Ordinary to Extraordinary

My sister tagged me on a picture of this staircase (the finished painted book steps picture on the right) on Facebook – and I loved it, and had to hunt down a little more about it.

Staircase to Knowledge: The stairs are located at the University of Balamand in Lebanon right next to their Library. I have read three of these books and will add a couple of the others to this years reading list for sure.

According to many of the Reddit comments, the books are “almost” in a chronological order but they are as follows, from bottom to top:

  • The Epic of Gilgamesh; (my son’s favorite Book)
  • The Republic of Plato;
  • Diwān Abū al-Ṭayyib al-Mutanbbī;
  • Risālat al-ghufrān / Abī al-ʻAlāʼ al-Maʻarrī;
  • The Divine Comedy (Dante Alighieri);
  • Muqaddimah-i Ibn Khaldūn;
  • The Prince and the Discourses (Niccolò Machiavelli);
  • Discourse on Method (René Descartes);
  • The Critique of Pure Reason (Immanuel Kant);
  • FAUST (Goethe);
  • The Origin of Species (Charles Darwin);
  • The Brothers Karamazov (Fyodor Dostoyevsky);
  • Thus Spake Zarathustra (Friedrich Nietzsche);
  • The Meaning of Relativity (Albert Einstein);
  • The Prophet (Khalil Gebran);
  • al-Ayyām / Ṭāhā Ḥusayn;
  • A Study of History (Arnold Toynbee);
  • Cosmos (Carl Sagan);
  • A Brief History of Time (Stephen Hawking);
  • Les Désorientés (Amin Maalouf);
  • The Road Ahead (Bill Gates)

It is said the librarians painted the steps. I would love to see this and the rest of the country someday in person, as my husband and his family are part Lebanese. Maybe sit in the sun on the steps and read for a spell.

Keep your eyes open JoyMasters. The path of life is the ordinary, which through joy can become extraordinary.  Be Your Own JoyMaster.

Original photos credits below and the commentary is really interesting too:


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