Books that have helped me on my Path to Awakening
Parts I -VI by Jeane F. Diamond, Spiritual Counsellor
Part I: Learning to be with Myself
Hermann Hesse Siddhartha 1922 - an allegory of the Buddha’s life, a novel.
Hermann Hesse The Glass Bead Game 1946 - another novel, this time about the search for human perfection via a wholistic education in a fantasy future. Extremely intellectual but fascinating if you can follow it.
Paramahansa Yogananda Autobiography of a Yogi 1946 - the first book to give me a psychic experience while I was reading it – the eyes on the cover photo followed me around. And the text helped me to accept a new world view.
Annie Dillard Pilgrim at Tinker Creek 1974 - an American woman experiences living close to nature.
Joan Barfoot Gaining Ground 1980 - a Canadian woman spends time alone in a cabin in the woods.
Eric Berne Games People Play 1964 - A psychological classic and very accessible. Definitely an “ah ha” moment in early self-discovery. An easy and amusing read, but with very deep implications.
Thomas Szasz Ideology and Insanity 1970 - ever notice that political & social activists are often labelled “disturbed” or “unbalanced”? Szasz explains the political uses of psychology. A very important text that needs to be more widely read.
R. D. Laing The Politics of the Family 1969 - Laing was a pioneer, who had a revolutionary humanistic approach to psychiatric hospital care. His explanation of family dynamics is also liberating.
Ellen Bass & Laura Davis The Courage to Heal 1988 - a classic for anyone recovering from sexual abuse.
Colette Dowling The Cinderella Complex 1981 - a little paperback which explained to me that it is those small inconsistencies in our behaviour that can lead us to our core issues still waiting to be resolved.
Charlotte Davis Kasl Women, Sex and Addiction 1989 - Kasl is sensitive skilled therapist and I recommend this book to everyone living in the 21st century western world.
Part II: The Self that is the Body
Dr. Edward Bach Heal Thyself 1931 - The spiritual beliefs concerning healing of the discoverer of the Bach Flower Remedies.
Ruth Bircher Eating Your Way to Health 1961 - A ‘healthy eating’ book from a clinic in Switzerland, with valuable advice and recipes.
W.H.M. Carrington Balance as a Function of Intelligence 1970 - Trained in the Alexander Technque by F. Matthais Alexander, Walter Carrington explains that posture is fundamental to our health and well-being and can only be maintained by using our intelligence.
Gay Gaer Luce Body Time 1971 - Biorhythms and what they mean to your way of life. With a very extensive bibliography.
Aubrey T. Westlake Pattern of Health 1961 - A discussion of some fundamental approaches to energy medicine including Bach Flower Remedies, homeopathy, the work of Reich, Hawaiian Huna, the healing miracles of Christ.
W.J Kilner The Aura 1911 - A physician and surgeon and one of the early researchers on the aura, Kilner’s work is a classic in the field. Understandable with helpful illustrations, not as “hyped” as Brennan’s more recent work.
Hans Selye The Stress of Life 1956 - An important scientist revealed the dangers of stress just as the stressful life was ramping up in the capitalist west. Still an important read.
Theos Bernard Hatha Yoga 1950 - A well-illustrated excellent book on hatha yoga, a treasured gift from the friend who first introduced me to yoga.
Yogi Ramacharaka The Hindu-Yogi Science of Breath 1960 – Breath is life but how often we forget. This book is an important reminder of how to breathe to stay sane, grounded and healthy.
Robert B. Tisserand The Art of Aromatherapy 1977 - Aromatherapy is a powerful healing tool. Tisserand is one of the world-recognised experts. A good reference book to have in your library.
William T. Fernie The Occult and Curative Powers of Precious Stones 1907/1973 - Written before New Age blah-blah clouded the truth, the language and sentence structure of Fernie’s work is rather old-fashioned, but the history and knowledge presented are sound.
Mary Austin Acupuncture Therapy 1974 - An excellent acupuncture reference, to help understand a variety of aches and pains.
Michio Kushi Oriental Diagnosis 1977 - Kushi, a student of George Ohsawa the founder of macrobiotics, tells us how to read a person’s life in their face and what dietary changes they need to make in order heal.
Part III: The Self that is the Mind
Annie Besant Thought Power 1912 - One of the important books by a member of the Theosophical Society explaining the importance of developing mental self-control and ways to approach this discipline.
Jane Roberts The Nature of Personal Reality: A Seth Book 1974 - A long book with one message: your thoughts shape your life. I finally realised the importance of paying attention to the expectations I was setting for myself and at last began to notice my thoughts.
Catherine Ponder Dynamic Laws of Healing 1966 - With body maps and affirmations, Ponder reminds us that you co-create our own health.
Louise Hay Heal Your Body 1976 - A classic little handbook, Hay associates body parts with emotional blockages and gives affirmations to clear them.
Scott Cunningham Magical Aromatherapy 1989 - Scott Cunningham was a magical adept and a scholar. His work combines health and magic in the best possible way.
Rosalind Heywood The Infinite Hive: A Personal Record of Extra-Sensory Experiences 1964 - Due to Heywood’s credentials, this is the book that finally convinced me we have lived before.
A.T. Mann The Round Art: The Astrology of Time and Space 1979 - A global look at astrology, an excellent overall reference. A gift from a lover who owned a shop in Glastonbury High Street, this is a book I treasure.
Sybil Leek Moon Signs 1977 - Sybil Leek is a Celtic Witch and this book gives much-needed attention to an often neglected planet in our charts.
Marie-Louise von Franz Number and Time: Studies in Jungian Thought 1974 - My soul cries out to the world that we must reach beyond the trinity to the wholeness of four. This book which presents the number four as a model of wholeness in human consciousness speaks deeply to me.
Eugen Herrigel Zen in the Art of Archery 1953 - A classic explanation for western minds about how to put meditation into practice in everyday life.
Part IV: The Self in Context
Robert Frost The Road Not Taken 1916 - A brilliant poem about life’s fundamental choices by one of America’s foremost poets.
Vladimir Mayakovsky Vladimir Ilyich Lenin 1924 - A poet of the Bolshevik Revolution, this is for any of us who once hoped for the glorious future.
Lawrence Ferlinghetti The World is a Beautiful Place 1968 - A San Francisco poet, Ferlinghetti presents life as it really is, with all its beauty and absurdity.
Samuel Beckett Waiting for Godot 1953 - A classic play about finding, or not, consciously or not, one’s spiritual path in life.
Stevie Smith not waving but drowning 1957 - Another poem about reality and appearances.
Robert Graves The Greek Myths Volumes I & II - Basic mind stuff for any westerner trying to be awake. The psychic heritage of our culture, the source of archetypes and more.
Aeschelus The Oresteian Trilogy - A story about the transition from matriarchal society to our present blood-thirsty patriarchy.
G. R. Levy The Gate of Horn: religious conceptions of the Stone Age and their influence upon European Thought 1946 - A beautifully illustrated archaeology book by a sensitive explorer.
Marija Gimbutas The Civilization of the Goddess 1991 - the archaeologist “who will overturn all knowledge”, Gimbutas did monumental work in recovering the ancient cultures of Europe.
Lawrence Durdin-Robertson The Goddesses of Chaldaea, Syria and Egypt 1975 - Encyclopedic listing of pre-patriarchal goddesses of this important region of the world compiled and published by a scholar and High Priest living in Ireland. One of a series that covers the globe.
Monique Wittig Les Guerilleres 1971 - a beautifully crafted novel by a French writer about an imaginary time among “exotic barbarian” women, in revolt against their oppression.
Marge Piercy Woman on the Edge of Time 1976 - Feminist science fiction novel about surviving life in a mental hospital. I found it very inspiring and was encouraged to carry on.
Sylvia Plath The Bell Jar 1963 - Plath ultimately committed suicide, some say driven mad by the professional jealously of her husband Ted Hughes. This book beautifully describes her anguish, and some of her processes as a writer.
Bob Dylan Blowing in the Wind (song) 1963 - An early hippie classic, this song can tell us about the unity of politics and ecology, and the relationship between human culture and our true needs. If only more of us knew how to listen to the wind.
Part V: Unity of Body, Mind, and Universe
Ouspensky In Search of the Miraculous - a follower of the mystic and teacher Gurdijeff, describing his time with Gurdjieff and the master’s teachings.
Alexandra David-Neel Magic and Mystery in Tibet 1965 - an early intrepid explorer explains magic in the high mountains as she found it.
W. Y. Evans-Wentz translation Tibetan Book of the Dead 1927 - translated by the noted Egyptologist, this book is the original guide for those making the transition to “the other side” and is traditionally read to the dying as they are making their passage.
Lao Tse Tao Te Ching 600 BCE - one of the fundamental books of oriental wisdom translated for the west.
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky The Secret Doctrine 1888/1974 - the original source of most Western occult teachings including those of Alice Bailey and the Tibetan, HPB is an iconic figure in the Western tradition. A compilation of the most important teachings.
Sheila Ostrander & Lynn Schroeder Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain 1970 - two Canadians went behind the Iron Curtain to study Soviet experiments with the paranormal, at a time when the west would not admit to exploring it (tho the US Navy was doing some similar things).
Arthur Koestler The Roots of Coincidence 1972 - a famous novelist explores the possible explanations for psychic connections between all events.
Marie-Louise von Franz Time: Rhythm and Repose 1978 - a Jungian analyst who worked directly with Jung explains the function of time for the psyche.
Richard Cavendish A History of Magic 1977 - a scholarly explanation of the historical development of magic.
Louis Pauwels & Jacques Bergier The Morning of the Magicians 1960 - two Nobel scientists consider magic, science and history.
Martin Johnson Time, Knowledge and the Nebulae 1945 - an early and very scholarly explanation of how time and space are different aspects of each other.
Part VI: Caring for Mother Planet
Rachel Carson The Silent Spring 1962 - lovingly written, Carson is a scientist who penned one of the first warnings about the fragility of our planet’s ecosystem.
Peter Tompkins & Christopher Bird The Secret Life of Plants 1973 - explains why it makes a difference to talk to your plants.
Nicholas Culpeper Culpeper’s Complete Herbal - basic herbal reference for every library.
Lawrence D Hills Organic Gardening 1977 - This book taught me about organic gardening, which taught me a lot about life.
Ram Dass Be Here Now 1971 - With lots of great close-up photos of the miracles of nature, this book reminds us that the present moment is all we have. I needed this book to convince me that now is more important than the future.
A.S. Neill Summerhill 1926/1985 - Neill pioneered ways of teaching ‘unteachable’ children. He founded Summerhill, the school where he put it into practice. A great man, it was an honour to visit Summerhill and speak with Neill.
Maria Montessori The Secret of Childhood 1960 - The first female doctor in Italy, Montessori developed a structured approach to early childhood education. This book gives her basic philosophy about childhood which underlies the Montessori Method.
Fritjof Capra The Tao of Physics 1975 - as Einstein discovered, physics and spirituality both reveal the same truths. Capra explains this in terms that are understandable.
Gary Zukov The Dancing Wu Li Masters 1980 - Zukov takes Capra’s work further and shows us the unity of all life from a scientific point of view. Popular writing, easy to read.
Marianne Williamson A Return To Love 1992 - A New Age writer with a good familiarity of 12-Step Programmes, Williamson poignantly reminds us that what the world needs now is love.