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Re: Reading the same books over and over

Sep 24, 2004 06:55 AM
by kpauljohnson

Dear Nigel,

Pardon the delay in response; I've been away at a retreat for public
library directors, and something said there yesterday applies to this
discussion. The workshop leader commented that most directors start
out in reference librarian positions, in which the model is "one right
answer from the most authoritative source"-- which ill prepares us for
the complexities of management.

I think it is all too easy to treat the Blavatsky/Mahatma literature
in the same way Christian fundamentalists treat the Bible-- as if it
were univocal rather than multivocal, as if it were full of
authoritative final answers rather than full of mysteries. You wrote:

> This may be true of some books, however people often report to me 
> that re-reading the same book a couple of years after the previous 
> occasion brings them greater understanding and deeper insight.

Absolutely true. After acquiring additional experience and
information we can go back to the same book and read it from an
entirely different POV. This is especially true if it's multivocal
and complex as the Theosophical literature is. I've read all of HPB's
books repeatedly and recommend rereading them. But would also
recommend reading a wide variety of other books in between.
> From this, it would appear there may be more in the Secret Doctrine 
> and Mahatma Letters at least than first meets the eye of knowledge; 
> the heart of understanding perhaps?
> Nigel
Of course. Same with the Bible etc. But rereading to memorize a set
of absolutely reliable answers from an absolutely authoritative source
is two-dimensional, going around in circles rather than the spiral
effect Joy Mills is discussing.



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