Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Bibliotheca: The Road to Wisdom: Quest in to a Creative Self

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Bibliotheca: The Road to Wisdom: Quest in to a Creative Self

Article excerpt

I Background and context

Libraries: the sacred centers of transformative meditation, incubators of integral personalities, and wombs of wisdom. It is from these wombs that emerges an Einstein, a Freud, a Marx, or an Osho. It is the same secretive meditation that can create a Dostoyevsky. It is from this pregnant silence and the womb of darkness that the world enlightening thinkers, intellectuals, philosophers, scientists, spiritual leaders, and authors have emerged. Libraries are ideally the anthills of creativity wherein hidden are the thoughts and words awaiting liberation at the slightest existential provocation.

The whole universe of the trunk, bark, branches, twigs, flowers and fruits called a tree is hidden in a small seed. As well hidden is the comfort of the shade and fresh air that a tree may offer. So hidden are the potentials of hibernating organisms too. The same transformative chrysalis is an essential prerequisite to every creative expression. This phase of meditative silence and withdrawal is what the secret behind all intellectual and creative flowering. It is indeed through such a transformation that a genius become manifest. Exactly this transformation is what libraries facilitate.

In this century of 'information floods' it is high time that the importance and need of libraries as centers of knowledge be highlighted, owing to the unique way in which they function in transforming human lives. Libraries are no mere centers of information/knowledge, but a fulgent path to wisdom. This study is to illustrate how libraries function in transforming information stored in a creative individual's mind into wisdom through valid knowledge, with the resources and reach it provides him/her with, and thus to substantiate the timeless significance of libraries.

II The idea of transformation

Vedas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas, and Upanishads form the four step transformative ideology of the East, commonly known as the Vedic literature. Upanishads or the concluding parts of Vedas are the fruition of a long dialectical process that lasted for centuries together in the spiritual and intellectual realms of the East, not in any organized manner, but rather in a scattered and independent mode.

The word 'Upanishad' consists of three roots-'Upa' means 'Near', 'Ni' means 'down' and 'Shad' means 'Be seated'. So, 'Upanishad' literally means to be seated at the feet of the Guru, or spiritual guide, with an aim to receive the teaching-teaching on ultimate things! It is believed that a Guru will deliver the complete meaning of Upanishads only after understanding the disciple's ability. Thus this teaching method aims the complete development of individual capacities of the disciples. Three stages are employed in this process: 'Sravana-Manana and Nididhyasana'. Sravana is the stage in which meticulous listening takes place, Manana is the stage in which in depth meditation on what has been listened to takes place, and the Nidhidhyasana is that stage in which whatever has been listened to and meditated upon is strived to be realized in one's own experience, thereby transforming one's being altogether!

The investigator intends to capitalize on this rigorous process of self transformation by drawing analogies between it and what actually happens in the literary creative process. A path which leads an individual from information to knowledge and from knowledge to wisdom can be seen there. This is analogous to the above mentioned scheme of Upanishadic instruction. The stages of Information, knowledge, and wisdom correspond to the stages of Sravana, Manana, and Nididhyasana respectively. However in this particular process the individual him-self or her-self become the master as well as the disciple. Even though this transformative process is dependent on various external elements too, the individual's insight plays the key role. Thus it is a kind of self-transformative process which is able to realize only through experience. …

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