Where Seekers come to meet, learn and grow
The Library, in its various forms, has provided an incredible community service. And has it changed! Just keeping up with the location could be tricky - first on Rose Avenue, then to Felicita & Center City, next to Grand & Broadway, then to Escondido Avenue & 5th, then to 2091 East Valley Parkway and finally to the current location at 1330 East Valley Parkway. As most of you know, The Philosophical Library is an all volunteer, non-profit organization. When it first opened its doors in 1963, books of a different kind - books on a large variety of philosophies, religious texts, spirituality, and metaphysical practices - were not as easily found as they are today. Even book stores were not as easily found as they are today! Once inside a locally owned emporium of tomes and periodicals, one would be lucky to find a copy of "Be Here Now" or "An Autobiography of a Yogi" by Paramahansa Yogananda. Information just "a click" away would not exist for almost 40 years. But the Library has continued in the tradition of its founder, Stuart Otto, who saw this as a place not only of study and research, but of fellowship and spiritual growth.
The facility itself has undergone a great deal of spiritual evolution as classes, group discussions, and the large variety of meetings continue to adjust and meet the ever changing needs and demands of the public it serves. The guiding principles of the Library were very unique and, although guaranteed by our country's Constitution, promoting ideas embraced by other than the main stream vocal majority and providing the materials for research of such subjects was just beginning to emerge in the early '60s. AT&T had just released the touch-tone phone, the Beatles released their Number One hit "I Want To Hold Your Hand", and Dr. Martin Luther King attempted to release a country from turmoil with his "I Have A Dream" speech. In that year the Philosophical Library's mission was set as follows: Not supporting or identifying with any one specific teaching, doctrine, or creed in exclusion of others - and to be an open place for the pursuit of wisdom. Let me repeat the last portion of that last sentence - it is important: An open place for the pursuit of wisdom. Let those younger than I not take this for granted. It wasn't always so, even in a country such as the United States. That basic human right, if not exercised, has been, and could be again, severely limited. (I'll get down off my soap-box now!)
Though one may find a variety of information on-line and purchase books on-line and join discussion groups on-line, the Library has what the on-line realm cannot offer. Personal interaction with like-minded people. I will not take shelter in the often used "I must just be getting old" mind frame. And I will state for the record (of course this is my opinion and not that of the Library' s), there IS something missing from the on-line life style. Buying e-books on-line will not let you feel the book, weigh it in your hand, peruse the content, smell the newly minted ink and pulp, or ask the person standing next to you "What did you think of this?" On-line chat rooms will not let you see the expression of a face or hear the passion in another' s voice. E-mails back and forth will not replace a quick and easy decision making telephone call with a live person. And I will go so far as to say - something is missing - without the human contact. Contact, if just on a casual basis, perhaps especially on a casual basis, is so natural, and so necessary.
- Ron Porter
The Philosophical Library is a 501 (c)(3) educational institution, U.S. Tax ID/EIN: 956209185. Donations are tax deductible per the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). See your tax preparer for more information.
Adrian Magaña, President