I‘ve recently been asked to list the books that have been most influential to me. That’s a tough request. Most of you know that the Bible used to be the book on which I based my life. When I finally rejected the Bible as divine or even remotely inline with truth, I determined to approach every book I read with a heavy dose of skepticism.
Reading critically is essential. I can’t recall any books that I would consider to be pivotal in the progression of my thinking. It was a slow but steady evolution.
While I prune my library regularly, below are 2 lists of significant books still shelved in my library. The first is a list of books I’ve read, and the second is a list of books I hope to read soon. While I’ve been spending about 4 hours a day listening to educational podcasts, there’s nothing like sitting down with a cup of coffee and a good book.
Books I’ve read.
Everyone wants your mind. Ideologies of every sort are competing for your limited mental resources. They do not win only if they can convince you with arguments, they also win if they can monopolize your focus.
Take Scientology as an example. The ontic behind this religion is rich with concepts and nomenclature that take years to acquire. Once you are convinced that that truth lies somewhere within the ideology, you then invest enormous amounts of time, energy and money that you are told will lead to that truth. You have no time to assess the possibility that truth lies somewhere else. Years later, whenever you want to reassess whether the ideology’s claim to truth was valid, you must forcefully lay aside all these vested interests to do so with integrity.
However, too often the vested interests have merged with identity, purpose and worth to such a depth that the individual can no longer back away from their assumptions to make an honest assessment.