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The Llewellyn Journal

The Art of Giving & Receiving

This article was written by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke
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This is the time of year we think about giving to other people. We prepare lists of family and friends to whom we will give “presents” at Yule. And sometimes we are asked to prepare lists of presents we would like to receive.

It’s a wonderful opportunity that turns our attention from problems and concerns to what should be a joyful exchange at a special time of review and renewal—the winter solstice, when the old year really ends and the new begins. The sun cycle turns and days become longer—preparing the way for rebirth and renewal. And, for many of us, this becomes a time of review.

Unfortunately, sometimes the very thought of lists of presents becomes a burden. What on earth do you give to old Aunt Martha whom you haven’t seen in years, and even then she mostly talked about her garden? And you’re not into gardening and wouldn’t know a hoe from a spade. Or what about your partner’s Uncle Ed who constantly complains that no one knows how to cook a tasty meal? Aside from compiling lists, the thought of shopping in your busy life is shattering!


The Gift of Books
Of course, when I tell you books are the answer to all your problems it can be perceived as self-serving. I want to sell books. And I want you to buy our books. For goodness’ sake, that’s why we publish them. But, maybe we don’t have the kind of books that Cousin Mabel is interested in, or that your next-door neighbor—who always brings you a gift—reads.

You are not limited to just Llewellyn books. You can try one-stop shopping at your local bookseller and find thousands of different titles, or you can go on-line and find upwards of two million titles with quick delivery and no hassle.

The wonderful secret about books is that each one is much more than printed paper between covers. A book is much more than what the title or cover suggests. Even books intended just for entertainment are filled with information and stimulating ideas. I am reading a mystery novel about Boston as I wind down every evening, and I have learned things I never knew despite having lived there for three years. I never heard about NINA or about GBA, but they are part not only of Boston’s but America’s history. “No Irish Need Apply” was a reality less than half a century ago, and the “Gaelic Benevolent Association” was a response to those discriminatory times.

When I read a new book about angels, I am stimulated to think about matters beyond the moment. To my knowledge, I’ve never seen an angel. Do I believe in angels? Yes I do, and for more reasons than their mention in just about every kind of scripture and sacred lore I’ve encountered. Firstly, I know that our world is filled with life forms I’ve never seen—from minute cellular forms invisible to the eye to large critters living in the depths of the ocean in the most hostile environment imaginable on earth. I have every reason to believe that life manifests everywhere in every kind of circumstance. I have no doubt that intelligent life (and I suspect that all life, even the most minute, is actually intelligent) exists not only elsewhere in the universe but in dimensions other than physical.

Scientists have long speculated about other dimensions side-by-side with the physical one that we know, and religious and occult lore all tell us of beings (angels, demons, spirits, fairies, elementals, etc.) inhabiting the heavenly worlds, or the Astral, Mental, and Spiritual Planes.

Why should I doubt merely because, to my knowledge, I’ve never conversed with an angel? I don’t doubt just because my personal experience doesn’t encompass angelic contacts. I don’t doubt anything that my personal experience hasn’t refuted, and even then I am open to possibilities. Some have said that anything that can be imagined is real. What “real” means in that situation may be another question, but the imagination is the most powerful manifestation of consciousness that we have.


Books Are Real
No matter what you may think of my argument for a broader view of reality, you will not doubt that books are indeed not only physically real but reflective of other dimensions of mind and spirit, of imagination as well as hard fact, of philosophy and religion, of past and present and future speculation. There are books for every interest—including interest in angels, gardening, gourmet cooking, Irish history, spirituality, and thousands more, and every kind of entertainment through fiction and fantasy.

There is no question that books are the easiest solution to your giving needs, and your receiving hopes. Books are gifts from us to ourselves—containing the history, wisdom, and imagination of the entire human race. Every book is a seed stimulating the imagination, a building block for success in every enterprise, a gift showing care and love.

Books are for giving and for receiving. They are carriers of our culture. Your gift of books, and your receipt of books, places you in the most important roster of people—people who really care.

— Carl Llewellyn Weschcke, Publisher


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