Saturday, April 18, 2009

Paulo Coelho says...

"Answer me, " she said, looking around my apartment.  "Is learning just putting things on a shelf or is it discarding whatever is no longer useful and then continuing on your way feeling lighter?"
On the shelves were all the books I'd invested so much money and time in buying, reading, and annotating.  They were my personality, my education, my true teachers.
"How many books have you got?  Over a thousand, I'd say.  But most of them you'll probably never open again.  You hang on to them because you don't believe."
"I don't believe?"
"No, you don't believe, full stop.  Anyone who believes will go and read up about [insert subject here] but after that it is a question of letting [the Creator] speak through you and making discoveries as [Creator] speaks.  And as you make those discoveries, you'll manage to fill in the blank spaces that all those writers left there on purpose to provoke the reader's imagination.  And when you fill in the spaces, you'll start to believe in your own abilities."
How many people would love to read those books but don't have the money to buy them?  Meanwhile, you sit here surrounded by all this stagnant energy, purely to impress the friends who visit you.  Or is it that you don't feel you've learned anything from them and need to consult them again?"
I thought she was being rather hard on me, and that intrigued me.
"So you don't think I need this library?"
"I think you need to read, but why hang on to all these books?  Would it be asking too much if we were to leave here right now, and before going to the restaurant, distribute most of them to whomever we happened to pass in the street?"
"They wouldn't all fit in my car."
"We could hire a truck."
"But then we wouldn't get to the restaurant in time for supper.  Besides, you came here because you were feeling insecure, not in order to tell me what I should do with my books.  Without them I'd feel naked."
"Ignorant, you mean."
"Uncultivated would be the right word."
"So your culture isn't in your heart, its on your bookshelves."

Paulo, you speak my heart!

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