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  • Writer's pictureWarrick

Why a non-religious person will be reading the Bible

A plan to read the oldest self-help book on my shelf

Hello fellow Protagonists,

Despite always having a copy in every house lived in from childhood, I have never read the Bible. As a "non-religious" person I guess I have just never seen the point.

I am also putting that in quotation marks as I don't have a sweet fucking clue about what non-religious even means. There is an argument to suggest this is an impossible terminology. I will leave that to another chat one day as it could lead this post down some epic spiral.

What I do know is that all forms of writing and art are influenced by what came before it. We don't magic new ideas out of thin air.

Ain't It Different by Headie One (and Stormzy) came out in 2020. You probably heard it even if you don't recall the track name. The sample used was instantly recognisable from a song of my youth, Butterfly by Crazy Town in 2011 (Think nipple piercings and belly-button tattoos). The video for Ain't It Different even has butterflies in it to pay homage to their influence. Then, thanks to a neighbour with similar taste, I was informed that Butterfly had cut and pasted the same riff from Pretty Little Ditty by The Red Hot Chili Peppers, released in 1989.

50 seconds in if you want to check the link. Clear as crystal.

Interesting to think that this riff was created 4 years before Stormzy was even born. Pretty Little Ditty would have been influenced from something else or a group of things, not necessarily exactly, but on and on until we get to, pretty much, the origins of music.

This isn't a bad thing either. Some songs can feel fairly lazy by copying material from previous work. In reality it is a nod of respect to the previous musicians and creators, as long as they don't try to pull a fast one without giving royalties where they are due.

Here is a fun one if you want to play. Listen to this and tell me in the comments below which song is scarily close, created by a legendary grunge rock band in 1991.

This then gets to the point of why the Bible is in line for my next self-help book.

After reading The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, which is a heavily Christian based book and uses many direct quotations from the Bible, I am starting to see glimpses of the Chili Peppers in my Crazy Town, if you know what I mean.

Pretty much all of these Biblical quotes are exactly the same as those in the many many self-help books read over the years. I had just never read the Bible before to realise this.

We are not going to pick out specific titles at this point because that would be unfair to those authors as all of them are doing this to some degree. It is impossible not to!

There was a recent argument on a podcast about how we all should be revisiting classics of art and literature. That maybe, instead of needing to read the countless books in the world now, we can trace back to classics that have stood the test of time as these would have been pivotal milestones of influence for those hundreds of thousands of books that followed.

Maybe reading the Bible will reduce the need for another hundred self-help books, who knows.

From listening to debates, the difficultly comes in fully understanding what we are reading within the Bible and having heard in a recent statement, that humans are not mentally capable to fully understand it's writings, potentially being a reason it has been around for so long and in how literally (or figuratively) people take it's teachings.

Remember that this book has outlasted empires, where today some books are in the top charts for a month and then are forgotten about forever.

Going by the rules of what we are talking about, the Bible would have also been influenced by previous writings and stories. There are also plenty of other religious scriptures that have had immense influence into works around the world and times where they manage to combine their influences.

So begins the adventure of a guy who once felt that we were too advanced to need to return to old religious texts, who is now returning to read the Bible. The more we dive into the world of psychology, the closer we return to religion. I have failed to find the person behind this quote and the exact wording so let me know if someone out there does recognise this.

New does not always mean best.

GLHF (Good Luck Have Fun)


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