“Of course a library is not necessarily a building where books are being stored. We are referring here to the library of life; that great storeroom of wisdom which can be found daily if our eyes are open to see it and our hearts are willing to search for it. This library of life can teach us wisdom as we make it our aim to learn from every situation, from every person and from all creation and ultimately from Him in whom all knowledge resides. …
There are rules for bidding at the auctions of the library of life. We have to ask ourselves if we would be willing, as were our hero and his family, to obey these ancient rules for bidding at these auctions:
1. Your own insight must never be your main source of wisdom.
2. Wisdom is to be valued above riches.
3. Be careful about what you regard as wisdom.
After he had learned that his lunch was poisoned, the fool rejoiced that it was at least tasty and presently had another serving. He died with a full stomach.
Very few people visited the library. the people of The Town called Potential were of the opinion (and when they were of an opinion it was nearly impossible to make them listen to any other opinion) that reading too many books would just tempt them to change their opinion, and in their opinion that was a very risky thing to do. New ideas meant that they would have to attempt new things, maybe even dangerous things or things that they had no knowledge of. That might make them feel uninformed, and feeling uninformed was such an uncomfortable feeling. They were of the opinion that new ideas, but also very old ideas, were quite discomforting. Ancient knowledge had so much mystery about it – it spoke of such deep things as death and bravery and far-away places, the ends of the earth and the beginnings of the heavens. Why, these things could cause one to want to travel! …
However, the members of the council were relieved that it was The Strange Ones, and nobody else in town who took the books, since this family had already been indoctrinated beyond any rehabilitation.
They now also had the empty library at their disposal. It was nearly time for the annual house painting day and they wanted to stock up some gray paint. They felt that since the ancient building was a library, there should at least be some useful modern books in the library. For this reason they commissioned all the wisest people in town to write a book about the proper methods for painting one’s house with the standard gray paint. The official opening of the newly-stocked library was a grand occasion with, once again, serious nods of approval.”