The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Friday, November 04, 2005

Random Thoughts of a Ponderous eLf

See? Even my title is obviously lacking the usual literary libido. Yes, as always, I have so many ideas and stories on my mind wanting to get out through my fingers on the keyboards, but I'm just too lazy to weave something concrete right now. Many people say that boredom usually results in creativity; but in my case, too much boredom is usually resulting in too much boredom. Redundant? What do you expect? My life, for two years and counting, has been a suspended animation of redundancy.

I'm quite bored to write right now. Good thing is, I'm kind of alloting my "idle" time on reading books.

My speed in reading has finally returned to normal. In the past months, I noticed that I got bored easily while reading a book. In fact, the thin Ralph Waldo Emerson book which I started reading two months ago is still there on my bed. However, since I got to borrow two books at Sir William Stephenson Public Library, I noticed that the bookworm in me has been crawling peskily again. The pressure that I had to finish the two books I borrowed, Jung by Anthony Storr and Freud and Jung: Years of Friendship, Years of Loss by Linda L. Donn, in two weeks' time has indeed been helpful. Now, I'm treating my books as if they're not mine; I think of them as books I just borrowed from a public library that I needed to finish as soon as possible so as not to pay the fine for failure to return them on time. To put it, I'm reading books now with a self-imposed deadline. It's just a matter of "mind over matter." Or, what do we call that psychological term?...there, conditioning.

For the past three nights I really tried to immerse myself with Ann Rule's Green River, Running Red. And I'm certainly sure that I'm now on the last chapter. Tonight, I can move on to that difficult Ralph Waldo Emerson classic.

Sometimes, I realize that the classics are somehow more difficult reads, perhaps because the writers of yesteryears were, of course, still using literary English; so I really have to immerse myself into and concentrate on whatever the writer was trying to impart. Perhaps this is the reason many people tend to shy away from the classics.

"A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read," said Mark Twain.

I'm beginning to believe his supposition. Reading the classics is really a feat, because the settings (in all its guises) of such books become, in effect, archaic; so the reader really has to have a grasp of the era from where a particular classic was based.

For instance, while reading Self-Reliance and Other Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson, I noticed Emerson's way of having regarded the Americas and Europe: he was implying that these places were mysterious lands. Initially, the modern reader might conjure a laugh on her face, primarily because, in the current world, perhaps nothing much remains mysterious about USA or even Europe, at least in a general sense. But, there's Emerson, continually alluding to such previously mysterious people and places. But, of course, we have to realize that such observations were factual during Emerson's time. And in this, I believe, is where the challenge in reading the classics lies. The modern reader should always take into consideration the "setting" of the book as well as the era wherefrom its author lived.

This is also the reason reading the biographies of particular authors is a big help in understanding their works. Because, whatever such writers might have to say that what they wrote did not reflect their own lives, the subconscious factor plays a major role. Be a literary work is fiction or fantasy, I believe that traces of its author's personality (beliefs, principles, philosophies, experiences, etc.) had inevitably served as germs for her words. For instance, having read several biographical books on J.R.R. Tolkien, I realized that revisiting his books has become more enjoyable. I admit that only when I got to know who Tolkien really was, from childhood to adult life, (based, of course, on books written about him) did I come fully to understand his major works, The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings. No matter how Tolkien had strongly and consistently denied the allegations that LOTR contained traces of his own real adventures in and journey through Life, I couldn't help now but draw comparisons between the man's life and his myth.

Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung were, in deeper analysis, both correct in many of their findings and proclamations. They, along with the great number of other philosophers and brilliant minds, had obviously preached different perspectives and views and beliefs, most of which were, in fact, a negation of another or of each other. Nevertheless I believe now that none of them had ever discovered the single penultimate truth, for there is none...and will never be. In the same manner that I will also never declare any of them false.

What I now ascribe to is the idea that the human mind will never be conquered. It will forever remain unmapped.

No one can ever—not even in any given time or circumstance in the future—draw a complete map of the human mind. This will be the ultimate final frontier humankind can never fully comprehend. It will continue to be her waterloo—the ultimate never-ending mystery, the perpetually unsolvable puzzle human civilization can ever have.

For, if ever that time comes, what would then be left for humans to discover and explore? The pursuit for knowledge would then cease. The journey would then come to a halt. What would then become their motivation to learn?

Life will always be a continuous learning process. Although many friends regard me as a good teacher, I will remain an attentive student till my last days of existence.

"If a myth can give life dignity, meaning, and purpose, it is serving an important positive function, even if it is not objectively true."—Carl Gustav Jung


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