You are here

3 Books For 3 Pivotal Moments

3 livres


It’s hard to identify 3 books out of all the ones you’ve read to make a top 3. Each one offers its own contribution to who we are and often, what we read, we don’t quite manage to assimilate because we are missing some degrees of maturity. In short, it’s not the book that is bad, it’s us who are not yet at the level and the book can be the beginning of a change. The idea of classification bothers me a little: each book is a stone in our edifice of knowledge and change of perspective, no matter how humble. Nevertheless, upon closer reflection, I realized that there may be 3 books that have had more impact on my life than others. What they have in common is that I have read them many times, some tirelessly, so that I have absorbed their teachings over time. Thus, I have identified three important books in my life, each of which has opened several mental doors that had previously remained closed.

The Bhagavad Gîtâ (Commentary By Swami Chinmayananda): 3 Levels Of Happiness, Spirituality Can Be Embodied Through Selfless Action And Finally Our Attachments Bias Our Perception Of The World

The first book on this list, even if it is not the first in chronological order, it nevertheless occupies the first place on the podium in my heart. It is the Bhagavad Gîtâ, commented by Swami Chinmayananda. It is a book that captivated me by the clarity and simplicity with which it was able to explain profound concepts, especially psychological and spiritual ones. I was struck by the wisdom that emerges from it and the logic that it contains despite the apparent contradictions that it presents. The three key ideas I took from this book are that there are three levels of happiness: one is selfish, one is indifferent to others and one contributes to the happiness of others. It is a simple idea, but one that is astonishing. Until then I had never suspected such a thing. In my opinion, happy people, especially those presented to us in the media, showed a form of smugness and arrogance towards the world. Their vanity was a consequence if not the cause of their apparent happiness. After reading the Bhagavad Gita, I stopped envying those people who were arrogant or explicit in the manifestation of their happiness, I understood that they were only at an intermediate stage of happiness and that they still needed to evolve. I would say that this book had the effect of bringing a certain calmness to my life and gave me a sense of perspective.
Another important concept in the book is the notion of karma yoga, or selfless action. I was inclined to live with some form of desire to achieve certain goals (especially after reading “Think and Grow Rich”), but the Bhagavad Gita made me realize that what we really control is our efforts – it is futile to try to control everything. The best is to live in offering our actions to the divine and to let him choose the outcome. Of course, this notion implies having faith at the beginning, but if you already have it, it will only increase if you put this concept into practice. Finally, one last idea that I found interesting in the book was that our ability to judge is greatly impaired by our attachments, our desires. Furthermore, we need to know how to distance ourselves from our desires in order to make better decisions, which is made possible by meditation.

Think And Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill: The Importance Of Our Unconscious In Our Lives And The Miracle Of Faith

This is a book with an evocative title. I think I chose it for that very reason. At first, it seemed like a false promise. I had found it in a thrift store and figured that if the person had sold it, it must not have worked for them. Still, the price was low so I had almost nothing to lose. As I began to read the book, I was challenged by concepts that were as preposterous as they were zany to me at the time. I told myself that it was a bunch of nonsense, but the benefit of the doubt made me read it anyway, and I repeated it several times. What happened was that I began to ponder the concepts, however implausible they seemed to me at the time. I was baffled by the notion of the unconscious as the hidden master of our destiny. I was equally disturbed by the exercises of autosuggestion that he was giving. However, the allusion to people I admired such as Gandhi helped me to adhere to certain ideas. Surprisingly, this book, which has a very materialistic title, opened the doors to faith and belief in the existence of God, which I had previously refuted, not having grown up in a particularly religious environment.

Precepts Of Life, Confucius: The Importance Of Virtue To Lead A Happy Life

The third book is interesting in that it taught me the link between virtue and happiness. According to Confucius, these two ideas are inseparable. It also deals with wisdom and its external manifestation. He approaches leadership from a surprising angle: humility and service. It is a book that teaches unfailing righteousness. Its brevity only makes it more practical. You can read it over and over again because its format allows it to fit in any pocket. It is highly recommended for all those who seek happiness through simplicity and integrity.

Related posts