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
Wisdom Books: priceless treasures to awaken the mind...
Richard Wilhelm & C.F. Baynes, I Ching: Book of Changes Richard Wilhelm & C.F. Baynes (translators), I Ching: Book of Changes, (1992), Princeton Univ. Press, ISBN: 069109750X— There are 234 books on the I Chingat, but the most definitive work is the Wilhelm & Baynes translation. In his last letter, Leibniz wrote to Czar Peter the Great that this ancient Chinese wisdom book with its hexagrams composed of yin & yang lines inspired him to invent a new math— the binary numbers of 0 & 1, which form the basis of computer technology. The I Ching is more than a book of divination, one learns from it the universal laws of nature and live a rich and joyful spiritual life. Avg. Review (11): 5 stars Two wonderful newer translations are also worthwhile to study:
Alfred Huang (tr.), Complete I Ching(1998), Inner Traditions, ISBN: 0892816562 Reviews (5): 5 stars
Rudolf Ritsema (translator), I Ching: The Classic Chinese Oracle of Change with Concordance(1992), Element, ISBN: 1852305363 Avg. Review (3): 5 stars
Mascaro, Upanishads Juan Mascaro (translator), The Upanishads(1965), Viking Press; ISBN: 0140441638
The Sanskrit word Upanishadsmeans “to sit under”—inferring that disciples are sitting at the feet of a sage learning about spiritual wisdom. This selection of twelve Upanishads written between 800-400 B.C., has an illuminating introduction by Juan Mascaro, whose translation is pure poetry. This classic reveals the paradoxical variety and unity, the great questions and simple answers, the spiritual wisdom and romantic imagination of these ‘Himalayas of the Soul’. In a letter to Mascaro, the Nobel Poet Laureate, Tagore wrote: “Your translation has caught from those great words the inner voice that goes beyond the boundaries of words.” One of my favorite quotes is from Isa Upanishad:“Om. O my soul, remember past strivings, remember!” This invocation reminds us that we've been here before, and if we tap into our inner self with its vast storehouse of memories, we'll know our Cosmic Self that's infinite and eternal. Avg. Review (4): 5 stars.
Juan Mascaro (tr.), Bhagavad Gita(1983), Viking Press, ISBN: 0140441212 Avg. Review (2):5 stars
Lau, Analects of Confucis Confucius, The Analects(1979), D. C. Lau (translator), Penguin USA, ISBN: 0140443487
While Confucius failed in his lifetime to rescue a crumbling civilization with his teachings, he was to become the most influential sage in human history. His thought, still remarkably current and even innovative after 2500 years, survives here in The Analects,a collection of brief aphoristic sayings that has had a deeper impact on more people's lives over a longer period of time than any other book in human history. The Analectsis made up of dialogues, stories, and anecdotes, always aphoristic and full of poetic turns of thought. And it is this literary dimension that makes Confucius so engaging and compelling as he builds his majestic vision of human community as an integral part of a self-generating and harmonious cosmos. Avg. Review (1): 5 stars.
D. C. Lau (tr.), Mencius(1970), Viking Press, ISBN: 0140442286 5 stars
Paul Brunton, Notebooks of Paul Brunton: Perspectives Paul Brunton, Notebooks of Paul Brunton: Perspectives(1996), Larson, ISBN: 0943914124— Survey of the 16 volumes of Paul Brunton's Notebooks, covering all aspects of the spiritual quest: meditation, the body, emotions and ethics, intellect, ego, death and rebirth, healing, karma, creativity, art, psychic experience, prayer, cosmology, philosophy, the Overself, World Mind, Enlightened Mind, Divine Mind, the Absolute, and more. Dr. Kenneth Ring wrote: “The notebooks of Paul Brunton represent the acme of wisdom on the nature of human spirituality. Every serious student of this subject will profit enormously by becoming acquainted with Brunton's seminal work.” Yoga Journalwrote: “The quality of Perspectivesis that of a long, refreshing conversation with a person of rare intelligence... thoroughly alive, and whole in the most significant, holy sense of the word.” If you wish for wisdom, you'll taste it in this book. Avg. Review (2): 5 stars.
Paul Brunton, Discover Yourself(1983), Samuel Weiser, ISBN: 0877285926
Paul Brunton, Quest of the Overself(1979), Samuel Weiser, ISBN: 0877285942
James M. Robinson, The Nag Hammadi Library James M. Robinson (Editor), The Nag Hammadi Library(1990), HarperSan Francisco, ISBN: 0060669357— His disciples said to him, “When will the kingdom come?” Jesus siad, “It will not come by waiting for it. It will not be a matter of saying ‘here it is’ or ‘there it is.’ Rather, the kingdom of the father is spread out upon the earth, and men do not see it.” This is a favorite quote of Joseph Campbell from The Gospel of Thomaswhich he cited often during the PBS interview with Bill Moyers on “The Power of Myth.” You'll find the original translation in Nag Hammadi Library,from a Greek papyrus dating to 200 A.D. Unearthed in 1945 near the town of Nag Hammadi in Upper Egypt, these gnostic texts literally begin where the Dead Sea Scrolls end. Their discovery brings to light a long-hidden well of new information, sources, and insights into early Judaism and the roots of Christianity. Robinson's updated introduction reflects ten years of additional research on the original 1978 edition. A new afterword by Richard Smith discusses the modern relevance of Gnosticism, from Voltaire and Blake through Melville and Yeats to Jack Kerouac and science fiction writer Philip K. Dick. Avg. Review (6): 5 stars.
Stephen Mitchell, 
The Essence of Wisdom: Words from the Masters to Illuminate the Spiritual Path Stephen Mitchell (Editor), The Essence of Wisdom: Words from the Masters to Illuminate the Spiritual Path(1998), Broadway Books, ISBN: 0767903056— Heraclitus said “The way up and the way down are one and the same.” Zen Master Dogen said “The place is here; the way leads everywhere.” Saint Catherine of Siena realized “All the way to heaven is heaven.” You'll find these simple and yet potent messages in Stephen Mitchell's Essence of Wisdom— one hundred illuminating sayings from the great Eastern and Western literary and spiritual traditions. Ranging in length from one sentence to a dozen lines, the brief passages herein convey the life-transforming insights of the Buddha, Lao Tzu, Heraclitus, the Zen and Sufi masters, Spinoza, Blake, Emerson, Rilke, and other sages. The book is arranged to follow the course of the inner life from its beginning to the fullest embodiment of wisdom. Each quotation stands alone on the page. Each is a meditation in itself, meant not only to be read, but to be absorbed and reflected upon. This remarkable book gathers the words of the world's deepest thinkers and spiritual teachers, and speaks to us in the clear voice of enlightenment. Avg. Review (2): 4.5 stars.

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