Editor’s Note: This post first published in July 2004.
Is it just my experience or is society consumed with mental illiteracy? Either they can’t conjure up harmonious thoughts or cannot think harmoniously. If you are like me, after a few days without reading you begin to feel a sharp pain right in the middle of your forehead… well, maybe I am exaggerating a bit. Of course, the poorly trained mind can’t fathom reading at all. It prefers rather to meditate on what a 19th century scholar called the “conversation of rocks.” In other words, empty thoughts in an unproductive and non-stimulating mind.
There are two men that come to mind in establishing an impressive resume of literature consumption. The first is Rousas J. Rushdoony. He was known perhaps as the founder of the Christian Reconstructionist Movement. Rushdoony is known to have read a book a day since his teenage years until his death in 2001. Even listening to his sermons and reading his works give you a sense of experiencing someone who was far above the average reader or writer. Rushdoony was well read in politics, economics, theology, philosophy and more. He was indeed a great mind and example to model.
Secondly, is the immortal C.S. Lewis. Who has not heard or even consumed the magic of Lewis’ works? I still recall reading through Screwtape Letters. It is almost impossible not to be drawn to Lewis’s works. His writings become art and you become an spectator of his mind. His style, charm, brilliance, all of it found in his works. Even the very last phrase leaves you imagining and even dreaming in broad daylight. Lewis is stimulating in every sense of the word. But what else can I say? Perhaps this quote by Lewis will captivate the way he thought about his great delight in life.
C.S. Lewis once wrote:
In reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself… Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.