Saturday, June 11, 2005

A man wanting to read a book is not just a man - but a soul reaching out to seek the infinite.

Why should a person read
Simply put - to transcend the immediate limitations of human senses and perception in order to experience this world in as rich, diverse and interesting a manner as possible.

I have had various discussions and arguments with some of my friends who maintain that it is better to just live life as one sees it around oneself instead of qualifying that experience by perceptions one acquires from reading books. My answer to that has been -- books give me a glimpse of a much larger subset of the world that I may then -choose- to experience, they help me transcend the boundaries of my immediate surroundings and circumstances - for example, give me a controllable environment where I can choose to talk with J.Krishnamurthi and Mahatma Gandhi instead of being in a group of people living around where I live, where the subjects of discussion are usually limited to local politics and gossip. (And it is more difficult for me to control my atomspace location than my mindspace or bitspace location.)

(peronal opinion)
And I believe that not using the power of the written word to control how one 'programs' oneself is being an ultra-luddite. :)

(impersonal opinion! :-)) An answer to 'should one read' can be found by trying to understand what the purpose of one's life is. There are phases in a lifetime, when it is -very- relevant to have access to written literature and a person should read. As to 'should one read a lot', that should be decided by what is 'necessary'. How to decide what is 'necessary' requires an inquiry into what is 'good' and 'bad'. However, if one aims to see further, standing on the shoulders of many giants helps. How much one can read depends on the efficiency and effectiveness of the persons 'comprehension apparatus'.

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