I’ve been reading this book lately, a Hungarian book. I haven’t read a book in Hungarian in quite a while, which is not necessarily a good thing.
The reason why I picked up this book, is because the brother of my boyfriend keeps quoting the author. Whenever we’re having a serious discussion, he’ll probably end up going like: ‘Popper says..’. So after the second part of Tumtum and Nutmeg I thought to myself, let’s check this guy out.
And so I started reading, having heard about the writer before, but not really knowing his work. What I could figure out about his backround is that he was a psychologist, but from what I gather, he was very interested in spirituality, without considering himself a religious person. To be honest, it took me about quarter of the book to get into it. I kept complaining to my boyfriend, that I don’t really get what is he on about. But then, when you get used to his slightly hectic style, it gets interesting.
The book is a collection of psychological writings, on various subjects, like the soul, the connection between psychology and religion, relationships, psychoterapy. One of the reasons why I found it slighlty hectic, is that he seems to jump back and forth between the ideas. Also, he uses lots of references and quotes, and his use of quotation marks (or lack of it) sometimes confused me.
I like to listen to people talking about other cultures and their spirituality, and in the first part of the book, he talks a lot about that. I think the western world’s human being has lost its touch with spirituality, and I enjoy hearing about the indians, muslims, christians, and how it all interconnects.
I found many interesting ideas. I like it when sometimes I read about things written by people with all this life-knowledge, describing situations in wich I can recognise myself, and maybe I get to understand my reactions or emotions related to those situations. I don’t always agree with what’s being said, obviously, the point is, that it makes me think.
Having finished the book a few days ago, two ideas remained stuck in my head. The first is, that according to Popper, you cannot change the karma of your family, because karma always works from ancestors to offsprings, and not the other way. Come to think of it, it makes sense. You cannot really be responsible for the way the life of your parents is working out, because they are on a path carved out for themselves, and you have to follow your own. The best thing you can do, I think, is to accept the reality of your family and be supportive, forcing change will mostly bring disharmony. I think acceptance is one of the most important thing we can learn as human beings. With acceptance comes unconditional support, and you can work with the rest from there. Another thing we can work on is not bringing the negative habits along on our path, but working on building new ones.
The other thing that I read, and makes alot of sense, is that we should stop carrying our junk-trunk with us. By junk-trunk, he means, all the negative stuff that we are carrying with us, and re-learning them every time we are in a negative state of mind. You know, the sort of thing when every bad thing that has ever happened to you comes to your mind, or you have a disagreement with someone, and you recollect every occasion when you and that person dissagreed . He compare this to the chain Marley was carrying after him in Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. I do this quite often, so Note To Self : get rid of the junk-trunk. :))
These are just some of the thoughts that stayed with me after reading this book, but obviously, there’s so much more to it. My recommendation is: if you’re in for a book that makes you think, if you’re interested in psychology, spirituality and basically life itself, give it a try.
Also, if you’re interested, you can see lecture by Popper Peter on various subject via Youtube.