Reading is the ultimate therapy, the predominant catharsis – a meta-catharsis

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Reading is revolutionary

Reading is daring. It’s adventure in our pocket. And as long as we’re able to read more than just a few books in our lifetime, then reading can be a radical act in an otherwise conventional world. The fact that there are banned books showcases the insurgent value of reading.

The powers that be shift uncomfortably in their thrones when books like 1984The Satanic Verses, or Fight Club are written. But even bad press can be good press. And, as Victor Hugo said, “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”If reading is a revolutionary act, then it begins at home. Read enough and you might earn the right to write something revolutionary.Couple reading with travel and life experience, and there will be nothing out of reach of your imagination.Either way, the words written will have the potential to be a revolutionary act.

Reading is highly meditative

Consciousness is gripped by patterns. It’s overwhelmed by the need to make order out of chaos and sense out of senselessness. Our brains are obsessed with connecting the dots while also having the need to be awestruck.

Reading helps us get out of our old stagnant patterns and into new updated constructs, while also helping us to absorb our old patterns as building blocks for the new patterns we read in literature.

It does this by bridging the gap between the mundane and the extraordinary, by placing us into an absorbed, introspective state of impermanent awe that changes, ever so slightly, the way we engage reality.

Reading is meditative precisely because it uses our imagination as a tool which leverages focus. Time stands still. Time speeds up. Time becomes subsumed by the meditative process of reading another person’s thoughts.We become fully engrossed, fully present, and in the moment. To the extent that our imagination, like with meditation, can defy the laws of physics.

Reading is fuel for creative fire

If writing is the fire, then reading is the kindling. We read so that we can fuel up on something other than our own thoughts. Reading is the cornerstone of art, the foundation upon which all poetry is built.

When we read, we stimulate aspects of our imagination we didn’t even know existed, while at the same time we feed the aspects that are still growing.

Books are like stepping stones toward our higher self. The more we read, the higher we will get. Indeed, the more we read, the more we capitalize on the human condition itself. The more we read, the more shoulders of giants we are capable of standing upon.

From these shoulders we get a bird’s-eye view of the human condition. This is both an interpersonal and intrapersonal perspective that we could not have achieved had we not dared to crack open more than just a few books.

Reading is a bridge between worlds

From nescience to knowledge, from the known to the unknown, reading is the ultimate bridge. As readers, we stand upon that bridge like a flag of humors waiving in an existential wind. We are sentinels guarding the open-ended entries (exits).

We are periphery keepers par excellence, daring to go from ordinary to extraordinary, from merely human to superhuman. With the hope that maybe, just maybe, we’ll be able to bring some of that magic back to the “real world.”

Even as it bridges gaps, reading bridges truths. Indeed, profound literature can reveal how, as Niels Bohr said, “The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement, but the opposite of a profound truth may very well be another profound truth.” And suddenly, being between worlds isn’t such a split after all.

Reading adds depth and meaning to life

Reading can be a form of psychological longevity. It actually adds value (time) to our lives. It can actually aid us in living multiple lives within a single lifetime. When we read, we traverse dimensions.

We navigate magnitudes. We crisscross crossroads. We pilot everything from platitudes to plenitudes. We negotiate with profound, sometimes overpowering, characters. This all adds priceless value to our life that cannot be taken away.

We open a book. We go on adventures. We sail shiny seas and trek jagged mountains. We surf cosmic waves and drag ourselves through sandpaper deserts. We slide down rabbit holes and widen cracks into canyons.

We do this not only because we want to, but because we need to. We need to feel something new, something outside of ourselves so that we can feel more real, more surreal, more super-real, and more human. We need to satiate the “wonder-junky” within.

And what could be more wonderful, more mirror-perfect, more human, than to live multiple lives through the words of another human soul?

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