Books: Delights for the Heart and Mind
Books are Human Too
Did you ever pause to marvel at the telephone, the phonograph, or the radio? I do not mean the intricate mechanism by which these devices operate, but the marvel of the service they render. These inventions enable you to escape from the limitations of time and space, so that you can hear and see people who are not physically present. Books are like that too. They are a recording of what some of the world’s greatest masters have to say to us.
We cannot bring back to life a Moses, an Isaiah, a Lincoln, or a Spinoza. Yet these great people can still speak to us; reveal to us some of their innermost thoughts, by means of the printed page. A book enables you to roam freely in space and time and enter the company of the greatest people who walked this earth.
Some of us are afraid of great people, lest they are superior to us and we are unable to feel at home in their presence. For the same reason many of us shy away from great books, but when you get to know them, great people are human. It once took a little girl great courage to ask Albert Einstein to help with her arithmetic. He not only agreed, but they began a firm friendship.
Books are human too. Not all books can entrance you with the very first page. You have to give them time. You have to live with them, and read them. Allow them to develop their thoughts. Gradually you will fed their power and fall in love with them. The treasures of the printed page are like the treasures hidden in the earth, you have to do a little digging before you can bring them up to the surface.
Some of the greatest delights for the heart and mind can come to you through books. If you have no books in your home, then bring them in. Every book is a window on the world, so why live in die dark when you can reach out for the light? In addition, if you have books in your home, resting on the shelf, take them down and use them; don’t let them collect dust. Books can be great friends. Take them with you on your journey through life.
Human Ingeniousness Can Make a Machine
So every species and degree of pleasure, and of bodily and genial contentment which we enjoy in this world, are only the radiation or emanations of this elementary principle, namely, accord or health. This book is of so much real importance to the health and happiness of each individual among the populace, that though it contains more matter or reading than most Two-British shilling pamphlets, it is ordered to be sold for only two pence. He was always more interested in hiring somebody who wanted to learn more and work hard than someone who just sounded good. The greatest part of the food of a ship’s company is inevitably salt provision. Human ingeniousness can make a machine, which may simulate vision exactly; but nothing that the art of man can form is found to gain sounds so much in so small a compass as the human ear.
To which is added, an account of the composition, provision, and properties of the three great medicines prepared and dispensed at the temple of health, Adelphi, and at the temple of maidenhead, pall-mall, Greater London. American author and spiritual activist Stephen Jenkinson once said,
Our culture doesn’t know how to feel sad. …. The inability to be sad is a culture-wide dilemma. You try to get the word sadness into a conversation, you try to surface the idea of sadness. It’s dismissed very quickly. And why is that? … It’s determined as a kind of a useless thing to feel. You can’t do anything with it. You can’t turn it in to anything. But anger, hell yes, you can turn that into stuff, in a hurry. It’s very hard to act on sadness.
Those who have rigorously put those methods in practice know how effective and infallible they are, and exact attention is necessary, as a single infected man, or any part of his garment, will spread sickness through a whole ship’s company. I do not mind making mistakes. All the same, that is only because mistakes do not inevitably connote incompetency. In fact, competent people make them all the time, whether due to lack of attention, working too fast, or being too tired. Although one thing competent people do not do is make mistakes because they do not know what they are doing. If this, still, were the case, all bodies with a smooth surface would be capable of reflecting sounds, which we know, by experience, they are not.