The Spiritual Primer- A Book Of Truth

Sometimes we are so caught in our circumstances, that we need someone to make us aware that ‘This is Temporary’. Hector Esponda in his book-“The Spiritual Primer”, proved to be that person for me at desired moment of chaos.Making us understand the bigger picture, I wouldn’t consider it as a book with spiritual thoughts but truth.It is important to develop a correct perspective of life to keep from drowning in life’s storms and troubles.One will find self-explanatory examples in the book like-‘A boat floats on water, but water must not be allowed to get into the boat.If it does, the boat will sink.’In such a simple words, the author is proposing us how to deal with life.A 70 pages book that consists all about life and after.

Here I found the best understanding of Soul, Mind and our body.

Consider soul to be the command vehicle which is to be lifted into space.Mind is the powerful rocket on top of which that vehicle sits.Our body is the launching pad and gantries that support the various components of the space shuttle.The mission, the over-arching goal, is to place the command vehicle-soul-in a high ‘orbit’.

Author’s simplicity of words will make you wonder how simply we have to deal with the toughest problems, we witness.Out of a lot of self-help books and handbooks for a living, I believe the best is one which shows us a broader view of existence.More we understand, more we feel the urge to come out of our miseries and develop good changes.No instruction book has ever worked to lead a happy and prosperous life. “The Spiritual Primer” explains the truth of happiness -where to look for it, The boomerang effect-Consequences of our actions, On reincarnation, and a lot more.

The author says the issue of reincarnation must not bother us.But it ‘implies that soul may have to return to this plane of consciousness to account for deeds done in the past’ and loopbacks to Consequences of Actions. Book discusses opinions from “Tao Te Ching”, “The Path of masters”, “Holy Bible” and lot other sayings of mystics to dig out and reach deeper extensions of the truth of life. A correct understanding of Attachment and Detachment from the book-‘Detachment is not renunciation, it means to rise above obsession and the desire to possess or own  a person or thing.’

One of my favourite lines from the book are-‘Yet virtually all our attention is scattered outside, in material sensations, thoughts, images, imagination and emotions. Inner realms remain unknown, terra incognita.’

As I have discovered a long list of my unknown definitions. I believe anyone who reads this book, will definitely get their personal list of definitions, in much simpler words ever.


The Book Thief: A Definitive Future Classic

“The Book Thief” is unsettling and unsentimental, yet ultimately poetic.It’s grimness and tragedy runs through the reader’s mind like a black- and-white movie, bereft of the colours of life. Markus Zusak may not have lived under Nazi domination, but “The Book Thief” deserves a place on the same shelf with “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank.It seems poised to become a classic.This is a beautifully balanced piece of storytelling with glimpses of what is yet to come: sometimes misleading, sometimes all too true.We meet all shades of German, from truly committed Nazis to the likes of Hans Hubermann. Zusak is no apologist, but able to give a remarkable insight into the human psyche. Unsettling, thought-provoking, life-affirming, triumphant and tragic, this is a novel of breathtaking scope, masterfully told. It is an important piece of work. I would highly recommend it to everyone!

This is a moving work which will make many eyes brim. Set in Germany in the years 1939-1943, The Book Thief tells the story of Liesel, narrated by Death who has in his possession the book she wrote about these years. So, in a way, they are both book thieves. Liesel steals randomly at first, and later more methodically, but she’s never greedy.Liesel is effectively an orphan. She never knew her father, her the mother disappears after delivering her to her new foster parents, and her the younger the brother died on the train to Molching where the foster parents live. Death first encounters nine-year-old Liesel when her brother dies and hangs around long enough to watch her steal her first book, The Gravedigger’s Handbook left lying in the snow by her brother’s grave.

Whenever I read a book, I cannot help but read it in two ways: the story itself, and how it’s written. They’re not quite inseparable, but they definitely, support each other. With The Book Thief, Markus Zusak has shown he’s a writer of genius, an artist of words, a poet, a literary marvel. His writing is lyrical, haunting, poetic, profound. Death is rendered vividly, a lonely, haunted being who is drawn to children, who has had a lot of time to contemplate human nature and wonder at it.

Liesel is very real, a child living a child’s life of soccer in the street, stolen pleasures, sudden passions and a full heart while around her bombs drop, maimed veterans hang themselves, bereaved parents move like ghosts, Gestapo takes children away and the dirty skeletons of Jews are paraded through the town. I can’t go any further without talking about the writing itself. From the very first title page, you know you’re in for something very special indeed.”The Book Thief” is not one of those books you read compulsively, desperate to find out what’s on the next page. No. It is, in fact, better to read it slowly, in small doses, in a way that allows you to savour every word and absorb the power and the magic it contains.

All the while, you know what’s going to happen. Death has no patience for mysteries.However, an anticipation of the inevitable makes it even worse. My whole the body was tingling with fear because I knew what was coming and I knew that it was only a matter of time. Writing like this is not something just anyone can do: it’s true art. Only a writer of Zusak’s talent could make this story work and could get away with such a proliferation of adjectives and adverbs, to write in such a way as to revitalise the language and use words to paint emotion and a vivid visual landscape in a way you’d never before encountered.

This is a book about the power of words and language, and it is fitting that it is written in just such this way. The way this book was written also makes me think of a musical, or an elaborate, flamboyant stage-play. It’s on the title pages for each part, in Death’s asides and manner of emphasising little details or even speech, in the way Death narrates, giving us the ending at the beginning, giving little melodramatic pronouncements that make you shiver. It’s probably the first book I’ve read that makes me feel how I feel watching The Phantom of the Opera if that helps explain it.

Be Specific,Build Decisions Not Doubts

With the ample opportunities at our disposal.We often get entangled with our thoughts.What we thought yesterday, might end up wrong in the view of what we learnt today.Every day we know something new and have to falsify our existing perspective.And this how we build up confusions and make our lives tougher and end up with zero displacements.

I believe that this era of rapid information, reaching us way faster before we could give a thought or process the existing scenarios. This has to lead us to more doubts and confusions.Now, this perspective of mine might also occupy one of your brain cells but it is worth processing.

We all have somewhere witnessed our current situation and realised how much we have confused ourselves and not enabling our own opinions to take place in our lives.Google being always there to justify our instant thoughts, approaching Quora for every lame question has brought up more confusions and doubts.

An undergrad when confused to choose what to do, try to grab up all possible information.Making choices of which profession is paying more, which gives fame, where I get more perks etc.We spend most of the time knowing things and doing nothing.Whatsoever we do, it doesn’t matter much, but make sure Are we doing something?

We are not aware but we are busy in knowing and welcoming doubts than we actually picking up something, Chosen on preferable factors pick something and start working on it.Chasing all over will never work for us.

The Great Wall of China and Other Short Stories

If you have read all the major works of Kafka, you should totally consider reading:’The Great Wall of China and Other Stories’ by Franz Kafka.Only a small number of Kafka’s stories were published during his lifetime, and these are published in Penguin as Metamorphosis and Other Stories. He asked his friend, Max Brod, to see that all the writings he left should be destroyed.Kafka left his work, both published and unpublished, to his a friend and literary executor Max Brod with explicit instructions that it should be destroyed on Kafka’s death; Kafka wrote: “Dearest Max, my last request:” Everything I leave behind me … in the way of diaries, manuscripts, letters (my own and other’s), sketches, and so on, is to be burned unread”.Brod ignored this request and published the novels and collected works between 1925 and 1935, beginning with the three unfinished novels, The Trial (1925), The Castle (1926) and Amerika (1927).

Other lesser known and incomplete shorter works appeared posthumously in a more
sporadic fashion and a representative selection of them are collected in this book.This book contains the major short works left by Kafka, and it presents them for the first time in the order of their composition. The sequence and dating of the works are particularly important, because of the very close links between his life and his writing. So it may be useful to mention here some of the relevant myths considered about Kafka without even considering circumstances:

  • Kafka was the archetypal genius neglected in his lifetime
  • Kafka was lonely.
  • Kafka was stuck in a dead-end job, struggling to find time to write.
  • Kafka was tormented by the fear of sex.Kafka was unbending honest about himself to the women in his life –too honest.
  • Kafka had a terrible, domineering father who had no understanding of his son’s needs.
  • Kafka’s style is mysterious and opaque.
  • Kafka takes us into bizarre worlds.

Although of course, these cannot by themselves supply an interpretation of the stories. Kafka’s work is full of autobiographical material, but equally, it is more than just a kind of veiled autobiography. He did indeed say that some of his pieces were “really no more than jottings or doodling of an entirely private nature”, but his chief aim in turning his life into literature was to go beyond the merely personal, to bring out the fundamental – mythical – patterns of human existence, and so to ‘raise the world into the pure, the true, the immutable’ (diary of 25 September 1917).Every story in this volume is allegorical, disturbing and possessing a dream-like clarity, these writings are quintessential Kafka.

For Example :This book begins with’The Village Schoolmaster’, It stands out as one of Kafka’s funniest stories, a hilarious exercise in futility which characteristically ends in dismal failure for all involved.The story doesn’t concern the giant mole itself – which is said to be “a couple of yards” long, but whose existence has never been confirmed. Instead, it focuses on an academic quarrel which arises over the quality of reporting on the alleged mole. The narrator, however, has never seen the mole. He merely heard about the “little treatise” that the village schoolmaster wrote about the sighting. (In fact, it is not even clear whether the schoolmaster personally saw the mole, or only documented accounts of it from the villagers. In surprisingly postmodern fashion, there is no objective basis whatsoever to the story: the whole thing seems to be based on hearsay.

This book contain the stories like The Great Wall of China, Blumfeld, An Elderly Bachelor, Investigations of a Dog and his great sequences of aphorisms, with fables and parables on subjects ranging from the legend of Prometheus to the Tower of Babel, The Knock at Manor Gate and many others and all of them will give you taste of Kafka’s wits and dream-like reality.This volume also contains , “The Collected Aphorisms” in which 109 of the aphorism like

“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait. Do not even wait, be quite still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”

and 108 others collected in one chapter.You will certainly enjoy this read if you have read major Kafka’s work already.

Kafka-The Magician Of The Metamorphosis

Franz Kafka is undoubtedly one of the most impactful authors of the 20th century. Kafka’s place in the literary pantheon has been assured till date, most pleasingly expressed by George Steiner’s suggestion that he is the only author to whom it may be said that he made his own a letter of the alphabet – K. His writings were so unique that his style got a special tag which is known as “Kafkaesque”.The term ‘Kafkaesque’ as a style is seen by many as a synonym for “Surreal”. His stories are strikingly strange, which symbolise and signify absurdity of life. He delves deep into the psychological layers of the character and characterises the bizarre side of one’s imagination & thinking. He enjoyed playing with metaphors and his expression was metaphorical in articulation. Though his points were simple and straight but it was complex and critical to deciphering.

Sometimes we’re embarrassed or simply we don’t know how to explain it, but the feeling that you’re about to fall asleep isn’t so much marked by a sense of ‘drifting’, as it is in the abstract thought process.When you are lying there, sometimes you out of nowhere become aware of a bizarre cognition involuntarily, a sort-of pre-sleep dream. For many of us, it will come as a comfort, a reassurance that sleep’s soft embrace is imminent. But for Franz Kafka, it was an inspiration to write.In his diaries, he wrote:” “…again it was the power of my dreams, shining forth into wakefulness even before I fall asleep, which did not let me sleep.” Kafka’s insomnia was the main reason of hypnagogic hallucination, a vivid visual hallucination experienced just before the sleep onset.

He said of the experience, “.. how easily everything can be said as if a great fire had been prepared for all these things in which the strangest thoughts emerge and again disappear.”Of his own role in the process, he remarked, “all I possess are certain powers which, at a depth almost inaccessible at normal conditions, shape themselves into
literature.”Feeling more creative and inspired in the middle of the night than in the morning is something I’m sure many can relate to.”Kafka himself affirmed that writing in a sleep-deprived state provides access to otherwise inaccessible thoughts.”

Kafka is best known for his short story novel ‘The Metamorphosis'(German: Die
Verwandlung), which is regarded as the one of the best work in all literary fiction.It was published in 1915 in the small german magazine.Sleep and lack thereof is, of course, a central theme in Kafka’s best-known work, ‘The Metamorphosis’, and plays on protagonist Gregor’s mind. It seems there was a strong dose of autobiography at play.It told the story of Gregor Samsa, a salesman who wakes up one morning to find that he has turned into an enormous bug.The main theme or idea behind writing about an insect was that he imagined his body moving around in the world while his true writing self-remained behind in the form of a beautiful beetle, which was in regard to the time when he held on his idealism with regard to the writing process.

Though this image changed drastically when he published,’The Judgement'(The most autobiographical story ever in my opinion) Kafka wrote in his diary that when writing flowed smoothly, that is the true way to write, with “A complete opening out of the body and soul” in his words.But when Kafka read the story later, he was disappointed.As
if, he thought he had let out the story in a perfect form but later he realised that it was covered with “filth and slime”.

He said writing, when it springs from within, is like giving birth, and the child is covered in mucus. The insect, Kafka’s metaphor for his writing self-removed from the everyday world, was no longer a beautiful thing, but a repulsive and filthy one. This is exactly the image he gave us in ‘The Metamorphosis’.

Franz Kafka imagined strange fictional space in which his characters attempt to make sense of a frightening world. Kafka’s writing style seems straightforward, but it depicts and describes the multitude philosophy and irrationality of life.It’s not easy to decipher or understand Kafka’s stories in single read sometimes, it needs to be re -read to decipher the deeper meaning hidden in a wonderful choice of metaphors and combinations of ironic statements.This is why you should totally add Franz Kafka’s works to your read list.