shabby blog

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder

"I believe there is something of the divine mystery in everything that exists. We can see it sparkle in a sunflower or a poppy. We sense more of the unfathomable mystery in a butterfly that flutters from a twig--or in a goldfish swimming in a bowl. But we are closest to God in our own soul. Only there can we become one with the greatest mystery of life. In truth, at very rare moments we can experience that we ourselves are that divine mystery."
Jostein Gaarder (Sophie's World)

Processing Sophie's World in my mind is equivalent to a snack junkie suddenly being packed with healthy leafy, high protein meals and whole grain wheat throughout the day. It feels like an entire shift in my mental diet. Granted thats a bit of an exaggeration because I believe my mind does "eat" relatively "healthy" materials when it comes to reading...But this book by Jostein Gaarder is certainly not one that can be read only once and digested. And trust me it will take you through a journey which'll force you to reevaluate your way of thinking, of perceiving the world and such and most importantly it makes you think. It transforms your brain into a churning thought factory suddenly processing large amounts of raw material.

I like how Gaarder true to his pedagogical stance, maintained a very unbiased view of every philosopher's viewpoint. He gave both the advantages and flaws in each respective philosopher's contribution while at the same time pin pointing the reason why each had carved out a name in philosophical history.
I also like how he managed to weave fundamentals of philosophical concepts into an interesting and laudable parallel fiction in the form of the two lead characters: Sophie and Alberto.

Definitely worth a read, educational, insightful and thought provoking.