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the box on our heads

This week I finished reading “What my bones know” by Stephanie Foo: a memoir on complex PTSD (CPTSD). Reflecting at different stages of the author’s story, it reminded me a lot of…

insights from a forest monk

I like to read Buddhist books because it serves a radical narrative compared to the ones we’ve been served in mainstream society. It teaches us to understand the nature of our suffering,…

Proust on seeing ourselves in books

This quote re-surfaced on facebook’s “on this day” a while ago, and I thought I should note it down here so it can have a permanent place in my learning library. Hopefully…

Every reader, as he reads, is actually the reader of himself

Every reader, as he reads, is actually the reader of himself. The writer's work is only a kind of optical instrument he provides the reader so he can discern what he might never have seen in himself without this book. The reader's recognition in himself of what the book says is the proof of the book's truth.

To study the way we read is to study the way the mind works

To study the way we read is to study the way the mind works: the way it evaluates a statement for truth, the way it behaves in relation to another mind (i.e., the writer’s) across space and time. What we’re going to be doing here, essentially, is watching ourselves read (trying to reconstruct how we felt as we were, just now, reading). Why would we want to do this? Well, the part of the mind that reads a story is also the part that reads the world; it can deceive us, but it can also be trained to accuracy; it can fall into disuse and make us more susceptible to lazy, violent, materialistic forces, but it can also be urged back to life, transforming us into more active, curious, alert readers of reality.

Joseph Campbell affirmed life as adventure

Joseph Campbell affirmed life as adventure. “To hell with it,” he said, after his university adviser tried to hold him to a narrow academic curriculum. He gave up on the pursuit of a doctorate and went instead into the woods to read. He continued all his life to read books about the world: anthropology, biology, philosophy, art, history, religion. And he continued to remind others that one sure path into the world runs along the printed page.

growing old with books

When I was a teenager I often discussed with my friends the age I would like to live until (sigh, teenagers). That age was 30. I felt like 30 years of miserable…

the more I read

It is ironic how much I’ve evolved when it comes to goals, routines and habits. I remember so much of myself having an “artist temperament”, which loosely translates to “do anything I…