Monday, April 09, 2007

Reunions (1): Of cadavers, complications, and conversations

Cover of MEDITATIONS FROM CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD by Neale Donald Walsch, courtesy of www.hamptonroadspub.comI was surfing yet again through Fr. Cuyos’s site when I chanced upon his prescription for making this Holy Week truly holy. His suggestions were a little out of my league (read: TOO HARD FOR ME TO FOLLOW!) but a fellow commenter did offer a Holy Week activity that I think I can do.

I observed an Internet and TV fast. For two days, Holy Thursday and Good Friday.

To many, this would seem like a ho-hum “sacrifice”; cavemen and Lincoln survived without such trivialities- well they died eventually but not due to the absence of television or the internet. You know what I mean. But for me it was like… Not bathing for a month. Or gouging out my eyes. I exaggerate of course.

I spend hours on end in front of the computer and the television. And now that I’ve decided to forego these pals of mine, I had to find worthy distractions. And so I cozy up to my forgotten friends- books.

I bought several books from our U.S. trip. Sadly, they are still neatly packed… Okay, I stand corrected. They are still housed in their original Barnes and Noble plastic bag. Not all the books fit the mood of the Holy Week but I just had to keep myself occupied lest I jump up and boot my computer and bring the television to life.

In the span of two days, I managed to finish one book after which I began reading two books alternately, managing to read halfway through each of the two latter books. These two books which I still continue to read are Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach and Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science by Atul Gawande. I believe I came across Stiff in a review by Time Magazine a while back and Complications was a book recommended by a former teacher from med school. Both are superb reads based on what I’ve so far experienced. More later. If and when I do get to finish both.

The book I did get to finish is by Neale Donald Walsch and it is called Meditations from Conversations With God. It contains pearls of wisdom extracted from his bestselling published trilogy Conversations With God which chronicled a month-long extensive dialogue with God during which He resolved Neale’s longstanding questions and dilemmas. This new book- Meditations- contains around eighty flashes of enlightening statements framed with amazing photography.

Here are my favorite lines from the book:

On God and His universal presence

I tell you, I am in every flower, every rainbow, every star in the heavens, and everything in and on every planet rotating around every star.

I am the whisper of the wind, the warmth of your sun, the incredible individuality and the extraordinary perfection of every snowflake.

I am the majesty in the soaring flight of eagles, and the innocence of the doe in the field; the courage of lions, the wisdom of the ancient ones…

… I am the wind which rustles your hair. I am the sun which warms your body. I am the rain which dances on your face. I am the smell of the flowers in the air, and I am the flowers which send their fragrance upward. I am the air which carries the fragrance.

Ian’s take on this statement: (I will leave them as they are. I can say no more.)

On expressing your Divine Connection with the All

Embrace every circumstance, own every fault, share every joy, contemplate every mystery, walk in every man’s shoes, forgive every offense (including your own), heal every heart, honor every person’s truth, adore every person’s God, protect every person’s rights, preserve every person’s dignity, promote every person’s interests, provide every person’s needs, presume every person’s holiness, present every person’s greatest gifts, produce every person’s blessing, and pronounce every person’s future secure in the assured love of God.

Ian’s take on this statement: We are our brothers’ keepers!

On hurting others

If acting irresponsibly, if behaving in a way which you know might damage others or cause hardship or pain, is what makes you “feel good,” then you have not evolved very far.

Ian’s take on the statement: I’m sure Neanderthals had hearts. Even Paramecia can co-exist peacefully with other creatures. Hurting and being hurtful in whatever form is never justified.

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My reunion with books got off to a fine start. Meditations from Conversations with God provided a nice backdrop for the Holy Week that was and another member of my armamentarium versus ill-inspiration should they come.

In the crazy bustle of my life online alongside living in the real world of a rat-race, books have been relegated to the backburner. The stories my ignored books contain are already well-done and are long overdue for a tasting.

Next stop: Salman Rushdie’s Shame, James Joyce’s Ulysses, The Bhagavad-Gita, Harry Potter Book 7

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Okay. I admit it. I did break my Internet fast on Good Friday to surf through my phone’s WAP to find out who got the boot from American Idol. Still NOT Sanjaya. *shivers*

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