Well, just like many things under the sun that have an end; my semester happens to be one of those things. However, this was a far more interesting semester punctuated with mastery of new skills and acquiring of new knowledge. That, in conjunction with a few other life lessons facilitated my growth as a student especially in the field of academics.
Interestingly, apart from the monotonous classwork and time-consuming assignments that are every students nightmare; a few topics of discussion genuinely attracted my attention or as an uptown person would say, tickled my fancy learning them. Below are some of the books from where my themes of interest were highlighted and expounded on:
The theme of time came out strongly in this book. Time, they say, is a very precious commodity in itself. There is value in time and this explains the common phrase that time is money. This is true because it is the only commodity one can never have enough of unless of course apart from money. Moreover, there are so many sayings and proverbs in support of this. The likes of: time and tide waits for no man, time wasted is never recovered, just to mention but a few.
However, we tend to focus too much on the value of time that we miss the big picture. We seem to be obsessed so much by the mere thought that there is no enough time, something that makes most people spend every waking minute they have busy. For students, they spend the better part of their days reading; similarly adults spend most of their time working. They do this with so much passion and zeal that they end up depriving themselves of free-time. Why?
We forget to refer to the good book to see what it says concerning the same. This book of Ecclesiastes reminds us that there is a time for everything. Despite its scarcity, this book teaches us how to manage our time and give allowances for everything. It acknowledges that everything is equally important and ought to be spared some time. There are no mistakes and that everything happens for a reason and it is upon us to realize the purpose of certain happenings whether good or bad (especially the bad).
There is always enough time for everything only if you allow it. Furthermore, it is only until we realize that there is a time for everything that we can experience inner peace and spiritual development. Different times come with different lessons and how well you accept and learn the lessons is all that matters in the end. It enhances us to be in a position to take the good, take the bad and take them both so as to experience full human growth.
The theme of vanity of human wishes was also expressed. Vanity is simply the quality of being worthless. This comes off as a warning to those who seem to dwell too much on simple life pleasures and wishes. It is very human to have wishes and desires but only to some extent; beyond that it becomes greed and futile. This book indirectly advocates for contentment. We end up desiring and working too hard for some things we dont even need in the first place. This book advises us that it is all pointless and the only thing we should be striving to achieve is seeking Gods wisdom instead of material possessions in the name of wealth, power and riches.
BIBLE; SONG OF SONGS
The dominant theme here is love. Basically, this book is comprised of King Solomons songs expressing love to his woman. Just like in modern day, it is evident that love and its expression were practiced in the olden days. The artistic work of King Solomon proves this. He uses imagery, vivid description, sayings and similes all these in an attempt to charm the lady.
He portrays confidence in the way he approaches the lady and from the words he uses, you can tell he is really determined. An old saying goes faint heart never won a fair lady and King Solomon is not one for withholding feelings from his love in the name of shying away. In a very artistic way, he comes up with songs to impress his love. The lady in the song on the other hand is relentless and does not give in easily; she teases him around for a while. This is a sign that she knows her worth and wants him to earn it. Once earned, she professes her love back openly without holding anything back.
The theme of romance is also brought out. In these songs, Solomon goes ahead and confesses how romantically attracted he is to the lady by describing her body features and the effect they have on him.
Comparing this kind of love with current day, I can say much has changed. People have become so immoral that confessing love is something that is seen odd and when they gather the courage to do so, it is barely genuine. Love in the modern times is so contaminated and sex has become more of a need than the ultimate symbol of love. Unlike in this book where love led to sex and the two were regarded as holy, today love and sex are disregarded and that is why there are so many sex associated vices such as fornication, adultery, incest and homosexuality among others.
The immorality in todays society has greatly soiled love and the word has greatly lost its meaning. It doesnt feel as pure and sacred as it was in the songs of Solomon. Romance is practiced where love is not present. Similarly, lovers dont end up together due to a couple of reasons such as religion, finances, ethnicity and race offsetting the natural balance of love.
HUSTON SMITH; THE WORLDS RELIGION
This book deeply expounds on the theme of religion and God. Although the author emphatically states that his work is not based on comparing the various religions, he gives a clear insight of the same. He has his focus limited on seven religions namely: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Islam, Judaism and Christianity. Most of us are only familiar with the two main religions, Christianity and Islam, and it is for this reason this book interested me.
On chapter nine of this book, Huston talks about the primal religion. Primal religion is greatly based on our great wisdom traditions. Although Huston denies bringing the aspect of comparison if the religions in his book, there are a number of similarities and differences I came around in his writings.
The theme of God; Huston places an emphasis on this theme throughout the book. This is one of the similarities and feature that cuts through all the worlds religions. The nature of God is discussed as well as the different way in which God is manifested in the different religions. The concept of God is strikingly similar in the religions of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. He is portrayed as a loving God but at the same time vengeful towards the sinner/unbeliever. Similarly, the three religions can all trace their roots back to Abraham, the father of nations.
The main difference comes in the Buddhism whereby the concept is non-existent. The Buddhists do not believe that there is a God and this makes them different from the other religions. The primal religion is primarily based on three features, namely:
The primal religion is embedded in the world with a key focus on the tribe. Unlike other religions where the key focus is the Supreme Being, the primal people are so deeply rooted into their tribes almost the same way an organ is biologically related to the body of the host.
On orality, literacy is unheard of among the primal people. The main means of keeping records as far as the religion is concerned is the human memory. According to this religion, this substantially increases the ability to sense the holy through non-verbal forms of communication. The fact that religious information and doctrines are not written, useless information becomes obsolete.
On place, this is the only religion that is truly embedded in place. Sanctity is solely dictated by the exact and rightfulness of a place.
On eternal time, unlike other religions such as Christianity where eternal life is promised to those who follow the commandments of God, primal time is temporal. The only eternal time according to primal religion is here and now.
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