BLOGGER



Youngest kid of six with an inferiority and black sheep complex, but determined that God saves not just his soul to heaven but the remainder of his manic-depressive life, so others won't say he became a Christian and remained a jerk.


MAIN THEMES

On identity
i won't be transparent before i'm opaque. and you'll get to know me starting from the small things: who my favourite bands are. what kind of movies i like. who are my heroes.

On Christianity
I’m convinced that when confronted with sincere, real love, the Jesus factor will become obvious. But let’s not plant the cross before we carry it. I’m not trying to con you.

On dreams
Some dreams are meant to be achieved. I know that. But maybe other dreams are meant to drive us, privately. Never known to anyone but ourselves.


OTHER THEMES

On melancholy
It is a sadness that, when choosing between crying and sighing, will choose sighing. I'd almost say that melancholy is being sad about sadness itself.

On memory and nostalgia
It saddens me when life moves forward and people decide that certain things are worth forgetting.

On language
I've learnt that the word irregardless is filed as a non-standard word in the English language. That's a lexicographer's way of saying it's not a real word.

On politics
Crowds are fickle things. So when we stand in the thousands and cry against the present government, do we know who we're actually crying for?

On society
People always want the best for themselves. But I want to sometimes take second or third or fourth best, just so that the loser down the road doesn't always have to come in last. It must feel like shit to always come in last.

On growing old
Leasehold property make me feel sad. It doesn't matter how old the family photos are that you put on your wall. It's your family but it's not really your wall.

On philosophy
I ask you, if God loves everyone, and if God is also incapable of loving evil, how can there be such a thing as an evil man?

On a daily basis
One line quips, like this.


CHAT





Tuesday, April 10, 2007
ESSENTIAL READING



I recently had the pleasure of meeting a guy with a bookcase full of essential reading: darwin's origin of species, i-ching's book of changes, hitler's mein kampf, the KJV bible, the mahabharata, and all four vedas. we talked about the hindu epics, the bible, aliens and angels and truth. a few days later, he asks me if i had mein kampf in my library. i said no. he said he had an extra copy and wanted to find an appreciative owner. I accepted the gift.

and so, that night, i began wanting to collect all these books... these books with bold, sometimes brash, sometimes absurd, and almost always compelling claims to truth. these books that in a bygone day, attempted to explain the world as it was then, and on this day, accounts for the world as it is now. cover them and you probably understand the mind of three-quarters of the people you'll ever meet. so essential are these texts that perhaps the entirety of world's history of ideas lie between the pages of no more than twenty books.

the eight books above are the ones that interest me the most. and so, on top of my recent gift, i'm gonna aspire towards owning a copy of each of these classics: sigmund freud's studies on hysteria, karl marx's das kapital, the mahabharata, plato's republic, darwin's origin of species, mao tse tung's little red book, and nietszche's thus spoke zarathustra.

but will i really read these things? some of them are really huge. i found a pdf of das kapital online and it was massive. when i saw how big it was i felt the same crestfalling feeling that i felt the day i realised how big crime and punishment was. man, how am i ever gonna plough through these things? add to that fact, i'm a slow reader. it's preposterous to think i should own them.

i was talking about this recently, and athalia said that i should get books that digest all these primary sources and sort of spit them back out in a more concise way. it makes sense. i think i would benefit more from reading some oxford companion to freud than ploughing through his seminal works. i'd get my head around it faster. someone learned would have helped me chew on the spongy meat and it sure as all would go down faster. i've flicked through those oxford companions - they're really nicely put together.

but there's still something wrong about that. for all its appeal, reading the essential thinkers through some second-hand guide is like discovering the beatles through the red and blue albums. i discovered the beatles through the anthologies, and while that was a bit closer to the actual, organic thing, i always envy the folks from the sixties who bought their albums one by one, fully digesting rubber soul before moving on to revolver. you can't digest rubber soul over three number 1s on a compilation. so maybe the same thing is at work here.

there's something quaint, something poignant about reading the words as the thinker thought. something pure about that indivisible connection between the original speaker and the eventual listener. something unadulterated, immediate and precious about the primary piece. sure, it's fodder for pretentious poseur pop-philosophers, still i'd risk of looking like a wannabe if it means hearing some of these guys speak for themselves.

and so, i will begin my little adventure in itty bitty steps. i'm not sure which to get first, but it's exciting. maybe i'll start with nietszche.

Labels:



Genusfrog [ 5:17 pm ]

3 Comments:

  • and you can't say:
    ah, i've read the book
    if you only read the summary.

    i've read the book. that phrase is unbeatable when you are in a discussion.

    By Blogger oomoo, at 7:04 am  

  • Hah...reminded me of my days trying to read good ol Fyodor's works..intense ! Good luck!

    :)

    By Blogger Sara, at 11:09 pm  

  • Your fren sounds like someone nostalgic abt the good old days of Marx and Mao :D hehe...

    i only have plato's republic, darwin's origin of species and nietszche's thus spoke zarathustra among the list. A bit dated works, but interesting to be ambassadors for Christ in the marketplace of ideas :)

    By Blogger The Hedonese, at 1:36 pm  

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