He Wasn't Going To Believe some book. (He said it like it was a dirty word.) He was going to follow his own ideas.
What he was saying, indirectly, was that your own ideas are good but ideas written in books are bad. So I asked him: What if I take my good ideas, write them down, and publish them as a book. Do they suddenly become bad?
He said my ideas were good for me, but if I write them into a book and try to get everyone else to believe them, that's bad, because everyone should follow his own ideas.
What if I publish a book that says "Follow your own ideas"? And what if lots of people read it and start following it? (Maybe that's what happened to him.)
How can I be sure my ideas are really mine, not just things I picked up subliminally from the TV set or learned from books in school?
Ok, he conceded, that's true, but … Anyway, he wasn't going to believe that the Bhagavad-gita had a better claim to truth than any other book, like, say, Catcher in the Rye. No book could be perfectly true, because books are all written by imperfect ordinary people.
And he wasn't about to buy the "words of God" line either. Even if the Gita originally came from God, it's been handed down by human beings, who are imperfect, limited, and sure to make mistakes.
But I'm a human being, too. How can I be sure I'm right when I say, "No book is better than another, because all books are written by imperfect human beings who can't possibly know what's true"?
He wants to say that absolute truth can't be conveyed through an ordinary person. Yet there he is an ordinary person making an absolute statement.
We reject his self-contradictory nonsense.
If he's honest, he'll at least admit the possibility that absolute truth can be conveyed through what seems to be an ordinary person, in an ordinary book, with ordinary language.
How can that be? Because by definition the Absolute Truth is all-powerful. Nothing is impossible for the all-powerful. If you say that the Absolute Truth can't appear through an ordinary person in ordinary language, you're limiting the Absolute.
"Following your own ideas" is a daydream in this world, where conditioning is a nonstop reality. We have to use our human brains to find the best ideas, to separate the true from the false and finally approach the Absolute. And it's not impossible. So check out these books.
Bhakta Vic of 108 joined the Hare Krsna movement about two years ago. He and his band (called 108) are based at ISKCON's temple in Washington, D.C.