Episode 42: Sit in a Room and Read--and Read and Read!

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Moyers: “How do we know these things [how experience bliss]?”

Campbell: “I’ll tell you a way, a very nice way. Sit in a room and read--and read and read. And read the right books by the right people. Your mind is brought onto that level, and you have a nice, mild, slow-burning rapture all the time. This realization of life can be a constant realization in your living. When you find an author who really grabs you, read everything he has done. Don’t say, “Oh, I want to know what So-and-so did”--and don’t bother at all with the best-seller list. Just read what this one author has to give you. And then you can go read what he had read. And the world opens up in a way that is consistent with a certain point of view. But when you go from one author to another, you may be able to tell us the date when each wrote such and such a poem--but he hasn’t said anything to you.” ~ Joseph Campbell fromThe Power of Myth

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Sit in a Room and Read--and Read and Read!

Moyers: “How do we know these things [how experience bliss]?”

Campbell: “I’ll tell you a way, a very nice way. Sit in a room and read--and read and read. And read the right books by the right people. Your mind is brought onto that level, and you have a nice, mild, slow-burning rapture all the time. This realization of life can be a constant realization in your living. When you find an author who really grabs you, read everything he has done. Don’t say, “Oh, I want to know what So-and-so did”--and don’t bother at all with the best-seller list. Just read what this one author has to give you. And then you can go read what he had read. And the world opens up in a way that is consistent with a certain point of view. But when you go from one author to another, you may be able to tell us the date when each wrote such and such a poem--but he hasn’t said anything to you.” ~ Joseph Campbell fromThe Power of Myth

Love that. This is pretty much how I’ve picked the books I’m reading. When I fall in love with an author I tend to read all of their stuff (I’ve read nearly all of Coelho, Abraham-Hicks, Dan Millman, and most of Campbell, Dyer and Deepak and a *lot* of my other favorites). AND I love going to the back of their books and looking at their recommended reading lists and then IMMEDIATELY Amazoning the ones that resonate with me/I noted while reading.

How about you? Are you *really* diving into the authors you dig and then reading the peeps THEY recommend or are you kinda skimming the surface of a lot of the “best-sellers”? Also, WHO CARES if we can quote a poem or cite the date so and so said this about whatever if the authors haven’t said anything to us and we don’t LIVE the truths?!? The ONLY reason to study this stuff is to LIVE it, eh?

So, two lessons in this Big Idea: 1. Go deep into the authors you dig and really soak ‘em up! 2. LIVE the truths you are studying! :)

(P.S. Did you know Campbell spent 5 years reading 9 hours a day? Yep.)

This is one of the 1,000+ Big Ideas we share in our 6-page PDF and 20-minute MP3 PhilosophersNotes on 100 of the greatest self-development books. Get 100 Notes for only 47 bucks!