I’ve been on a journey for a bit now – and it’s by no means over.
There’s still such a long way to go.
I’ve always been a big reader. From an early age, after mum and dad kissed me goodnight and turned the lights out, I would grab a torch and under the covers I would read until I fell asleep.
I’ve always read a lot of fiction – and if asked, I would probably say that the two greatest books I’ve ever read are Salman Rushdie’s MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN and Charles Dickens’ DAVID COPPERFIELD. I’d be tempted to throw Cormac McCarthy’s BLOOD MERIDIAN in there too…
But lately my reading has been focused on books of a metaphysical nature – and as a number of you have privately asked me to recommend books for you to read, I thought I’d do a post of the books that have had an impact on my spiritual growth. So here they are, in (very rough) order that they came to me.
(And books come to me, I don’t come to books…)
It starts with a book I found in the drawer of the bedside table of a Tokyo hotel in 1970. I had just turned 17. It was a Buddhist Bible, and it would have a profound effect on me in the years and decades to come.
I then began to study Buddhism, and discovered Dr. Walpola Rahula’s What the Buddha Taught. It became my companion for many years. And that led to other books on Buddhism, then onto Hinduism, and meditation, and later yoga, and so on.
So here is my list. It’s by no means comprehensive. These are just the major works that have impacted on me, and brought me to this place where I am right now…
The Teaching of Buddha (The Buddhist Bible)
What the Buddha Taught – Dr. Walpola Rahula
The Bhagavad Gita
The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying – Sogyal Rinpoche
An Experiment in Mindfulness – E H Shattock
Tranquility & Insight – A Sole-Leris
Flight into Freedom – Eileen Cady
Jonathan Livingstone Seagull – Richard Bach
Hatha Yoga – The Yogi Philosophy of Physical Well Being – Yogi Ramacharaka
The Science of Breath – Yogi Ramacharaka
The Complete Yoga Book – James Hewitt
Light on Yoga – BKS Iyengar
Light on Pranayama – BKS Iyengar
Autobiography of a Yogi – Paramahansa Yogananda
The Holy Science – Swami Sri Yukteswar
Wherever you go, There you are – Jon Kabat-Zinn
The Art of Mindfulness – Thich Nhat Hanh
Old Path, White Clouds – Thich Nhat Hanh
The Tao of Physics – Fritjof Capra
The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
His Dark Materials Trilogy – Philip Pullman
The Wizard of Oz – Frank Baum
The Complete Works of Florence Scovel Shinn – Florence Scovel Shinn
Eastern Astrology for Western Minds – Joni Patry
Astrology of the Seers – Dr. David Frawley
Varieties of Religious Experiences – William James
The Rig Veda – Ralph TH Griffin
A Course in Miracles – Dr. Helen Schucman
Unveiled Mysteries – (Saint Germain series, Vol I) – Godfre Ray King
The Magic Presence – (Saint Germain series, Vol II) – Godfre Ray King
Anatomy of the Spirit – Caroline Myss
A Dweller on Two Planets – Phylos the Tibetan
The Rumi Collection – Rumi Foundation
The Systems View of Life – Fritjof Capra
Kriya Yoga – Swami Yogananda
The Conscious Universe – Dr. Dean Radin
Ascension Handbook – Tony Stubbs
Don’t think like a Human – Lee Carroll
The Sermon on the Mount – Emmet Fox
Adventures of the Soul – James Van Praagh
The Seat of the Soul – Gary Zukav
You are the Answer – Michael J Tamura
The Soul and its Mechanism – Alice Bailey
From Intellect to Intuition – Alice Bailey
Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path – Rudolf Steiner
Intuition – Knowing beyond Logic – Osho
The Human Soul Revealed – Monika Muranyi
The Other Side – Tony Stubbs
The Light Worker’s Companion – Amanda Guggenheimer
The Channel’s Companion – Amanda Guggenheimer
I am the Word – Paul Selig
The Book of Love and Creation – Paul Selig
The Book of Knowing and Worth – Paul Selig
The Book of Mastery – Paul Selig
As I said, this is not a comprehensive list, nor does it include many works that have helped me enormously along the way. And as you can see from this list, there are big big gaps in my knowledge and reading.
I have only really dipped into the Saint Germain series for instance, and I have yet to read Baird Spalding’s Life and Teachings of the Masters of the Far East. There is so much for me to catch up on, and learn.
I am currently finding Paul Selig’s series of books incredibly powerful and transformative – but I couldn’t have really got what they are saying without having first read Amanda Guggenheimer’s The Light Worker’s Companion, and before that, Tony Stubbs’ Ascension Handbook.
I’m finding that the right book comes along when it’s needed. Having just finished Paul Selig’s Book of Knowing and Worth, I’m now currently reading Deepak Chopra’s The Higher Self.
I’ve also found Lee Carroll’s channellings of Kryon to be of huge help to me in my understanding of how it all works. He posts them on his website as free podcasts. It’s an incredible resource. Here is a link: http://www.kryon.com/k_freeaudio.html
Every person comes at it from their own unique perspective, and they call to them books that they need to aid them along their path. My list is my list. It’s not Jennifer’s list, and it won’t be your list. But I can certainly recommend any and all of those books above…
And it all started with this one – the original book from that hotel bedside drawer at the New Otani Hotel in Tokyo, in 1970… (By the way, I didn’t pinch it, I paid for it!)
The Vulgate – St. Jerome’s Latin translation of the Bible
City of God – St Augustine
The Prose Lancelot – the 13th Century Arthurian Romance
Proust A la recherche du temps perdu
Rabelais – the 5-book Pantagruel-Gargantua series (the 17th century English translation by by Sir Thomas Urquhart and Peter Le Motteux is great BTW)
Thomas Mann – Joseph and his Brothers ; The Magic Mountain
JRR Tolkien – The Lord of the Rings
The Riverside Chaucer — esp. The Canterbury Tales
Joseph Campbell – The Hero with a Thousand Faces ; The Masks of God
Pope Benedict XVI – Jesus of Nazareth trilogy
James Joyce – The Dead (in Dubliners)
Shakespeare – part. Hamlet ; A Midsummer Night’s Dream ; Romeo and Juliet ; Henry V
Alessandro Manzoni – I Promessi Sposi
George Orwell – Nineteen Eighty-Four
St Thomas More – Utopia (in the original Latin – its translations are all a bit dodgy)
Isaac Asimov – Foundation trilogy
Frank Herbert – Dune
George RR Martin – A Song of Ice and Fire
Cyrano de Bergerac – Les États et Empires de la Lune
Umberto Eco – Lector in Fabula
Michel Foucault – Les mots et les choses
Erasmus of Rotterdam – The Praise of Folly
Virginia Woolf – To the Lighthouse
Alexandre Dumas – Les trois mousquetaires ; Vingt ans après
Lewis Carroll – Alice in Wonderland ; Through the Looking Glass
Michel de Montaigne – Journal de Voyage (possibly the best pilgrim journal ever written, despite never being intended for publication) ; Les Essais
Chateaubriand – Mémoires d’outre-tombe
Homer – The Iliad ; The Odyssey
Anthony Burgess – Enderby series
John Galsworthy – The Forsyte Saga
Charles Dickens – A Tale of Two Cities
Mervyn Peake – Gormenghast and sequels
Charles Maturin – Melmoth the Wanderer
John Bunyan – The Pilgrim’s Progress
Bram Stoker – Dracula
Will Eisner – A Contract with God
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – Le Petit Prince
Albert Camus – L’étranger
Emile Zola – L’Assomoir
Balzac – Le Père Goriot
Daniel Defoe – Robinson Crusoe ; Journal of the Plague Year
Swift – Gulliver’s Travels
Gustave Flaubert – Salammbô
Abbé Prévost – Manon Lescaut
Dostoevsky – The Idiot
Tolstoy – War and Peace
Jack London – The Call of the Wild ; White Fang
Douglas Coupland – Generation X
Vercors – Le Silence de la Mer
Plato – The Republic
Goscinny and Uderzo – Astérix series, part. Astérix chez les Bretons and Astérix en Corse
Julian – love it! No wonder you are who you are! Big hug mate. Btw, currently watching replay of Man United Liverpool match. Cracker game!
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Btw, I didn’t post my non esoteric books. Some are on your list!
“Btw, I didn’t post my non esoteric books. Some are on your list!”
It is impossible for me to publish the full list of books that have contributed to my own Spirirituality, let alone anything else — there are just so many of them !!
To give some perspective, that list of mine is much less than 1% of what I’ve read ; the list is instead a shorter list of works that I believe to be helpful towards a more general grasp of what Spirituality means in a Western context and Culture, and yes that does include the Astérix books and the Jack London ones etc.
I’m not sure that “the esoteric” has any particular value — over-valuing it tends to promote the false notion of “special people”, who have “special knowledge”, in opposition to the actual Truth which is that Spirituality is the preserve of everyone, in the Gift to us of our Souls from God, and not the reservation of some sort of Elect.
By comparison, Gérard Genette’s collections of literary criticism essays, Figures I, Figures II, Figures III, Figures IV are most certainly esoteric, but their esotericism provides in itself very little in terms of any Spirituality at all. In my list, Astérix en Corse and Umberto Eco’s Lector in Fabula are equally useful, each in their own very different way, to denounce esotericism (which really is just a cult of the secret) as a vice.
Monaco thrashed Marseilles 4-1 last night at their place (was a 4-0 in the first half of the season), and reclaimed the top of the League Table from Nice. The first half of that match is superb, on the part of both teams, but quality did start to flounder after Marseilles suffered their 4th.
Monaco have scored 85 times total so far (60 in the League fixtures), a staggering performance matched in the past 10 years in the major championships only by Real Madrid and the Barça.
I will have to keep an eye out for their games on my cable channel Bein. I think they carry your league. That’s very pleasing though. When your footy team does well, it really lifts you.
I read White Fang and Call of the Wild. It’s a start.
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I haven’t read either of those books Steve, so you’re ahead of me mate!
Gee Bill, you and Julian have both been busy for a while, eh? Steve, I’m more in your league!!! 🙂
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Julian has been busier than me Britta! With most of his books you need a PhD from the Sorbonne to read them!!