Essay title: Saint Augustine’s Book – Confessions
The relationship between reading, conversion and memory is that in order to go through a conversion one must read and be able recall the important information through memory. While Saint Augustine is talking to God he says â€œFor you have granted to man that he should come to self-knowledge through the knowledge of others, and that he should believe many things about himself on the authority of the womenfolkâ€ (p. 7) With this statement, Augustine is showing us that God believes we should learn from each other and the main method of learning from each other is through reading each otherâ€™s literary works. He also believes that once you read something it can â€œconvertâ€ or change your way of thinking and looking at things. He displays this belief in the following remark â€œâ€¦which he here reads of me as I recall and confess them of myself, let him not despite me â€“ for I, who was sick, have been healed by the same physician by whose aid it was that he did not feel sick, or rather was less sick than Iâ€ (p.26) He also displays this concept in the following statement â€œNow it was this book which quite definitely changed my whole attitude and turned my prayers toward you, lord, and gave me new hope and new desiresâ€ (p.
31). He clearly states that reading the book converted his belief. After going through conversion Saint Augustine believes that your memory begins to recall the relevance of things. He describes memory as â€œThe vast cave of memory, with its numerous and mysterious recesses, receives all these things and stores them up, to be recalled and brought forth when required.
â€(10.8.13 p154). He uses this description of memory because as one is reading one does not try remembering everything, but once one is converted everything that is in their memory starts to make sense and becomes relevant.The concept of reading conversion and memory apply to God. It describes the quest in finding God. One first reads about God and tries to understand him.
After you have had some time to let what you read sink in to your memory, your memory begins to recall the readings and you understand the importance and relevance of what you read. It is because of your memories that you undergo a conversion. Saint Augustine uses reading and memory to lead to a conversion in his life from not believing in God to becoming a Christian. Saint Augustine confesses to God the following â€œHave mercy on me; heal my soul; for I have sinned against theeâ€ not to abuse thy goodness as a license to sin, but to remember the words of the Lord, â€œBehold, you are made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing befall you.â€(p. 42) After denouncing his belief in astrology he is at a point of limbo in which he does not know what to believe and what to follow.
He displays this when he says â€œI did not wholly separate myself from them, but as one who had not yet found anything better I decided to content myself, for the time being, with what I had stumbled upon one way or another, until by chance something more desirable should present itself.â€ (p 63).He tells us that â€œupon the reading of Ciceroâ€™s Hortensius, I was roused to a desire for wisdom.â€ (8.7) This was not only wisdom for knowledge, but also the wisdom of God and Godâ€™s creation.
His first real run into a religious belief was when first learns about Catholicism, which he took a liking to right away. â€œStill, from this time forward, I began to prefer.