Favorite Books and Authors


Write from the Heart: Unleashing the Power of Your Creativity
Hal Zina Bennett.

The best how-to book on writing around. Hal has been my own writing teacher and coach for a number of years. To say that he has been a tremendous help and inspiration would be a gross understatement. For Hal, writing is a spiritual discipline. Not only are the various exercises he gives effective; the book itself is a work of practical philosophy. It will change you.
  Memories, Dreams, Reflections
Carl G. Jung

This book (essentially Jung's autobiography) marked my first encounter with Jung's ideas. I first read it nearly twenty-five years ago and still find it one of the most powerful and fascinating works I have ever read. Jung's view of the unconscious was a liberating and exhilarating discovery for me‹and I believe, for the 20th century western mind. He was perhaps our greatest shaman.
 
Journeys Out of the Body
Robert A. Monroe

By chance I picked up a worn soft cover copy of this book on a dusty shelf in the back of a dowdy used book store in Chicago back in the early 1980s. The honesty, integrity, and courage of the writer were immediately apparent to me. Bob Monroe was simply one of the greatest explorers of inner space, ever. I never met him in person--by the time I made it to The Monroe Institute he was no longer hanging around in the physical--but all three of his books are my close companions.
  The God of Jane: A Psychic Manifesto
Jane Roberts

I first stumbled across the work of Jane Roberts in the late 1970s, just after graduating from college. Intellectually, I was scandalized by Jane's psychic work and the whole Seth phenomenon. My academic side was up in arms! Intuitively, however, I knew she was right-on, as we used to say. All of her books are required reading by the truly open-minded. This one in particular is a barn-burner of a testament to Jane's tremendous courage, humor, insight, and wisdom. She and Bob Monroe will some day get their due.
 
Mind Trek: Exploring Consciousness, Time, and Space Through Remote Viewing
Joseph McMoneagle

If anyone has established the reality of psi in the field, it is famed remote viewer Joe McMoneagle. Joe is one of those rare individuals whose uncompromising integrity shines, diamond brilliant, through everything he writes and does in the field. His other three books, The Ultimate Time Machine, Remote Viewing Secrets, and The Stargate Chronicles are equally good and important. But this, his first, remains my favorite (his account of his near-death experience alone is worth the price of admission!). It is a thrilling ride, from start to finish.
  God is Red: A Native View of Religion
Vine Deloria, Jr.

This iconoclastic Sioux philosopher of sharp, often stinging wit and deep wisdom is essential reading for anyone who wants to critically understand, and ultimately transcend, the limitations of classical western thought. One of my other favorites is a collection of his essays entitled Spirit and Reason.
 


In the Spirit of the Earth: Rethinking History and Time
The Way of the Human Being
Calvin Luther Martin

Luckily (or unluckily) for me, I came across these two books only very recently, while doing research on my current project, and more than a year following the publication of my second and most recent book, The Myth of the Great Ending (2011). Had I read these two books earlier--particularly In the Spirit of the Earth--I might not have bothered to complete my own book; as their author, a former associate professor of history at Rutgers University, makes an even stronger, and far more articulate and compelling case for the philosophical superiority of the Paleolithic hunter-gatherer cosmology, spirituality, ethic, and mythic imagination than I was able to do. Suffice it to say that I have underlined so many passages that I ceased taking notes when I realized that I was virtually transcribing his tomes word for word. Martin’s arguments are deeply passionate, yet also extraordinarily learned; his prose, while lucid and logical, is movingly poetic. He asks nothing less of us than to reassess some of our most cherished, fundamental cultural assumptions and ideological perspectives. These are seminal works. (Please don’t tell my publisher I said so, but if you had to choose between purchasing Martin’s books and my own, I’d advise you to buy his instead.)
  The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power
Joel Kramer and Diana Alstad

Why do so many of us willingly surrender our natural power and freedom to others, and how can we reclaim what we have thus given away? Why do we succumb to the hyponotic allure of the guru? This is the key question dealt with by this superbly insightful book, which I believe is one of the most important books on religion and spirituality ever written. The authors, former university sociologist Diana Alstad, and her partner, veteran yoga teacher and philosopher Joel Kramer, unmask the insidious, surreptitous, and often unconscious authoritarianism implicit in much of the philosophy and practice endemic to the so-called “higher” religions of civilization (both eastern and western), and also present in many of the modern religious cults and spiritual movements that have their roots in these traditions, including some popular figures in transpersonal psychology. The authors’ analysis is briliant and rigorous, their arguments cogent and powerful, and the overall cohesiveness and scope of their position is nothing less than astonishingly breathtaking. I have referenced their book in a number of my own writings. But I was recently reminded of the importance of their work when yet another sex, money and power scandal, involving yet another popular guru figure, broke in the news. To transcend the authoritarian mentality it is first necessary to understand it. This powerful book is an indispensable guide.
 
Indian Givers: How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the World
Jack Weatherford

Weatherford is an anthropologist who teaches at Macalester College in Minnesota, but don't hold his Ph.D. against him. This marvelous book (his deadpan description of the spontaneous form of order that rises from the seeming chaos of a plains powwow is at once tenderly humorous and tremendously insightful) shows that indigenous consciousness is a permanent substratum of what we think of as the "western" mind. Any "new" spirituality that hopes to unite reason and the mysterious non-rational aspects of our nature will have to base itself on the indispensable gifts that the Indians have already, and generously, given.