Monday, May 18, 2009

Some things change, others never do

Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Technology and global connectivity have changed the way we do business, yet there are still global truths that are timeless. While discovering an old Kurt Vonnegut title, I was reminded of the power of the printed word and the many ways books serve us in their various forms. In Fates Worse than Death, Vonnegut talks about his search for inner. personal peace through transcendental meditation. What he discovered was that he had already had experienced the same health benefits when absorbed in a book.

Vonnegut says he shared his experience because so many people nowadays (1990) regard printed material as "nothing more than obsolescent technology...practical schemes for transmitting or storing information." Vonnegut's experiences with transcendental meditation, however, led him to see that "the feel and appearance of a book when combined with a literate person in a straight chair can create a spiritual condition of priceless depth and meaning" (page 188). His similarities of experience (between reading and TM) include the world dropping away, pulse and respiration rate slowing, and the gaining of wisdom.

Whether or not the future generations will be able to find this same inner peace with the e-book is yet to be seen. I, however, find these things in Vonnegut's writings and recommend both his fiction and non-fiction to anyone who has the ability to laugh at human foibles and wishes to experience inner peace and tranquility.

1 comment:

Dr. Keith DeBoer said...

Nice subjective description of Transcendental Meditation; 'the world dropping away, pulse and respiration slowing and the gaining of wisdom'. Its almost poetic.