Let me start by laying this out there. My son is at a place in his life where he is not very sure that there is any value in books and reading. Graphic Novels (we used to call them comic books…) are fun, but all those words with no pictures? A story is better told by a movie. Harrumph! Where did my boy get such a perspective!?

One of my favorite quotes is from a man named Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, which says, “You are the same today as you’ll be in five years except for two things: the books you read and the people you meet. ”

I hope to meet, re-meet, and meet more meaningfully with people by building a community online – where the clock and the map don’t impede us. We can meet across the globe, and you can read and respond to me while I’m sleeping and I can reply while you’re at work.

But that’s only half of the advice from Mr. Jones… what about the books you read? Most people don’t read books any more. We’re going to try to put a dent in that presumption. I hope to read with you, but I know it’s hard. So I have read for you! And my goal is to inspire you to get back to the reading habit.

There are some books that I’ve read that have caused me to think. And I’m finding new ones all the time.

I’ve decided to start with this one, mainly because it is freely available on the Internet. It’s over 30 years old, so it’s been forgotten by many. But I found it to have some good insights, and an interesting, sort of crusty, perspective on things that resonated with me.

The name of the book is “Wishcraft” and it can be found here http://wishcraft.com/wishcraft_intro.pdf as PDF downloads. We’re going to start with the introduction and go from there. What I’m going to do is just comment as I read, so if you don’t grab the PDF file and read it yourself, this might sound like listening in on a phone conversation. You can do it, but it’s much more fun if you sneak in and use the extension to listen in.

I just want to reiterate that this book, and any others I bring to you, are selected because they challenge me. A book I don’t have problems with is boring and not worthy of sharing. So I can say that there are some things I’ll be taking issue with – where I’ll disagree. But that’s where you come in, you will see two sides and have to decide for yourself where you come down. Oh, yeah, you’ll have to think. That’s what makes this good! That’s the point here, you see?

So I can start right off by saying that I’m a little embarrassed to be sharing a book on witchcraft — Oh, no it’s a play off of the word ‘witchcraft’ because it’s supposed to work like magic, right? It’s actually a rather clever name as you’ll see that Barbara, the author (I will refer to the authors by their first names, because we’re going to have a conversation, not an interview – so we might as well be friendly.), is a rather clever lady – so it fits her style.

OK, let’s get started. Hopefully you have a copy and can read along…

Right out of the gate on the first page your assumptions are challenged. What does it mean to be a winner in life? Who makes those rules? Who decides? Where did you get your definition? Question your assumptions; that always shakes up your thinking.

Right away we plow into my first “issue”. Barbara defines a winner for herself. She says, “Winning to me means getting what you want.”

Is that good? Is that good enough? I have two problems there, and she addresses one of them. What if I don’t know what I want? She handles this nicely and it’s kind of the theme for the introduction. You have to dig into yourself and realize that you really do know what you want. You’ve just forgotten or buried it.

She even spends a few pages there with a very realistic account of this process and some of the pitfalls and excuses we can (and I do) make.

Now I said there was a second part of the wishing that she doesn’t address. What if, at my core, I’m selfish? Should my wishes really be all about me? Barbara might say, ‘Of course silly, you are who you’re here for. It’s your life.’ I might debate that from the view of a Christian. I don’t want to dig into that here in the introduction, but I just want you to see the seed of my disagreements with her and where we start to diverge – and that’s right here.

I like the fact that she’s very real about the hurdles and obstacles we encounter when trying to define our deepest wishes and dare to think about reaching for them once again.

On page viii, she starts to break down the sections of the book: The first part is about discovering your “wish”. What is it really? And the second part is learning the skills that make up the “craft” – the doing to get to the wish. Like I said, clever.

The last page or two ends up with her inspiring us to dare to be dreamers again. It really caught me up. I can easily jump on the bandwagon with Barbara. This promises to be a worthwhile ride.

Did the intro catch your attention? Do you want to read on? I hope so, and I also hope you join the dialog. I like to talk to myself, no doubt. But I like talking with you better.