, or the effort to acquire a library ticket.

    It is this recording, and transmission of knowledge which, to me, is solely responsible for the level of our advancement from life in the stone age to the present. As long as this transmission of knowledge continues
    so will our enlightenment advance.

    Reading can take us to times before, and beyond, our own, and to places not yet visited, or even to return to places of happy memories. A good writer can make us hear those familiar sounds, and see with that 'inward eye' once again, happy, or even sad, moments long gone.

    But, to me, in order to gain full benefit at the time we open that book, we should also open our minds. This way we can take in and consider new ideas.
    It doesn't mean we have to change that which exists, and which has given
    us comfort like an old paiir of shoes.

    It means we are open to change the old for new following our minds analytical process called reasoning, and applied logic. It also helps the ability to be merely 'entertained' if that is our main interest.

    Now, reach for that book, relax, and enjoy the 'companionship' of the writer.

    'What is this life if so consumed by need (almost wrote 'greed') we have no time to relax, and read'.

    Midas
    Last edited by Midas; 06-17-2007 at 01:16 PM.

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