Reading for Spiritual Transformation - PART I
People often ask us to recommend books. Books that can assist them in their self-development and spiritual growth. It’s a simple request, yet, we freeze every time someone asks us this question. It proves to be one of the most difficult questions we have to answer. Here’s why...
In 2010, Google came up with a total number of books published. 129,864,880 was the number they tallied. Staggering!!!! That’s millions of books!!! And guess what, that calculation wasn’t all inclusive. That number didn’t even include all self-published books. It didn't include books from certain countries. And there were a host of other categories not included.
We are avid readers. It is clear when you walk into our house. Books fill the empty spaces in every room. Even our hallways contain an overflow of books. Nyaima often says, "I find great comfort in books. Being around them makes me happy." Despite our best efforts to devour as many books as we can, we are familiar with a fraction of Google's book number.
Another staggering statistic. This year alone (2018) there have been 441,082 new books published. A statistic courtesy of Worldometer. And if you go to the site today I am sure this number has increased. For fun, remain on the site long enough to see the count change yourself.
Another note, reading books is quite a personal, subjective, and preferential experience. What one person thinks is amazing may be of little interest or benefit to another.
Even with these perceived limits, we understand that this is an important question. At the core, this question is about someone saying they are open and ready to learn more. Providing the perfect book title is not important. When you are open, the perfect information will appear at the right time. This is why we had to create this list.
This post will give you a few book suggestions to help you walk into the land of free thinking and Spirituality. Every book won’t be for you. That's alright. We have a simple philosophy about reading. If you get one insight; formulate one probing question; receive one timely answer, then the book was worth the read. If you take the same approach, you will find seeds for expansion; keys to unlock your heart; and fire to spark your internal light.
You will see that reading one book unlocks the doors to other books and information. Trust us, the way that information will flow to you will be mind-blowing. It is interesting how information will begin to come into your life. You will experience and become aware of synchronicity.
For example, one day a friend told me about an author and spiritual teacher who was unfamiliar to me. She was passionate as she offered details about these particular teachings. Though their content sound intriguing, it took me almost five months to follow-up. When I finally did, I spent an entire day binging on the author’s videos on Youtube.
The very next day, I walked into a local used bookstore, with intentions to browse. It was the kind of bookstore that would make a booklover tingle inside. It had thousands of titles, all neatly placed on shelves. But a closer looks reveals they are loosely unorganized at best. The very first one I picked up was by the same author my friend recommended and I had video-binged on the day before.
As you plunge in, you will find the frequency of similar experiences increase.
It is our hope that you have your interest sparked and begin to research for yourself.
Before diving into our list, here are a few cautionary notes:
- Our list is not not exhaustive! Remember that number we quoted earlier? It would take us lifetimes to get through all those books. There are hundreds of other books that we could present on this list. It is obvious, but it is important to say, this list is only based on the fraction of titles we know.
- We must admit, this is a biased list, and preferential! Use it as a jumping off point, not as a curriculum.
- Reading is one of the easiest ways to gain powerful information. Way number one is getting the information downloaded right from the Universe consciousness (a skill we are working on perfecting :-). There is one major danger in reading. It is so easy to read that you may be tempted to skip the practical work that's prescribed within the book. It is not enough to process the information through your intellect. You must take the practical action to integrate it into your life.
- These are general titles we love. If this list focused on specific topics, for example, abundance or BioEnergetics, it would be completely different. It would contain titles that are not represented in the list below.
- Our list may not be Unique. Art & Alchemy prides ourselves on being unique, but in this instant, we may follow the masses. There is a reason many of these books continue to show up. Don’t be surprised if you see several of these books on other curated spiritual book lists.
- Sometimes a book cannot replace the insight you receive from studying with a teacher. There are subtleties and nuances that books cannot always explain. Of course you can learn on your own. But sometimes training with a shaman, master, or spiritual teacher, has intangible benefits.
- We want to stress this point, your frame of mind has much to do with what you get out of these books, or any books you read. Approaching them with an open-heart and open-mind yields the best results. It doesn't mean you have to like the book. You may decide that a particular book is not for you. You are only required to be open. Being open is the key to experiencing and learning.
Now we present to you Art & Alchemy's curated list of transformational books:
Ask and It is Given, by Jerry and Esther Hicks
This is one of our favorites.
Any title written by Jerry and Esther Hicks are transformative.
If you are not familiar with Abraham-Hicks, they were in the original movie, The Secret. They were later edited out due to philosophical differences with the producer. Their core message contains twelve ideas inlcuding:
"ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN AND POSSESSIONS TO BE EXCHANGED ARE BY-PRODUCTS OF YOUR FOCUS ON JOY."
"ANYTHING THAT YOU CAN IMAGINE IS YOURS TO BE OR DO OR HAVE."
Lending to the heart of the Law of Attraction theme presented in the The Secret movie. A similar theme that Abraham followers have adopted.
More interesting, the content produced by the Abraham-Hicks camp "comes" from non-physical presences. They call themselves Abraham. They provide tools, ideas, and processes to help us live a happier, more joy-filled life.
In "Ask and It is Given", they untangle the mystique surrounding the popular Law of Attraction. Within it, they outline three steps to manifestation.
You will learn about energy and how it influences your life. Each aspect of life: love, relationships, health, finances. You will learn how to manage them through powerful processes.
This book is quite wordy, as Abraham goes into depth to explain concepts in a practical manner. If you are like me you will love all the words. If you like short and sweet, you may want to stay clear of their books and opt to check them out in the video form. Abraham-Hicks has a plethora of videos online. They cover all kinds of practical topics. The majority of the videos focus on them answering the questions of the audience.
The Prosperity Secrets of the Ages, by Catherine Ponder
Catherine Ponder was a minister in the Unity Church and a guru of the Law of Abundance. She has at least 18 books on prosperity, and like Abraham-Hicks, they are all excellent studies.
In this book, and all her books, she reveals ancient prosperity formulas. It concepts are easy to understand and digest.
Don’t mistake this book as a get rich quick fix.
Yes, you can experience the intensity of abundance immediately. Think about how plentiful the air you breathe is, the waters of the ocean. If you focus your awareness you can identify abundance all around you. Appreciating these states of abundance can induce this state within you.
This book focuses on understanding abundance as energy, as opposed to material manifestation. It gives you a framework to expand your definition of prosperity. Once she rebuilds your foundation, Ponder provides ideas on how to harness this energy for success.
This easy to read book remains a powerhouse in the arena of law of prosperity and abundance.
Of Water and Spirit, by Malidoma Patrice Some
This autobiographical book reads like a novel, full of drama, suspense, and emotion. You will find yourself moving through the full spectrum of emotional states as you read.
The author shares the story of his journey. Born in a Burkina Faso to the Dagara people, and raised in a Jesuit school. There, his new family indoctrinated him into Jesuit and European thought. As he matures, he finds himself trapped between two worlds, the world of his birth and this European dogma.
In the book, Malidoma Patrice Some brings the world of magic and the Spirit World to life. You will read his accounts in disbeliefs. As you progress through the story you will find it difficult to deny the existence of either. I am not sure if this was the author’s intent. But as you move through the pages, you will begin to question what is real and what you believe to be possible.
Some's story will challenge your beliefs, social and spiritual beliefs. Questioning what you think you know is fundamental to all spiritual expansion.
Power of Awareness, by Neville Goddard
We can't say enough about the work of Neville Goddard. The man has God in his name. This must mean something.
His understanding of Spiritual Law is clear, as he invites you to discard your judgements. He demands that all change you would like to see in your world first start within.
His over -arching theme is: It is only through mastery of ourselves that we unlock the keys of the Universe. Universal Law is for us to understand, use, and master.
This is only one of the books in Goddard's catalog. Like many of the other authors on this list they were prolific writers, with many titles under their name. Goddard also falls into this category.
A Course in Miracles, co-authored/edited by Helen Schucman and William Thetford.
This is a book that has taunted me since I was a child. It sat on a bookcase in my mother’s room among her other sacred books.
When I was young, I would sneak into her room and read the pages of the books in her sacred library. This beautiful blue hardcover book always eluded me. I tried picking it up several times, but the words and concepts were not easy for me to digest.
Years later, I still find myself reading slowing through the passages. Trying to decipher the meaning of sentences that sometimes read more like riddles than flowing language.
The words used in The Course are not particularly complex. However, the concepts require a certain "spiritual maturity." They are spiritual and metaphysical. As you journey through the course you unlearn incorrect concepts you may hold. The activities work to replace those erroneous beliefs with a conscious spiritual understanding.
Each passage is provoking and rooted in unconventional Spiritual truths. You can study each sentence. Every word, though simple in its definition, is profound in its context. For example, here are two beautiful quotes from the course:
The best thing about this course is that it requires actions. Three hundred and sixty five to be exact. Marianne Williamson, a teacher of A Course in Miracles, describes these exercises as, "simple, but not alway easy to do."
To give you a idea of the impact and reach of this book, Per the Foundation for Inner Peace (the publisher of this work), as of November 1998 it has sold 1.25 million sets. It exist in French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Hebrew, and many other languages. And it is still selling!
We stress, this is not a book, it is a course. We could write an entire book on the concepts and wisdom presented in it’s pages, as many others have.
There is a Spirit in this book that is powerful and completely transformative.
Be sure to read the foreword and introduction. It contains interesting information about how the book came to life.
Conversations with God (the Series), by Neale Donald Walsch
Another “New Age” classic. This is a three book series that chronicles a conversation that the author has with God.
Haven't you always wanted to know what God thinks?
While going through a tough period of his life, in frustration, Walsch writes a letter to God. In the letter he expresses his discontent about this life. Feelings and questions that most people have during their lifetime.
"How does this world work?"
To his surprise, God answered. In that moment the conversation begins.
This flow of conversation deals with topics and common questions that plague many of us. This includes relationships, health, abundance, religion, and societal issues.
Conversations with God is an enjoyable read. It will provoke, clarify, and stimulate new questions.
The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz
Based on Toltec wisdom, as the title implies, the author presents four simple tenants. If you follow these tenants, the level of joy and happiness you experience will increase.
We love this book for its simplicity. You can integrate these principles using a hint of mindfulness. Simple integration with the potential inspiring transformations.
Life and Teachings of the Masters of the Far East, by Baird T. Spalding
In 1894, Spalding and his team set out to find the greatest spiritual teachers and masters. This six book set chronicle their journey.
During their journey they interacted with "the great Masters of the Himalayas". Spalding and his party were able to witness the works of these masters. Bilocating; telepathy; and walking on water are a few of the miracles they saw.
Spalding and his team were also able to study the spiritual messages of the Masters. The Masters present a solid case for the Spiritual power that dwells within. They maintained that the same greatness they employed is accessible to everyone.
7 Spiritual Laws of Success, by Deepak Chopra
Deepak Chopra is the forerunner contemporary spiritual teachers of the 21st century.
Seven Spiritual Laws of Success is one of Chopra's early works. It layouts seven principles that lead you to success with ease. The principles he presents are intuitive and practical.
Chopra's proliferation of content reflects this digital age. He has books, blogs, websites, videos, interviews, and several spiritual organizations.
It is also a book that encourages action. In this case, changing your thoughts in relation to success, to attract what you desire.
As it is another easy read, it can be a great reference book to revisit.
You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise L. Hay
The title says it all. Ms. Hay does everything in her power to convince you of this before you finish this book.
The late Louise Hay is an internationally renowned leader in the self-help arena. We describe her work as practical everyday metaphysics. Hay boldly states, you have the power to heal yourself from whatever ails you. All physical illness corresponds to a spiritual disharmony. Her philosophy:
"If we are willing to do the mental work, almost anything can be healed."
When she lays this out, you believe her! She knows first hand the pathway to mind-body healing. She cured herself of cancer using the same principles she offers to yo. So, does she believes they work? Without a doubt! She knows what she is offering is the real deal, it is not theory or rhetoric.
If this is not enough, Ms. Hay's publishing company, Hay House, has published many of the brillant (spiritual) minds of our time. Authors published include: Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, Suze Orman, Doreen Virtue, Esther Hicks, Jorge Cruise, Marianne Williamson, Caroline Myss, Cheryl Richardson, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Tavis Smiley, and Cornel West to name a few.
Her legacy to the "New Age" spiritual arena is enormous.
The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho’s
This modern classic, The Alchemist, has sold more than two million copies worldwide. It continues to have a positive impact on the lives of its readers.
Coelho tells a story of a boy who goes in search of a worldly treasure. In his journey, the young boy learns about listening to his heart, omens, and following his dreams.
As young Santiago learns these wisdoms of life, you too learn the secret language of the Universe.
That’s Part I of our list.
With this list alone you will find yourself at the helm of the veil, only baby steps from seeing on the other side of it.
You want more? Go to Part II of our “Must read Spiritual Books that will Transform Your Life: Part II.”
Many people have found what they were looking for in the books above. We hope the same for you. We hope they stimulate your curiosity and compel you to create a favorite list of your own.
Here are some tips on identifying great spiritual books on your own:
- Find a book that is practical, and includes practical applications. We mentioned the importance of practical application earlier.
It’s like reading a book to learn how to be a better tennis player, or a better communicator. If you don’t get on the court with a racket and some balls, or talk to people more, the potential for the transformational power of what’s in the book diminishes.
- Make sure the book is written by someone who is sincerely interested in the positive progression of your spiritual well-being. Don’t mistake this for saying they have to be a perfect person, with no faults or flaws. This means that they lean towards light.
A few more tips before we sign off. Here are some reading hacks:
- The cost of books can add up. The local library is a great resource. You can read priceless information for free! That's a great deal. It is also a great place to browse new titles and see what attracts you. The bookstore is another place to check out new titles.
- Reference or subscribe to a book summary site. It is an easy way to get key-takeaways from books. It is also another way to gage your level of attraction to the book. You will know in the time it takes to read a few passages if it is a book you need to dive deeper into, or not.
- If you’d prefer to read an entire book, it is helpful to read ONE book at a time. This is advice that we don’t always follow ourselves. But when we do, we tend to get through the book faster with more comprehension and apply more of the principles.
- Audiobooks are another great way to consume books. To get through them even faster, increase the play speed. Your ears will get used to hearing narration at 1.5x the normal speed.
- Finally, a variation of Audiobooks is books on YouTube. This is great for people who may feel great time constraints.
Now that you see our list, we would love to see yours. Do you have any book titles we did not mention that you believe should go on the list? Do you have a favorite book that helped transform your life? Share it with us below.