reading books is good but possessing nothing is more than anything

Icon of St. Macarius the Great with a cherub. (The one written more recently is in higher resolution and from this blog.) Saint Macarius, commemorated today, has many sayings collected. Here is one that should be a warning to me: Theodore, surnamed Pherme, had three good books. He went to Macarius, and said, ‘I haveContinue reading “reading books is good but possessing nothing is more than anything”

the books of their wisdom were multiplied as the leaves of the forest

Clearly a counterproductive multiplication of books: Hearing these things, despite the true knowledge which Nólemë had and spread abroad, there were many who hearkened with half their hearts to Melko, and restlessness grew amongst them, and Melko poured oil on their smouldering desires. From him they learnt many things it were not good for anyContinue reading “the books of their wisdom were multiplied as the leaves of the forest”

good at pretending to understand more than I did

I got pretty good at pretending to understand more than I did, a skill which has served me through life. …But I’ve developed a great reputation for wisdom by ordering more books than I ever had time to read, and reading more books, by far, than I learned anything useful from. From Gilead by MarilynneContinue reading “good at pretending to understand more than I did”

he that studies only books

He that studies only men, will get the body of knowledge without the soul; and he that studies only books, the soul without the body. He that to what he sees, adds observation, and to what he reads, reflection, is in the right road to knowledge, provided that in scrutinizing the hearts of others, heContinue reading “he that studies only books”

aspiring toward a perfect attentiveness

If all great art is symbolic of a kind of moral plenitude, of conflicting attitudes and impulses explored and worked through toward some ideal clarity, the act of reading is itself a model of ideal human relations, aspiring toward a perfect attentiveness in which emotional possession and intellectual comprehension–what experience conditions us to see andContinue reading “aspiring toward a perfect attentiveness”

the sight of monsters walking among them

Now the sight of monsters walking among them seemed as normal as the seagulls that swooped and chattered in the air above the city. From page 127 of Andrew Peterson’s On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness: Adventure. Peril. Lost Jewels. And the Fearsome Toothy Cows of Skree. The book spines looked richerContinue reading “the sight of monsters walking among them”

ghosts that death forgot to ferry

Books And Thoughts by Aldous Huxley Old ghosts that death forgot to ferry Across the Lethe of the years – These are my friends, and at their tears I weep and with their mirth am merry. On a high tower, whose battlements Give me all heaven at a glance, I lie long summer nights inContinue reading “ghosts that death forgot to ferry”