The book that has inspired me the most is a book by the winner of the Nobel Prize for literature, Isaac Bashevis Singer. The book is entitled “Shosha.” This book has inspired me because of how I so deeply relate to the protagonist. The protagonist is Aaron Gredinger, an intellectual, son of a Rabbi, and a secular Jew who grew up in a very orthodox Hasidic household.
Aaron has been pondering the more profound questions of existence that are often the purview of religion since he was a child of 8 or nine. Firstly in the literature of his family’s faith, including the more mystical, occult texts encompassing Cabalistic Judaism.
Not having found satisfactory answers to his many questions within Judaism, he turns to Philosophy for answers. Aaron’s spiritual and intellectual path seems to parallel my own intellectual and spiritual path, though my religious learning began within the Catholic tradition. I was so devout a Catholic as a young boy that my ambition as a nine-year-old was to join the Priesthood. Finding not the answers I sought within Catholicism, I then soured the literature of other religions for truth.
I eventually found myself studying philosophy in University, initially Western Philosophy, but I ultimately focused more on Eastern Philosophy, especially Taoism. I completed my Master’s degree in philosophy with a Major Essay focusing on Taoism and its relationship with some of the Chinese Martial Arts.