Desperation has set in. I can’t seem to find a book I want to review, in spite of having read several interesting ones lately. The problem is finding a well-written and genuinely useful nonfiction book involving personal growth. It’s not that I haven’t read ones that qualify. I just haven’t come across one with a lot of new and intriguing ideas. One possibility was a Deepak Chopra book. But I’ve already read a number of his books (because they really are good), so this one mostly refined his message.
The book I’m currently reading had an exciting new idea in it, and I was temporarily swept up in all the possibilities it offered. The author claimed to have discovered an incredible easy and accurate way to discern the REAL TRUTH of everything—a truth meter of sorts. All I can say is, “Wow! Wouldn’t that be helpful, and in so many ways.” But now I’m struggling to finish the book, mostly because of the writing. On top of that, my enthusiasm for it has fallen off after I learned more about his idea and reflected upon it. I already have a built-in truth meter, an inner sense of knowing, and it tells me this wonderful tool that works so well for him is not something that will work for me. Furthermore, I think it’s susceptible to the “observer effect” described by quantum physics. The person or people using it probably affect the results, especially over time.
Because I was getting more and more desperate, I even tried to write my own philosophical piece, sharing some of the wisdom I had acquired from years of reading self-help and other personal growth books. What a laugh that was. I immediately ran into the “Yadda-Yadda-Yadda” problem. Even as I wrote them, the words were turning into gobbledygook.
To me, the oddest thing about words is that they can lose their meaning. One struggles so hard to find the precise words to express something in a truthful and meaningful way. But the simple act of writing them down takes them out of their “original context,” which is the person expressing the ideas, and puts them into a different context, a page or a computer screen. Meaning is instantly, though perhaps only slightly, diminished by this change in context. To create a brand new context, the writer has to rely on the careful selection and organization of all the words, sentences, and paragraphs to give the concepts meaning that can be assimilated by the reader.
Of course, readers don’t connect to just the concepts. They connect to all the kernels of the writer’s truth that bleed out onto the pages. Without this lifeblood of honesty, fancy words and highfalutin’ ideas are meaningless intellectual exercises. Which is not to say that I don’t enjoy some of these mental gymnastics. There’s just not much practical use to them. And most people who are reading any kind of personal growth book are looking for something genuinely helpful.
Even if a writer succeeds at conveying some great truth, time diminishes the meaning of words. Powerful, well written concepts will last longer, but time is relentless in whittling away at the original meaning. The world that exists when a brilliant thought is first shared gradually changes, then fades away into the past. As the context changes, the meaning changes.
The words of wisdom I was trying to write didn’t need time to turn them into meaningless babble. That was occurring instantaneously as I wrote. So I finally used a little bit of my acquired wisdom, applied it to the current situation, and gave up on my obviously fruitless efforts. Unfortunately, that has left me with nothing to blog about. All I have is a single, tiny kernel of truth to share with you: I’m stuck. And everything else I’ve written here is simply extra padding for a post that’s only two words long.