Books to Read
closed book “The true University of these days is a Collection of Books.”
— Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), The Hero as a Man of Letters
open book
Spirit Books: That Thou Art: the spirit— boundless & timeless...
Marsilio Ficino, 
Meditations on the Soul: Selected Letters of Marsilio Ficino Marsilio Ficino, Meditations on the Soul: Selected Letters of Marsilio Ficino (1997), Inner Traditions, ISBN: 0892816589— “all the time that we are pursuing merely one thing after another, we are running from the One itself, which is everything. But he who simply pursues the One itself, in that One soon attains everything.”— wisdom from Letter 65 of Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499), founder of the Platonic Academy of Florence. Ficino's translation of Plato from Greek to Latin initiated the Italian Renaissance. Michelangelo, Raphael, Spenser, Milton, and the Medici family were all influenced by Ficino's Neoplatonic philosophy. Ficino was utterly fearless in expressing what he knew to be true. His letters mixes philosophy and humor, compassion and advice, and offers a profound glimpse into the soul of the Renaissance. This book divides Ficino's Letters into topics: truth and virtue; human nature; the soul; music, harmony, & divine frenzy; fortune, fate and happiness; divine providence and the Good; love, friendship & marriage; worldly things & civic duty. These timeless letters will be valuable to spiritual seekers, lovers of truth, friends of philosophy, and anyone interested in the great drama of human life. 5 stars
Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life (1994), HarperPerennial Library, ISBN: 0060922249— “Care of the soul requires craft (techne)— skill, attention, and art. To live with a high degree of artfulness means to attend to the small things that keep the soul engaged in whatever we are doing, and it is the very heart of soul-making” writes Thomas Moore in chapter 13 “The Sacred Arts of Life” of Care of the Soul. Moore, an internationally renowned theologian and former Catholic monk, offers a philosophy for living that involves accepting our humanity rather than struggling to transcend it. By nurturing the soul in everyday life, Moore shows how to cultivate dignity, peace, and depth of character. For example, in addressing the importance of daily rituals he writes, “Ritual maintains the world's holiness. As in a dream a small object may assume significance, so in a life that is animated by ritual there are no insignificant things.” This is the eloquence that helped reintroduce the sacred into everyday language and contemporary values. Over 46 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, it's one of the best primers for soul-work ever written. Sam Keen described it as “a modest and marvellous book about the life of the spirit.” Avg. Review (20): 3.5 stars
Elizabeth Haich, Initiation Elizabeth Haich, Initiation (Reprint Edition 1994), Seed Center, ISBN: 091610804X
Haich's Initiation is one of those extraordinary books that transcend all categories, and almost defy description. It is an autobiographical novel about a woman, with its full measure of events and experiences, but its real concern is mystic truth, more especially, the occult teaching of the priesthood in ancient Egypt. The author, an authority on yoga and the tarot, shares her insights on the subtle workings of life, the law of Karma and reincarnation, and the esoteric doctrine that is passed from masters to students. This book can be enjoyed on many levels, as a novel, as a reconstruction of another era, and above all as a liberating experience. To read this book is to share, in some degree, the initiation. My favorite chapter is “The Young Priest Appears” where the author learns the difference between the black and white magicians, and the instant experience of the Higher Self. There are also insights on the Platonic solids, the esoteric meaning of the Zodiac, beautiful photos on the Horus Falcon, Dancing Shivas, and Four Faces of Brahma at Angkor-Wat, Cambodia. This book takes you on a breathtaking spiritual journey. Avg. Review (7): 5stars
Joseph E. Brown, 
The Sacred Pipe: Black Elk's Account of the Seven Rites of the Oglala Sioux Joseph E. Brown (Editor), The Sacred Pipe: Black Elk's Account of the Seven Rites of the Oglala Sioux (Reprint Edition 1989), Univ of Oklahoma Press, ISBN: 0806121246— Here is a unique account of the ancient religion of the Sioux Indians. Black Elk was the only qualified priest alive when he gave the material in this book of Joseph Epes Brown during the latter's stay at Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Beginning with White Buffalo Cow Woman's first visit to the Sioux to give them the sacred pipe, he tells of the seven rites, which were disclosed to the Sioux through visions. The reader is led through the sun dance, sweat lodge purification rite, “keeping of the soul,” and other ceremonies. We learn how the Sioux have come to terms with God, nature, and their fellow men. Shortly before his death in August 1950, Black Elk said: “It is my prayer that through our sacred pipe, and through this book in which I shall explain what our pipe really is, peace may come to those peoples who can understand... then they will realize that we Indians know the One wise God, and that we pray to Him continually.” Avg. Review (1): 4stars
Ken Wilber, 
The Marriage of Sense and Soul: Integrating Science and Religion Ken Wilber, The Marriage of Sense and Soul: Integrating Science and Religion (1999), Broadway Books, ISBN: 0767903439— Science has given us the methods for discovering truth, while religion remains the single greatest force for generating meaning. Yet the two are seen as mutually exclusive, with wrenching consequences for humanity. In Marriage of Sense and Soul, the author brilliantly articulates how we might allow for their reconciliation and union, on terms that will be acceptable to both camps. Wilber is widely acclaimed as the foremost thinker in integrating Western psychology & Eastern spiritual traditions. His many books have reached across disciplines and synthesized religious teachings, psychology, physics, mysticism, sociology, and anthropology. This book is his most accessible work yet, aimed at guiding a general audience to the mutual accord between the spiritual, subjective world of ancient wisdom and the objective, empirical world of modern knowledge. Wilber systematically reviews previous attempts at integration, explaining why romantic, idealistic, and postmodern theories failed. And he demonstrates how science is compatible with certain deep features common to all of the world's major religious traditions. In pointing the way to a union between truth and meaning, Wilber has created an elegant and accessible book that is breathtaking in its scope. Avg. Review (13): 4 stars
Phil Cousineau, Art of Pilgrimage: Seeker's Guide to Making Travel Sacred Phil Cousineau, Art of Pilgrimage: The Seeker's Guide to Making Travel Sacred (1998), Conari Press, ISBN: 157324080X— With the roads to our chosen destinations more crowded than ever and bookstore shelves groaning under the weight of guidebooks that cover everything from ballparks to celebrity homes, we are forced to look longer and harder and yet see less and less. Instead of more gimmicks, gadgets, and packages, we need to reimagine the way we travel. "We need to believe," writes Phil Cousineau, "that there is something sacred waiting to be discovered in virtually every journey." With over 70 illustrations, The Art of Pilgrimage is for the traveler who longs for something more than diversion and escape, for those searching for a path with heart. For millennia, pilgirmage— a transformative journey to a sacred center— has summoned the soulful traveler. And every journey can be sacred, soulful, and transformative if it is undertaken with a desire for spiritual risk and renewal. Whether you are traveling to Mecca or Memphis, Stonehenge or a sports hall of fame, the journey becomes meaningful— a pilgrimage— when the traveler's heart and imagination are open to experiencing the sacred. Avg. Review (5): 5 stars
Jennifer Cobb, Cybergrace: Search for God in the Digital World Jennifer Cobb, Cybergrace: Search for God in the Digital World (1998), Crown Publishers, ISBN: 0517706792— This book was born of the author's attempt to find spiritual wholeness in a computational world. Cobb has worked as a communications consultant for the high-tech industry for 15 years. Her travels brought her to ancient Celtic sites in England and France, which led to more spiritual awareness of the sacred dimension of the universe. She felt a deep split living intellectually in the high-tech world and spiritually in the world of sacred wisdom. Then it dawned on her that these two diverse worlds must be connected in some way. She went to divinity school and received a degree from Union Theological Seminary. This book documents her quest in linking technology with spirituality and finding the divine in the information age. Cobb offers paradoxical evidence that machines may be surprising conduits to a deeper spirituality in this thought-provoking, affirmative book. There are five pages of recent bibliography for those who wish to explore further, and five evocative guides in the creative use of cyberspace. Avg. Review (1): 4 stars

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