Sunday, 24 August 2014

Food For Thought

I make a trip down to the laundry facilities (in this building) every two weeks. The laundromat consists of two rooms - the first one inside the hall door has washers only while the second one contains the dryers as well as four or five more washers. For a couple of years there was a tall bookcase just inside the door leading to the dryers. The bookcase was available to anybody and contained books which neighbors had read and wanted to pass on.

I have 'borrowed' some of those books and - as I live in a 'bachelor' unit - I  do not have space for a large bookcase so I return any that I have borrowed to those shelves and add to them some books which I have purchased and do not believe would be of any interest to my sister.

A year or two ago the laundry facility was updated and the bookcase was removed (much to my regret!)

However, when I went down there to tend to my laundry a couple of weeks ago I saw a pile of books sitting on the 'folding table' in the middle of the room. Books are like magnets to me and I cannot ignore them so I scanned the titles. All but one of them were of little interest to me but that one - near the bottom of the pile - intrigued me so I brought it up here and have read it.  

It is a small book titled "In Search of the Seven Colors" and it was written by Anil Giga (an author whom I had never heard of before). The story begins here in Toronto, Ontario and quickly moves to the area of the Indian subcontinent not far from Mount Everest. Once there the narrator sets out to locate a friend who was traveling in that region.

Travel in that part of the world is not easy - no super highways and (seemingly) not all that reliable railway service - so it took the author a while before he reached his friend. In the meantime he interacted with other people along the way and his understanding of the culture and the thinking was expanded. Also - on that trek - were a couple of other people who were followers of the local faith systems and they shared them with Giga.

The meaning of the book title is that the 'hero' will find seven items along the way that match each of the seven colors of the rainbow. - and each color has a specific significance. They are:-

                                                        Green - Meditation
                                                        Red    - Relinquish Pride
                                                        Orange - Non-judgment
                                                        Yellow - Generosity
                                                        Blue - Express Your Higher Self
                                                        Violet - Life is a Lesson
                                                        Indigo - Discover Your Plan

I have been a Christian ever since some Mennonite people taught Sunday School in the Community Hall in Ruskin, B.C. Since then I have studied Theology, interacted with folk of many religions and denominations, have been the pastor of a few congregations and I have prayed and pondered. One conclusion that I have arrived at is that I am suspicious of those who claim that they have discovered 'the one true religion' and that all the other paths are wrong and misleading. This is especially true of some of the minor sects and - so it seems to me - to the followers of Islam. How can one group - be it small or large - claim that they have found the 'Real Truth' and that everybody else is wrong?

No - it is extremely unlikely that I will convert to the Jehovah Witness faith, Christian Science nor Scientology (three of the groups who claim that they are the exclusive discovers of the 'true faith'). I agree more with those who say, "There are many paths to God and Christianity is but one of them".

I am glad that I stumbled upon this book (maybe it would be truer to say that it was placed where I would discover it?). It has given me much to ponder and - if you should stumble upon this same book - pick it up, read it, and ponder as well!

What am I going to do with my copy? My oldest sister lives in the small Cariboo town of 100 Mile House, B.C. She is an avid reader but has to travel many miles to towns with bookstores so I send on to her most of the books that I pick up here in Toronto. After reading them she - in turn - sends them on to daughters and grandchildren who love to read as well.



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