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Yogananda on Books

11401159_658725477561978_7399202609509173730_oBefore starting to read always select logically written books which deal with vital subjects that will benefit your life. Read a little poetry every day. That will keep your feelings exercised. Read a little from modern physical science, study a little medical science and hygiene and add to these a little study of some book that will make you laugh. This will serve as a mental appetizer and will quicken the flow of your intellectual saliva.

Intellect can be developed by the habit of daily mental exercise in reading and thinking over certain logical philosophical statements. Finding out your own views, after you have read a good book, is of inestimable value in assimilating true ideas.

If you mix sand and sugar together it is difficult for a man to separate them while eating, but in a mixture of sugar and sand the ant always gets the sugar and leaves the sand alone.

The blind reader, who swallows good and bad ideas indiscriminately, suffers from intellectual indigestion, chaos, and mental irritation, whereas the introspective reader, like the ant, separates the erroneous harmful or too sentimental views from beneficial and right expressions in the books he reads.

So select quality in the books you read, and above all discriminate and examine the salient statements in them as you read. Remember you are not a mental machine of recording others’ ideas. Assimilate only the worthy ideas in books.

By Paramahansa Yogananda

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