Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Disclaimer: This post is NOT a spoiler. However, there are certain crucial information presented here that could give good clues for those fans out there who have not read the book yet.

Finally, I have finished reading the 7th book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. What a read! The story has so much complexity about it. I had to read the book again to understand why exactly such and such happened.

But it was a fascinating read. I really enjoyed and was saddened by a lot of events happening in the story. I don’t understand how can certain people disregard this series as children’s stuff, not being interested in the books at all. They are missing out on a lot. Movies certainly don’t give that amount of satisfaction.

So many deaths, and all lost hope in the middle of the story. I almost cried, feeling so much for the characters and their predicament. As you all know, Harry and his friends are set out to find the horcruxes. But they meet a lot of obstacles along their journey and near-death escapades.

Who said that this is children’s book? I don’t think that children can understand the intricacies and the emotions explained in this book. Especially about Death. Only teenagers and adults are capable of understanding them.

A well-presented magical book by JKR. Never have anyone waited so longingly for a series book like they did for Harry Potter’s. But it is all so sad that Harry Potter is no more. All there is to wait is for the movies to come out in the following two to three years.

All I can say after I’ve finished reading the book today morning at 2am, is that the story’s climax resembles that of Sivaji’s. But it is presented in a more logical way than in Sivaji. And what more, I love Severus Snape!

Why I Read…

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. At least, as the saying goes. But it is not enough as to the reason why I read a lot. My friends think I am such a bookworm. One of them even went to the extent and said that I would probably never stop reading till my grave!

Reading is not an exercise to the mind. It is an exercise for the reasoning mind. I learned a lot from reading. People seek knowledge while reading books that convey vital information. But not all books are of such kind. You have to search for books that interest you. You have to be intelligent enough to look out for credible authors, being able to give you the correct information without any bias, or bad logic.

Books are definitely the source of the knowledge I’ve gained this far. And it will be for the rest of my life. I want to write a book, fiction or non-fiction, in the future when I am ready. I have that much passion for books, especially non-fiction. I also read philosophical fiction, detective fiction, in the likes of Agatha Christie and Ayn Rand.

Non-fiction books have much to offer to the knowledge bank compared to fiction. If you want a good entertainment for your mind, go for fiction of any kind, romanticism, horror, comedy, suspense, thriller and mystery. If you want to experience some growth of your knowledge bank, go for non-fiction. But whatever it is, reading is a very good way of conditioning your mind.

As humans, we are very capable of thinking for ourselves. We don’t always have to rely on others and follow the crowd. Instead, we can devise our lives for ourselves. Such individualistic streak can be obtained from reading books critically. That’s because reading requires us to think about the issue or subject written on our own.

Reading is also an endless journey. After reading one book, the book itself will direct you to another similar or entirely different book. Or you may want to pursue similar topics in a different viewpoint. Reading widely, now that’s very important. You will gain more confidence about your intelligence by reading widely.

Well, everything will go fine if you read. But one thing you have to care of is your eyesight. Reading too intensely for long hours is very unhealthy for your eyes. At every 30-minute interval, you have to stop reading and look somewhere far. Relax your eyes. Then go back to your book. Or you can close your eyes at regular intervals for a while and rest. This will elongate your reading time. You don’t have to get tired easily and abandon reading just for that.

The Purpose Driven Life?

I have heard about Rick Warren’s book called “The Purpose Driven Life”. A lot of people have told me that the book is really good and that it has helped them a lot. So I borrowed this book from my friend to read it during the weekend. But before I talk about the book, I would just like to give this disclaimer. I am not here to criticize the people who have read, or reading, or are going to read the book. I am only criticizing the writer and the writings in the book.

But who am I to criticize the writer? Afterall, Rick Warren has done a lot in his life and he is certainly well-qualified to write this book about Christian faith. So on second thought, I am only critizing the writings in this book.

When I started reading the first chapter, no matter how hard I tried to read every word and sentence patiently, I couldn’t go on. I wanted to read this book to understand how people of christian faith try to spread their faith. So I tried reading it patiently, trying to understand. But finally I had to start skipping certain pages. After that I started to skim through all of the pages and read certain paragraphs closely. Gosh! It was that boring! And I couldn’t believe that people actually say that this book is great. It is nothing more than a Christian Self-help book, no matter what the author writes to convince us that it is not.

The book is also filled with contradictions. Both self-contradictions and contradictions with what the Bible actually says. For example, one part of the book says that God was so grieved that nobody lived to please him except for Noah, that He wanted to wipe out the human race. Another part of the book says that the God knows that we are incapable of being perfect or sinless and yet he still loves us. Not to mention Rick Warren’s cherry-picking of verses from the bible. It’s self-evident that the book is so biased.

In Matthew 22, Jesus says, “thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind”. In the book, Rick’s interpretation is that our love for God should be heartfelt and genuine. But how can you love God genuinely? Do you know Him? How can you love someone who you don’t even know about? During the times of the Bible, people were well aware of what they were talking about. The historical events in the bible happened near their time and so their beliefs in God and their love for Him were stronger. But now it’s already 2000 years since the events claimed to have been happened.

Rick’s cherry-picking has done much damage here. We should not misinterpret the words of the scriptures. Everything should be read, both good and bad. The verse continues, “And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”. Love you neighbour as you love yourself. Because he is none other than you, but just in another form and shape. Before you love God, you have to love yourself first, and then other fellow human beings. But Rick condemns selfish behaviour. Because loving yourself is a selfish thing. But this doesn’t matter. This is just my opinion based on my other book readings.

The book also focuses much on the Intelligent Design theory. But you know about me. You readers know that I’m an atheist when it comes to supernatural gods. So I viewed the writings of this author sceptically. I don’t believe in the ID theory. But if I have to believe in it, then I face a big problem. If everything and everybody is indeed created by God, then who created God? If God is the father of Jesus and God created Jesus, then who created God? The problem doesn’t stop there. The predicament continues infintely. If it is true that every design has a creator, then who is the creator of the creator?

Well, I’m going to finish reading the book. Anything else to say, I’ll do that in my next entry.

My favourite series

Harry Potter is probably the most imaginative story I’ve ever read. It’s a wonderful story. I will get very engrossed in it. Like now. I’m reading the fifth book for the umpteenth time, to update myself of the things and details I’ve forgotten, before the movie gets released in July. Oh what a long wait. I think I’ll probably do a podcast on Harry Potter books to satisfy the kind of feelings I have for the story. Never have I felt so many emotions for a book and it’s story. I’ve literally fallen in love with Sirius and Lupin, and hate Snape to the core.

I’m waiting for the movie and the last book in the series. The suspense is killing me already. I love JK Rowling’s works and her imaginative brain. The first time I read the first book, it was really boring. But I persisted. I kept reading on. And then came the interesting part. So continued reading all the books until book 4. I don’t want to put everything here. I want to do a podcast on it. So let’s see…

On Racism

Human beings come in many different sizes, shapes and colours. However, under the skin, our skeletons and our genes show that we are all closely related. The variations we see today probably all developed within the last 200,000 years as our species diversified from an ancestral African population. Humans have evolved into different ‘races’ according to the climate of the environment they live in. The book, The Complete World of Human Evolution, says:

People with a shorter and rounder body physique will retain heat better than those with taller, lankier physique. However, a distinctively smaller body may be favoured in closed tropical forest environments.

Therefore, such evolved obvious external differences between human populations in features have formed the basis of racial classifications. Because of this, as well as the views of some scientists that there are fundamental differences between races in characteristics such as behaviour and intelligence, the whole concept of ‘race’ has become highly controversial.

I am more interested in knowing how these different so-called races evolved. We all have a common ancestral root in Africa. But how did humans start to show regional differences. Darwin’s natural selection is certainly one of the reasons accounting, for example, the variations in skin colour, the book says. However, it seems that other factors have also influenced the evolution of variations in humans. One of them is sexual selection. Darwin thought that this mechanism could be used to account for the evolution of some ‘racial’ characteristics. In such cases, mate selection influenced by cultural preferences can gradually steer a population in a particular direction. Repeated over thousands of genrations, such individual choices can accumulate in a population, changing its typical characteristics.

Other factors include genetic drift and founder effect. Australian Aborigines arose when individuals from Southeast Asian islands travelled to the completely uninhabited continent of Australia-New Guinea, and their particular characteristics multiplied over many thousands of times in their descendants.

Evolution and natural selection played a fundemental role in the rise of ‘races’. But it is interesting how the concept of social construct, has introduced some of the taboos that we see and hear of today. It is also interesting to notice that there are classifications within an individual ‘race’. Like in India. Hinduism is a race in itself. However, it has a caste system of itself. Religion has also become a part of the ‘race’. If you are an Indian, you can be either Hindu or Muslim or Christian. If you are an European, you can be a Catholic or Protestant and so on. Becaue of such divisions and classifications, a lot of stereotypes, generalizations and prejudices have arised.

I would like to read more on such topics and I would also like my friends and visitors to recommend me some books or websites to read about such topics. Thanks:)