Saturday, August 30, 2008

Books, Reading, Elightenment

As a lover of reading and books, I have made many book purchases in my life. This passion has been fulfilled in recent years by transference to Oldest Son and Youngest Son. Having a young family and working has left little mental energy for my personal love of reading. However this has not inhibited me from acquiring many books I expect to read eventually.

I tend to buy these categories of books:

Non-fiction True Accounts – This is my favorite type of book. I get to escape while increasing my knowledge of history, politics, interesting people, etc.

Fiction Recommended by Other Sources – I usually enjoy these books once I actually start them. However, I tire of fiction if I read too many on a row. I dropped out of a book club I help to start due to this phenomenon.

Life- help Books and Educational – I am hit and miss on these books. I tend to pick these up, put them down, pick up, put down ... some I finish and some I do not. I suspect the titles I buy probably reveal allot about my hopes for change in my life.

One title I picked up years ago is “The Art of Doing Nothing, Simple Ways to Make Time for Yourself.” I have strategically placed this book in our Mexico bathroom (a good place read for many of the reasons you can imagine here in Mexico.)

There is chapter titled “What Is Enlightenment?” This excerpt spoke to me:

“Enlightenment is just another word for feeling comfortable with being a completely ordinary person.

At long last, the unexceptional seems extraordinary enough …The charade is over and a painful headache is gone. You are not a perfect being – far from it – but your mind is clear. For the first time perhaps, you feel unflustered, alert, and ready to go.”

I do not have Enlightenment.
I am not unrealistic in thinking I will get there completely while in Mexico but I do hope it pushes me down the path ...


Theresa in Mèrida said...

Reading is the perfect activity for your afternoon rest period, if you are not a napper. It's essential to rest mid-day here.
I have to disagree with the definition of enlightenment,since I believe we are all perfect, enlightenment is seeing the perfection in everything. Life is as it's supposed to be,and accepting that is enlightenment.
Now, don't think that I am a fatalist or that I don't believe in change, or the power to change things for the better, I think that is also part of seeing what is perfect and nurturing it.
See what happens when a sensate being lives with a philosopher.
Have a good week this week,I truly enjoy your blog.

American Mommy in Mexico said...

Theresa, There is a sutlety in this particular excerpt of the book. I read it to mean that Enlightenment is being at peace that we cannot perform or act in societal norms and definitions of perfection. A very, very, very simplistic example is that we are not all a size 4 (or 6 or 8 or ...)

I tend to be very hard on myself in self-judgement of how well I am doing at all things. I work to let this personality trait soften. As with many traits this one is my agony and my success. It has given me the chutzpah to do many things (like Move to Mexico!) but I also stress over too many things too. The headache is a buzz that never, never stops.

Enlightenment to me will be what the excerpt says AND what you define too. Accepting I may not meet all societal definitions of perfection because we are all perfect beings with our diversity of gifts, talents, personalities and place in the world.

Thanks for your thoughts ... you seem to a person at peace - perhaps enlightened?

Theresa in Mèrida said...

American Mommy, I want to be at peace, so I act like I am at peace. Also I am not complicated, so it makes things easier. My kids are grown and I am retired, less stress in my life than when I was a single mom or an unhappily married one. Thank you for your kind words.