The Library Is Inhabited By Spirits That Come Out Of The Pages At Night— Isabel Allende
Libraries are some of the most beautiful and calming places in the world. They’re not only havens of learning and knowledge but also the repository of experiences of people who have come before us. They’re beautiful not just because of their outward appearances or because of the hefty spines that adorn their shelves but also because it’s impossible to feel lonely in them. Even if you’re alone, you won’t be lonely, because you know that surrounding you are shelves that contain the collective consciousness of mankind. The shelves that line these libraries aren’t dead, inert, unfeeling pieces of architecture with handsome books. They’re alive and vibrant, bustling with the activity – both mental and physical – of generations past.
At night, especially, library feel like a portal into an alternate world, where the realm of the human and the divine coincide, intersect and flow freely conjoined, With the twinkling of the stars and the movement of the moon being the only indicators of the passage of time, time almost stills to a pin pricked moment of utter peace and contentment. The world stops spinning, the clock stops ticking, life halts for a brief space.
And out come the spirits of the books that are the guardians of knowledge and the key to happiness. They hover about in the rustling pages of the book, they dissolve into the smell of its faded pages, they merge into the black ink of the words and of the night. These spirits carry within them the tumultuous streams of the past. They hold within themselves the histories of glorious nations and indigenous peoples, of individual scars and global events. These spirits are also home to the collective learnings of mankind. Of psychology and sciences, of mathematics and humanities, of physics and the arts. They are vibrantly and gloriously unfurling lotus petals. Each unfolds to reveal an added layer of lessons learnt, of loves lost, of lives experienced.
Befriend these spirits. They will welcome you into their home, the library. Accept their welcomes with a smile and a hug, let these spirits take over your life for a night. Allow yourself to revel in their glittering beauty, in the chatter of their wings that reveals a world of secrets unknown, in the beauty and elegance of their intellect. These spirits will open up a world of possibilities to you. They will give you an all access past into the root of the world. You will see the rainbows and gemstones, the brooks and forests, the flowers and roots of this world of literature. There will be rivers of knowledge to drink in, and showers of beauty-flowers to contain within yourself. Most of all, there will be reflections.
You will see reflected in this world that opens up, a hazy but idealistic image of yourself. Whoever you are deep within, what you refuse to show to the world and keep hiding from even yourself, these spirits will expose that. The spirits will show you the essence of your truth, they will guide your perspective towards literature. And it’s this essence you are seeking.
The religions of the world are merely interpretations of these truths. The ultimate way to salvation, to the annihilation of the birth cycle, to oneness with the Ultimate is to open yourself up to the offerings of the world. And the easiest way to do that is to listen to what these spirits of the night residing in libraries have to say. Listen to them, and learn from them. Forsake your own experience and live within someone else, someone who may not even exist. Provide a body for the soul of the story that is captured within books. Become the medium for these stories to live vicariously. Listen. Listen to the spirits of the night residing in libraries.