CORY DOCTOROW. Previously I have mentioned a book that I am becoming rather fond of, ergo, Cory Doctorow's book entitled "Content - Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright and the Future of the Future". And in one giant leap of inspiration (or melodrama, depending on how you look at this sorta things), I said that his book FEELS spiritual.
So I am glad that Cory writes in one article concerning eBook as follows: - "I take the view that the book is a "practice" - a collection of social and economic and artistic activities - and not an "object". Viewing the Book as a "practice" instead of an object is a pretty radical notion, and it begs the question. Just what the hell is a book?"
JUST WHAT THE HELL IS A BOOK? Some seven years ago I recorded the following prose about religion and books -
123. Alone II (With Poon)
If the Lord takes back His Faith,
His Books and His Ways,
What is left of your faith,
Your books and your ways?
In the context of any religion, all faiths are driven by the holy scriptures we inherit from our forefathers, regardless whether we are Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Jewish or Muslim. Whether they are said to be the direct word of God or a collection of gospels, sermons and traditions of Prophets and Saints, almost all believers in God follow some holy prescription in a book form. But really, what is a book? And if God suddenly decides to make all Bibles disappear from the planet, or all Qurans suddenly going amiss in the blink of an eye - what then will be left of the Christians or Muslims? That is the question posed by the prose.
So back to Cory's question - I absolutely agree with him. A book is indeed a form of practice. A code of activity and conduct, whether it be physical, mental or spiritual. I think it is wrong to look at a book as an object. An object has a mass and a weight, and the bigger they are, the heavier they feel. Many holy books are heavy and big indeed. Which is kinda odd considering the view of many people that holy scriptures are intended to elevate man and free him from the bondage of ignorance, arrogance, hatred, envy and hubris.
WE ARE METAPHYSICAL CREATURES. A book is a form of practice manifested in a printed text. The true nature of a book cannot be contained in the four corners of its binding. Not just the holy scriptures, but really... any book whatsoever. Because the reader is a human being - and he is in truth a metaphysical creature, with a soul and a spirit, only that just for this brief moment, we are stuck in our vessel of clay.
DELUSIONAL SINNER. I don't know if Cory Doctorow is an atheist, believer, Christian, Jew, Muslim or whatever. I find it hopeful that wherever I read, I sometimes see glimpses of a unifying truth which refuses to be caged in a 'religious' form. Perhaps I am delusional, my friend. But when such delusion makes me believe in a unifying conscience and truth that breaks through our artificial barrier of religion and ideology... well, I am very happy to be delusional this way.
Have a lovely day, sunshine.
wa min Allah at-taufiq