Sunday, May 25, 2008

Great tales in Small stories

There are great books and there is wonderful literature. Unfortunately for many of us, we neither have the inclination, the money or the time to do all that and more.

Yes, somethings we do come across a great book and may find the time to read the first three chapters. Unless we are avid readers and reading is more of a habit than a pastime, we will finish the entire book, and digest its contents.

So it is more practical to find nice stories in anecdotes. I have often come across wonderful lessons in life from digesting small write-ups in magazines like Reader's Digest, academic publications or even the community newspaper.

Don't always be in the hunt for those thick hardcovers that cost a bomb. Sometimes the hardcover will even sprain your wrists from its sheer weight.

Life-changing stories are not the monopoly of best-selling titles. Some of the most wonderful stories are found in free booklets put on public stands for passers-by to pick up and digested at home at their own leisure.

Recently, I picked up three such books. They were all on Buddhism. I am a Catholic but I am open to good news of any form. Since I am also an Asian, I keep an open mind about a lot of things.

Buddhism is one of the finest philosophies ever to flower in our part of the world. The little booklets that I had picked up have some great advice. They are written in simple language so that the ordinary man can read it and not be confused.

Look for the little things. For these too have wisdom in them. Books are not the only platform for great revelations. There are things more wonderful and more wondrous that the human mind can understand or comprehend in the tiniest of this living planet.

All you have to do is to keep your eyes open, your mind free and your heart warm.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Kahlil Gibran re-visited

Anyone who has read Gibran's works will come away feeling slightly awed and perhaps even bewildered by this Lebanese's ways of expressing his profoundest thoughts.

Gibran came into the new world from the old one at a time when America was finding its own identity amid rapid development.

This writer-philosopher speaks for things that sometimes flirts with our soul. His spiritual stirrings lift the veil that shrouds the crucible of knowledge that all men drink from.

It has been 77 years since Gibran passed away in New York City. His enduring legacy are the works he left behind for the world to ponder and wonder.

Some of these are The Prophet, Jesus, Son of Man, Voice of the Master, The Vision, Broken Wing and Mirrors of the Soul.

Kahlil Gibran grew up in the town of Bsharri, Lebanon on Jan 6, 1883. His grandfather on his mother's side was a Catholice priest. He grew up without formal education except for irregular lessons about the Bible taught to him by priests.

In time, he acquired adequate knowledge of Arabic languages to express himself in the printed form.

Gibran is known foremost for being a poet and a theologian. His artistic works are admired by many and his poetic expressions has found new fans over the decades.

Those who have read Gibran works know him to be a mystic as well as a philosopher. The years have passed since Kahlil Gibran walked the streets of New York City but his fame has not diminished the slightest.

Today, those who are in search of knowledge or desire to catch a glimpse of all there is to be seen behind the veil of heaven can browse through Gibran's books at leisure.

Perhaps in the solitude of your mental wanderings, you may catch a fleeting light that is encased in some of Gibran's most memorable works.