I love to read… In an age where there are tonnes and tonnes of dynamic content vying for our undivided attention, getting entranced in a world that a good book provides is still pretty up there on my list of opiates.
I’m old-fashioned- virtual books are great but I still prefer curling up with my own book that I can touch. I love the smell of the pages, highlighting interesting points, and the satisfaction of witnessing a book that I’ve put through the wringer. In fact, if I’ve borrowed a great book from the library it pains me to part with it. So then I’ll search for it and then purchase just so that I can have it forever and always!
Anyhoo, as my first official post I’d like to share my Top 7 Favourite Books of all Time- at least so far. Not arranged in any particular order, these books have changed my life so please find them and take a read yourselves!
The Holy Bible (King James Version)
One day I saw a commercial with the image of a baby transitioning into old age. After fading to black, text appeared asking “How long will you take to read the Bible?” or something to that effect. That point struck home for me and at the age of twelve I read the entire bible in about a year. It was hard I admit with all the “Thy” and “Thou” texts but I was happy I did. Whether you’re a Christian like myself or not, what I like about it is that it gives really practical advice for how to live a peaceful and fulfilling life. Books like Proverbs, Ecclesiastics, Psalms and Revelations are areas I tend to read over and over again. It also breaks down any misconceptions of Jesus. I would recommend reading the King James Version before reading the New International Version (which incidentally I’m reading now) because in my opinion you’ll have a more wholesome view of its teachings and draw from it your own conclusions.
Disclaimer: Please do not read Revelations first as I did- it may freak you out as a first time reader. I would recommend to start reading from the New Testament.
The Teaching of Buddha
If you want a simple but deeply insightful read then this book is for you. On my voyage to spiritual enlightenment I read almost every religious text you can think of- I didn’t want to simply adhere to the religious principles of my family for the sake of tradition. This is why I believe I have a general respect and tolerance for other person’s religious beliefs. I bought the book incidentally at a Buddhist temple and there on the walls I saw symbols representing all major world religions which to me illustrated their respect for other religions.
“One of his students asked Buddha, “Are you the messiah?”
“No”, answered Buddha.
“Then are you a healer?”
“No”, Buddha replied.
“Then are you a teacher?” the student persisted.
“No, I am not a teacher.”
“Then what are you?” asked the student, exasperated.
“I am awake”, Buddha replied.”
– The Teaching of Buddha
This book does not speak of God or tries to define Him- this book tells you about the life of Siddhartha- the first Buddha who embarked on a journey to find an end to suffering. There are a lot of allegories in this book, but they are so simply written I find it hard for readers to be confused about their meanings. Personally, I have found that the book’s philosophical insights has made me a better Christian. Being free from attachment is a central theme as attachment is deemed to be the root of all suffering.
The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck
Life is difficult- this is the most simplistic but highly powerful in-your-face opening lines that I have ever seen in any book. Though it went relatively unnoticed by readers when it was first published in the late 1970’s, a few years later it exploded on the scene and today it is still a best seller. This book was the first of its kind- here was a Harvard graduate, and clinical psychiatrist no less, daring to propose that the root of many psychologically issues was self-induced. Not only that, he posited that laziness and lack of self-discipline was the root of many psychological ailments like depression or even narcissism. How often will you hear that depression is a good thing? In Peck’s experience it is as signals beginning of a transition to a higher level of understanding and enlightenment if the individual chooses to mange it wisely.
“When we avoid the legitimate suffering that results from dealing with problems, we also avoid the growth that problems demand from us. It is for this reason that in chronic mental illness we stop growing, we become stuck. And without healing, the human spirit begins to shrivel.”
~ M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Tradition Values and Spiritual Growth
Dubbed as pop-psychology back in the day by its critics, this book was the first to combine psychological concepts such as delayed gratification with spiritual inclinations. What I like about this book is that it has no frills- the author has a conversational writing style and captures the attention of his readers with real life scenarios from his personal experiences and his psychiatric cases which are so generic that it appeals to a wide cross-section of persons. Though the book speaks of science and spirituality it does not alienate persons of varying beliefs. Peck does not negate the importance of psychiatry for those who need it, instead he offers practical solutions for the masses who may not be able to afford those sessions but are willing to make a change in their thinking for a better life.
THANKS FOR READING!
Look out for Part 2 of this 3 part series!
Featured Image-http://www.lizlamoreux.com, The Holy Bible-www.kingjamesbibleonline.org, The Teaching of Buddha– http://www.tripadvisor.com, The Road Less Traveled– http://www.fromdusktilldon.wordpress.com