I do not subscribe to references made in the following books and movie regarding religion and God. I merely acknowledge the roles the books and movie played in the process of uncovering myself.
I’m not necessarily recommending these books, and specifically, I add that they didn’t go all the way to guide me to where I am and what I wanted. Their authors go part of the way only, and in that context, I mention them here:
First was The Road Less Traveled by Scott M. Peck. This book gave me the softening blows. Prior to reading this book, I was stuck in my own thinking. This primer made it possible for me to consider that there might be more to what life was about than what I thought.
Another book that gave me good insight as to what might have happened to me is The Primal Scream by Arthur Janov. Yet, as mentioned before, the author stopped just short of taking the last few steps. Still, an excellent description of how I got onto the path I didn’t really like.
I’m not necessarily recommending the following movie, and specifically, Mother Theresa seemed very much an entrenched believer and follower of God and her religion. In her view, she was convinced that she was doing God’s work and working his plan. At the end of the movie, she is portrayed as saying that people will be judged for what they do for and against the poor. My view is that whatever we do should definitely not hinge on such threats, but rather what comes from our hearts. However, important points are portrayed in this movie that are related to sections in this book.
Mother Teresa: In the Name of God’s Poor (1997)
In this movie, Mother Theresa gives up everything, at one point even her own food, to assist the poorest of the poor while they lay dying. Several parts of the movie acknowledged my own path, and in particular an instance of what not to do—such as failing to take care of ourselves and giving our food away, because if we are undernourished, we won’t be in a position to continue with our work. (But this is true for other situations as well, not only related to food and care of our physical selves, as seen in another section in this book, “Standing Up and Stepping Out of Mainstream Society.”)
From Mother Theresa’s world-known achievements, it is evident what one person can do with their life. The particular context isn’t what’s important here; rather, what is important is what one person can achieve, and, as seen in another section in this book, “Responsibility: Do We Recognize Our Responsibility?”, where the groundwork for this case is laid.
Another important point is also made near the end of the movie, in a discussion between Mother Theresa and the journalist regarding her efforts as a mere treatment of the symptoms of poverty. In this scene, the journalist asks her (loosely quoted), “What about treating the cause of where the poorest of the poor come from?” This question relates to another section in this book, “Treating Symptoms and Addressing the Cause.”