HIGHLY RECOMMENDED READING:
Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing. – Jed McKenna.
AUTHOR, TEACHER AND SPIRITUAL MASTER Jed McKenna tells it like it’s never been told before. A true American original, Jed succeeds where countless others have failed by reducing this highest of attainments – Spiritual Enlightenment – to the simplest of terms. Effectively demystifying the mystical, Jed astonishes the reader not by adding to the world’s collected spiritual wisdom, but by taking the spirituality out of spiritual enlightenment. Never before has this elusive topic been treated in so engaging and accessible a manner. A masterpiece of illuminative writing, Spiritual Enlightenment is mandatory reading for anyone following a spiritual path. Part exposé and part how-to manual, this is the first book to explain why failure seems to be the rule in the search for enlightenment – and how the rule can be broken. Says Jed: The truth is that enlightenment is neither remote nor unattainable. It is closer than your skin and more immediate than your next breath. If we wonder why so few seem able to find that which can never be lost, we might recall the child who was looking in the light for a coin he dropped in the dark because “the light is better over here.” Mankind has spent ages looking in the light for a coin that awaits us not in light and not in dark, but beyond all opposites. That is the message of this book: Spiritual enlightenment, pure and simple.
Stranger in a Strange Land. – Robert A. Heinlein.
Stranger in a Strange Land is the most fully convincing Utopian vision, in literature or in any medium, that I know of. It encapsulates the more progressive and creative aspects of cultural “revolution,” and celebrates what were soon to become (again, however briefly) the most treasured tenets of the Sixties rebellion: mind expansion, individual responsibility, and free love. If any work of fiction will earn Robert Heinlein a permanent place on the collective bookshelf, it is going to be Stranger in a Strange Land, for the impact it has made on American society. If a person has not managed to read Stranger by now, then he has at least absorbed a bit of it osmotically, for it flows throughout our cultural consciousness.
Stranger is no bible; it is a sprawling satire of human conceits, including marriage, love, sex and–most importantly–religion. Satire usually aims to inform, so if one is looking for any message in Stranger, then one take a good, long look at Heinlein’s targets and think. As Heinlein himself said in a letter to an avid fan, “. . .I would never undertake to be a `Prophet,’ handing out neatly packaged answers to lazy minds. [. . .] anyone who takes that book as answers is cheating himself. It is an invitation to think–not to believe. What an invitation.
Tantric Quest: An Encounter With Absolute Love. – Daniel Odier.
The author reveals his passionate experiences with a female Tantric master who taught him the suppressed practices of her ancient order.
In 1968 Daniel Odier left Europe for the Himalayas, searching for a master who could help him go where texts and intellectual searching could no longer take him. He wanted everything: the wisdom and spirituality gained from the life of an ascetic and the beauty, love, and sensuality of a life of passion. He found both in Shivaic Tantrism, the secret spiritual path that seeks to transcend ego and rediscover the divine by embracing the passions. In an isolated Himalayan forest Odier met Devi, a great yogini who would take him on a mystical journey like none he had ever imagined. At times taking him beyond the limits of sexual experience, at times threatening him with destruction, she taught him what it is to truly be alive and to know the divine nature of absolute love.
This is the personal memoir of one of France’s most honored writers.
Tantrism is the only ancient philosophy to survive all historical upheavals, invasions, and influences to reach us intact by uninterrupted transmission from master to disciple, and the only one to retain the image of the Great Goddess as the ultimate source of power.
The Alchemist. – Paulo Coelho.
My Heart Is Afraid that it will have to suffer,” the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky.”Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams.” Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. “The Alchemist” is such a book. With over a million and a half copies sold around the world, “The Alchemist” has already established itself as a modern classic, universally admired. Paulo Coelho’s charming fable, now available in English for the first time, will enchant and inspire an even wider audience of readers for generations to come. “The Alchemist” is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist. The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, above all, following our dreams.
In the rain forests of Peru, an ancient manuscript has been discovered. Within its pages are 9 key insights into life itself — insights each human being is predicted to grasp sequentially; one insight, then another, as we move toward a completely spiritual culture on Earth. Drawing on ancient wisdom, it tells you how to make connections among the events happening in your life right now and lets you see what is going to happen to you in the years to come. The story it tells is a gripping one of adventure and discovery, but it is also a guidebook that has the power to crystallize your perceptions of why you are where you are in life and to direct your steps with a new energy and optimisim as you head into tomorrow.
The Starseed Transmissions. – Ken Carey.
Opening Starseed and reading its first chapter is like merging one’s conscious awareness with some highly eclectic and vastly expanded level of perception and knowing through which one may sometime feel a bit dizzy as when you look down from a towering observation post. The perspective offered by Ken Carey’s cosmic guides is magnificent and the sense of belonging to a vast body of conscious beings gives an indefinable feeling of powerful yet benevolent strength as well as a confusing sense of discrepancy between that very feeling and our own weakness and smallness. Like an ignorant visitor discovering an unknown land and its mysterious traditions, we have to stretch our intelligence to accommodate these higher vibrations of thinking and try to fully understand what is being expressed. And quickly we discover that the only way to succeed in grasping what is being presented is to allow ourselves into a non-critical, non-judgmental state of mind where we freely float above our preconditioned thinking for a while, thus permitting the flow of Light and information to enter our minds and circulate in the deeper recesses of our beings where our soul connections may then be awakened and our inner intuitive, innate knowledge triggered to the instantaneous recognition of the truthfulness and validity of what entered our minds. Mind-boggling, isn’t it! Yet, it is exactly what happens when you survey openly the ideas expressed in these pages…
Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah – Richard Bach.
In the cloud-washed airspace between the cornfields of Illinois and blue infinity, a man puts his faith in the propeller of his biplane. For disillusioned writer and itinerant barnstormer Richard Bach, belief is as real as a full tank of gas and sparks firing in the cylinders…until he meets Donald Shimoda–former mechanic and self-described messiah who can make wrenches fly and Richard’s imagination soar….
In “Illusions, ” the unforgettable follow-up to his phenomenal bestseller “Jonathan Livingston Seagull, ” Richard Bach takes to the air to discover the ageless truths that give our souls wings: that people don’t need airplanes to soar… that even the darkest clouds have meaning once we lift ourselves above them… and that messiahs can be found in the unlikeliest places–like hay fields, one-traffic-light midwestern towns, and most of all, deep within ourselves.
Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown.
As millions of readers around the globe have already discovered, The Da Vinci Code is a reading experience unlike any other. Simultaneously lightning-paced, intelligent, and intricately layered with remarkable research and detail, Dan Brown’s novel is a thrilling masterpiece–from its opening pages to its stunning conclusion.
A murder in the silent after-hour halls of the Louvre museum reveals a sinister plot to uncover a secret that has been protected by a clandestine society since the days of Christ. The victim is a high-ranking agent of this ancient society who, in the moments before his death, manages to leave gruesome clues at the scene that only his granddaughter, noted cryptographer Sophie Neveu, and Robert Langdon, a famed symbologist, can untangle. The duo become both suspects and detectives searching for not only Neveu’s grandfather’s murderer but also the stunning secret of the ages he was charged to protect. Mere steps ahead of the authorities and the deadly competition, the mystery leads Neveu and Langdon on a breathless flight through France, England, and history itself. Brown has created a page-turning thriller that also provides an amazing interpretation of Western history. Brown’s hero and heroine embark on a lofty and intriguing exploration of some of Western culture’s greatest mysteries–from the nature of the Mona Lisa’s smile to the secret of the Holy Grail. Though some will quibble with the veracity of Brown’s conjectures, therein lies the fun. The Da Vinci Code is an enthralling read that provides rich food for thought.
I Am Jackie Chan: My Life in Action. – Jackie Chan.
Since his first role in 1962 at the age of 8, Jackie Chan has appeared in more than 70 movies. For more than 20 years, he has been the biggest star in Asia, but in the West he remained a secret, his movies passed around on tape and his fame growing by word of mouth alone. In the ’90s, with the success of crossover movies like Rush Hour and the support of a new generation of filmmakers who grew up watching Jackie Chan videotapes, his star finally rose in the West. But where did he come from, and how did he achieve so much? His autobiography, I Am Jackie Chan, answers those questions in an engaging, almost novelistic style. When his father moves to Australia to take up a new job, the young Jackie is placed in Hong Kong’s China Drama Academy under the tutelage of Master Yu Jim-yuen. For the next 10 years he is trained in martial arts, dance, acrobatics, singing, and comedy, while suffering extraordinary hardships, including regular beatings and near-starvation. Yet he can look back on this period of his life with considerable affection, not least because it taught him the skills, and provided him with the network of friends, that would sustain his film career for decades. Chan has always earned the respect of his fans by committing himself wholeheartedly to creating the most death-defying stunts possible. His achievements seem even more remarkable when set against the struggles described in this book. In the Drama School, as a young stuntman, in his first troubled attempts to make movies in America–Chan’s personality shines through, and I Am Jackie Chan can only enhance his reputation as one of the most likable and admirable movie stars in the world. The book also includes Jackie’s comments on all of his movies, lists of his favorite stunts and fights, and an astonishing catalog of all his major injuries. Can you imagine what it must feel like to dislocate your cheekbone?
Life of Pi – Yann Martel.
Yann Martel’s imaginative and unforgettable Life of Pi is a magical reading experience, an endless blue expanse of storytelling about adventure, survival, and ultimately, faith. The precocious son of a zookeeper, 16-year-old Pi Patel is raised in Pondicherry, India, where he tries on various faiths for size, attracting “religions the way a dog attracts fleas.” Planning a move to Canada, his father packs up the family and their menagerie and they hitch a ride on an enormous freighter. After a harrowing shipwreck, Pi finds himself adrift in the Pacific Ocean, trapped on a 26-foot lifeboat with a wounded zebra, a spotted hyena, a seasick orangutan, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker (“His head was the size and color of the lifebuoy, with teeth”). It sounds like a colorful setup, but these wild beasts don’t burst into song as if co-starring in an anthropomorphized Disney feature. After much gore and infighting, Pi and Richard Parker remain the boat’s sole passengers, drifting for 227 days through shark-infested waters while fighting hunger, the elements, and an overactive imagination. In rich, hallucinatory passages, Pi recounts the harrowing journey as the days blur together, elegantly cataloging the endless passage of time and his struggles to survive: “It is pointless to say that this or that night was the worst of my life. I have so many bad nights to choose from that I’ve made none the champion.”
Lion of Macedon & Dark Prince – David Gemmell.
This masterful historical fantasy set in ancient Greece spans three decades in the career of Parmenion, a Spartan of mixed ancestry whose life is being shaped and monitored by an aging seeress. Scorned as a half-breed by the Spartans, he leaves vowing to wreak vengeance–which he does, at the head of a victorious Theban ar- my. Parmenion goes on to become Greece’s preeminent soldier of fortune, a brilliant military strategist and tactician. Eventually, he hires on to Philip, the beleaguered king of Macedonia. Parmenion provides the young king with military help but, more importantly, intervenes in a ceremony meant to secure the siring of a child whose birth might signal the ultimate triumph of evil. Parmenion’s final–and most meaningful–battle takes place not in this world but in Hades, where the forces of evil are held at bay long enough to deny the Dark God dominion over the newly born soul of Alexander the Great.
Reading this sequel to Lion of Macedon is like reading a compressed, accelerated Lord of the Rings crossed with the classic Star Trek episode, “Mirror, Mirror.” Preternaturally precocious 4-year-old Alexander is kidnapped by Philippos, a demonic parallel-universe twin of King Philip of Macedon. Philip’s strategos (chief general and strategist), Parmenion, and Philip’s assassin, Attalus, form an uneasy alliance in order to retrieve Alexander. Passed (by the sorcerer Aristotle) through a portal to Makedones, a world geographically similar to but historically different from their own, they must first find Alexander and then make their way through hostile, enchanted territory inhabited by magical creatures to a rendezvous with Aristotle. But Philip of Macedon isn’t the only person who has a twin in this parallel world, and as Parmenion discovers more about Makedones, he finds that the similarities rather than the differences are the most troubling.
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer – Patrick Suskind.
An acclaimed bestseller and international sensation, Patrick Suskind’s classic novel provokes a terrifying examination of what happens when one man’s indulgence in his greatest passion—his sense of smell—leads to murder.
In the slums of eighteenth-century France, the infant Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born with one sublime gift-an absolute sense of smell. As a boy, he lives to decipher the odors of Paris, and apprentices himself to a prominent perfumer who teaches him the ancient art of mixing precious oils and herbs. But Grenouille’s genius is such that he is not satisfied to stop there, and he becomes obsessed with capturing the smells of objects such as brass doorknobs and frest-cut wood. Then one day he catches a hint of a scent that will drive him on an ever-more-terrifying quest to create the “ultimate perfume”—the scent of a beautiful young virgin. Told with dazzling narrative brillance, Perfume is a hauntingly powerful tale of murder and sensual depravity.
Rainmaker – John Grisham.
Grisham’s sixth spellbinding novel of legal intrigue and corporate greed displays all of the intricate plotting, fast-paced action, humor, and suspense that have made him the most popular author of our time. In his first courtroom thriller since A “Time To Kill,” John Grisham tells the story of a young man barely out of law school who finds himself taking on one of the most powerful, corrupt, and ruthless companies in America — and exposing a complex, multibillion-dollar insurance scam. In hs final semester of law school Rudy Baylor is required to provide free legal advice to a group of senior citizens, and it is there that he meets his first “clients,” Dot and Buddy Black. Their son, Donny Ray, is dying of leukemia, and their insurance company has flatly refused to pay for his medical treatments. While Rudy is at first skeptical, he soon realizes that the Blacks really have been shockingly mistreated by the huge company, and that he just may have stumbled upon one of the largest insurance frauds anyone’s ever seen — and one of the most lucrative and important cases in the history of civil litigation. The problem is, Rudy’s flat broke, has no job, hasn’t even passed the bar, and is about to go head-to-head with one of the best defense attorneys — and powerful industries — in America.
Red Dwarf Omnibus – Grant Naylor.
Here are the first two novels of the cult series “Red Dwarf” in one volume – “Red Dwarf” and “Better Than Life” – plus the first draft of the original TV pilot script. It all begins, when Dave Lister is celebrating his twenty-fourth birthday on a Monopoly board pub crawl round London, and somehow ends up three million years from Earth, marooned in the wrong dimension of the wrong reality, and down to his last two cigarettes. Together with a dead man, a senile computer, a deranged sanitation mechanoid with an overactive guilt chip and the best-dressed entity in all six known universes, the last remaining member of the human race begins his epic journey home.
Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts.
At the start of this massive, thrillingly undomesticated potboiler, a young Australian man bearing a false New Zealand passport that gives his name as “Lindsay” flies to Bombay some time in the early ’80s. On his first day there, Lindsay meets the two people who will largely influence his fate in the city. One is a young tour guide, Prabaker, whose gifts include a large smile and an unstoppably joyful heart. Through Prabaker, Lindsay learns Marathi (a language not often spoken by gora, or foreigners), gets to know village India and settles, for a time, in a vast shantytown, operating an illicit free clinic. The second person he meets is Karla, a beautiful Swiss-American woman with sea-green eyes and a circle of expatriate friends. Lin’s love for Karla—and her mysterious inability to love in return—gives the book its central tension. “Linbaba’s” life in the slum abruptly ends when he is arrested without charge and thrown into the hell of Arthur Road Prison. Upon his release, he moves from the slum and begins laundering money and forging passports for one of the heads of the Bombay mafia, guru/sage Abdel Khader Khan. Eventually, he follows Khader as an improbable guerrilla in the war against the Russians in Afghanistan. There he learns about Karla’s connection to Khader and discovers who set him up for arrest. Roberts, who wrote the first drafts of the novel in prison, has poured everything he knows into this book and it shows. It has a heartfelt, cinemascope feel.
Siva: The Siva Purana Retold – Ramesh Menon.
‘One day of Brahma has 14 Indras; his life has 54,000 Indras, One day of Vishnu is the life time of Brahma. The lifetime of Vishnu is one day of Siva.’ There are eighteen Mahapuranas (great Puranas) and the Siva Purana is one of them. The book, Siva, is a vivid retelling of the Siva Purana for today’s reader. The book contains all the major legends of Siva, bringing them alive again for a new generation. The characters and events one encounters here are awesome, many are cosmic. Siva himself is the Auspicious One. He is Mahadeva, the greatest god.
The Collected Short Stories of Roald Dahl – Roald Dahl.
Later known for his immortal children’s books, including “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, “and “The BFG, “Dahl” “also had a genius for adult short fiction, which he wrote throughout his life. Whether fictionalizing his dramatic exploits as a Royal Air Force pilot during World War II or concocting the ingeniously plotted fables that were dramatized on television as “Tales of the Unexpected,” Dahl was brilliant at provoking in his readers the overwhelming desire to know what happens next–and at satisfying that desire in ways that feel both surprising and inevitable. Filled with devilish plot twists, his tales display a tantalizing blend of macabre humor and the absurdly grotesque. From “The Landlady,” about an unusual boardinghouse that features a small but very permanent clientele, to “Pig,” a brutally funny look at vegetarianism, to “Man from the South,” in which a fanatical gambler does his betting with hammer, nails, and a butcher’s knife, Dahl’s creations amuse and shock us in equal measure, gleefully reminding us of what might lurk beneath the surface of the ordinary.
The Bourne Identity – Robert Ludlum.
He has no past. And he may have no future. His memory is blank. He only knows that he was flushed out of the Mediterranean Sea, his body riddled with bullets.
There are a few clues. A frame of microfilm surgically implanted beneath the flesh of his hip. Evidence that plastic surgery has altered his face. Strange things that he says in his delirium— maybe code words. Initial: “J.B.” And a number on the film negative that leads to a Swiss bank account, a fortune of four million dollars, and, at last, a name: Jason Bourne.
But now he is marked for death, caught in a maddening puzzle, racing for survival through the deep layers of his buried past into a bizarre world of murderous conspirators—led by Carlos, the world’s most dangerous assassin. And no one can help Jason Bourne but the woman who once wanted to escape him.
The Doomsday Conspiracy – Sidney Sheldon.
When a mysterious weather balloon crashes to earth in the Swiss Alps, the head of the NSA handpicks Robert Bellamy to track down and identify the ten known witnesses to the event. A man whose obsession with his covert assignments has cost him the only woman he can ever love, Bellamy now faces the impossible. But as he searches for clues from Rome to Budapest to Texas, this mission blows up in his face — and rips the lid off an incredible conspiracy that stretches around the globe and even into space… Alone and betrayed on every side, Bellamy must run for his life — holding an astonishing secret and the key to the planet’s very survival.
The Godfather – Mario Puzo.
#1 New York Times bestseller. A classic american crime novel. An offer you can’t refuse… Since its first publication in 1969, Mario Puzo’s epic “The Godfather” has earned a permanent place in the American psyche and culture. In this story of family, loyalty, and the men who rule the American underworld, Puzo introduced a cast of singularly crafted characters, and offered an unforgettable look into the world of organized crime no writer has been able to duplicate since.
The story of Don Vito Corleone, the head of a New York Mafia family, inspired some of the most successful movies ever. It is in Mario Puzo’s The Godfather that Corleone first appears. As Corleone’s desperate struggle to control the Mafia underworld unfolds, so does the story of his family. The novel is full of exquisitely detailed characters who, despite leading unconventional lifestyles within a notorious crime family, experience the triumphs and failures of the human condition. Filled with the requisite valor, love, and rancor of a great epic, The Godfather is the definitive gangster novel.
Jurassic Park & The Lost World – Michael Crichton.
An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Creatures once extinct now roam Jurassic Park, soon-to-be opened as a theme park. Until something goes wrong…and science proves a dangerous toy…. In JURASSIC PARK Michael Crichton taps all his mesmerizing talent and scientific brilliance to create his most electrifying techno-thriller.
THE WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD
“HARROWING THRILLS . . . FAST-PACED AND ENGAGING.”
It is now six years since the secret disaster at Jurassic Park, six years since the extraordinary dream of science and imagination came to a crashing end–the dinosaurs destroyed, the park dismantled, the island indefinitely closed to the public.
There are rumors that something has survived. . . .
–New York Daily News
“FAST AND GRIPPING.”
–The Washington Post Book World
“A VERY SCARY READ.”
“AN EDGE-OF-THE-SEAT TALE.”
–St. Petersburg Times
The Sirens of Titan – Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
The Sirens of Titan is an outrageous romp through space, time, and morality. The richest, most depraved man on Earth, Malachi Constant, is offered a chance to take a space journey to distant worlds with a beautiful woman at his side. Of course there’s a catch to the invitation-and a prophetic vision about the purpose of human life that only Vonnegut has the courage to tell.
“Vonnegut is George Orwell, Dr. Caligari and Flash Gordon compounded into one writer . . . a zany but moral mad scientist.”—Time.
“Reading Vonnegut is addictive!”—Commonweal.
“His best book . . . He dares not only ask the ultimate question about the meaning of life, but to answer it.”—Esquire.
Thief of Time – Terry Pratchett.
Everybody wants more time, which is why on Discworld only the experts can manage it — the venerable Monks of History who store it and pump it from where it’s wasted, like underwater (how much time does a codfish “really” need?), to places like cities, where busy denizens lament, “Oh where “does” the time go?”
While everyone always talks about slowing down, one young horologist is about to do the unthinkable. He’s going to stop. Well, stop “time” that is, by building the world’s first truly accurate clock. Which means esteemed History Monk Lu-Tze and his apprentice Lobsang Ludd have to put on some speed to stop the timepiece before it starts. For if the Perfect Clock starts ticking, Time — as we know it — will end. And then the trouble will “really” begin..
MOST IMPORTANT BOOKS OF THE MODERN AGE (Thought-Provoking):
A Brief History of Everything. – Ken Wilber.
In a breathtaking trip from the Big Bang to the Postmodern world we inhabit, Ken Wilber examines the universe and our place in it, and comes up with an accessible and entertaining account of how it all fits together. Along the way he sheds light not only on the great cosmic questions but on various contentious issues of our day, such as changing gender roles, environmentalism, diversity and multiculturalism, even the meaning of the Internet. A Brief History of Everything is the perfect introduction to the great Integral thinker at his wise and witty best.
A Cancer Therapy: Results of 50 Cases and the Cure of Advanced Cancer. – Max Gerson. M.D.
In 1958, based on thirty years of clinical experimentation, Dr. Max Gerson published this medical monograph. This is the most complete book on the Gerson Therapy. Dr. Gerson, who developed the Gerson Therapy, explains how the treatment reactivates the body’s healing mechanisms in chronic degenerative diseases. The book incorporates extensive explanation of the theory with scientific research and the exact practice of the therapy, as well as a presentation of fifty documented case histories. Also included is a modified version of the Gerson Therapy for use with nonmalignant diseases or preventative purposes.
Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing. – Carolyn Myss, Ph.D.
Anatomy of the Spirit is the boldest presentation to date of energy medicine by one of its premier practitioners, internationally acclaimed medical intuitive Caroline Myss, one of the “hottest new voices in the alternative health/spirituality scene” (“Publishers Weekly”). Based on fifteen years of research into energy medicine, Dr. Myss’s work shows how every illness corresponds to a pattern of emotional and psychological stresses, beliefs, and attitudes that have influenced corresponding areas of the human body.
Audition: Everything an Actor Needs to Know to Get the Part. – Michael Shurtleff.
Michael Shurtleff has been casting director for Broadway shows like “Chicago” and “Becket” and for films like “The Graduate” and “Jesus Christ Superstar. ” His legendary course on auditioning has launched hundreds of successful careers. Now in this book he tells the all-important HOW for all aspiring actors, from the beginning student of acting to the proven talent trying out for that chance-in-a-million role. A book that is invaluable for its character study and revealing the true motivations that make any scene, story or performance compelling. A highly recommended resource, even and especially for writers!
Autobiography of a Yogi. – Paramhansa Yogananda.
Autobiography of a Yogi is at once a beautifully written account of an exceptional life and a profound introduction to the ancient science of Yoga and its time-honored tradition of meditation. This acclaimed autobiography presents a fascinating portrait of one of the great spiritual figures of our time. With engaging candor, eloquence, and wit, Paramahansa Yogananda tells the inspiring chronicle of his life: the experiences of his remarkable childhood, encounter with many saints and sages during his youthful search throughout India for an illumined teacher, ten years of training in the hermitage of a revered yoga master, and the thirty years that he lived and taught in America. Also recorded here are his meetings with Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Luther Burbank, the Catholic stigmatist Therese Neumann, and other celebrated spiritual personalities of East and West. The author clearly explains the subtle but definite laws behind both the ordinary events of everyday life and the extraordinary events commonly termed miracles. His absorbing life story becomes the background for a penetrating and unforgettable look at the ultimate mysteries of human existence. Selected as “One of the 100 Best Spiritual Books of the Twentieth Century,” Autobiography of a Yogi has been translated into 20 languages, and is regarded worldwide as a classic of religious literature. Several million copies have been sold, and it continues to appear on best-seller lists after more than sixty consecutive years in print. Profoundly inspiring, it is at the same time vastly entertaining, warmly humorous and filled with extraordinary personages.
Cosmic Voyage: True Evidence of Extraterrestrials Visiting Earth. – Courtney Brown. Ph.D.
Cosmic Voyage breaks new ground, takes us on an extraordinary journey into some of the deepest mysteries of alien contact and the human future, and leaves us — above all — with a powerful new tool for further exploration. It is a wonderful, audacious, and important book, and off the scale when it comes to compulsive, delightful, exciting reading. If we are to reap the rich harvest of knowledge that the UFO field promises, we will need new methods of exploration suited to discovering phenomena that reach us from the subtle or unseen realms. Political scientist Courtney Brown, courageously applying the established methodology of Scientific Remote Viewing, has documented the reality of intelligent life outside of our planet. His book is important for both scientists and general readers who wish to expand our ways of investigating extraordinary phenomena.
Hands of Light: A Guide To Healing Through The Human Energy Field. – Barbara Ann Brennan.
Hands of Light: A Guide to Healing Through the Human Energy Field, by Barbara Ann Brennan, is a scientist’s look at the field of bioenergetic healing, offering specific techniques towards expanding perceptual tools of healing, seeing auras, understanding psychodynamics and the human energy field, and spiritual healing. Trained as a physicist and psychotherapist, Brennan has spent the last 15 years studying the human energy field and working as a healer. Hands of Light goes beyond conventional, objective knowledge while retaining scientific clarity. It details a study of the human energy field and how it is intimately connected to a person’s health and well being and contains essential information for anyone involved in healing and conscious health care, including people seeking to heal themselves. Science and spirituality may currently be at odds, but fortunately there will always be scientists who are spiritual seekers, and it is in the mingling of the two worlds where wisdom is born. –Jodie Buller
Hero With A Thousand Faces. – Joseph Campbell.
Campbell’s words carry extraordinary weight, not only among scholars but among a wide range of other people who find his search down mythological pathways relevant to their lives today. . . . The book for which he is most famous, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, [is] a brilliant examination, through ancient hero myths, of man’s eternal struggle for identity. The first popular work to combine the spiritual and psychological insights of modern psychoanalysis with the archetypes of world mythology, the book creates a roadmap for navigating the frustrating path of contemporary life. Examining heroic myths in the light of modern psychology, it considers not only the patterns and stages of mythology but also its relevance to our lives today–and to the life of any person seeking a fully realized existence.
Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? – Michael J Sandel.
What are our obligations to others as people in a free society? Should government tax the rich to help the poor? Is the free market fair? Is it sometimes wrong to tell the truth? Is killing sometimes morally required? Is it possible, or desirable, to legislate morality? Do individual rights and the common good conflict?
Michael J. Sandel’s “Justice” course is one of the most popular and influential at Harvard. Up to a thousand students pack the campus theater to hear Sandel relate the big questions of political philosophy to the most vexing issues of the day, and this fall, public television will air a series based on the course. “Justice “offers readers the same exhilarating journey that captivates Harvard students. This book is a searching, lyrical exploration of the meaning of justice, one that invites readers of all political persuasions to consider familiar controversies in fresh and illuminating ways. Affirmative action, same-sex marriage, physician-assisted suicide, abortion, national service, patriotism and dissent, the moral limits of markets–Sandel dramatizes the challenge of thinking through these con?icts, and shows how a surer grasp of philosophy can help us make sense of politics, morality, and our own convictions as well. “Justice “is lively, thought-provoking, and wise–an essential new addition to the small shelf of books that speak convincingly to the hard questions of our civic life.
Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of those he treated in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl’s theory–known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos (“meaning”)–holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.
The Golem: What You Should Know About Science – Harry M. Collins, Trevor Pinch.
“The Golem should be required reading for anyone interested in how scientific knowledge is created and concerned about the role of science in contemporary society.” Science, Technology and Society.
Through a series of intriguing case studies including the study of relativity, cold fusion, the “memory” in worms, and the sex life of lizards, this book debunks the view that scientific knowledge is a straightforward outcome of competent theorization, observation, and experimentation. The first edition generated much debate and controversy. This second edition contains a substantial new Afterword that responds to some of the criticisms made by scientists. A distinction is made between the responses of scientific fundamentalists who maintain the myth of scientific certainty and more serious-minded critics. In dialogue with these latter critics The Golem attempts to build an island of reasoned debate between the two cultures. It seeks to replace the “Science Wars” with mutual understanding.
Towards a Psychology of Being. – Abraham Maslow.
Abraham Maslow’s theories of self-actualization and the hierarchy of human needs are the cornerstone of modern humanistic psychology, and no book so well epitomizes those ideas as his classic Toward a Psychology of Being. A profound book, an exciting book, its influence continues to spread, more than a quarter century after its author’s death, beyond psychology and throughout the humanities, social theory, and business management theory. Of course, the book’s enduring popularity stems from the important questions it raises and the answers it provides concerning what is fundamental to human nature and psychological well-being, and what is needed to promote, maintain, and restore mental and emotional well-being. But its success also has to do with Maslow’s unique ability to convey difficult philosophical concepts with passion, precision, and astonishing clarity, and, through the power of his words, to ignite in readers a sense of creative joy and wholeness toward which we, as beings capable of self-actualization, strive.
The Bible Code. – Michael Drosnin.
On September 1, 1994, I flew to Israel and met in Jerusalem with a close friend of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the poet Chaim Guri. I gave him a letter which he immediately gave to the Prime Minister.
“An Israeli mathematician has discovered a hidden code in the Bible that appears to reveal the details of events that took place thousands of years after the Bible was written,” my letter to Rabin stated.
“The reason I’m telling you about this is that the only time your full name Yitzhak Rabin is encoded in the Bible, the words ‘assassin that will assassinate’ cross your name.”
On November 4, 1995, came the awful confirmation, a shot in the back from aman who believed he was on a mission from God, the murder that was encoded in the Bible three thousand years ago.
The Function of the Orgasm. – Wilhelm Reich.
Over twenty years Wilhelm Reich, a psychologist and doctor of medicine, studied the relationship between the emotional, physiological and physical functions of biological energy. He saw the orgasm as the key to the body’s energy metabolism, discovering that the biological emotions governing the psychic processes are themselves the immediate expression of strictly physical energy – which he named the cosmic orgone. Initially derided, Reich’s theories are now seen as crucial to our understanding of ourselves and our fellow men. In appreciating why the orgasm brings a feeling of physical and emotional well-being, we can also gain insight into the physical and emotional ills that result from a thwarting of this bioenergetic function. Many researches into psychic energy believe that the aura recorded by Kirlian photography is nothing less than the manifestation of Reich’s orgone energy.
The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists. – Neil Strauss.
Hidden somewhere, in nearly every major city in the world, is an underground seduction lair. And in these lairs, men trade the most devastatingly effective techniques ever invented to charm women. This is “not” fiction. These men really exist. They live together in houses known as Projects. And Neil Strauss, the bestselling author, spent two years living among them, using the pseudonym Style to protect his real-life identity. The result is one of the most explosive and controversial books of the year — guaranteed to change the lives of men and transform the way women understand the opposite sex forever.
The Holographic Universe. – Michael Talbot.
Today nearly everyone is familiar with holograms, three-dimensional images projected into space with the aid of a laser. Now, two of the world’s most eminent thinkers — University of London physicists David Bohm, a former protege of Einstein’s and one of the world’s most respected quantum physicists, and Stanford neurophysiologist Karl Pribram, one of the architects of our modern understanding of the brain — believe that the universe itself may be a giant hologram, quite literally a kind of image or construct created, at least in part, by the human mind. This remarkable new way of looking at the universe explains now only many of the unsolved puzzles of physics, but also such mysterious occurrences as telepathy, out-of-body and near death experiences, “lucid” dreams, and even religious and mystical experiences such as feelings of cosmic unity and miraculous healings.
The Children of The Law of One & The Lost Teachings of Atlantis. – Jon Peniel.
This is the account of an American teenager who discovered a monastery in Tibet that was the inspiration for the legend of “Shangri La”. It might be categorized as a ‘new age’ or philosophy book, like The Celestine Prophecy, since it focuses on his spiritual training and their teachings in a novel-like format. Hard to believe, but interestingly, the sub-tropical region amongst the Himalayas that he describes finding, was later documented by explorers from National Geographic, the ‘covered up’ (there is still evidence of this). Also interesting is that the author was apparently mentioned in the Edgar Cayce readings (the famous American psychic whose books have sold millions of copies), as someone who would one day bring an important message to the world.
The Only Planet of Choice: Essential Briefings from Deep Space. – Phyllis V. Schlemmer.
Since its spectacular launch in 1993, The Only Planet of Choice has been widely acknowledged as one of the most significant books for our time. Many of those thousands who have already read it have spoken of the profound effect it has had upon them. This book represents the outcome of twenty years of work by a distinguished international research group whose members have been communicating through psychic transceiver, Phyllis Schlemmer, with an enlightened circle of universal beings known as the Council of Nine. Their dialogues have continued and the result is this updated edition of The Only Planet of Choice. Published this time without any linking commentaries but with a vital new chapter on the 1990s, the book contains a mass of fresh and pressing information of particular relevance to our troubled world. Its underlying theme is free will and the power of the inhabitants of Planet Earth to create a better, more harmonious world. Among the many themes covered in detail are the existence of ET civilizations and their interactions with Earth, the nature of the Source of the Universe, the ancient history of humanity, Jesus the Nazarene, environmental issues and humankind’s as-yet-unrealized potential for self-awareness. But, above all, for those who are prepared to listen and heed its message, it offers a positive outcome for the future. New readers will welcome the opportunity to explore this riveting book for the first time. Existing readers will want to discover the wise new truths it contains.
The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge. – Carlos Castaneda.
Carlos Castaneda’s intelligence shines through as clearly in his updated commentary in the 30th anniversary edition of The Teachings of Don Juan as it does in his original story. It is impossible to encapsulate what Castaneda has achieved with his first book about the teachings of the enigmatic Don Juan Matus, a Yaqui Indian sorcerer who shared his ancient knowledge with Castaneda. The academic character of The Teachings of Don Juan is evident in Castaneda’s in-depth analysis (and sometimes overanalysis) of his experiences with Don Juan, and readers who lack an interest in anthropological analysis may find this section a bit tedious. However, Castaneda’s journal accounts flow effortlessly, the current carrying us through his conversations with Don Juan and opening doors to an astounding realm outside the bounds of everyday life. The phrases “life changing” and “earth shattering” come to mind, and perhaps these are just metaphors, but what Castaneda offered in the 1960s is still for many an entirely new perception of reality.
Where God Lives: The Science of the Paranormal and How Our Brains are Linked to the Universe. – Mevin Morse M.D, with Paul Perry.
Is there proof that “near death” and other spiritual experiences can cure afflictions of the body, mind, and spirit? Are there simple ways to tap into a “universal power source” that spiritual masters call enlightenment? Is there scientific evidence of life after death that is being overlooked by skeptics? Is there scientific proof of a spot in our brains that communicates with God and the universe?
Pediatrician Melvin Morse believes the answer to all these questions is yes. Shedding new light on the links between science and mysticism, Where God Lives not only reveals the area of the brain that is our biological link to the universe, but also shows us the secret of tapping into the universal energy to achieve healing, personal peace, and transcendence. Filled with moving case histories, Where God Lives applies the rigor of science to the study of the spiritual to prove once and for all the existence of life after death.
Who Am I? – Ramana Maharshi.
This is the quintessential, aphoristic work, constituting one of the earliest recordings of the Maharshi s teachings, that spells out the nature of the Self and the practice of Self-Inquiry. The text begins as follows: All living beings desire to be happy always, without any misery. In everyone there is observed supreme love for oneself. And happiness alone is the cause of love. In order therefore, to gain that happiness which is one’s nature and which is experienced in the state of deep sleep, where there is no mind, one should know oneself. To achieve this, the Path of Knowledge, the enquiry in the form of ‘Who Am I?’ is the principal means.
Adaptation – Charlie Kaufman.
“Do I have an original thought in my head? My bald head. Maybe if I were happier my hair wouldn’t be falling out. Life is short. I need to make the most of it. Today is the first day of the rest of my life. I’m a walking cliché. I really need to go to the doctor and have my leg checked. There’s something wrong. A bump. The dentist called again. I’m way overdue. If I stop putting things off I would be happier. All I do is sit on my fat ass. If my ass wasn’t fat I would be happier. I wouldn’t have to wear these shirts with the tails out all the time. Like that’s fooling anyone. Fat ass. I should start jogging again. Five miles a day. Really do it this time. Maybe rock climbing. I need to turn my life around. What do I need to do? I need to fall in love. I need to have a girlfriend. I need to read more and prove myself. What if I learned Russian or something, or took up an instrument. I could speak Chinese. I’d be the screenwriter who speaks Chinese and plays the oboe. That would be cool. I should get my hair cut short. Stop trying to fool myself and everyone else into thinking I have a full head of hair. How pathetic is that. Just be real. Confident. Isn’t that what women are attracted to? Men don’t have to be attractive. But that’s not true. Especially these days. Almost as much pressure on men as there is on women these days. Why should I be made to feel I have to apologize for my existence? Maybe it’s my brain chemistry. Maybe that’s what’s wrong with me. Bad chemistry. All my problems and anxiety can be reduced to a chemical imbalance or some kind of misfiring synapses. I need to get help for that. But I’ll still be ugly though. Nothing’s going to change that.”
American Beauty – Alan Ball.
“This is probably the one of the first scripts I have done that didn’t go through a rewrite … I believe Steven Spielberg read it on a Saturday night, and on Monday morning he said, ‘Let’s make this movie and not change a word'” — said Academy Award “RM” winner Kevin Spacey (The Usual Suspects) in an interview about the movie in which he stars with Oscar “RM” nominee, Annette Bening (The Grifters).
The original screenplay by Alan Ball (TV’s Cybill) marks the directorial debut of award-winning theater director Sam Mendes (The Blue Room, Cabaret), who describes the script in this book’s introduction as “a highly inventive black comedy … a mystery story with a genuine final twist … a kaleidoscopic journey through American suburbia, and a hugely visually articulate one at that.”
The Annotated Godfather – Jenny M Jones.
The ever-popular Godfather is widely considered to be the greatest movie ever made – is there anybody unable to quote at least one line? – and now for the first time, the highly praised annotated version of the complete screenplay is available in paperback. Every scene, practically every shot, is highlighted with fascinating facts about technical aspects, set design, and shooting locations; insider stories from the set, including arguments, accidents, and practical jokes; profiles of the actors and how they were cast; goofs and gaffes; plus interviews with studio execs, cast and crew, director Francis Ford Coppola, and much more.
Compiled by Jenny M. Jones, “The Annotated Godfather” is fully authorized by Paramount Pictures and includes more than 250 full-color photographs. This illustrated insider’s look is a must-have companion to arguably the best movie of all time.
“It’s like seeing the movie all over again, but with Francis Ford Coppola sitting next to you on the couch.” -Daniel Okrant, “Fortune “magazine.”
“Jones offers a streamlined version of the backstory, highlighting the difficulties that swirled around the production. The beauty of “The Annotated Godfather” is that it puts all this in context…. It’s a delicate dance, but she pulls it off, allowing us to see it fresh after all these years.” -David Ulin, “The Los Angeles Times.”
WORKS OF ART:
A Man For All Seasons (A Play) – Robert Bolt.
So, to what lengths will a man go to keep his honor? Is everything for sale? The best plays are the ones that make you think yeas after you experience them. This is Bolt’s spell, and we can never escape.
The classic play about Sir Thomas More, the Lord chancellor who refused to compromise and was executed by Henry VIII. The play is wonderfully crafted and does an excellent job of being subtle and emotional at the same time. It is the essence of a morality play. When push comes to shove, and egos, life, inheritances are on the line, where will you fall?
Duino Elegies – Rainer Maria Rilke.
The Duino Elegies are one of the twentieth centurys great works of art. In the space of ten elegies, presented here in a bilingual edition, an impassioned monologue struggles to find an individual answer to what it means to be human in a world torn by modern consciousness.
We have a marvelous, almost legendary, image of the circumstances in which the composition of this great poem began. Rilke was staying at a castle (Duino) on the sea near Trieste. One morning he walked out on the battlements and climbed down to where the rocks dropped sharply to the sea. From out of the wind, which was blowing with great force, Rilke seemed to hear a voice: Wer, wenn ich schriee, hörte mich denn aus der Engel Ordnungen? (If I cried out, who would hear me up there, among the angelic orders?). He wrote these words, the opening of the first Duino Elegy, in his notebook, then went inside to continue what was to be his major work and one of the literary masterpieces of the century.
Satanic Verses – Salman Rushdie.
No book in modern times has matched the uproar sparked by Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses, which earned its author a death sentence. Furor aside, it is a marvelously erudite study of good and evil, a feast of language served up by a writer at the height of his powers, and a rollicking comic fable. The book begins with two Indians, Gibreel Farishta (“for fifteen years the biggest star in the history of the Indian movies”) and Saladin Chamcha, a Bombay expatriate returning from his first visit to his homeland in 15 years, plummeting from the sky after the explosion of their jetliner, and proceeds through a series of metamorphoses, dreams and revelations. Rushdie’s powers of invention are astonishing in this Whitbread Prize winner.
One of the most controversial and acclaimed novels ever written, “The Satanic Verses” is Salman Rushdie’s best-known and most galvanizing book. Set in a modern world filled with both mayhem and miracles, the story begins with a bang: the terrorist bombing of a London-bound jet in midflight. Two Indian actors of opposing sensibilities fall to earth, transformed into living symbols of what is angelic and evil. This is just the initial act in a magnificent odyssey that seamlessly merges the actual with the imagined. A book whose importance is eclipsed only by its quality, “The Satanic Verses “is a key work of our times.
Twelve Angry Men (A Play) – Reginald Rose.
Reginald Rose’s landmark American drama was a critically acclaimed teleplay, and went on to become a cinematic masterpiece in 1957 starring Henry Fonda, for which Rose wrote the adaptation. A blistering character study and an examination of the American melting pot and the judicial system that keeps it in check, “Twelve Angry Men” holds at its core a deeply patriotic belief in the U.S. legal system. The storyas focal point, known only as Juror Eight, is at first the sole holdout in an 11-1 guilty vote. Eight sets his sights not on proving the other jurors wrong but rather on getting them to look at the situation in a clear-eyed way not affected by their personal biases. Rose deliberately and carefully peels away the layers of artifice from the men and allows a fuller picture of America, at its best and worst, to form.
UNFORGETTABLE SHORT STORIES:
Microcosmic God – Theodore Sturgeon.
Mimsy Were the Borogoves – Lewis Padgett.
HARD TO FIND GEMS:
Hatha Yoga Pradipika: Light on Hatha Yoga. – Swami Satyananda Saraswati.