I love books. Madly, passionately. I even love the bad ones because they help me sharpen my mind. But there are the very precious people-notions-theories that refined my thinking and softened my heart, and actually influenced how I did life… and work… and love.
This is part 1 in a 3 part series.
Upcoming this week: books for creating + entrepreneuring, and books for relating.
Total Freedom: The Essential Krishnamurti, by Jaluddin Krishnamurti
“Discipline is a tool that numbs the mind.” When I read this, I felt like there was a ray of light cracking through my living room. This singular thought changed the way I approached my entire life.
Unfolding Now: Realizing Your True Nature through the Practice of Presence, by A.H. Almaas
“We want to learn how we can be here in as real a way as possible: How can I be completely here and completely myself, or as completely as possible? How can my atoms, which are scattered, vibrating, and oscillating in some kind of frenzy, slow down, collect, and settle here as what I am?”
Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living, by Pema Chodron
“Whether it’s connecting with the genuine heart of sadness and the messy are of our lives, or connecting with vision and expansion and openness, what’s real is all included in in well-being; it’s all included in joy. Joy is not about pleasure as opposed to pain or cheerfulness as opposed to sadness. Joy includes everything.” I’ve given away at least twenty copies of this book.
The Wisdom of No Escape And The Path of Loving-Kindness, by Pema Chodron
“Our life’s work is to use what we’ve been given to wake up.”
The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling, by James Hillman
“To change how we see things takes falling in love. Then the same becomes altogether different. Like love, a shift of sight can be redemptive–not in the religious sense of saving the soul from heaven, but in a more pragmatic sense. As at a redemption center, you get something back for what you had misperceived as merely worthless. The noisome symptoms of every day can be revalued and their usefulness reclaimed.”
A Brief History of Everything, by Ken Wilber. I after I read the theory of Holons, I was so aroused that I was determined to marry Ken.
“A holon is a system (or phenomenon) which is an evolving self-organizing dissipative structure, composed of other holons, whose structures exist at a balance point between chaos and order. It is maintained by the throughput of matter-energy and information-entropy connected to other holons and is simultaneously a whole in and itself at the same time being nested within another holon and so is a part of something much larger than itself… On a non-physical level, words, ideas, sounds, emotions—everything that can be identified—is simultaneously part of something, and can be viewed as having parts of its own.”
That’s a fancy way of saying we are each part of the whole.
Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything, by Geneen Roth
“Freedom from obsession is not about something you do; it’s about knowing who you are. It’s about recognizing what sustains you and what exhausts you.” BTW, you don’t need to be a woman, or have food issues, or believe in God to be illuminated by this book.
Soul Without Shame: A Guide To Liberating Yourself From The Judge Within, by Byron Brown
“What is needed is to stop the self-attacks and simply be with the emptiness, allowing it to become the spaciousness of the soul’s true nature and the openness in which all needed essential qualities can arise.” Liberating yourself from the inner critic, based on A.H. Almaas’ Diamond Approach.
Ask and It Is Given: Learning To Manifest Your Desires, by Abraham-Hicks
The Emotional Guidance Scale is my favourite kind of new agey brilliance. Cosmic logic.