Monday, April 20, 2009

How much embodying do you do after reading?

I've done my share of reading for quite a while now and a thought just occurred to me. Not that it had never popped up but this time around it jolted my senses. Books has this kind of capacity to introduce us to new vistas, ideas and they can mess with our minds in a good way as well as in a negative manner also.

But after finishing a book, fiction or non fiction, how does the ideas or proposals effect us enough to implement some sort of change in how we live? I stress much on how it effects how we live because our changed thinking leads to that ultimately as well. I mean, do you ever pick up a book and think "I wonder how this book will change how I will live".

Take motivational books for example, they share with us a whole hosts of steps to get things working, to get things moving, to make us into a success only if we follow the step by step procedures. In actual fact these writers are telling us that if you embody these ideas or steps your life will change. Some might say that fictional books are just stories but I think fictional writers have a framework of thought behind the stories they are presenting. Sometimes it makes me wonder, fictional writers grips us, our minds, in a more subtler manned. Sort of like how songs effect us. Take the "The Da Vinci Code" for that matter, a fictional tale with an intent.

Books are thought as for for the mind but they do have a capacity to change how we think and how we live, ultimately I should say. So, "How much embodying do you do after reading?"


Mason said...

I think we embody and live out the results of what we've read more than we would imagine. Not that we parrot every idea we read, but rather that we are inalterably changed simply by the process of learning new concepts and thinking through the arguments and viewpoints of books.
I don't know who to attribute this quote to or if I'm getting it quite right, but I've always liked it.
"Once your mind has been stretched by an idea it can never go back to the shape it had before hand"

Tremonti said...


I really like the quote, whoever said it! It is sort of a commentary of how the disciples of Jesus were deeply effected by the living word, until their minds "can never go back to the shape it had before hand".

Kurt Willems said...

Great Thoughts here... Mason, great quote!

I think that books have had a profound impact on what i think about the world. I have gone through a deep transformation over the last few years in my philosophy/theology. However, the temptation for me is to allow what i read to stay up in the brain, and never to move my body differently. What do i mean? Well, because of my personality and passions, i have sometimes found myself deeply intrigued by the intellectual side of books, but it is more difficult to live out some of the challenges they present. With that said, I have found that my life as a whole has changed. For instance, since reading "Colossians Remixed," I shop and eat differently. Nevertheless, there is always the burden of wanting to implement ideas more, but unfortunately this takes more sacrifice than I am sometimes ready to give.

Tremonti said...


What you said here is something that we all (i personally do) struggle with

"there is always the burden of wanting to implement ideas more, but unfortunately this takes more sacrifice than I am sometimes ready to give."

There is a certain amount of fear when ideas are new and revolutionary because they can sometimes chart a course that does not look 'normal' or they propose a 'counter culture' way of living. To adopt these sort of ideas a great deal of sacrifice will always be needed. I found myself challenged after reading Shane's "irresistible revolution" but unsure of how to implement what i'm reading to fit my culture here.

For cases like this I think ideas are in the state of pregnancy awaiting birth.

Hopeful Theo

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I'm a student of Theology (currently and will always be one). I'm a student of culture and a student of music as well. I guess you could say life is a never ending journey of learning. Because of that we never stop being students. Just a little something about this blog: Deconstructing The Monkey is all about being a safe space for emerging conversations