Why it is best not to attempt to remember what you read

Image for post
Image for post

Why do we read? First, because reading is enjoyable, because reading is part essence of how we build up our minds; for those who believe that man has spirit, how we build up our minds and spirits.

When we read a beautiful poem, or beautifully constructed prose, something in our minds and/or spirits finds delight and beauty in what we read, yet the exact details of what we read largely are inconsequential. Rather, it is effect of what we read on our minds and/or spirits that is foundation of the response to a beautiful poem, or beautifully constructed prose.

Poems and/or prose provide a window into our minds and/or spirit.

We read, in part, because reading is a window into our souls, a window into our minds and/or spirit.

Whether it be reading of formal reference texts, novels, non-fiction books, blog posts, or articles, highlighted three interrelated ‘other reasons’ always are active in those who read with discrimination.

When we read with discrimination, we either (a) integrate what we read into what we already know, this because we deem what we have read to have value; or (b) arrive at necessity of additional information or knowledge for facilitation of a response to what we read; or (c) discard what we read, this because we conclude what we already know is, relative to what we now read, a superior stock of knowledge and wisdom.

When we read rightly then, it is not what we read that is of critical importance, rather what is of critical importance is import of what we read for what we already know, and it’s import for what we deduce that we ought to know, but which as yet we do not know.

Done right, reading is done with discrimination, with outcome it is import of what we read for what we already know, and it’s import for what we ought to know that as yet we do not know that are greatest benefits of reading.

If a person approaches reading in this manner, he or she just as well might stop reading, for all of the reading will not induce any beneficial transformation of mind and/or spirit.

Whenever society becomes severely factional, or seeks to induce people to become severely factional, the agenda always commences with any or all of: attempts at prevention of people from reading; a dictating to people how exactly to interpret what they read; inducement of people to read only opinions on which they already agree; and encouragement of people, in course of discussions with others with whom they disagree, to ignore anything others say, and to merely repeat, over and over again, what already is believed to be true.

Exactly how far away is American society from this ideal of a factional, tyrannical, and authoritarian society?

We arrive then at the insight, that it is not what you read that you seek to retain, but (I) what you deem to be augmentative to your existing stock of knowledge and wisdom — this requires application of reasoning over what you read; (II) why you retained, and discarded some of what you read — clearly this is a reasoning, as opposed to a retention outcome; and (III) gaps which remain in your knowledge and wisdom — this also is a reasoning, as opposed to a retention outcome.

Out of three possible outcomes from discriminatory reading, absent application of reasoning to what is read, reading does not induce any real benefit for mind and/or spirit.

All of the objective truth that subsists in the universe.

Only reading that is done with discrimination has any value for ennoblement of mind and/or spirit, has any value for progressing of society towards any sort of meaningful, reasonable, pragmatic, prosperous, and restful Utopia.

Written by

Educator and Researcher, Believer in Spirituality, Life is serious business, but we all are pilgrims so I write about important stuff with empathy and ethos

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store