Author: Mollie Player

Mollie Player is a freelance writer living in Seattle, Washington. She is the author of "You're Getting Closer: One Year of Finding God and a Few Good Friends," "Happiness is the Truth: A Spiritual Manifesto," "What I Learned From Jane" and more.

Author Interview: Do You Agree that Life is a Game?

Thanks to a hunch and a great title, I purchased Sex, Drugs and Meditation on Amazon–and liked it even more than I expected I would. So I wrote the author, Mary-Lou Stephens, to ask if I could interview her for this site and for an upcoming book of mine. She kindly agreed. (And she was even willing to challenge my beliefs below, which I loved!)

Mollie: Right now I’m working on a book about examining and questioning deeply-held beliefs. The top spiritual beliefs I’ve found within myself so far, which are explained further in the book, are: spirituality is good; life is a game; there are no rules; people are holy; absolutes are fine, but certainty is not; happiness is the truth; God is simply reality–nothing more; and acceptance is “where it’s at.” What do you think? Agree or no?

Mary-Lou:

1.    Spirituality is good.

To quote Shakespeare, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” I don’t think spiritual people are better than non-spiritual people or vice versa. Many people live good, happy and useful lives without any sense of spirituality.

2.    Life is a game.

Life is what it is. It’s what we make of it. We get to chose what it is through how we think about it. The word “game” to me is too loaded with meaning. It’s possible to cheat when playing a game, and there are winners and losers. Also, to me, a game is too impersonal, too superficial. Life is an ever-unfolding wonder. Sometimes games are involved. I love playing Scrabble, but life as a game? No, that doesn’t resonate for me.

3.    There are no rules.

I believe in boundaries, good healthy demarcations, but are these rules? No. I believe in working out what makes life better for me and those around me and living within that paradigm. As I mentioned before, when I was growing up in a Christian household I thought I had to obey all the rules to be worthy of love, and there were a lot of rules. I didn’t feel loved, no matter what I did. In 12-step programs I discovered that working the steps made my life a whole lot better so I was happy to keep working them again and again. Working those steps made my life work. With meditation I have found that life flows a lot easier. I don’t work the steps anymore. I have no schedule of spirituality I have to adhere to. I just live.

4.    People are holy.

I do believe that God is in everyone. We are all part of the One. But once again, “holy” is a loaded word so I’m going to disagree with this one, too!

5.    Absolutes are fine. Certainty is not.

There are no certainties, no absolutes. Everything changes, all the time. It’s the nature of the Universe.

6.    We have power.

Yes, we have power. We have the power of choice. We can choose what we say, how we respond, how we spend our time, how we treat others. This is power.

7.    Happiness is the truth.

Totally disagree with this one. Happiness is a fleeting feeling. The truth is everlasting.

8.    God is reality—nothing more.

God is a paradox, everywhere and nowhere, everything and nothing, immeasurable and infinite. God may not even exist. But there is a strong sense within me that s/he does.

9.    Acceptance. It’s where it’s at.

Yep! I love acceptance. it gives me so much more space and time to do the things I love to do. I’ve stopped fighting. It was all useless anyway. In the end, even the victories I had mean nothing. Acceptance brings me joy.

To learn more about Stephens and her work, see:

Mary-Lou Stephens’ Website and Blog

Best Spirituality Book for Depression: “Sex, Drugs and Meditation” by Mary-Lou Stephens

Best Spirituality Book for Depression: “How To Stay Married” by Mary-Lou Stephens

Sex, Drugs and Meditation on Amazon

Sex, Drugs and Meditation on Goodreads

How To Stay Married on Amazon

How To Stay Married on Goodreads

***

Want to learn how to clean your house twice as well in half the time? 

Get The Naked House: Five Principles for a More Peaceful Home on Amazon.

***

More mystical reading choices:

On a scale of 1-10, how effective is positive thinking against depression?

How do you stay in touch with the Divine throughout the day?

How do you love what is when you don’t even like it?

How do you love God, when there’s no face to God?

Is God really in everything? Even poopy diapers?

Is everything really just a projection of ourselves? Even the mean stuff people do?

Best Meditation Books for Overcoming Depression

Best Near Death Experience Books for Overcoming Depression

Best Channeled Books for Overcoming Depression

Best Law of Attraction Books for Overcoming Depression

Best Scientific Spiritual Books for Overcoming Depression

Best Spiritual Memoirs for Overcoming Depression

Best Other/Inspirational New Age Books for Overcoming Depression

Best Free New Age Ebooks for Overcoming Depression

Best of the Best: My Favorite Spiritual Books for Overcoming Depression

150 Law of Attraction Success Stories

 

 

Author Interview: How Do You Make Acceptance a Daily Spiritual Practice?

Thanks to a hunch and a great title, I purchased Sex, Drugs and Meditation on Amazon–and liked it even more than I expected I would. So I wrote the author, Mary-Lou Stephens, to ask if I could interview her for this site and for an upcoming book of mine. She kindly agreed.

Mollie: Do you practice acceptance of what is in a conscious way with the goal of greater inner peace?

Mary-Lou: I practice acceptance every day. It gets easier as I get older, or perhaps I’ve just had more practice. I don’t practice acceptance with any goal in mind. I practice it because it’s easier than any alternative I’ve found … and I’ve tried quite a few. Ranting and railing, pushing the river, complaining, playing the victim, playing the star, being a martyr … none of these proved very successful. Acceptance is a much more peaceful way to be. It’s not a goal, it just is.

Mollie: When and how did you begin this practice? How has it affected your life?

Mary-Lou: I first learned about acceptance in 12-step programs. The Serenity Prayer was a revelation to me. I always thought it was my job to change other people, places and things. When I discovered the only thing I could change was myself I felt as though a huge weight had been lifted from me. I didn’t have to be responsible for all that stuff I thought I was responsible for; in fact, I couldn’t be responsible for it and didn’t have any business trying to be. I just let it all go. This gave me incredible freedom. As my meditation practice grew and became stronger so did my ability to be a witness to what was going on around me without having to buy into it. Being able to witness my own thoughts was an amazing breakthrough. I am not my thoughts … which is just as well because they’re crazy!

Mollie: Can you offer any advice to people who would like to learn how to be more accepting of hardship and to use it to their benefit?

Mary-Lou: Don’t blame yourself. Don’t blame your karma. Things just happen. Most times it has nothing to do with you. It’s horrible and it’s hard but it’s not personal. God, the Universe or karma are not out to get you. Learn the lesson and move on. Also, don’t expect to get over hurts or grief quickly. You won’t. And some things will be with you for the rest of your life. Once I learnt to accept that, I was a lot more peaceful. I used to think I had to rise above the bad, forgive everything and everyone, not have any negative thoughts, blah, blah, blah. Now I know I’m not perfect and I don’t expect to be. Some feelings stick with us for a reason–as a warning or as a blessing. Many situations I’ve been through have helped me to relate to others better. They’ve also been beneficial when offering a shoulder or an ear.

To learn more about Stephens and her work, see:

Mary-Lou Stephens’ Website and Blog

Best Spirituality Book for Depression: “Sex, Drugs and Meditation” by Mary-Lou Stephens

Best Spirituality Book for Depression: “How To Stay Married” by Mary-Lou Stephens

Sex, Drugs and Meditation on Amazon

Sex, Drugs and Meditation on Goodreads

How To Stay Married on Amazon

How To Stay Married on Goodreads

***

Want to learn how to clean your house twice as well in half the time? 

Get The Naked House: Five Principles for a More Peaceful Home on Amazon.

***

More mystical reading choices:

On a scale of 1-10, how effective is positive thinking against depression?

How do you stay in touch with the Divine throughout the day?

How do you love what is when you don’t even like it?

How do you love God, when there’s no face to God?

Is God really in everything? Even poopy diapers?

Is everything really just a projection of ourselves? Even the mean stuff people do?

Best Meditation Books for Overcoming Depression

Best Near Death Experience Books for Overcoming Depression

Best Channeled Books for Overcoming Depression

Best Law of Attraction Books for Overcoming Depression

Best Scientific Spiritual Books for Overcoming Depression

Best Reincarnation Books for Overcoming Depression

Best Spiritual Memoirs for Overcoming Depression

Best Other/Inspirational New Age Books for Overcoming Depression

Best Free New Age Ebooks for Overcoming Depression

Best of the Best: My Favorite Spiritual Books for Overcoming Depression

150 Law of Attraction Success Stories

Author Interview: Does Questioning Your Thoughts Lead to Greater Inner Peace?

Thanks to a hunch and a great title, I purchased Sex, Drugs and Meditation on Amazon–and liked it even more than I expected I would. So I wrote the author, Mary-Lou Stephens, to ask if I could interview her for this site and for an upcoming book of mine. She kindly agreed.

Mollie: Do you practice questioning your thoughts in a conscious way with the goal of greater inner peace? When and how did you begin this practice? Does it work?

Mary-Lou: Yes. This is what I refer to as “the witness.” I observe my thoughts and decide whether to engage with them or not. This is a benefit of meditation. In meditation I don’t try to stop my thoughts–impossible! Instead, I watch them as they do their crazy dance. The more I observe my thoughts, the more I realise how funny they are. And to think they used to rule my world. No wonder I was so unhappy. I believed what I was thinking was true when most of it is just reaction and craving. Life is a lot more peaceful now and although peace and happiness might have been my goal when I first started meditating I don’t think about goals at all anymore. So many goals are counter-productive.

Mollie: Can you share the specific techniques that you prefer (i.e., journaling negative and positive thoughts, meditation, etc.)?

Mary-Lou: I used to use specific techniques–journaling, meditating at a set time for a set amount of time–but now acceptance, witnessing my thoughts and meditation are all part of my day. I don’t put them in specific time slots. It’s more like breathing. It just is without me having to do anything.

Mollie: What are a few of your foundational spiritual beliefs? If you are non-spiritual, what are a few of your foundational life philosophies?

Mary-Lou: When I was growing up my parents were heavily involved with the Charismatic Christian movement–lots of speaking in tongues and prophesying, healing and excitement. As a child I was very much wrapped up in that world … a world where God was love but also any negative feelings or misgivings were pushed away and ignored. If you felt bad clearly you weren’t praying hard enough. As a teenager I felt bad all the time and so became increasingly disenchanted with those that were reaching to heaven but ignoring what was going on at their feet.

In 12-step programs I was told I could believe in a God of my own understanding. God could be a colour, or the sun or the wind, anything I wanted, just as long as God was a power greater than myself. This was liberating. Slowly, and with a few missteps, I developed a relationship with a God of my own understanding, one that had nothing to do with religion or other people’s beliefs. This God was a God I could rely on, lean on, talk to, be reassured by. I didn’t have to be good for this God to love me, I didn’t have to penance or chant the right prayers, or go to church. This God loved me just as I was, no matter what I did. I’d always tried to be a good girl so that God would love me. In 12-step programs I came to the realisation that God would love me no matter what I did but living a life of good thoughts and actions helped me love and live with myself.

These days, God just is. God is in everything, everywhere, a benign, loving presence. This gives me a sense of peace.

To learn more about Stephens and her work, see:

Mary-Lou Stephens’ Website and Blog

Best Spirituality Book for Depression: “Sex, Drugs and Meditation” by Mary-Lou Stephens

Best Spirituality Book for Depression: “How To Stay Married” by Mary-Lou Stephens

Sex, Drugs and Meditation on Amazon

Sex, Drugs and Meditation on Goodreads

How To Stay Married on Amazon

How To Stay Married on Goodreads

***

Want to learn how to clean your house twice as well in half the time? 

Get The Naked House: Five Principles for a More Peaceful Home on Amazon.

***

More mystical reading choices:

On a scale of 1-10, how effective is positive thinking against depression?

How do you stay in touch with the Divine throughout the day?

How do you love what is when you don’t even like it?

How do you love God, when there’s no face to God?

Is God really in everything? Even poopy diapers?

Is everything really just a projection of ourselves? Even the mean stuff people do?

Best Meditation Books for Overcoming Depression

Best Near Death Experience Books for Overcoming Depression

Best Channeled Books for Overcoming Depression

Best Law of Attraction Books for Overcoming Depression

Best Scientific Spiritual Books for Overcoming Depression

Best Reincarnation Books for Overcoming Depression

Best Spiritual Memoirs for Overcoming Depression

Best Other/Inspirational New Age Books for Overcoming Depression

Best Free New Age Ebooks for Overcoming Depression

Best of the Best: My Favorite Spiritual Books for Overcoming Depression

150 Law of Attraction Success Stories

Law of Attraction Success Story: “I Found My Calling in Radio”

Thanks to a hunch and a great title, I purchased Sex, Drugs and Meditation on Amazon–and liked it even more than I expected I would. So I wrote the author, Mary-Lou Stephens, to ask if I could share a true law of attraction success story from the book on this site. She kindly agreed.

Here is the story of how Mary-Lou got started in her long, fulfilling radio career after years of playing in bands. It begins when she runs into an acquaintance, Chris, just after her band broke up.

“I knew Chris, one of the announcers, would be [at the event]. He’d interviewed me about my music a few times and occasionally played my songs on his program. We had formed a friendship.

“He was pleased to see me, even in the circumstances, and suggested we meet up for lunch while I was in town. Later that week we ate and talked about life and death. I poured my heart out about the band breaking up. I told Chris how it had left me devastated and unsure of what to do next. Even though . . . my troubles seemed trivial, it still hurt . . .

“When I finished he paused, looked at me and uttered one life-changing sentence. ‘Mary-Lou, you want to be in radio.’

“I knew he was right. It was a pure light bulb moment. I could feel the glow above my head.

“‘I do.’ It was astounding. ‘But I didn’t know that until right now. How did you know?’

“‘Because I know radio and I know you. It’s a perfect match.’

“It was true. I came alive when I was being interviewed in a radio studio. I loved the sense of performance. I’d performed all my life in one form or another. Radio condensed performance down to one person, one microphone, one listener. A pure connection. I’d almost forgotten that I had presented a show on community radio in Hobart when I was in my early twenties. It was supposed to be an arts show. I interviewed musicians and bands. My natural curiosity was given a legitimate outlet. But when I left Hobart for acting school in Melbourne I never gave radio another thought.

“Until now.

“I stayed in Hobart for a few more days and caught up with a friend. She suggested we check out the short films being shown at the AFTRS graduate screenings. AFTRS was the most prestigious film and TV school in Australia and she was keen to see what the new young filmmakers were doing. During the intermission the dean talked about the school.

“‘The Australian Film, Television and Radio School . . .’ he began. And that’s when I stopped listening. Radio school? It was always called the Film and TV School. I knew people who had studied there. I’d even been to the campus in Sydney, and no one ever mentioned a radio component. Until that night I’d never realised the R in AFTRS stood for radio.

“This was too close to be coincidence, only days after Chris had told me I should be in radio, this was a sign.

. . .

“Within a week of arriving back in Sydney I bumped into Simon. He and I moved in the same circle of musicians and artists.

“‘I’ve been trying to track you down,’ he said. ‘I’m now the program director for a new aspirant public radio station.’

“‘What’s that?’ I heard the word radio. The rest was unfamiliar.

“‘We don’t have a full licence yet but we’re working towards it. At the moment we broadcast in two to four week blocks whenever we’re given a frequency. I was hoping you’d present a show for us. Are you interested?’

‘”‘You want me to do a radio show?’

“‘I think you’d be great. What do you say?’

“Within a week of discovering my true vocation I was being offered a gig on air. Another sign. A miracle! I said yes.”

Mary-Lou Stephens

For more information on this law of attraction author and story, see:

Sex, Drugs and Meditation on Amazon

Sex, Drugs and Meditation on Goodreads

Mary-Lou Stephens’ Website and Blog

Best Free Spirituality Book for Depression: “The Work of Byron Katie: An Introduction” by Byron Katie

Best Spirituality Book for Depression: The Work of Byron Katie: An Introduction by Byron Katie

I first read this free ebook introduction to Byron Katie maybe a year ago. I had heard her ideas were awesome, and I knew one day I would get around to examining my painful beliefs as a way to deal with my depression. However, The Work, as she calls her process, seemed too much like . . . well, work.

Frankly, I wasn’t desperate enough to try it.

And so, even as I recommend this short introduction to this amazing process more highly than possibly any other, I do so with one caveat: This book really is just an introduction. It gives you the very basics of her method for overcoming and even eradicating your stressful, neurotic thoughts, but it does not scratch the surface of the power of the process. For that, read any of her other books.

I particularly like Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life and I Need Your Love – Is That True?.

The power of this process isn’t immediately apparent in its overview; it’s the examples that really convince you to try it.

Can this book help me overcome depression?

Yes.

Does it address depression specifically? What does it say that can help?

No, and yes. The Work is for all situations, all problems.

Have you tried using the spiritual practices in this book to deal with your depression? Did they work?

My favorite question. Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes. I am overjoyed to share that The Work has helped me overcome depression as well as many other stressful conditions and thoughts. I’ve done The Work on the thought “I am depressed” as well as a whole bunch of other negative thoughts and reversed them, or partially reversed them, in my mind.

To what degree do you think this book can help me overcome depression?

Depression effectiveness rating: 11 on a scale of 1-10

Where can I find it?

Free download of The Work of Byron Katie: An Introduction

Official Website of Byron Katie

Byron Katie’s blog

Byron Katie on YouTube

Byron Katie on Wikipedia

The Work of Byron Katie on Wikipedia

Byron Katie on Twitter

Byron Katie on Facebook

The Work of Byron Katie on Facebook

Byron Katie online store

Byron Katie’s Amazon author page

Byron Katie quotes on WikiQuote

***

You’re not an overeater. You mostly keep it healthy. Maybe it’s time to give dieting a chance.

Get The Emergency Diet: The Somewhat Hard, Very Controversial, Totally Unheard Of and Fastest Possible Way to Lose Weight on Amazon. 

***

More mystical reading choices:

Best Meditation Books

Best Near Death Experience Books

Best Channelled Books

Best Law of Attraction Books

Best Scientific Spiritual Books

Best Reincarnation Books

Best Spiritual Memoirs

Best New Age Children’s Books

Best Other/Inspirational New Age Books

Free Ebooks for Mystics

Best of the Best: My All-Time Favorite Books for Mystics

150 Law of Attraction Success Stories

Best Spiritual/Inspirational Books for Overcoming Depression

If you’re looking for a catch-all descriptor in the spirituality sector, “inspirational” is a good choice. This is the stuff that is not easily labelled–the stuff that bookstores don’t quite know what to do with. Of course, there are plenty more books that could fit into this category. However, if there’s a list on my site that fits the book better, I chose to leave it off this list.

I chose the books in the first section because they inspired me deeply, changed me for the better, and helped me find greater inner peace. The second section features many of the other general inspirational books I’ve come across but may not have read yet or may not be particularly helpful for depression.

Click on any title in the first section for my “depression effectiveness rating,” a book description and more. The titles in the second section lead to relevant book and author links.

By the way, don’t let the title fool you: This is one of my favorite book categories. These books are a bit different in a good way.

Best Spiritual/Inspirational Books for Overcoming Depression:

Byron Katie:

The Work of Byron Katie: An Introduction, Byron Katie
Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life, Byron Katie and Stephen Mitchell
I Need Your Love – Is That True?: How to Stop Seeking Love, Approval, and Appreciation and Start Finding Them, Byron Katie and Michael Katz
A Thousand Names for Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are, Byron Katie and Stephen Mitchell
Your Inner Awakening: The Work of Byron Katie: Four Questions That Will Transform Your Life, Byron Katie
Question Your Thinking, Change The World: Quotations from Byron Katie, Byron Katie
Who Would You Be Without Your Story?: Dialogues with Byron Katie, Byron Katie
Friendly Universe: Sayings to Inspire and Challenge You, Byron Katie
The Truth Behind Addiction, Byron Katie
On Work and Money, Byron Katie and Stephen Mitchell
Abuse: What Forgiveness Really Looks Like, Byron Katie
Loving What Is: 52 Meditations on Reality, Byron Katie
Parents Meet Their Children Through The Work, Byron Katie
Inner Work: A Journal for Self-discovery Through The Work of Byron Katie, Byron Katie

Other Authors:

What I Know for Sure, Oprah Winfrey
The Shack, William Young
Burn, Baby, Burn, Evan Griffith
The Cross and the Switchblade, David Wilkerson
The Wisdom of the Desert, Thomas Merton
The Practice of the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence

Other Recommended Spiritual/Inspirational Books:

Deepak Chopra:

Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, Deepak Chopra
Life After Death: The Burden of Proof, Deepak Chopra
Why Is God Laughing? The Path to Joy and Spiritual Optimism, Deepak Chopra
Brotherhood: Dharma, Destiny, and the American Dream, Deepak Chopra and Sanjiv Chopra
What Are You Hungry For?, Deepak Chopra
God: A Story of Revelation, Deepak Chopra
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes: Harnessing Our Power to Change the World, Deepak Chopra and Gotham Chopra
Super Genes, Deepak Chopra and Rudolph Tanzi
Super Brain, Deepak Chopra and Rudolph Tanzi
War of the Worldviews, Deepak Chopra and Leonard Mlodinow
The Third Jesus, Deepak Chopra
The Soul of Leadership, Deepak Chopra
The Book of Secrets, Deepak Chopra
The Chopra Center Herbal Handbook, Deepak Chopra and David Simon
The Path to Love, Deepak Chopra
The Way of the Wizard, Deepak Chopra
The Return of Merlin, Deepak Chopra
Ageless Body Timeless Mind, Deepak Chopra
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Deepak Chopra
Return of the Rishi: A Doctor’s Story of Spiritual Transformation and Ayurvedic Healing, Deepak Chopra
Perfect Health, Deepak Chopra
Quantum Healing, Deepak Chopra
Creating Health, Deepak Chopra

Neale Donald Walsch:

Conversations with God – Guidebook, Book 1, Nancy Ways
Conversations with God – Guidebook, Book 2,
Anne-Marie Barbier
Conversations with God – Guidebook, Book 3,
Alissa Goefron
The Conversations with God Companion: The Essential Tool for Individual and Group Study, Neale Donald Walsch
Conversations with God for Teens, Neale Donald Walsch
Conversations with God for Teens Guidebook, Neale Donald Walsch
Conversations With God for Parents: Sharing the Messages with Children, Neale Donald Walsch
Meditations from Conversations With God, Neale Donald Walsch
Meditations from Conversations With God: Book 1, Neale Donald Walsch
Meditations from Conversations With God, Book 2: A Personal Journal, Neale Donald Walsch
Questions and Answers on Conversations With God, Neale Donald Walsch
The Wedding Vows from Conversations With God, Neale Donald Walsch and Nancy Fleming-Walsch
Neale Donald Walsch on Relationships, Neale Donald Walsch
Neale Donald Walsch on Holistic Living, Neale Donald Walsch
Neale Donald Walsch on Abundance and Right Livelihood, Neale Donald Walsch
Applications for Living from Conversations With God (compilation of three books; Relationships, Holistic Living, and Abundance and Right Livelihood), Neale Donald Walsch
Bringers of the Light, Neale Donald Walsch
Recreating Your Self, Neale Donald Walsch
Moments of Grace: When God Touches Our Lives Unexpectedly, Neale Donald Walsch
Part of the Change: Your Role As A Spiritual Helper, Neale Donald Walsch
Happier Than God: Turn Ordinary Life into an Extraordinary Experience, Neale Donald Walsch
When Everything Changes, Change Everything: In a Time of Turmoil, a Pathway to Peace, Neale Donald Walsch
The Little Book of Life: A User’s Manual, Neale Donald Walsch
The Mother of Invention: The Legacy of Barbara Marx Hubbard and the Future of YOU, Neale Donald Walsch
When God Steps In, Miracles Happen, Neale Donald Walsch
The Storm Before the Calm, Neale Donald Walsch
What God Wants: A Compelling Answer to Humanity’s Biggest Question, Neale Donald Walsch
The Only Thing That Matters, Neale Donald Walsch
What God Said, Neale Donald Walsch
God’s Message To The World: You’ve Got Me All Wrong, Neale Donald Walsch
Conversations with God: The Making of the Movie, Monty Jones with Neale Donald Walsch
Re-Minder Cards: Conversations With God, Book 1, Neale Donald Walsch

Jane Roberts:

How To Develop Your ESP Power/ The Coming of Seth, Jane Roberts
Adventures in Consciousness: An Introduction to Aspect Psychology, Jane Roberts
Dialogues of the Soul and Mortal Self in Time, Jane Roberts
Psychic Politics: An Aspect Psychology Book, Jane Roberts
The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events, Jane Roberts
The Oversoul Seven Trilogy, Jane Roberts
The God of Jane: A Psychic Manifesto, Jane Roberts
If We Live Again, Or, Public Magic and Private Love, Jane Roberts

Gary Zukav:

The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New PhysicsGary Zukav
The Seat of the Soul, Gary Zukav
Thoughts from the Seat of the Soul, Gary Zukav
The Heart of the Soul: Emotional Awareness, Gary Zukav and Linda Francis
Thoughts from the Heart of the Soul: Meditations for Emotional Awareness, Gary Zukav and Linda Francis
The Mind of the Soul: Responsible Choice, Gary Zukav and Linda Francis
Self-Empowerment Journal: A Companion to The Mind of the Soul: Responsible Choice, Gary Zukav and Linda Francis
Spiritual Partnership, Gary Zukav
Soul to Soul, Gary Zukav
Soul Stories, Gary Zukav

Don Miguel Ruiz:

The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz
The Fifth Agreement: A Practical Guide to Self-Mastery (Toltec Wisdom), Don Miguel Ruiz and Don Jose Ruiz
The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship, Don Miguel Ruiz
The Four Agreements Companion Book: Using The Four Agreements to Master the Dream of Your Life, Don Miguel Ruiz
Prayers: A Communion with Our Creator, Don Miguel Ruiz
Wisdom from the Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz
Wisdom from the Mastery of Love, Don Miguel Ruiz
The Voice of Knowledge: A Practical Guide To Inner Peace, Don Miguel Ruiz
The Toltec Art of Life and Death, Don Miguel Ruiz

Marianne Williamson:

A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a “Course in Miracles,” Marianne Williamson
The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money, and Miracles, Marianne Williamson
Enchanted Love: The Mystical Power of Intimate Relationships, Marianne Williamson

Imagine What America Could Be in the 21st Century: Visions of a Better Future from Leading American Thinkers, Marianne Williamson
Healing the Soul of America: Reclaiming Our Voices as Spiritual Citizens, Marianne Williamson
A Woman’s Worth, Marianne Williamson
Everyday Grace: Having Hope, Finding Forgiveness, And Making Miracles, Marianne Williamson
Illuminata: A Return to Prayer, Marianne Williamson
The Gift of Change, Marianne Williamson

Other Authors:

The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
Personal Development for Smart People, Steve Pavlina
Lazy Man’s Guide to Enlightenment, Thaddeus Golas
The Open Secret, Tony Parsons
Butterflies Are Free to Fly, Stephen Davis
The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, Alan Watts
Keys to the Ultimate Freedom, Lester Levinson
Past the Gate, Esther Teule
God Goes to Work, Tom Zender
The Outlook Beautiful, Lilian Whiting
New Thought: A 21st Century Awakening, Charles Brodie Patterson
Kitchen Table Wisdom, Rachel Naomi Remen
God: The Substance of All Form, Joel Goldsmith
The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values, and Spiritual Growth, Scott Peck
Messages from Water and the Universe, Masaru Emoto
Add More Ing to Your Life: A Hip Guide to Happiness, Gabrielle Bernstein
In Search of the Miraculous,
P. D. Ouspensky
Grace, Gaia, and the End of Days: An Alternative Way for the Advanced Soul,
Stuart Wilde
Live Your Bliss,
Terry Cole-Whittaker
What You Think of Me is None of My Business,
Terry Cole-Whittaker
The Future of Love,
Daphne Rose Kingma
Mystery Teachings From the Living Earth: An Introduction to Spiritual Ecology,
John Mihael Greer
The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible,
Charles Eisenstein
Keeping the Love You Find: A Personal Guide,
Harville Hendrix
Living in the Heart: How to Enter into the Sacred Space within the Heart,
Drunvalo Melchizedek
Adventures of the Soul: Journeys Through the Physical and Spiritual Dimensions,
James Van Praagh
The Sculptor in the Sky,
Teal Scott
The Passion Test: The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purpose,
Janet Attwood and Chris Attwood
The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling,
James Hillman
Living A Course in Miracles: An Essential Guide to the Classic Text,
Jon Mundy PhD
Kinship with All Life,
J. Allen Boone
The Reconnection: Heal Others, Heal Yourself,
Eric Pearl
The Book of Awakening,
Mark Nepo
The Seeker’s Guide,
Elizabeth Lesser
The Untethered Soul,
Michael A. Singer
Tao Te Ching,
Stephen Mitchell
A Monk in the World: Cultivating a Spiritual Life,
Wayne Teasdale

***

You’re not an overeater. You mostly keep it healthy. Maybe it’s time to give dieting a chance.

Get The Emergency Diet: The Somewhat Hard, Very Controversial, Totally Unheard Of and Fastest Possible Way to Lose Weight on Amazon. 

***

More mystical reading choices:

Best Meditation Books

Best Near Death Experience Books

Best Channeled Books

Best Law of Attraction Books

Best Scientific Spiritual Books

Best Spiritual Memoirs

Best Books on Reincarnation

Best Other/Inspirational New Age Books

Best Blogs for Mystics

Best of the Best: My All-Time Favorite Books for Mystics

150 Law of Attraction Success Stories

Best General Nonfiction Books

Image from the law of attraction book list featuring all major law of attraction authors at lawofattractionproject.com

So, it’s a break from this blog’s usual theme of spirituality. But I think today’s post is tangentially related. After all, today’s nonfiction isn’t what it used to be; it’s not just interesting, important information. It changes lives. It allows us to come up with new goals, new ideas about what our lives can encompass–then takes our hands and helps us draw the circles.

Put simply, modern nonfiction is some of the most enjoyable, well-written stuff you can find. (After all, if you want to make money writing about neuroscience, for example, you’d better make it relevant, understandable, and full of fascinating anecdotes, right?)

Following is a curated list of what are, in my humble opinion, the best, most inspiring works of nonfiction in existence. To make the list, books must be:

  • Engaging;
  • Perspective-altering; and
  • Uniquely informative.

For the most part, the books listed here aren’t stuffed with humdrum filler; they’re solid.

Also, they’re books I’ve actually read. Which is why this list is definitely a work in progress; so far, I’ve only listed my top 300 but will update this page regularly and keep a permalink to the list on my site in my table of contents.

It’s such a great time to be a reader, isn’t it?

I invite you to recommend your favorite nonfiction in the comments below.

Best General Nonfiction Categories:

Best Nonfiction Books on History
Best Nonfiction Books on Science
Best Nonfiction Books on Politics and Economics
Best Nonfiction Books on Psychology and Sociology
Best Nonfiction Books on Diet and Health
Best Nonfiction Books on Writing
Best Nonfiction Books on Education
Best Nonfiction Books on Marketing
Best Nonfiction Books on Relationships
Best Nonfiction Books on Parenting
Best Memoirs
Best Textbooks and Encyclopedias
Best How-To Books
Best Nonfiction Classics
Other Best Nonfiction

Best Nonfiction Books on History:

Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C.: A Historical Biography, Peter Green
The Devil’s Triangle, Richard Winer
Treblinka, Jean-Francois Steiner
The War Magician, David Fisher
Is Paris Burning?, Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre
An American Life: The Autobiography, Ronald Reagan
Eight Men and a Duck, Nick Thorpe
A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney, Andy Rooney
Jackie Oh!, Kittie Kelly
Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman, Merle Miller
My Life as an Illustrator, Norman Rockwell
My Life With Elvis, Becky Yancey and Cliff Lindecker
Up and Down with the Rolling Stones, Tony Sanchez
Gandhi: Portrayal of a Friend, E. Stanley Jones
Einstein: The Life and Times, Ronald W. Clark
The Lyndon Johnson Story, Booth Mooney
Jay J. Armes, Investigator, Jay J. Armes and Fredrick Nolan
Lies My Teacher Told Me, James W. Loewen
Twelve Great Philosophers, Wayne Pomerleau
Mythology, Edith Hamilton
Aku-Aku: The Secret of Easter Island, Thor Heyerdahl
1776, David McCullough
The Bridge at Chappaquiddick, Jack Olsen
The Man with the Candy, Jack Olsen
The Night of the Grizzlies, Jack Olsen
Enola Gay, Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan Witts
My Wicked, Wicked Ways, Errol Flynn
Murder Man, Thomas Downs
Iacocca, Lee Iacocca
Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, Paul Theroux
Don’t Know Much About History, Kenneth Davis
Blue Collar Intellectuals: When the Enlightened & the Everyman Elevated America, Daniel Flynn
Bomb, Steve Sheinkin
Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier, Katie Hafner
How the Web Was Won, Paul Andrews
The Fasting Girl: A True Victorian Medical Mystery, Michelle Stacy
The Hundred Year Diet: America’s Voracious Appetite for Losing Weight, Susan Yager
Inside the Third Reich, Albert Speer
Citizen Soldiers, Stephen E. Ambrose
Miracle at Philadelphia, Catherine Drinker Bower
Something Beautiful for God: Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Malcom Muggeridge
The Rick Steves Europe series
The Lonely Planet series

Best Nonfiction Books on Science:
A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking
The Particle at the Edge of the Universe, Sean Carroll
The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, Richard Feynman
The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of A Citizen Scientist, Richard Feynman
Zoobiquity, Barbara Natterson-Horowitz
The User Illusion: Cutting Consciousness Down to Size, Tor Nørretranders

Best Nonfiction Books on Politics and Economics:

Freakonomics, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
Superfreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, Ayn Rand
The Virtue of Selfishness, Ayn Ran
Ayn Rand Answers, Ayn Rand
For the New Intellectual, Ayn Rand
The Four -our Work Week, Timothy Ferriss
Discover Your Inner Economist, Tyler Cowen
Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert T. Kiyosaki
God and Man at Yale, William F. Buckley

Best Nonfiction Books on Psychology and Sociology:

The Disappearance of Childhood, Neil Postman
Amusing Ourselves to Death, Neil Postman
Telling Yourself the Truth, William Backus and Marie Chapian
The Science of Happiness, Stefan Klein, PhD
The War Against Boys, Christina Hoff Summers
The How of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky
The Compass of Pleasure, David J. Linden
Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice, Robert Firestone
The Consuming Instinct: What Juicy Burgers, Ferraris, Pornography and Gift Giving Reveal About Human Nature, Gad Saad
Switch, Chip Heath and Dan Heath
The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home, Dan Ariely
Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile, Daniel Nettle
Happiness: Lessons from a New Science, Richard Layard
Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth, Ed Diener & Robert Biswas-Diener
Exploring Happiness, Sissela Bok
The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin
Happiness, Ed Diener
What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite, David DiSalvo
Flow, Mihaly Csikszentmivaly
Learned Optimism, Martin Seligman
The Inner Game of Work, W. Timothy Gallway
The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz
Authentic Happiness, Martin Seligman
The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor
Blink, Malcom Gladwell
The Progress Paradox, Gregg Easterbrook
The Mindful Brain, Daniel Siegel
Flourish, Martin Seligman
Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath
The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, Joseph Murphy
How We Decide, Jonah Lehrer
Blissology, Cindy Baggott
The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg
The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives, Shankar Vedantarn
The Naked Brain, Richard Restak
Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation, Daniel J. Siegel
Heal your Mind, Rewire Your Brain: Applying the Exciting New Science of Brain Synchrony for Creativity, Peace, and Presence, Patt Lind-Kyle
A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming: Mastering the Art of Oneironautics, Dylan Tuccillo, Jared Zeizel, Thomas Peisel
Lucid Dreaming: A Concise Guide to Awakening in Your Dreams and in Your Life, Stephen LaBerge PhD.
The Dancing Wu Li Masters, Gary Zukav
The User Illusion: Cutting Consciousness Down to Size, Tor Nørretranders
Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self, Robert Waggoner

Best Nonfiction Books on Diet and Health:

The Diet Alternative, Diane Hampton
French Women Don’t Get Fat, Mireille Guiliano
What Time Tuesday?, James Tomasi
Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser
The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan
Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, Michael Pollan
Good Calories, Bad Calories, Gary Taubes
Neanderthin, Ray Audette
The Paleo Solution, Robb Wolf
Overcoming Emotional Eating, Geneen Roth
Intuitive Eating, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch
Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think, Brian Warsink
How to Make Almost Any Diet Work, Anne Katherine
Fasting and Easting for Health, Joel Fuhrman
Overeater’s Anonymous
The Twelve Steps of Overeater’s Anonymous

Best Nonfiction Books on Writing:

The Elements of Style, William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White
Spunk & Bite, Arthur Plotnik
Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This, Luke Sullivan
A Whack On the Side of the Head, Roger von Oech
Plot and Structure, James Scott Bell
On Writing, Steven King
Save the Cat!, Blake Snyder
Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies, Blake Snyder
The War of Art, Steven Pressfield
The Writer’s Journey, Christopher Vogler
Writing the Breakout Novel, Donald Maas
The Fire in Fiction, Donald Maas
How Fiction Works, James Wood
The Well-Fed Writer, Peter Bowerman
Writing Irresistible Kidlit: The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction for Young Adult and Middle Grade Readers, Mary Kole

Best Nonfiction Books on Education:

Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book of Homeschooling, John Holt
How Children Fail, John Holt
How Children Learn, John Holt
Learning All the Time, John Holt
Instead of Education: Ways to Help People Do Things Better, John Holt
Punished by Rewards, Alfie Kohn
The Homework Myth, Alfie Kohn
No Contest: The Case Against Competition, Alfie Kohn
Einstein Never Used Flash Cards: How Our Children Really Learn—And Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek
The Art of Learning: A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence, Josh Waitzkin
The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home, Susan Wise Bauer
The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to Classical Education You Never Had, Susan Wise Bauer
Books Children Love, Elizabeth L. Wilson
Study Is Hard Work, William H. Armstrong
In Their Own Way: Discovering and Encouraging Your Child’s Multiple Intelligences, Thomas Armstrong
Seven Kinds of Smart, Thomas Armstrong
Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, Howard Gardner
Unschooling Rules, Clark Aldrich
Un-Jobbing: The Adult Liberation Handbook, Michael Fogler
The Mismeasure of Man, Stephen Jay Gould

Best Nonfiction Books on Marketing:

Life After the 30-Second Spot, Joseph Jaffe
The New Influencers: A Marketer’s Guide to the New Social Media, Paul Gillin
What Would Google Do?, Jeff Jarvis
Viral Loop, Adam L. Peneberg
The Whuffie Factor, Tara Hunt
The Long Tail, Chris Anderson
Trust Agents, Chris Brogan
Get Slightly Famous, Steven Von Yoder
Delivering Happiness, Tony Hsich
Influence, Robert Cialdini
Permission Marketing, Seth Godin
Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcom Gladwell

Best Nonfiction Books on Relationships:

His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage, Willard F. Harley, Jr.
Nonviolent Communication, Marshall Rosenberg
Venus on Fire, Mars on Ice, John Gray
The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages: The Little Things That Make a Big Difference, Shaunti Feldhahn
For Better: How the Surprising Science of Happy Couples Can Help Your Marriage Succeed, Tara Parker-Pope
The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, Dr. Laura Schlessinger

Best Nonfiction Books on Parenting:

Between Parents and Child, Haim G. Ginott
Liberated Parents, Liberated Children, Adele Faber
Siblings Without Rivalry, Adele Faber
How to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen, Norman H. Wright
Beyond the Sling, Mazim Balik
When Your Kids Push Your Buttons, Bennie Harn’s
Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv
The Case for Make-Believe, Susan Linn
Unconditional Parenting, Alfie Kohn
Punished by Rewards, Alfie Kohn
Brain Rules for Baby, John Medina
Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child, John Mordechai
Attachment Parenting, Katie Allison Granju
The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby From Birth to Age Two, Dr. Barry Sears
The Discipline Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have A Better-behaved Child–from Birth to Age Ten, Dr. Barry Sears
Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier and More Secure Kids, John Kim Payne
Parenting with Dignity, Mac Bledsoe
Mothering Your Nursing Toddler, Norma J. Bumgarner
Parenting with Love and Logic: Teaching Children Responsibility, Foster Cline
The Case for Make-Believe, Susan Linn
Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv
Siblings Without Rivalry, Adele Faber
How to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen, Norman H. Wright
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, Diane Wiessinger
The Child Whisperer: The Ultimate Handbook for Raising Happy, Successful, Cooperative Children, Carol Tuttle

Best Memoirs:

Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert
A Severe Mercy, Sheldon Vanauken
A Stolen Life, Jaycee Dugard
Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs, Chuck Klostermann
Klostermann II, Chuck Klostermann
Fargo Rock City, Chuck Klosterman
Killing Yourself to Live, Chuck Klosterman
Easting the Dinosaur, Chuck Klosterman
11 Presidents, 4 Wars, 32 Political Conventions, 1 Moon Landing, 3 Assassinations, 2000 Weeks of News and Other Stuff on Television and 18 Years of Growing Up in North Carolina: A Memoir, David Brinkley
A Few Moments with Andy Rooney, Andy Rooney
An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination, Elizabeth McCracken
Committed, Elizabeth Gilbert
Iacocca, Lee Iacocca
Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, Paul Theroux
Massive, Julia Bell
The Taming of the Chew, Denise Lamothe
Angry Fat Girls, Frances Kuffel
It Was Food vs. Me-And I Won, Nancy Goodman
iWant, Jane Velez-Mitchell
Hungry, Allen Zadoff
The Good Eater, Ron Saxen
The Fat Girl’s Guide to Life, Wendy Shanker
Locked Up for Eating Too Much, Debbie Danowski
Purge: Rehab Diaries, Nicole Johns
Official Book Club Selection, Kathy Griffin
How Starbucks Saved My Life, Michael Gill
Mennonite in A Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home, Rhoda Janzen
Wild, Cheryl Strayed
Bossypants, Tina Fey
A Year of No Sugar: A Memoir, Eve O. Schaub
Confessions of A Latter-Day Virgin: A Memoir, Nicole Hardy
A House in the Sky: A Memoir, Amanda Lindhout
The Two Kinds of Decay, Sarah Manguso
Go Ask Alice, Anonymous
Life and Adventures of A-No.1, Anonymous
Into the Wild, John Krakauer
The Ego Is Always at the Wheel, Delmore Schwartz
The Big Picture: Who Killed Hollywood? And Other Essays, William Goldman
Double Vision: American Thoughts Abroad, John Knowles
The Craggy Hole in My Heart and the Cat Who Fixed It, Geneen Roth
Wild, Cheryl Strayed
Operating Instructions, Anne Lamott
Traveling Mercies, Anne Lamott
Plan B, Anne Lamott
Grace, Eventually, Anne Lamott
Some Assembly Required, Anne Lamott
Help, Thanks, Wow, Anne Lamott
Stitches, Anne Lamott
Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace, Anne Lamott
He Came to Set the Captives Free, Rebecca Brown
A Grief Observed, C.S. Lewis
Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir, Carrie Brownstein
Girl in the Woods: A Memoir, Aspen Matis
Devotion: A Memoir, Dani Shapiro
Found: A Memoir, Jennifer Lauck
Straight Pepper Diet: A Memoir, Joseph W. Naus
Sex, Drugs and Meditation: How One Woman Changed Her Life, Saved Her Job and Found a Husband, Mary-Lou Stephens
Manic, Terri Cheney
It Was Me All Along: A Memoir, Andie Mitchell
Primates of Park Avenue: A Memoir, Wednesday Martin

Best Textbooks and Encyclopedias:

The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Susan Wise Bauer
The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History
The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia
The Usborne Internet-Linked Science Encyclopedia
The Usborne Internet-Linked First Encyclopedia of Science
The Kingfisher Geography Encyclopedia
The Story of the Incredible Orchestra: An Introduction to Musical Instruments and the Symphony Orchestra, Bruce Koscielniak

Best How-To Books:

Drawing with Children, Mona Brookes
The Joy of Cooking, Irma S. Rombauer and Marior Rombauer Becker

Best Nonfiction Classics:

Autobiography of Malcom X, Malcom X
The Story of My Life, Helen Keller
Walden, Henry David Thoreau
Escape from Freedom, Erich Fromm
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Frederick Douglass
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Olaudah Equiano
Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville
The Naked and the Dead, Norman Mailer

Other Best Nonfiction:

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, Malcom Gladwell
What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures, Malcom Gladwell
50 Things You’re Not Supposed to Know, Russell Kick

I’ve also compiled my Best Classic Fiction Works, which includes the following:

Adaptations of Classics for Younger Readers
Classics for Younger Readers
Classics for Readers of High School Age and Beyond

***

More mystical reading choices:

Top 20 Spiritual Memoirs

Top 150 Meditation Books

Top 20 Near Death Experience Books

Top 100 Channelled Books

Top 1000+ Law of Attraction Books

Top 25 Scientific Spiritual Books

Top 20 Spiritual Self-Help Books

Top 15 Blogs for Mystics

My 40 Favorite Books for Mystics

150 Law of Attraction Success Stories

Best Paranormal Books for Overcoming Depression

Astrology isn’t really my specialty. But as a New Agey type, it does interest me. So do other paranormal topics like ESP and lucid dreaming, which I’ve included in this list as well.

Here are some of the books I’ve heard good things about. Let me know what I’ve missed and I will update this post accordingly.

Click on any title in the first section for my “depression effectiveness rating,” a book description and more. The titles in the second section lead to relevant book and author links.

Best Books on Astrology, Psychic Powers and Other Paranormal Phenomena for Overcoming Depression

Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self, Robert Waggoner
A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming, Dylan Tuccillo, Jared Zeizel and Thomas Peisel
Lucid Dreaming: A Concise Guide to Awakening in Your Dreams and in Your Life, Stephen LaBerge
Fringe-ology: How I Tried to Explain Away the Unexplainable–and Couldn’t, Steve Volk
The Child Whisperer, The Ultimate Handbook for Raising Happy, Successful, and Cooperative Children, Carol Tuttle
Dressing Your Truth: Discover Your Type of Beauty, Carol Tuttle
Power Versus Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior, David Hawkins

Other Recommended Books on Astrology, Psychic Powers and Other Paranormal Phenomena

Astrology:

Human Design: Discover the Person You Were Born to Be, Chetan Parkyn and Steve Dennis
Understanding Human Design: The New Science of Astrology: Discover Who You Really Are, Karen Curry
Human Design: The Definitive Book of Human Design, The Science of Differentiation, Ra Uru Hu and Lynda Bunnell
The Power of Birthdays, Stars & Numbers: The Complete Personology Reference Guide, Saffi Crawford and Geraldine Sullivan
Your Hidden Symmetry: How Your Birth Date Reveals the Plan for Your Life, Jean Haner
The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need, Joanna Martine Woolfolk
Astrology for the Soul, Jan Spiller
The Secret Language of Birthdays: Your Complete Personology Guide for Each Day of the Year, Gary Goldschneider and Joost Elffers
The Secret Language of Relationships, Gary Goldschneider and Joost Elffers
Astrology: An In-Depth Look Into The Zodiac Signs: Become Wealthy, Find Your True Love, And Master Your Destiny Using Astrology, Dylan Campbell
The Twelve Houses, Howard Sasportas
Dirty, Sexy Astrology, Sabra Ricci and Jenny McCarty
Chart Interpretation Handbook: Guidelines for Understanding the Essentials of the Birth Chart, Stephen Arroyo
Astrology, Karma & Transformation: The Inner Dimensions of the Birth Chart, Stephen Arroyo
Astrology for the Light Side of the Brain, Kim Rogers-Gallagher
The Inner Sky: How to Make Wiser Choices for a More Fulfilling Life, Steven Forrest
Aspects in Astrology: A Guide to Understanding Planetary Relationships in the Horoscope, Sue Tompkins
Planets in Aspect: Understanding Your Inner Dynamics, Robert Pelletier
The Combination of Stellar Influences, Reinhold Ebertin
Key Words for Astrology, Hajo Banzhaf and Anna Haebler
Saturn: A New Look at an Old Devil, Liz Greene
Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark, Bernadette Brady
The Gods of Change: Pain, Crisis and the Transits of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto (Arkana’s Contemporary Astrology Series), Howard Sasportas
Predictive Astrology, Christine Shaw
The Changing Sky, Steven Forrest
Identifying Planetary Triggers: Astrological Techniques for Prediction, Celeste Teal
The Art of Predictive Astrology, Carol Rushman
Alive and Well With Pluto, Bil Tierney
How to Predict Your Future: Secrets of Eastern and Western Astrology, James Braha
Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs, Linda Goodman
The American Ephemeris for the 21st Century 2000-2050 at Midnight, Neil F. Michelsen
The Love Relationship Formula: Predicting Romantic Success With Astrology, Christine Makela
Mapping Your Romantic Relationships (Astrology Made Easy CD-ROM Series), David Pond
Skymates: Love, Sex and Evolutionary Astrology, Steven and Jodie Forrest
Astrology & Relationships, David Pond
Astrological Compatibility, Lynne Palmer
Love Planets, M.J. Abadie & Claudia Bader
Composite Charts: The Astrology of Relationships, John Townley
Planets in Composite: Analyzing Human Relationships (The Planet Series), Robert Hand
Love Formulas-2, Nance McCullough
Relationship Analysis, Robert P. Blaschke
Synastry: Understanding Human Relations Through Astrology, Ronald Davison
Relationships, Astrology and Karma: How to Understand, Transform and Heal Your Relationships Through Astrology, Pauline Stone
Planets in Solar Returns: Yearly Cycles of Transformation & Growth, Mary Fortier Shea
Planets in Transits: Life Cycles for LivingRobert Hand

Psychic Powers:

Psychic Development for Beginners: An Easy Guide to Releasing and Developing Your Psychic Abilities, William W. Hewitt
The Book of Psychic Symbols: Interpreting Intuitive Messages, Melanie Barnum
Nature-Speak: Signs, Omens and Messages in Nature, Ted Andrews
Discover Your Soul’s Path Through the Akashic Records: Taking Your Life from Ordinary to ExtraOrdinary, Linda Howe
How to Read the Akashic Records: Accessing the Archive of the Soul and Its Journey, Linda Howe
How to Hear Your Angels, Doreen Virtue
Angel Numbers 101: The Meaning of 111, 123, 444, and Other Number Sequences, Doreen Virtue
Assertiveness for Earth Angels: How to Be Loving Instead of “Too Nice“, Doreen Virtue
Angels of Abundance: Heaven’s 11 Messages to Help You Manifest Support, Supply, and Every Form of Abundance, Doreen Virtue and Grant Virtue
Earth Angel Realms: Revised and Updated Information for Incarnated Angels, Elementals, Wizards, and Other Lightworkers…, Doreen Virtue
Archangels 101, Doreen Virtue
Signs From Above: Your Angels’ Messages about Your Life Purpose, Relationships, Health, and More, Doreen Virtue and Charles Virtue
The Angel Therapy Handbook, Doreen Virtue
Angel Detox: Taking Your Life to a Higher Level Through Releasing Emotional, Physical, and Energetic Toxins, Doreen Virtue and Robert Reeves
Angels 101: An Introduction to Connecting, Working, and Healing with the Angels, Doreen Virtue
Angel Astrology 101: Discover the Angels Connected With Your Birth Chart, Doreen Virtue

Other Paranormal Phenomena:

David R. Hawkins:

Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender, David R. Hawkins
Transcending the Levels of Consciousness: The Stairway to Enlightenment, David R. Hawkins
Transcending the Levels of Consciousness: Live Your Life Like a Prayer, David R. Hawkins
Success Is for You: Using Heart-Centered Power Principles for Lasting Abundance and Fulfillment, David R. Hawkins
The Eye of the I: From Which Nothing Is Hidden, David R. Hawkins
Truth vs Falsehood: How to Tell the Difference, David R. Hawkins
I: Reality and Subjectivity, David R. Hawkins
Dissolving the Ego, Realizing the Self: Contemplations from the Teachings of David R. Hawkins, David R. Hawkins and Scott Jeffrey
Discovery of the Presence of God: Devotional NonDuality, David R. Hawkins
Reality, Spirituality and Modern Man, David R. Hawkins
Dealing with the CrazyMakers in Your Life: Setting Boundaries on Unhealthy Relationships, David R. Hawkins
Along the Path to Enlightenment: 365 Daily Reflections from David R. Hawkins, David R. Hawkins and Scott Jeffrey
The Ultimate David Hawkins Library, David R. Hawkins
When Pleasing Others Is Hurting You: Finding God’s Patterns for Healthy Relationships, David R. Hawkins
Breaking Everyday Addictions: Finding Freedom from the Things That Trip Us Up, David R. Hawkins
Never Fight Again . . . Guaranteed!: Groundbreaking Practices for a Win-Win Marriage, David R. Hawkins
The Power of Emotional Decision Making: Using Your God-Given Emotions for Positive Change, David R. Hawkins
Stumbling Toward Obedience: Learning from Jonah’s Failure to Love God and the People He Came to Save, David R. Hawkins
The Clear Pathway to Enlightenment-Four CD Set, David R. Hawkins
Project Y: The Los Alamos Story. Part I: Toward Trinity. Part II: Beyond Trinity, David R. Hawkins and Edith C. Truslow
In the World, but Not of It: Living Spiritually in the Modern World, David R. Hawkins
Healing and Recovery, David Hawkins
The Discovery: Revealing the Presence of God in your Life, David Hawkins
Normal People Do the Craziest Things, David Hawkins

Carol Tuttle:

Remembering Wholeness: A Personal Handbook for Thriving in the 21st Century, Carol Tuttle
It’s Just My Nature!, Carol Tuttle
The Path to Wholeness: A Guide to Spiritual Healing & Empowerment for Survivors of Child Sexual & Spiritual Abuse, Carol Tuttle

Other Authors:

Hunt for the Skinwalker, Colm A. Kelleher and George Knapp
Dark Woods: Cults, Crimes, and the Paranormal in the Freetown State Forest, Massachusetts, Christopher Balzano
The Book of the Damned: The Collected Works of Charles Fort, Charles Fort
The Exorcism of Anneliese Michel, Felicitas D. Goodman
Monsters in America, W. Scott Poole
Do Dead People Watch You Shower?, Concetta Bertoldi
Ghosts Among Us, James Van Praagh
Night Stalks the Mansion, Constance Westbie & Harold Cameron
The Ghost Files, Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson & Michael Jan Friedman
Hostage to the Devil, Malachi Martin
Paranormal Obsession, Deonna Kelli Sayed
Paranormal State: My Journey Into the Unknown, Ryan Buell & Stefan Petrucha
Dark World: Into the Shadows with the Lead Investigator of the Ghost Adventure’s Crew, Zak Bagans
Shadows of the Dark, John Zaffis & Brian McIntyre
The Ghost Hunter, Hans Holzer
The Multidimensional Traveler, Khartika Goe
The Indigo Children: The New Kids Have Arrived, Lee Carroll
Indigo Celebration: More Messages, Stories, and Insights from the Indigo Children,
Lee Carrol
The Indigo Children Ten Years Later: What’s Happening with the Indigo Teenagers!, Lee Carrol and Jan Tober
Indigo Adults: Understanding Who You Are and What You Can Become, Kabir Jaffe and Ritama Davidson

***

More mystical reading choices:

Best Meditation Books

Best Near Death Experience Books

Best Channelled Books

Best Law of Attraction Books

Best Scientific Spiritual Books

Best Reincarnation Books

Best Spiritual Memoirs

Best New Age Children’s Books

Best Other/Inspirational New Age Books

Best Blogs for Mystics

Best General Nonfiction Books

Best Classic Fiction Works

Best of the Best: My All-Time Favorite Books for Mystics

 

 

Spiritual Practice for Depression: On a Scale of 1-10, How Effective is Byron Katie’s “The Work” Against Depression?

In the very famous book by Robert Cialdini called Influence, he tells a story that has been co-opted many times since, and now, I think I’ll do it again.

Beginning in the year 1961, Yale University conducted a set of frightening psychological experiments on a mix of average people. Bear with me a few moments—this is a little complicated. (But worth it.)

In each iteration of this study, three roles were played: the subject, the button pusher, and the director. The idea was simple: the button pusher would attempt to teach the subject, who was sitting in a different room, a set of word pairs. Then the button pusher would test the subject’s learning ability. When the subject responded incorrectly, the director (wearing a white lab coat) would tell the button pusher (the actual subject of the experiment) to deliver electric shocks of increasing intensity to the subject by—you guessed it—pressing a button.

Of course, the set up was a bit of a sham. No actual electrical current was delivered, but the subject made a convincing show of suffering, anyway.

The results of the study and subsequent studies shocked the researchers and the public alike: 65 percent of the button pushers complied with the researcher’s demands and pushed the torture button until the highest level of pain (an excruciating 450 volts) was delivered repeatedly—despite the fierce cries and protests of the subjects.

When the results of this study were announced to the public, they apparently caused quite a media frenzy. Respected analysts and psychologists made pessimistic observations about the evil inherent in human nature and society. What the journalists apparently did not reveal, however, was this:

The button pushers were in absolute anguish a great deal of the time.

They paced. They protested. They cried—even grown men cried. They begged not to be required to go on.

They didn’t want to do it at all.

In Influence and other analyses of this fascinating study, a clear conclusion is drawn: People in general put a great undue trust in authority. We listen to our leaders—or the people we perceive to be our leaders—and do almost anything they ask, whatever the consequences may be.

And I agree with this idea. In fact, I could not possibly agree more. However, there is a second conclusion to be made, and personally, I think it’s even more important than the first: People are almost totally unaware that the source of their greatest anguish is not other people.

It is themselves.

At any point in time during this experiment, any of the button pushers could have ended the torture of both the subject and themselves by doing one simple thing.

They could’ve stopped pushing the button.

Here’s the thing: We are powerful. Our minds–our beliefs–are the source of our greatest pain, as well as our only true joy. And yet, as many times as we New Agey-types say this, repeat this, remind ourselves of this, we often seem to forget it.

Which is where Byron Katie’s The Work comes in.

When I first came across Byron Katie’s website, there was a prominently displayed quote that went something like this: “The Work has one purpose: To end suffering.”

And I thought, Yeah, right, you guys. Everything I need to end suffering is right here, on this website.

A reasonable reaction, maybe. But that was long before I ever put The Work to the test.

What is The Work?

For those of you who are not familiar with The Work, here is a brief description from thework.com: “The Work is a simple yet powerful process of inquiry that teaches you to identify and question the thoughts that cause all the suffering in the world. It’s a way to understand what’s hurting you, and to address the cause of your problems with clarity. In its most basic form, The Work consists of four questions and the turnarounds.”

The questions are:

  1. Is it true? (Yes or no. If no, move to 3.)
  2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true? (Yes or no.)
  3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
  4. Who would you be without the thought?

Pretty simple, right? And yet, The Work is one of the most powerful spiritual techniques I’ve ever tried. It combines well-known cognitive psychology principles (CBT is similar, and similarly amazing), neuroscience (brain rewiring theory, and all that), and–you guessed it–spirituality to address anything and everything that ails you.

And it delivers.

Can you be more specific?

Here are some of the negative thoughts I’ve freed (or partially freed) myself from through this method, just during the first two months of practicing it:

  • I’m not thin enough.
  • I’m not accomplishing enough.
  • I’m annoyed by [insert person’s name].
  • I’m angry at [insert person’s name].
  • I want to work more.
  • I don’t want to breastfeed anymore.

Another thought that I’m not totally rid of yet, but that I’ve already made inroads against: “I am depressed.”

Really? That doesn’t seem possible.

It’s true.

What do you mean, you’ve freed yourself from these thoughts?

I mean that when they come, they don’t feel as strong to me anymore. They are there, then I recall The Work that I did on the thought and how I turned it around, and it sort of makes its way through me to somewhere else. They’re not quite real anymore. I don’t take them so seriously.

And for depression, a condition that may be physically-based? Does it work for this, too?

Absolutely. I can honestly say that before The Work and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which is very similar but not quite as powerful as The Work, I was never entirely convinced I could one day be completely free from depression. Now, I am.

But it will take time. This is not an overnight miracle cure. It takes, as the name suggests, work. Depression has made such deep inroads–superhighways, really–in my mind. All that needs to be slowly undone.

If it’s this amazing, why doesn’t everyone know about it?

People find The Work when the time is right. Also, Byron Katie’s ideas are pretty darn controversial. In her world, the problem is never the other person; it’s always you. “No exceptions.” Change your perspective, and you won’t suffer anymore, she says–no matter what anyone else does to you. A lot of people are stuck in victimhood.

Anything else we should know?

I cannot do The Work justice in this blog post. Rather than attempt the impossible, then, I direct you to one of my favorite Byron Katie YouTube videos ever (and that’s saying a lot, since I’ve been binge-watching them every chance I get). In it, Katie helps a distraught woman plagued with guilt over a relationship mistake see the truth of the situation.

(By the way, everything you need to do The Work is available for free on Byron Katie’s website.)

Depression Effectiveness Rating for Byron Katie’s The Work: 11 on a scale of 1-10

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Author Interview: How Do You Love What Is When You Don’t Even Like It?

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I have this friend who is really, really happy. Her name is Leta Hamilton. She’s a channel, an author, and a mom of four–and the perfect person to grill for answers about life. Her books include The Way of the Toddler and a four-book series called 100 Daily Messages.

Here, part of a question-and-answer session that I am posting in installments.

Me: So, Leta, here’s the problem: I am not a naturally happy person. I mean, I am happy, most of the time, but it takes a whole lot of work (most notably, a lot of exercise).

Abraham and others talk a lot about the importance of feeling good and gives us lots of tricks to do so. (In one Abraham book, there are 22.) They seem to work for me when I do them consistently. I force myself to a better feeling place. But it takes effort. Sometimes a lot. Maybe others don’t find it as difficult as I do, but to me it feels like I’m fighting an uphill battle trying to counteract all of my learned negativity. I mean, I’m one of those people that can get an awesome cup of coffee, free wi-fi and a perfect couch spot at Starbucks and still focus on the guy yacking on his cell phone next to me to the exclusion of all else. (At least I used to be, and sometimes still am.)

What is your advice about this?

Leta: My advice is to love what is. Just that.

Me: How? Can you give me a much clearer, more practical idea of what’s going on in your head as you are loving and appreciating throughout your day? Maybe a small example of a few moments inside your head?

Leta: Often, my head is just saying, “I love God.” I have thoughts. I’m human, after all. But my head is empty probably a lot more than most humans.

I will meet people I don’t like. I will encounter things and situations I don’t like. They may even be grotesque to my sensibilities. However, I am challenged to love the divine within all things. I am challenged to be One with all things. I am challenged to broaden my perspective so that I find the divine innocence at the heart of everything. I am challenged to love and accept everyone, even people I don’t like. If I meet someone I don’t like, I ask myself if this is a situation I can change. Am I willing to put forth the effort to like them (which would mean changing everything about myself, going into another personality and being someone I am not)? The answer is no. However, I can see the divine innocence in them. I can understand them and love them even though I may not like them. None of it scares me. I love it all. I have a relationship with myself that allows for constant self-inquiry leading to understanding and love that takes me beyond the disconnected to the connected. I have so much fun.

Love.

Leta

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For more from Leta, and more from me on meditation, get The Power of Acceptance: One Year of Mindfulness and Meditation on Amazon.

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