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Why good reading is to the mind what a pole is to Ivy

Why good reading is to the mind what a pole is to Ivy

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Published by Sachin Nandha
Published in HPD magazine
Published in HPD magazine

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Published by: Sachin Nandha on Nov 21, 2010
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Sachin Nandha, 2010 Published in HPD Magazine March 2010 
 A good book is to the mind what a pole is to Ivy 
Reading. We all do it. Some of us are ardent readers, others (who are probably not readingthis article), like my father, can’t go two pages into a book without giving in to theoverwhelming arrival of the dream fairy. Reading to these people is a sure way to a quick snooze. Nevertheless in a poll conducted in 2007 by the BBC, found that 63 percent of the 32percent who actually read books thought reading was more important than ‘making love’.The UK is a polarised society when it comes to reading. Most people don’t read. Of those thatdo, over half are zealot readers.It’s Joseph Addison who is often paraphrased as saying “Reading is to the mind what exerciseis to the body”. Aye Joe, how right you are. But I think reading is more than this, muchmore. I like to think that
‘good’ reading is to the mind what a pole is to Ivy 
. To understandwhat I’m alluding too, we have to look a little closer at what reading is.Reading is the translation of a series of symbols and shapes (letters & grammar) whichrepresent ideas that spawned out of the writer’s imagination – intellectual or otherwise. Agood writer is acknowledged for his or her ability to convey ideas through these symbols andshapes pending on the translation of the text by readers. So, from this paradigm, reading isthe art of interpreting a writer’s ideas, images, experiences, and emotions, whilesimultaneously making them our own. The writers ideas become our own. His or heremotions are experienced by us. His view of the world becomes are own.Reading is powerful. It has the ability to change our realities. It has the ability to influencethe way we think, the way we experience our own ideas, emotions, and images. Where Ithink ‘good’ reading comes to the fore is through the ideas of Dr. Sachin Nandha, a specialistin a new area of psycho – philosophical research, dubbed as Potential Development. Themind, he tells us, is organic; made up of the physical neural networks, which compose thebrain, as well as something more subtle – what he calls ideas. Ideas in our consciousnessdrive the process of creating neural networks. Reading influences our ideas, hence affectsthe ‘direction’ in which our brain physically develops.If anyone has experienced the growth of ivy, especially English ivy, you’ll know that it growsrapidly, and can cover almost anything, often causing great damage to brickwork onbuildings. Ivy is often controlled by regular pruning as well as giving it a direction in whichto grow. By doing these two simple things, ivy can be beautiful, without it, it quickly becomeswild and damaging. “Our brain is such. Our consciousness is such”, says Sachin Nandha.Good reading gives direction to our thinking. Life does the pruning. Both aspects combinedallow us to manage our own thinking to produce what we consciously want, whereas withsuch exposure, our thinking, no matter how intelligent becomes wild, scattered, and in thelong run damaging, thereby loosing it’s beauty.
Sachin Nandha, 2010 Published in HPD Magazine March 2010 
So I thought I’d share my ‘good’ reading with you. Before that I thought you should know which books cannot be completed by the even the ardent readers: Vernon God Little, D.B.C Pierre (35%)Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J. K Rowling (32%)Ulysses, James Joyce (28%)Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis De Bernieres (27%)Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell (24%)The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie (21%)The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho (19%) War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy (18%)The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy (16%)Crime and Punishment, Dostoyevsky (15%) What’s striking and rather alarming is that
the Alchemist
has less than 100 pages! Personally,I read the book in a day, and continued to think about it for weeks afterwards. I was sixteenthen. Needless to say then that The Alchemist is a ‘good’ read; a short abstract piece of fictionabout following one’s own dream, and how the universe conspires to make pure dreamscome true. I found the entire book metaphorical, and if one can get past the imagery, theunderlying ideas are truly brilliant.A similar book to The Alchemist is
Celestine Prophecy
, by James Redfield. A larger book,often found in what I call the “condescending section” – Self help in most book stores. Youdon’t need to be looking for “help” to read this book. I found it to be an excellent read whileat university. I was gripped by it. It’s an incredible piece of fiction, something whichstretches the imagination. The book is metaphorical in its essence, which tries tocommunicate the subtle idea, that there might be more going on in our internal world thanwe often think. It explores the idea of an interconnected world, whereby energy binds all lifetogether, and how this energy can be harnessed by individuals to create ‘coincidences’, whichhelp us flourish.Then there is the
Life of Pi
, another work of fiction by Yann Martel, the winner of the BookerPrize. The Life of Pi explores what isolation can do to us, how our deepest values can becompromised when it comes to staying alive, and how a deep understanding can be formedbetween a boy and a Bengal Tiger. Wonderfully written, witty, and at times gruesome – anexcellent stretch of the imagination. It’s one of those books you can start reading on aSaturday morning, stay under a blanket, drink lots of tea, and every now and then take abreather to reflect on the aspects of human nature explored in the book.Keeping in line with the Tigers theme,
The White Tiger
by Aravind Adiga is a story narratedin the form of letters to the President of China, just before he is due to visit India. It tells astory of two India’s; the dark and the light. It shows how entrepreneurialism in a capitalistIndia is embedded in something dark and brutish. It describes the hopelessness of India’spoor, as well as the grotesque prejudices of the rich. It shows the realities of a culture steeped

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