These books seem to talk about different things but there is a connection.  The universe can be seen at various angles.

The books are tricky.  Words are only symbols that point to a meaning. So "The word of God" would be better said as "The meaning of God".

Why is this important?  If we talk about meaning instead of words, then we are free to understand the meaning using different words.  Many things come together.

1. Ordinary Enlightenment (Feeling God's presence)

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 (The case for the existence of the soul)

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 (We become what we think)

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 (Our thinking generates brain chemicals)

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 (Do your best)

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.

Beyond the four agreements are other points Ruiz makes:

Chapter 1 Domestication and the Dream of the Planet. What we experience is a dream.  Our society domesticates us though society's dream.  What is good and true is determined by others in our past.  This is not in the book, but these are my examples of contrasting what we are told, and the truth. We believe in apple pie, yet sugar is not good for us. We believe in the Bible, but the Bible tells us, slavery is ok, if we do not kill our slave.  Exodus 21 20-21

Chapter 6 Breaking Old Agreements.  In America are we really free? The first step is to become aware of the fog that is your mind (page 114)

6. This Believing World (Religion has a history)

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 (Knowing perfection)

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 (Psychology should also study the best people)

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 (Addictive demands and our higher centers)

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 (The Bible is far from being perfect)

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 (One infinite mind)

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

Ernest Holmes uses an unique way of writing that says, for example,  that we are all can be Christ-like. Does this mean we can perform miracles? What he is really saying that we can improve ourselves by being idealistic and positive.  The placebo effect works, so why not use it.  He would not say it this way, but the jest is that many illnesses are the result of nocebo effect where thoughts make us sick.  I would point out that having periodic medical examines are also important, but Holmes does not mention this.

12.  The Bible in Contemporary Language - The Message (The Bible in modern English)

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

The Message translates the Bible into contemporary language which is very understandable. Although the Bible is not perfect and certainly was not written by God, there are good things in this "good book".  From other Biblical sources we read: In 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 So we do not lose heart, our inner self is renewed day by day. In Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous... The Lord your God goes with you; In John 4:18 There is no fear in love.    

13.  The Holy Bible From the Ancient Eastern Text (Our Bible lost some marks for vowels, this Bible might be better)

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

The western versions of the Bible contain mistakes which are 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 (Uniting the three eyes: science, philosophy-psychology, religion-mysticism into one world view)

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

Chapter1 Eye to Eye, Chapter 2 The Problem of Proof, Chapter 3 A Mandalic Map of Consciousness, Chapter 5 Physics, Mysticism, and the New Holographic Paradigm, Chapter 6 Reflection on the New Age Paradigm: An Interview, Chapter 7 The Pre/Trans Fallacy, Chapter 8 Legitimacy, Authenticity, and Authority in the New Religions, Chapter 9 Structure, Stage and Self, Chapter 10 The Ultimate State of Consciousness.  Ken has a knack for making intellectual diagrams of fuzzy and complex problems.  I suggest that spiritual topics may not be good fuel for making structural diagrams and instead one needs to fed their soul with music and purpose and deep reverence instead of deep logic.  We need to stay humble.

15. Drops From the Ocean (We have a soul which is energized from God)

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

A devote Baha'i, Henry A. Weil writes based on The Baha'i Faith, a new religion. This religion developed within Iran and updates the Islamic Faith. Baha'i believe in science and the equality of men and woman. Drops From the Ocean gives insight into several spiritual concepts. Mankind needs a teacher, a guide who uplifts our spiritual level.  The author writes that the Spirit of Faith is a force that nurtures the soul of men. The spirit of faith is food for the soul. It comes from God. This spirit gives certitude, and regenerates the Holy Spirit within man through reflection. The soul obtains inner vision from a spiritual teacher, a manifestation of God.  Inner vision differs from the mind as the inner vision knows whereas the mind only reasons. The soul gives us certitude which is the perfect attainment.  Spiritual happiness, tranquility is given by the Holy Spirit.  Spiritual happiness is greater than peace of mind.  Spiritual happiness gives inner calmness and spiritual growth with a aura of contentment and gratitude.  With as spiritual happiness increases, one attains spiritual maturity that emphasizes love above the material universe.

16. Closer than Your Life-vein (A deep look into the Human Spirit)

by Henry A. Weil
ISBN 81-85091-09-9
Bahá'í Publishing Trust,  6 Canning Road New Delhi India, 110001

The second book authored by Henry A. Weil teaches the we have both physical needs and spiritual needs. Our physical needs are those that are in common with animals. Our spiritual needs are uniquely those of the human spirit. Thus we have a upper and lower nature.  We have moral choices to make whereas animals can only make choices based on their perceptions of the physical world. Man can contemplate the very nature of things, the probability of things to come, and using our inner eye look into abstraction.  We can contemplate our very nature.  It may be true we are made up of atoms, but atoms are not conscious.  (Just as brick is not a building, or a sheet of mental a car, it is the sum of the parts that produces a much higher organization. Scientific reductionism bypasses the mental and spiritual aspects of being human. Atoms cannot make spiritual decisions.)  Material happiness is only a sensation, but spiritual happiness is seen with the inner eye, a power of the soul. The soul goes through three stages.  First it is dead, and needs to be awaken. Then the soul experiences a rebirth, a certitude of what is important.  As the soul matures, it becomes more important than the self.  The soul cases us to be service.

17.  Waking Up (Most people are asleep)

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).


18.  The Seven Mysteries of Life (A spiritual look at biology)

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.


19.  Climbing Mount Improbable (Evolution has produced complex and beautiful life)

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.

20.  Be Here Now (A Buddhist universe with drugs)

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

This is a classic work of Richard Albert who took LSD and needed grounding.  He became involved with Eastern metaphysics and when to India to find enlightenment. He became Ram Dass 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.


21. Beyond Within (Being good)

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.

22. The Purpose of Physical Reality (The world is a classroom designed by God)

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

A well written book that explores many philosophies and gives new insight from a Baha'i prospective. Chapter 1 The Search for Divine Justice in the Physical World.  Chapter 2 The Baha'i Paradigm of Physical Reality.  Chapter 3 A guide to the Physical Classroom. Chapter 4 The Eternal consequences of the Physical Experiences.

23.  Evolution of Consciousness (The brain is made up of a squadron of simpletons)

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.  


Copyright © 1996 - 2021 George Norwood

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

October 14, 2021