These books I highly recommend:

1. Ordinary Enlightenment

by John C. Robinson, Ph.D.
ISBN 0-87159-261-4
Unity House, 1901 NW Blue Parkway, Unity Village, MO 64065-0001

Experiencing God's Presence in Everyday Life (2000).

God is real.  You can feel it. Presence refers to the immediate and tangible experience of God's consciousness.  This book helps the read to experience that Presence directly. The sense of God is not just a metaphor.  This book carefully defines Presence, Being, Mysticism, Mystical Experience and then uses these words to help the reader be in the Presence of God. Large type, easy to read, lots of stories and step by step instructions.

2.  The Spiritual Brain

by Mario Beauregard and Denyse O'Leary 
ISBN 978-0-06-162598-5
HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022 (2008)

Science and spirituality can be compatible even for neuroscientists.  The Spiritual Brain book provides a neuroscientist's case for the Existence of the Soul.  The book ponders questions such as "is there a God program?", "are mind and brain identical?"  Psychology need not be atheistic.  There is room for a spiritual dimension.

3.  As a Man Thinketh

by James Allen 
ISBN (none)
Hallmark Cards, Kanas City Missouri (1971)

You become what you think.  Your mind is like a garden.  You maybe intelligently cultivated or your mind may be allowed to run wild.  Happiness is a state of mind.  The process of self discipline occur three stages: control, purification and relinquishment.  A real jewel of a book.

4.  Essential Psychopharmacology

by Stephen M. Stahl
ISBN 0-521-64615-4
Cambridge University Press, 40 West 20th Street, New York, NY (2000)

This textbook is a neuroscience approach to how psychotropic drugs effect the mind.  One needs a background in science and some biology to read this book.  But the insight into the brain is remarkable.  Different mental disorders are described based on brain chemistry.  Learn how axons, synapses, reuptake inhibitors work and how alcohol and nicotine change the brain.  Very good.  

5.  The Four Agreements

by Don Miguel Ruiz 
ISBN 1-878424-50-5
Amber-Allen Publishing, San Rafael, California,  1997

Here they are:

1) Be impeccable with your word.

2) Don't take anything personally.

3) Don't make assumptions.

4) Always do your best.

But this books goes further and talks about what the eye sees (see Eye to Eye above) as dreams.  We o

6. This Believing World

by Lewis Browne
ISBN (missing)
MacMillan, New York, NY., 1926

All religions were invented by different people.  No religion has a corner on truth.  Most religions are based originally on spiritual experience, but over time it is corrupted with superstition, magic, fear and power.  Alcohol Anonymous (AA) has placed this book on its recommended reading list. It speaks of the magic of the savage world of the time of the caveman.  It describes the beginnings of the major world civilizations and religions including: Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Brahmanism, Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Jesus, Christ, Mohammedanism.

7.  Towards the One

by The Sufi Order, USA
PO Box 1233
San Rafael, Calif. 10022
Harber & Row Publishers
SBN 06-090352-X

AH! Towards the One, the perfection of Love, Harmony, and Beauty. The only Being united with all the Illuminated souls who form the embodiment of the master, the Spirit of Guidance. The Sufis come from the Islamic tradition, but instead of focusing on the Koran, they focus on chanting, dancing and stories.  They are mystical and some can read your soul.  Their approach is very hypnotic). Wonderful path to soothe the savage soul. This book is light brownish blue paperback 676 pages. All print is in capitals and has many old drawings. Many drawings.  Charkas (spiritual centers within the body) has a sound and a mantra. Many beautiful prayers. Also recommended is the Sufi Message, a series of 20 books written by Hazrat Inayat Khan.


8. The Farther Reaches of Human Nature

by A. H. Maslow
SBN 670-30853-6 (Hardbound)
SBN 670-00360-3 (Paper bound)
An Esalen Book, Viking Compass Edition 1973

Maslow broke the traditional psychology point of view which uses the medical model.  You are well (normal) or sick (have mental illness).  A lot of normal people are not happy.  So instead of studying people in a mental hospital or office who are not together, why not study the best people.  You would not go to a junk yard to see a good car.  Traditional psychology was trying to understand people who did not understand themselves.  How could one learn how people really worked that way?  If you study good people, people who could be described with words like: creativeness, values, education, society, being cognition, transcendence, metamotivation you could find out what a good person is like.  There are psychologies of being, and psychologies of being happy.  Maslow wrote many books including: Toward a Psychology of Being published by D.Van Nostrand Co.


9.  The Handbook to Higher Consciousness

by Ken Keyes, Jr.
SBN 0-9600688-8-0 Paperback Edition
SBN 0-9600688-9-9 Clothbound Edition
Living Love Center Berkeley, CA., 1972

Ken Keyes was in a wheelchair, but really got around.  Based loosely on Buddhism, Ken Keyes teaches that we can find happiness by letting go of separating emotions due to addictive demands such security, sensation and power.   Further that we have seven centers (something like charkas).

  1. Security Center(fear, worry, anxiety)

  2. Sensation Center (disappointment, frustration, boredom)

  3. Power Center (anger, resentment, irritation, hostility, hate)

  4. Love Center (service)

  5. Cornucopia Center (friendly world)

  6. Conscious-Awareness Center (witness)

  7. Cosmic Consciousness Center (pure awareness)

Ken uses the word "addiction" to mean attachment.  An addiction is a very strong demand, that results in negative emotions if we don't get our way.  Instead we should have preferences.  Very good introduction to some of the Buddhist principles.

10.  Ken's Guide to the Bible

by Ken Smith, B. A.
ISBN 0-922233-17-9
Blast Books, Cooper Station, New York, NY 10276-0051, 1995

This is a different Ken. Hey, God did not write the Bible. People did.  Ken really finds a lot of bad stuff in the Bible.  If you are hung out on the Bible and want to break away, this is a good book for you.  You can also Google "skeptical Bible", and "atheistic Bible."  The King James version of the Bible has some pretty nasty stuff in it.  So much so, that atheists can use it to hurt one's belief.  The Bible actually says things like "cooking with barley cakes and human dung" and "pissing on the wall."  There are over a hundred versions of the Bible, and some of this stuff has been cleaned up.  The God of the Bible seems to be insane, killing babies and whole cities.  The great flood kills everyone, except Noah and his family.  It is just a story, but why would God think that everyone except one family is so evil that they are to be killed.  If you have a wicked father, then God kills all his children.  It is good that the clergy cherry picks the Bible to make their points and never preach on the dark side of the Bible.  The Bible does have both good stuff and bad, and one needs pick what works for them.

11.  Richer Living

by Ernest Holmes and Raymond Charles Barker
ISBN (none)
Science of the Mind Publishing, 3251 West Sixth Street, Los Angles, CA 90075

Ernest Holmes has his own way of writing.  He assumes we all know God, goodness, Reality and so on.  I do not think prayer works except on yourself and others when they pray with you.  I also believe that being positive does not solve all your problems.   This book has much wisdom never the lest.  

12.  The Bible in Contemporary Language - The Message

by Eugene H. Peterson
ISBN 1-57683-289-9
Navpress, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 2002

For balance I want to include this book. I recommend reading this book first and then turn to the Bible.  This book is Peterson's interpretation of the Bible written so we can understand it in ordinary English.  No thou's and thee's here.  

13.  The Holy Bible From the Ancient Eastern Text

translation by George Lamsa
ISBN 0-06-064926-7
Navpress, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 1933

The western versions of the Bible contain mistakes due to the mechanics of written Aramaic.  This language does not have written vowels, but relies on dots placed above and under the script. This book contains a Biblical translation based on the Peshitta, the authorized Bible of the Eastern Orthodox Church.  Some books of the Old Testament Bibles were originally written in Aramaic and then were translated into Greek.  This book shows examples of passages that do not make sense in our Bible, but does make sense in the Peshitta.

14.  Eye to Eye

by Ken Wilber
ISBN 1-57062-249-3
Shambhala, Boston Mass., 2001

Ken Wilber is exhausting to read.  He compares and categories detail upon detail of many religions of the world.  He is a very productive writer, producing books at the graduate level.  Like myself, he is out to discover a new paradigm of religion.  Wilber describes the eye of the flesh, the eye of reason, and the eye of contemplation.  He has produced many tables to compare various religions and religions categories.


15. Drops From the Ocean

by Henry A. Weil
ISBN 81-85091-07-2
Bahá'í Publishing Trust, New Delhi India, 1987  

The Baha'i Faith is an independent religion with a Islamic background.  It has many new ideas.  That there was a series of prophets (Manisfications), that there are two evolutions, one of the soul and one of the body.  This book talks about Inner Vision, Certitude and the Soul.  The Baha'is turn to their books for answers, and usually stop there.  I like to have my freedom to keep learning during my lifetime.

16.  Waking Up

by Charles T. Tart
ISBN 0-87773-426-7(pbk), 087773-374-0,
Shambhala Publications, 1986 

Here we learn that everyone is asleep, absorbed in their world. Tart introduces us to States of Consciousness, Hypnosis, and what he calls the "Consensus Trance" which is similar to the dream explained in the Four Agreements (see above).


17.  The Seven Mysteries of Life

by Guy Murchie
ISBN 0-395-30537-3(pbk), 0-395-26310-7
Houghton Mifflin Company, 1987

Guy Murchie shows us how everything is connected together. The earth is one organism. This is a Bahá'í biology book. Learn that a few people are born with tails, extra fingers. There are strange facts presented, but focus is on seeing one united universe.


18.  Climbing Mount Improbable

by Richard Dawkins 
ISBN 0-393-03930-7
W.W. Norton Company, 1996

The eye has evolved many times.  Each biological niche has its mountain of evolution. This book convinced me that evolution of the body is real.  But I believe that our consciousness itself did not evolve, but it is part of God, and as our brain gradually gained the ability to abstract, it was able to witness itself and the power of God.  So I believe in biological and spiritual evolution as two different things.  The Baha'i say even as small animals we were mankind, in evolutionary destiny.

19.  Be Here Now

by Baba Ram Dass
Crown Publishing
Transformation from Dr. Richard Albert into Baba Ram Dass

This is a classic hippy work in the realm of Eastern metaphysics.  Ram Dass describes how he took LSD and went to India to try to figure out his altered mind. He becomes a wise far-out western Guru.   The paperbound text is printed on paper of different colors, each color represents a new section. It teaches mediation and mantras. Contains a good glossary, spiritual quotations, yoga instructions.  Lists centers on where you can learn Zen Buddhism. Caution: contains adult drawings.


20. Beyond Within

by Sri Chinmoy
ISBN 0-88497-115-5
Aum Publications, 86-10 Parsons Blvd. Jamaica, New York 11432
Agni Press,  

This thick green paperback book teaches consciousness, the body, soul, vital, mind, heart, fear, doubt, purity, the inner voice, freedom, yoga, detachment, renunciation, ego love devotion, God and the guru. Very spiritual reading. Perfection is the tree, perfect perfection is the fruit.

21. The Purpose of Physical Reality

by John S. Hatcher
Bahá'í Publishing Trust
ISBN 0-87743-208-2

Another Baha'i book.  It includes the Search for Divine Justice in the Physical World, Paradigm of Physical Reality, the Physical Classroom and Experience. Explains why things are not always perfect and this allows us to grow.

22.  Evolution of Consciousness

by Robert Ornstein
Touchstone/Simon & Schuster 1991
ISBN 0-671-76751-8

"The mind is a squadron of simpletons.  It is not rational, it is not well designed--or designed at all.  The mind evolved through countless animals and through countless worlds."  Although this book is very materialistic, it offers insight on how the mind works, how the simpletons do not have the big picture in mind.  Wonderful drawings are funny and instructional.  Good science book, yet I think the author discounts any intuitive insight about goodness or God.  But it did help me understand how the mind is separated by layers.  

23. The Reflexive Universe

by Arthur M. Young

ISBN 0-440-05925-9 hardcover
ISBN 0-440-05924-0 paperback
Delacorte Press 1977

Mr. Young was the inventor of the Bell helicopter.  He talks about the sequence of kingdoms: light, particles, atoms, molecules, plants, animals and man. He notes that these kingdoms form an arc, going down to molecules and then rising with plants, animals and man. He is scientific and very smart. There are actual gaps in his tables were a Bahá'í could fill in without any trouble. He goes beyond three dimensions with such things as hexavertons and Mobius strips.



Copyright © 1996 - 2015 George Norwood

Originally, this was my first web page created on March 16, 1996.

Current version 7, dated July 22, 2015