Energy – The Wellspring Of Life

Blocked Up
Zy Marquiez
January 5, 2018

Energy is an interesting concept.  It conjures all sorts of ideas/emotions.  For our purposes, we’re going to focus on energy and oft-overlooked ways to tap into it.

Usually, the ways people gain energy are through rest, sleep and eating healthy foods.  Occasionally people might state they feel energized doing other activities, but for the most part the point of view of how people consistently gain energy is seen through a limited perspective.

Be that as it may, there are myriad other ways people can get energized.  Sometimes a calming vacation in a cabin retreat helps revitalize someone.  Or perhaps even a weekend at a beach or a cabin in the mountains can help reinvigorate individuals energetically.  Working out has also been known to energize individuals.  So on and so forth.

Bottom line – the above examples showcase the same concept, but from various points in the kaleidoscope.  The energy an individual can tap into is available in many streams of life, if we just open our eyes to it.  Best of all, there are even more ways to get energized then the ones mentioned above.

By way of example, nigh 3 days ago I was about to head to bed given that it was around 10 PM and I’d been battling a cold for a few days, having an atrociously exhaustive day, when I opted to read a book.  Sounds innocent, doesn’t it?  No big deal, you say.  Perhaps.

I pick up one book, and continued that book where I left off in that novel.  Soon thereafter, I recall that there’s another book I’d been meaning to continue, and switch to that book.  After about an hour of vigorous reading, I switch to another book, so on and so forth.  Four hours later, and bouncing between 5 books, I felt on top of the world.  My energy level was through the roof, and at first it was inexplicable to me.  This was until I realized how powerful allowing my mind to drift through ideas, contemplate creative curiosities and stoking the embers of my imagination was.  The ironic thing is, I should have been even more exhausted than before, given that I was running on empty before I started reading, but such was not the case.  Thereafter, after a few hundreds pages, I was replete with energy as I’d drank from life’s well spring itself.

After going through that instance, I was left with much to ruminate upon.  I found energy and how we tap into it a utterly fascinating idea.  The point is, a simple task that might not hold meaning to others, not only held immense meaning to myself, but was able to invigorate me in a manner I hadn’t been in months.  Not only that, but it allowed me to get things done when I was feeling dreadful, which was one of its greatest advantages.

Tapping into this wellspring of life, energy, whether it comes from a vacation, working out, or whatever other method…is definitely an Ace all Individuals have up their sleeve, even if they don’t use it.  If seen from the point of view of something nourishing and vital to your well being, and I certainly believe it is, then it is something we should all contemplate on doing, and doing regularly.  That’s just my opinion however.  What do you think?

At the opposite side of this example is the fact that all of us, from time to time, will feel stagnant, like a ship without a rudder amidst the winds of life.  Lacking energy [irrespective of reason] leaves us like a leaf in the wind, subject to whatever whim the winds of nature leaves us.  As such, we drift aimlessly in our space and often let the chips fall where they may.  Each and every one of us is familiar with this idea.

How we get there is not as important as how we get out of it.  Thankfully, there are many ways of egress when facing this curious conundrum.

This is why for me, personally, it’s been vital to find as many solutions to this dilemma, which basically means finding as many ideas of things that keep me energized and keep my tanks full.  Please keep in mind, that what might work (best) for myself, might not work for someone else, but hopefully someone can gain better insights into ways they may energize themselves, and even contemplate new ways of tapping into and expanding this untold potential.

Whether it is painting, writing, reading, listening to music, swimming, imagining, exercising, yoga, meditating, mindfulness, meaningful conversations, or someway else, make note of what energizes you.  Keep that in your back pocket, because we all know sooner or later the moment of stagnicity will wrap its tentacles around us and only by being proactive will we be able to shed its limbs.

Better yet, once we realize we can tap into this energy source at any given moment in time, our Individual capabilities increase proportional to how we opt to employ them and how often as well.

At that moment, when energy is restored, the world is in the palm of our hands, and life becomes your personal adventure once more.

And isn’t that what life’s about, living life to the fullest?

This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and

Book Review: How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren

Blocked Up
Zy Marquiez
January 5, 2018

“A man is known by the books he reads.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Read not to contradict and confuse; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider.”
– Francis Bacon

This particular book is a book that helps you think better, shaper, more incisively.

At the behest of the author of Socratic Logic [review here] Peter Kreeft PhD, the following book was recommended.   Holding Kreeft’s opinion in high respect – and after doing some research into the book – getting this book seemed to be more than a safe bet.  In fact, it was much more than that.

How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren is a phenomenal book in a multitude of ways.  Not only does it the book teach individuals how to read different kinds of books – by reading proactively, by rather reactively, for instance – but it also provides essential tools for the synthesis of other great – and more meaningful – pieces of literature.  But the book doesn’t stop there.

One crucial point the authors make is to point out the fact different type of genres should be read in different ways.  Put differently, different type of books demand different types of focus from the reader – poetry, plays or even fiction will be ready drastically different from nonfiction books, or better yet, medical studies or something more dense.  This is something that’s not taught to individuals for the most part, and it’s quite a crucial skill to be lacking in the age of information.

Throughout the length of the book, Adler and Van Doren cover an extensive set of tools for individuals to learn and implement in order to maximize their understanding of the information held within books and all reading in general.  The book features a wide ranging set of suggestions that build on themselves throughout the chapters and also help the reader navigate all the way from the basics to the more advanced.

With utmost precision, the authors show the lengths to which proper reading can be taken too, as well as the depth that can be gathered by undertaking their advice.  As an avid reader and researcher, the information within the pages of this book have helped me considerably not only in pushing myself as a reader, but in understanding – and even merging – the depth and scope of information that is stated, as well as sifting out deeper implications when information isn’t obvious.

Covered within How To Read A Book are topics such as inspectional reading, systematic skimming, problems in comprehension, ‘x-raying’ a book, coming to terms with the author, criticizing a book fairly, reading aids, how to read practical books, how to read imaginative literature, suggestion for reading stories, plays and poems, how to read history, how to read philosophy as well as much, much more.

Particularly of interest to me was the topic of syntopical reading, which is what the authors call ‘The Fourth Level Of Learning’..  In laymen terms, syntopical reading is the ability to essentially synthesize information from various sources.  Since synthesizing information is a process carried out [or attempted too] on nigh a daily basis by myself, the information for me in this particular section was quite noteworthy and immensely useful.  Admittedly, some of it was already being done by me since one learns how to streamline various components of one’s learning when done long enough, but the book still offered more than plenty to learn from in this and many other areas.

A book like How To Read A Book should be an integral component in everyone’s education, and that is no overstatement.  In an age where cognitive decline of education continues unabated, it’s those that push themselves into the realm of self-teaching or autodidacticism that will breakaway from the pack.

This book can easily function as a foundational piece in a school curriculum, because, after all, a sizeable portion of what individuals learn comes via reading.

Most of the suggestions in this book seep into most types of reading in some way shape or form.  When carried out, this undoubtedly filters into an individuals’ everyday lives proportional to how much its concepts are used, and I can certainly vouch for it.  There really isn’t too many books out there that urge the reader to go beyond the conventional baseline understanding of knowledge within books, but this book is certainly one of those precious few.

Appreciatively, the authors also make it a point to strive for a greater education as individuals, to seek to further one’s education beyond the bounds of modern schooling.  Mind you, schooling and education are not the same thing, which is an important distinction because what society gets in America nowadays – given that we have strewn away from classical education – is barely a facsimile of schooling, and in no way shape or form the true education of times past.  Authors like award winning teacher John Taylor Gatto’s in his landmark Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, Dr. Joseph P Farrell & Gary Lawrence’s Rotten To The Common Core , and Charlotte Iserbyt, who served as the Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education, in her The Deliberate Dumbing Down Of America, all outline various angles of the deliberate dumbing down of America quite saliently.  More and more people are beginning to speak out as well.

In any case, at the end of the book the authors also thankfully feature a set of the greatest books of all time for individuals to take into consideration.  Having read some of those books, it’s hard to disagree.  That book list is definitely something that’s worth considering for someone looking to extend their learning.

Furthermore, the authors postulate that there exists specific books which fall into the category of what they call ‘Great books’, such as The Illiad, The Odyssey, Organon, The Republic, Paradise Lost, The Divine Comedy, et al.  The authors state that only 1% of the millions of book out there – if not less – fall within this category of ‘Great Books’.  What makes this particular category of great books so unique?  That the gems of knowledge contained within these books, and growth the reader will attain will not only be quite extensive given the depth and immensity of the concepts within the books, but these books will teach you the most about reading and about life.  What’s more, regardless of how many times one reads these books, they are so profound and demanding of the reader that one will always learn something from them.

If you appreciate books, reading, classical education, or are striving to demand more from yourself or perhaps even plan on building a home-schooling curriculum, GET THIS BOOK!  This book really is for everyone.  Educated minds have great foundations, and this book helps lay those foundations in an ironclad manner.

This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and