Brian’s Reflection: Friday, Aug 28, 2009
The great book for you is the book that has the most
to say to you at the moment when you are reading.
I do not mean the book that is most instructive, but
the book that feeds your spirit. And that depends on
your age, your experience, your psychological and
- Robertson Davies, Canadian author and academic,
born on this date, 1913
Have you read Robertson Davies?? He’s a Canadian, so I suppose that most Americans will not have. Too bad. Davies understands people. I’ve read almost everything he wrote, and three of his trilogies several times (The Cornish, Deptford, and Salterton – I have yet to read the Toronto Trilogy). They are about very weird characters, so you will know why I like them!
I worry about the “modern” spirit, universally. That spirit is poverty stricken. Education has degenerated into indoctrination and propaganda at the worse, and into “job training” at the best ….. which is only one step ahead of the former, in my view.
Alas, books like the Bible and the Qur’an are feeding this impoverished spirit. They are feeding a modern age that is stunted by tribalism, experience that is narrowed by patriarchy, a psychology that is traumatized by control, and a “spiritual need” that is pandering to literalism. Who can be surprised by the antagonism and hostility we find ourselves immersed in these days?
What are you reading? Think about it. What you read shapes and moulds your psyche and your personality - and your destiny. If you are under 40, I would encourage you NOT to read the Bible or other religious scripture. Examine carefully, get the opinion of those you respect and admire, about what to read. Mostly, “read” people who are around you, listen to their stories. Including yourself. What you learn there will be your best guide to books and what they have to say.
It is important to have a “spirit” first, which allows you to judge the value of “Scripture”.