Back in my church/religion days, I remember being told certain things that I now believe were fear based. But first, let me say again, I am not bashing church or religion. I believe I was where I was supposed to be at that time, and it was good. Now back to what I was saying. We were encouraged to primarily read the Bible. Any books outside of that were alright, as long as it was within our particular flavor of Christianity. And even then, there were authors who were deemed okay to read, and those who we were warned about. We were told that reading books outside of our group that didn’t line up with what we believed would somehow confuse us and contaminate our faith. That really sounds weird to me now. If I only read books re-stating what I already believe… well, that just seems a bit silly. But I realize now that it was totally fear based. As were many other things that I was told, and told others, over the years. What were people afraid of? Again, we were told that reading outside of our little circle would open the door to us being deceived and confused. Then I might decide that I believe something different than what I had been taught. Gasp! The funny thing is, where I am now is largely due to a serious and in depth study of the Bible. I had started to question why I believed what I believed, so I dug into some things for myself. I started asking questions and talking to people who had similar questions. Then I started reading material that I would have been told not to read. And you know what? The people who had warned me against reading outside of our group were right! My beliefs were contaminated and have changed drastically. And I love it! I feel like I’m in a very good place mentally and “spiritually”. And I have a lot less fear in my life than I used to have. And that is a good thing!
So maybe get a little crazy and do some reading outside of your normal sphere. You might find yourself looking at the world a little differently. There are many good things we can glean from others and their beliefs. I don’t agree with everything that is taught in Buddhism, but I have benefited greatly from many Buddhist ideas and practices. Having our beliefs challenged and shaken can be very uncomfortable. Even downright scary! But after the ideas and beliefs settle after the shaking, you might find that you like what you see. Or, maybe not. LOL And that’s okay. You know the best way to get someone to read something? Tell them, “whatever you do, don’t read that book!” Maybe that will be my next post? A list of books that you should never read. 🙂