They say the dreams we see with our eyes closed don’t take wings till they first learn how to fall and hit the ground. Rationale is the cornerstone of civilisation, or else we are left with nothing but nihilism. In a world where faith is being poached on regularly by technology, it doesn’t do anymore to merely know your Gita or Quran or Bible. As highly developed intellectual creatures, we need to have some kind of rationalisation – a moral philosophy – that could keep our rudder pointed in the right direction. The only dilemma is the volley of options we have at our disposal. True, nowadays there are all kinds of neologisms to follow through, so why would anyone turn to ancient myths for guidance? Aren’t they already redundant in our presently complex & variegated lifestyle? Through the book Open-Eyed Meditations by Subha Vilas, I found it not necessarily true; afterall doesn’t Time following a circuitous path too? As a race, we might have achieved some outstanding feats but those feats have utterly failed to effect any pertinent change in the Human Condition so far. We all are still essentially learning to survive in an environment that has turned even more hostile than what it was in the beginning. A guidance such as this to lessen our struggle is like a burst of rainshower in a desert oasis.
Meditation is simply a mental exercise to direct our energies inward and control our mind by improving our focus. By improving focus, we can improve our productivity which in turns help keeps our mental health on an even balance, thus flushing out stress. Essentially, directing our mind to work out our life-priorities seems a good way to start in any direction. As you may have already deduced, today I would be reviewing Open-Eyed Meditations by Subha Vilas. I got my author-signed copy of this book from Blogadda, as part of their Book Review program but that is no reason for me to sing paeans for this non-fiction piece of work. It’s really been a long time since I came across a book this simple, yet elegant and prosaic in its content. I believe all work of art/creativity is an extension of the artist himself. If that’s true, then anyone who is in possession of this book is in the presence of a great soul – someone who might have already glimpsed the higher truth that we all are so desperately seeking about. I freely confess I have little faith left in so-called self-help books; perhaps it comes from a sense of inflated ego, but my experience of such books usually brings about a feeling of being buttonholed in public. Which is why, this book is so refreshingly admirable in its approach, style, and content.
Containing 64 chapters in approximately 280 pages, this book is an easy read. The best part is, one can finish this book in a day and yet come back to it, again and again, to draw out the pearls of wisdom it has to offer. The chapters are independent of each other, each page offering nuggets of philosophy that you can ruminate on as you go about in your banal existence – something that will give you the courage to face the tribulations of life and help you converse with your inner self. The style is quite simple and direct, no unnecessary or incoherent allusions or metaphors to distract you from the message. Now, the fascinating part is when I tell you that all this is not at all as preachy as it sounds. Trust me. Merely on that account, I would rate Open-Eyed Meditations as a hidden gem – it is quite tough to find a voice that can philosophise without dramatising it. We Indians especially feel like we have a moral obligation to churn out the theatrics fairly frequently – whether it be on a News channel or in Social Media. So when an unaffected voice like this compiles 280 pages of simple truths, the nail finally drives home but in a more calming way – not unlike meditation.
I am truly glad to have received this book as part of the Blogadda Book Review program. What I found quite agreeable is the fact that even if one doesn’t subscribe to the myths, one can still extract valuable insights that will serve all aspect of our lives. The myths only serve as examples, but if you need more concrete evidence, look around and you will realise those insights still hold true. Open-Eyed Meditations is a book that has to be interpreted by the reader in a personal way – one that would be relevant to his actuality. So if you are still reading this review, I would suggest you head to the nearest bookstore and read it for yourself.