Some time ago they asked me an interesting question: but did the books help you? I was pleasantly surprised because it is the first time I was asked something like that. Usually, they ask me why I read, what I like to read, what books I read. Or, when they enter my house, and see all my books scattered around, piled one on the other, they ask me if I’ve read them all. And I make the necessary distinctions, since I make different groups: the books I read and those awaiting to be read.
The concept books somehow helped me never rose so far, at least until yesterday afternoon. And it was a great opportunity for me to expand my peculiar connection with books that I have changed for at least a year.
It all goes back to almost two years ago, when I approached Access Consciousness, and I started diving into myself. I continued to read a lot, when, suddenly, for at least a couple of months, I discovered I could not touch a book. I felt it was useless. Everything had already been done, already said, and even though I could get some pleasure from reading, this lasted very little, leaving almost nothing. For a moment I feared that something unusual and unnatural had happened: and what if I did not like reading, I did not like it anymore? And what if I found out that it was all a lie?
They are rather heavy thoughts. They raise doubts about themselves and their sincerity, towards themselves and the world. They are reactions, though. They are thoughts of reaction, those that arise automatically when we are approaching a sensitive point, something to look at, to change, or to get some awareness. Having recognized them as automatic reactions, I did not stop myself for a long time, or even scare too much: those thoughts distracted, and diverted attention from the vital message, the one coming from deep inside oneself.
Well: let’s say I stop reading, what do I do now? I’m still awaiting a reply, as I’ve been keeping on reading, changing subtly some small things.
I continue to focus on reading. I did not abandon it. This blog is going to talk about books, too. I followed, a little blindly and gropingly, the energy that drove from that question: what do you do if you stop reading?
I have not stopped reading. The book tells me more. It wants more. It pushes me towards something more. What? I stumbled into bibliotherapy, a bit by chance and a bit of a joke. I read two novels focused on two different kinds of bibliotherapists (La lettrice scomparsa, by Fabio Stassi, and A small bookstore in Paris, by Nina George). Soon I will read a third, Aux petits mots les grands remèdes, by Michael Uras, whose interview I read this morning and that aroused a series of confused thoughts that I am now transferring to this post, also for clarity!
These thoughts brought me back to yesterday’s question that I had almost forgotten: but did the books help you? Yes, with great strength and effectiveness. They helped me to know, to know, to discover things and knowledge of every kind: from the stories and myths of far away countries and times, passing through human stories turned into literary classics, up to the methods to fold paper into origami and rules of good manners! They helped me to hide, just as effectively.
I did not want to be looked at and recognized, so I always put a book cover in front of me and the observers. And it worked great, as I have been confirmed by different parts. I borrowed their words, in order not to pronounce my own.
I did not realize that books were working other effects. I knew that they would help me to grow, but I limited this growth to the stacking of more or less practical knowledge, which also improved my life and refined many aspects of my actions. I did not take into consideration the fact that I would not stop there. The knowledge is expanded and if properly cultivated, might feed the awareness … I am discovering it little by little, with great wonder.
There is still a lot, in the silence of growth, which can blossom from the pages of a book.