Sunday, January 21, 2007

the story of my experiments with "The Story of My Experiments with Truth"

i have been reading gandhi's autobiography. it has been a difficult task for me, being that it's a somewhat long book and i am a relatively slow reader. sometimes its fascinating, but other times the only thing that keeps me going is the desire to be able to say i read it. (and because i want to be like tom.) i knew next to nothing of gandhi when i began, and 322 pages in, i still kind of feel that way. it has been disappointing as an autobiography because he seems oddly emotionally detached from everything that's going on. but i suppose that can also be viewed as commendable. just not by me. there are plenty of good parts as well. a while back i started underlining things in library books that i don't want other people to miss. (i have found it interesting if not beneficial to see what other people underline.) here are some things i've underlined (i will consider this "quotes i find interesting part 2"):

"I should be unwilling to take the life of a lamb for the sake of the human body. I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man. But he who has not qualified himself for such service is unable to afford to it any protection. I must got through more self-purification and sacrifice before i can hope to save these lambs from this unholy sacrifice... It is my constant prayer that there may be born on earth some great spirit, man or woman, fired with divine pity, who will deliver us from this heinous sin, save the lives of the innocent creatures, and purify the temple."

"There should be a limit even to the means of keeping ourselves alive. Even for life itself we may not do certain things."

"We are not ashamed to sacrifice a multitude of other lives in decorating the perishable body and trying to prolong its existence for a few fleeting moments, with the result that we kill ourselves, both body and soul. In trying to cure one old disease, we give rise to a hundred new ones; in trying to enjoy the pleasures of sense, we lose in the end even our capacity for enjoyment."


Beigle, Thomas D. said...

I hear you. It's a difficult read. But I found myself fascinated by his detachment. I love the library book underlining. The next time I go to the library, I hope to pick up a book you read last. I don't know when the next time I go to the library will be, though I have been thinking of writing a research paper for fun, maybe like 50 pages on the presidency of Eisenhower or something.

juliehibbard said...

I read this in college and found it difficult to digest and kinda felt sorry for him. He did a lot of good, but he was miserable!
Brian-I HIGHLY suggest you read "Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass" next. It is amazing and the BEST book for inspiration and determination. HE is a hero to me. (I wrote a research paper on the book.) Douglass overcame obstacles, fought for freedom, and ultimately changed the future for slaves, but, unlike Ghandi, he still found time to love life. It's shorter too and much easier--and much more enjoyable -- to read.