My bookcase…well one of my bookcases…collapsed. I was trying to move it. It was cheap and several years old. There was a “cracking” sound and one side came off. The shelves slid out to the side and forward to the floor. Chunks of cheap “chipboard” made sharp piles under the corpses of a hundred or more books, many of them now half open.

I felt rather blocked and unable to think or move. What could I do? Where should I start cleaning them up? Well, it gave me an excuse to go through those books. I found what I thought was a surprisingly rare item, a copy of The Lost Scrolls of King Solomon by Richard Behrens. I looked it up on the internet to find that copies of it are selling for from next to nothing up to over $4oo. I also found the extremely rare medallion that was designed to go along with the book.

Another unusual item I discovered in the pile was a small book that was a collection of 60 tipped-in pictures of the erotic sculptures found on the exterior of the temples at Khajuraho, India. There’s no date on this collection and some of the pictures are of incredibly poor sharpness. The color on many is quite faded, as if they had been placed out in the sun.

The next thing I noticed was called The Spiritual Significance of Malas and Murtis by Karunamayi Sri Sri Sri Vijayeswari Devi. This small booklet describes the proper use of using malas, the traditional prayer beads from India. It was also supposed to included information on using murtis, religious statues (“idols”) as found in Indian worship, but there is little there. This is one of the books I have that is in English but that I imported from India as it is not easily available in the U.S.

Dreams, Psychology, and Bookcases

I think that if you have a lot of books, as I do, it might actually be a good thing to have a bookcase either fall apart or take all the books out and place them in a new order. According to some psychologists, when you dream about going through a house, you’re actually examining different areas—rooms—of your mind. What happens when you enter a room, or can’t enter a room, is psychologically important.

Having a bookcase fall apart in real life isn’t the same as dreaming of rooms in a mysterious house, but it might be just as important. Perhaps it would be a good idea to go through your bookcases every once in a while. That way you can remember where you were, see what led you to where you are, and perhaps better plan for your future. I remember one of my teachers telling me that in traditional Chinese medicine, a sign of health is the quality of your memory. He said that there were three kinds of memory: memory of the past, the present, and the future. Memory of the past was their expression for long term memories, the memories of many years ago. Memory of the present equates with short term memory, such as remembering the name of someone you were introduced to 15 minutes ago. Memory of the future is an expression meaning remembering the goals you set for yourself in the past and the continuation of striving to achieve those goals.

I’m not suggesting anyone should hope to have their bookcases collapse, but perhaps you should go through them from time to time.

And perhaps you might consider also spending some time with introspection: going through your “inner bookcase” of memories and clearing the cobwebs from your mind. It’s a powerful exercise and adventure, and you’d be surprised at how many people refuse to even consider doing it.


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Written by Donald Michael Kraig
Donald Michael Kraig graduated from UCLA with a degree in philosophy. He has also studied public speaking and music (traditional and experimental) on the university level. After a decade of personal study and practice, he began ten years of teaching courses in the Southern California area on such ...