Sunday, February 22, 2009

I gnosis

My spiritual progression is not something to boast about on street corners, and this blog is supposed to be about books I've been reading. Of course, it's hard to not allude to my life and the impact what I'm reading has on it. For instance, I finished reading 'Living Gnosis' by Tau Malachi recently and have started on 'The essence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib: part 2'. I cannot help but reflect on what I have read and try to apply it to my progression through life. For starters, 'Living Gnosis' is written well enough. The author wasn't saying anything new for me, but I was reassured by what he was saying. Like everyone, I want to know that I'm sort of on the right path. As I see it, this book reassured me that I was.
Gnostic Christianity is what Malachi endorses, and he defines it as being much more esoteric than mainstream Christianity. Small wonder, since Gnostic Christians were branded as heretics during the dark and blasphemous days of the past. Perhaps, even now, this society must wrap itself in parable and esoterica so as not to be brought down by the current fundamentalist following. The author bases himself in California, which makes perfect sense. Disconnected, disaffected people the world over are looking for a place to happen and for something to believe in, and California is usually one of the places they go to. Malachi takes up Jesus' N.T. statements and applies them to his perception of spirituality, discovering what he needs to spread his message to anyone who will read this book.
I'm such a cynic that I don't eagerly embrace his supposed esoterica. Permit me to get super-suspicious for a moment. It seems that when someone wants to spread their message to a large group, all they have to do is drape their message in the mantle of esoterica. Nothing draws crowds like a mystery. Just look at all the people who followed Jesus around when he stood on the Mount and delivered his sermon. Only certain people were able to 'read between the lines' and 'know the truth' in his words. I'll be honest; I was so excited by what he was saying that I almost started to write him a letter. Then, as I read further, I felt my pessimistic nature grow about me.
This could be a flaw on my part; I find some things very hard to believe. I do believe that Gnostic Christianity is a way to the summit, but not the only one, and certainly not for everyone. Anyway, that's all for now. Thanks for your time.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pointing to change

I finished reading 'The essence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib; part 1' the other day. There are five parts to this series of Sikh spiritual literature, and the second part's warming up on my shelf, reading for reading. I should've known better than to read this book from cover to cover, for it's a series of hymns and sermons that are probably sung in Punjabi when Sikhs gather to pray for Guru's intersecession. Fool that I am, I decided to trudge through the book and read as much per sitting as possible. As a result, I came across a great deal of repetition. The translator didn't do direct translation as much as translate the spirit of the recitation as best he could. As a result, the English paragraphs are far longer (in some cases) than their Punjabi counterparts. I wish the translator and the editor had met with a good proofreader, for I fear it was in this department that the book fails miserably. I think I've mentioned this tome in a previous journal post, but I'm not sure.
The editor's goal was certainly noble, and nobody can fault him for wanting to share this information with others. He's not trying to convert anyone, I don't think; if anything, he's preaching to the converted, and that's all right. If anyone is converted along the way, that is a decision they have made. I'm just saying that he could've done this material a lot more justice than he did. There are glaring spelling errors that a ten-year-old would've spotted easily. Call me picky if you wish, but I like it when the editor, author, or publishing house catch all obvious errors before they release a book to the public. Failure to do so belittles and demeans the quality of the book's contents. Especially where spiritual materials are concerned.
Having said that, however, the book does the job it was published to do, I think. Meanwhile, the book's message found its way into my head. One can only put up a defence for so long; after a while, the book ends up rubbing off on to you. So I got to thinking about the message, along with other messages I have come across in other books. My friend's words about everything being connected ring true once again. I started looking at this Sikh book with my Buddhist bifocals and came to conclusion that everything is connected and that the only way one is going to get anywhere is if one surrenders to their chosen deity and changes their perception of the world. How many more reminders do I need before I get off my butt and get on it?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Two in one

That's right: two topics in one post! I don't think I've done anything like that yet. Let me start with the disgusting part. Saturday night my sister and I went for supper. I ordered the enchilada, which I haven't done in a while. I was fine for the rest of the evening, although I had what I thought was just a gas attack toward midnight. I went to bed around midnight and slept until 2, which is when the madness started. There's a comic out there (his name escapes me) who suggests that the stomach is the body bouncer. White blood cells kill the unwelcome, but the stomach kicks them out, one way or another. My built-in bouncer decided the chicken in the enchilada had to be dealt with. As a result, I was up all night and into Sunday morning. I spent all day Sunday sitting or lying around, staying close to the bathroom. Here we are, Monday in all its glory... and I didn't go to work.
I woke up this morning not totally 100%, so I decided to call in sick this morning. 1st off, I work with kids, and I didn't want to (it could happen!) accidentally transmit whatever bug I picked up from the chicken. Also, it would not've looked good for me to be running to the girls' room in the middle of Story time with the kids (again, it could happen!). The staff washrooms are on the main floor while the library is on the second floor, and I might've ended up being sent home anyway. Perform damage control and have one more day to recuperate. I alerted the teachers and secretary as to my situation and hopefully all goes well for them. It's back to work tomorrow, as I'm feeling a little better now. My stomach is accepting food again. My stomach muscles hurt every time I cough or laugh, but that too shall pass.
The second part of my post concerns an author I just cannot seem to shake. Anthony Trollope strikes again! It doesn't help that I'm reading one of his series. A question: is there a plural of 'series'? I would love to know the answer. I finished reading a series of essays he wrote (character studies, more like it) on various types of clergymen. Stuff that would make most people snore, I imagine, but every experience has worth. If these character studies helped him out any, there's a chance they will help others. In his Barchester series, he never strays far from the bishops, vicars, wardens, and other titles in the Church of England. Catholicism doesn't have vicars, prebendaries, or wardens; at least, I don't think we've got'em. It's the Anglican church that has all these figures. I know the Catholic church doesn't have prebendaries.
Thankfully, I did not come across one fox-hunt scene among those essays. That would've been a cause for throwing the book across the room.
There will be more Trollope in the weeks to come. Rest assured, I am not done with him yet! BYE.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Working Chick

Mainly a post about life and work today. I was going to say a few words about the Tibetan sage Milarepa, but I've been so caught up in the usual whirlwind of day-to-day life that I'm just going to have to lay Milarepa by the side of the road. February has just begun, and I came to the conclusion that I've been working for approx. six months at my two school libraries. Still feeling very good about the job, and actually a little more sure that I can do this job. I sent off book orders the other day, and all I need to do now is wait for the books to arrive. I've also sent off a list of books I want to weed out of existence. Books written in the 1960's and 1970's, for the most part. Some of these books have been damaged beyond repair and I've set about ordering new copies, but most of these books are older than some of the teachers. As I understand it, anything older than 1990 is OLD, and should be weeded. Especially the technology and social science books. Yikes!
I just need the okay from the principal to go forward. Just touching base and making sure that the collection remains solid. I've ordered about 50 new books and plan to order another 100 for 2009-2010. At least another 100. I just had to get the okay from the principal to send the book orders to the Media Centre and they take it from there. It's SO much better than what was going on at my previous job. I felt good about ordering books and began to feel my footing was a little more solid this time. There is no doubt that I like this job much better than my previous one. If all goes well, I will stay at this job for the next five years (or so) and then move on to two other schools. I want to stay part of the school division for as long as possible. Just a thought: if I was ever offered my old job again, I would accept it with two conditions... take me permanent right away (none of this probation stuff) and find a different Teacher Librarian to rule me!
Of course, I'm more or less my own ruler (in the library) as it is, and I might not want to return to serving a T-L. I also get paid more at the job I have right now. Why give something like that up to serve a T-L? Okay, I guess I'm done blabbing for now. Back to Trollope and the fox-hunts I go. (He never gives up!) BYE.