When I was a kid, which I still am, I was watching Kung Fu Panda Movie, in that movie our panda fights with the lion for the “Secret Ingredient” knowledge which will make one The Dragon Warrior and later he founds out that it comes out to be an empty page! When I watched that scene, I didn’t realize its significance then, now I do and share it in this post. By the way, you can enjoy watching the scene first :
Throughout my reading journey, I have come across only 2 types of books, not fiction and non-fiction but meaning full books and meaning less books. Before making any distinction between them, I just wanted to share one point. Just last month I was reading “Books I have loved” by Osho for getting some good recommendations to read. In that book, Osho points out a rather really strange book. Now one thing to be noted about the book I was reading is that, in that book Osho said paraphrasing, “Out of the 1,50,000 books that I read, for every thousand, I just have to choose one”, so that the recommended list comes out around 150. And out of a thousand choice, this strange book which he recommended was THE BOOK of the Sufis, and its strangeness lies that it just contains empty pages! Quoting Osho:
How could I forget the book which is the ultimate: THE BOOK of the Sufis! Perhaps I forgot because it contains nothing, just empty pages. For twelve hundred years Sufis have been carrying THE BOOK with tremendous respect, opening its pages and studying it. One wonders what they study. When you face an empty page for a long time, you are bound to rebounce upon yourself. That is the real study — the work.
Now let’s get back to our topic. Have you ever read a book, later re-read and the meaning suddenly changed! That’s just the right catch which I wanted to point out here. I have observed for the last few years, that some of the books once read are just finished, they hold some facts, some beliefs. You completed them. You can throw them away.
Now the next set of books, you read at 12, you understand it. You read at 16, now the meaning completely changed! You read at 20, now you get a completely different view of life. You read in your 30tees, 40tees, 50, 60; And the value it holds keeps changing on and on and on! How come this miracle happened! It’s the same book, same words, same letters, but its value is changing from age to age, in fact, person to person. You read you get a meaning, someone else read, a completely different meaning comes out of it.
Now the only way to solve this mystery is to consider them completely meaning-less books. Books that hold no meaning of their own, only a mirror, a representation of your own ideas, values, beliefs. And these kinds of books are which are really worth reading. These types of books are of immense value. They give you a flashback of your own growth throughout your journey of reading and re-reading it. Sometimes, we come across a Gita, a Tao Te Ching, A 100,000 song of Milarepa, A prophet, Siddhartha, Animal Farm, etc. which are just empty books, just like The Book of Sufis and the Secret Ingredient of Kung fu panda, representing no-thing. Just being a mirror. So, what’s on your next reading list, a big meaning full book or a mirror which will be a lifetime companion always giving you what’s actually within you. Bringing this post to an end with M.K. Gandhi’s mirror book :
When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and I see not one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad-gita and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow.
What’s your mirror?
Image credit from that same video included up.