Thursday, April 29, 2010

Vicarious Progress?

Question: I know that some people think that avid readers "read their lives away," living life vicariously through the characters in novels instead of experiencing their own lives, however promising or humdrum they may be. I don't agree.

However, I do notice in myself that, when I read books that might help make my life better, let's say a book about a spiritual practice such as meditation or personal reflection, I can easily read and read and keep reading about the spiritual topic, giving mental assent, and I begin to feel as if I'm growing in that area without actually ever practicing the spiritual discipline I'm reading about. Is it, I wonder, a form of spiritual procrastination? Assumed vicarious spiritual growth?

And more importantly, has anybody else noticed this in themselves? Comments, please.

1 comment:

Ash said...

This might be a simplistic answer, but I think any time you're thinking about spiritual growth, it's going to lead to spiritual growth.