I have a plan to write eight blogs on my eight keys to happiness. I choose eight keys to happiness because I like the number eight and I like lists. I do believe from the bottom of my heart that if you follow the eight keys to happiness you will live a happy life. I would love to start now, however I have to complete three blogs before I am able to begin since these three blogs are needed to set up the eight keys. The first one was last week’s post on taking responsibility for your life. This one is about taking responsibility for your reading.
The coincidental part of the blog that I am writing is that I got the inspiration from this blog by reading a book that spelled it out. The book Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment by Jed McKenna has a section about people who are studying the Bhagavad Gita. In his book, Jed McKenna is a spiritual enlightened teacher who happens to also be a loving jerk. The people who were studying the Bhagavad Gita were trying to figure out what the writers’ purpose was when they were writing the book. They wanted to know the motivations of the people in the story. Jed McKenna points out something very important, “It’s not about the people IN the story, it’s about the person READING the story.”
This reminded me of a discussion that I overheard at one of the gatherings that I attend. Two women were talking about A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. They both talked about how they were trying to read the book and were having a hard time. They were both going line by line trying to figure out what Eckhart Tolle meant when he was writing what he was writing. This is not an
effective way to get something out of a book. It is not about what Eckhart wrote in his books; it is what he wrote that inspires the people who are reading them. Trying to get into the mind of Tolle only leads to frustration. It is impossible to know exactly what he meant when he was writing his books. It is just not possible to read someone’s mind and get the perfect meaning. Sometimes it is even hard to get into your own mind. I know I am not the only person who has written something in a journal and looked back thinking, “What in the hell was on my mind THAT day?!?”
Trying to get into the mind of the person who wrote the book and the meaning of the book disconnects you from getting true meaning from the book. Reading the book and finding what jumps out at you and what it means to you is how to read a book. What feelings does it stir inside of you? What thoughts are spawned from your reading? What lessons can change your life? The actions that you take to integrate these lessons into your life is important and a way that this book can change you.
There is a saying that states, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” This is also true with books. Reading sayings and beating your head over their meanings will make you miss parts of the book that mean something to you now. Reading it and noticing parts that jump out at you will give you the most benefits. Reading this way allows you to reread the same book and get more and more out of it each time. Going back can open up other ideas that you didn’t notice before.
This can also work for movies as shown by my last post on how Kingpin changed my life. In any story there is potential for growth when you look within and ask, “How can this improve my life?”
Trust yourself to remember what you are reading as well. Be open to the lines of the book that do not speak to you now. They will appear when you are ready. One day you will realize exactly what it means to you.
Working with me is not only about achieving your goals in the easiest most joyful way possible. It is about growing and becoming a person that you are proud to be. Together we will work to integrate the knowledge that you have learned. As Morpheus said to Neo in the Matrix, “Sooner or later you’re going to realize just as I did that there’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.”
Let’s walk that path together.
Homework of the Week
The homework for the week is simple; never read the same way again. 🙂