I share optimistic & constructive books from writers committed to excellence in litterature. My favorites books leave me with a sense of lightness and freedom in my heart. "To love is to act" (Victor Hugo)
If any book, other than Victor Hugo's 'Les Miserables' and Tolstoy's 'Resurrection', has captured the acute human dilemmas and paradoxes, the powerful and unresolvable human conflicts between good versus good, it is this book, 'Mahabharata'. Written such a long time ago, it is a clear proof that the basic human nature has not changed much since, and will probably remain the same way as long as Man exists.
The most tormenting part is when the warrior Arjuna is torn between two equally good causes that are equally strong: on one hand, he has to stand up for his land; on the other hand, he wants to refrain from hurting his cousins. Under this unresolvable conflict, which escalates by the day with complication growing, he goes into a deep confusion, and withdraws from his duty; but then, he is put back on his feet with a severe tongue lashing from Krishna.
I could immediately relate to this warrior, because in my job, I am often caught between clashing causes that are equally strong and equally valid. Then I am totally lost, until someone pinches me with a hard logic.
I learnt a lot from this book, but the key wisdom I retained from this book: we are just the means, and not the end. When I see from that perspective, life feels so much free of burdens, so much more expansive.
Again, a great storytelling, with powerful actions, in high tension, coupled with breathtaking wisdom and insight into human nature.