Liber Medicina Animi – a Book is Medicine for the Soul.
Reading has given me a map to navigate the complex and paradoxically simple essence of life. I am forever grateful to be able to lean on the wisdom and effort of masters.
I have listed three books in different categories. They are not necessarily what I would call ‘the best’, but books that have had a significant impact on my life. Some of them are very deep and require a lot of time and effort with a huge payoff. Others are more poetic and easier to grasp.
Dr David R Hawkins has been the most significant influence on my life. When asked to recommend a book, I suggest one of the Docs works, dependant on context. ‘Power vs Force, The Hidden Determinants of Human Behaviour’ is his most famous book which introduces the use of kinesiology to measure consciousness. Essentially, being able to use the physical body to discern truth from falsehood. The Doc created a framework, known as the ‘map of consciousness’. The map went from 0-1000; 1000 being the highest level of consciousness a human can be in the physical body with 0 being the lowest. The first 100 pages or so are hard going. They are very scientific to lay the context for the rest of the work. This deep study is needed and a trade-off for the absolute beauty of the rest of the book.
In ‘The Eye of the I’, the second in the trilogy, Dr Hawkins examines the deeper qualities of the levels of consciousness and various aspects of human life. He talks about the ego and how to transcend the levels for the betterment of humankind.
‘I, Reality and Subjectivity’, is the highest level book that Dr Hawkins wrote. He delineates the realisation of divinity within. The Doc brings up the obstacles along the way and how to navigate them.
Dr Hawkins calibrated the three books at 850, 980 and 999 respectively. They are all highly evolved and enlightened texts.
Words don’t do his work justice, so I encourage anybody who feels compelled to first read Power vs Force and see for yourself.
This is one of the only books that has pushed Dr David Hawkins close in terms of the shifts that took place in my life the instant I had finished it. It is an autobiographical account of Dr Murdo’s trip to India and into the Himalayan mountains. He describes the encounters he has with advanced Lama’s in monasteries thousands of feet above sea level. The wisdom shared is breathtaking. It will blow your mind open to the unlimited power of a Human Being. The next book he wrote – ‘Yoga of the Christ‘ follows on this epic adventure.
This one doesn’t need an introduction. The sacred Hindu text was written between 400-200BC and is probably the most quoted Hindu scripture in the world. It is a bit cliché now to recommend this book, but in the new digital age, it has become a cliché for a reason. It has timeless wisdom expressed in a story between Arjuna, a great warrior, and Krishna, his chariot driver and spiritual master. As in most polytheistic religious scripture, t dialogue in a guru/disciple relationship.
This text is the backbone of one of the oldest cultures we have left on planet Earth.
Rudolph Steiner was a highly evolved Human, and his work reflected that. He has around 330 volumes translated and published; genuinely incredible. This could be considered his magnum opus, written in 1904, explaining the spiritual laws of human existence and a logical step of how to use and attain mastery of them. Steiner gives us a sure-footed guide into different mental and spiritual realities of life. There are many practical steps to take from the back for your holistic development.
In 1945 The New York Times wrote: “Perhaps Mr Huxley, in The Perennial Philosophy has, at this time, written the most needed book in the world”.
Being published in 1945, at the end of World War 2, Aldous Huxley takes anthology from all major religions and shows the congruence between them all. If nothing else, it is a book that teaches so much about the foundational principles of all major religions. But it goes deeper than that. I see this book as a close to a horrific period in humanities past, bringing unity to the world after such devastation.
This one is a landmark of the 20th century. ‘The hero’s journey’ or ‘monomyth’ is an archetypal pattern that humans have been recounting since we had the cognition to do so. This heroes journey was expressed beautifully in this book. The hero (you) ventures forth from the ordinary world into a region of supernatural wonder. Eventually, the hero comes back into the world from the realm of mystery with integrated power and a different level of consciousness. Look at the stories of Jesus, Buddha and Moses as an example. Or Star Wars (Luke Skywalker), Alice in Wonderland (Alice) and The Lord of the Rings (Frodo).
The book makes you look into your development and inspires you to take your own heroes journey.
Spiritual Science/ Occultism
Nikola Tesla said of Walter Russell – “Lock up this Cosmic knowledge in a safe for years until mankind is ready for it.”
And Dr Francis Trevelyan Miller (LITT.D., LL.D.), Historical Foundations, New York, wrote in 1947 of The Secret of Light,
“I hasten to congratulate you on your epoch-making achievement in giving the world The Secret of Light. In this little volume, with its tremendous magnitude of thought, you have given Science and human knowledge a rebirth—transmigration from its physical plane to its potential grandeur on the cosmic plane.”
Nothing more needs to be added.
Madame Helena Blavatsky certainly divides opinion. The Christians dislike her, and she dislikes them. The irony is that Madame Blavatsky knows more about the origins of this religion than most Christians. She is the co-founder of the Theosophical Society, an organisation associated with some of the finest minds of the 20th century. The Secret Doctrine requires an open mind and a reader willing to research and study while going through the book. Not for the faint-hearted or closed-minded.
One of the first books I picked up having had my eyes opened back in 2012. It shows the link that is missing between Science and spirituality. He writes about complex Science, yet writes it very poetically. It isn’t a difficult read at all considering the depth of the work. If you know deep within that material science is only scraping the surface, this is a perfect book to pick up because of how simply written it is.
For the scholar who has studied our ancient history, philosophy and mysticism, they will probably have heard of Manly Palmer Hall. When you come across some of his work, you become quiet and listen intently. The Secret Teaching of All Ages is his masterpiece written in 1928. It is an excellent starting point for knowledge into the ancient mystical traditions and what we now understand as ‘secret societies’ and their origins. Of course, a lot of his work is now being ridiculed, which makes it even more fascinating when you see alternative researches defending his honour. This isn’t for the light reader, and you have to put the work in to reap the rewards.
Michael Tsarion is a man who I hold in high reverence, and luckily he is still relatively young so that we can get a lot more of him. This book is only available digitally because of its regular revisions. Michael reveals ancient wisdom that has been kept from us for centuries and backs it up with a lot of references from other researches and historians. You may be amazed at what is shared; it certainly isn’t in our mainstream history lessons.
Because of our culture having Judeo Christian heritage, I have been fascinated by the stories and myths of the Bible. I came across Ralph Ellis through Michael Tsarion, and I can honestly say that I think he is one of the most well-researched men on the planet. If you are devoted to any of the monotheistic religions, this may shatter a few of your belief systems. If you are ready to see another side of the coin, then this book will explain an alternative story of Jesus. This work is paradigm-shattering; so if you are comfortable and don’t wish for a dose of truth, don’t pick up the book. Ralph has many other books I’d recommend too.
The Human Body/Health
Paul Chek is a mentor of mine; having taken some of his courses. He is a pioneer in the holistic wellness scene, and I would put him against a stadium full of doctors on the human body. How to eat, move and be healthy was first published in 2004, and the 2nd edition was published in 2018. The book goes into different metabolic types and various forms of exercise, to name a couple. It provides questionnaires to help guide you through the book and pick out important points where you can make changes instantly. Paul does a fantastic job of making a very complex subject easy for the layman to understand.
Western A. Price was a dentist who travelled around the world studying indigenous cultures, from Africa to Australia to Alaska. He found that ‘the modern diet’ was destroying the health of these indigenous populations. This is a foundational book for anyone who genuinely wants to take ownership of their health. If you have now realised the government and other supposed ‘health boards’ have absolutely no interesting in keeping you healthy, this is one of the first to pick up. A lot of Paul Chek’s work, above, has been built on Weston A Price principles.
I only picked this up recently. Having been a student of the human body and its hidden anatomy for years, I was surprised that I hadn’t come across this book sooner. It is a very in-depth text detailing the non-physical aspects of the human body from different cultures all over the world. Cyndy Dale is an expert in the Chakra systems and lectures on them globally; this is her magnum opus and for a good reason. I haven’t seen a book with such an array of knowledge from so many different modern and ancient cultures.
This is one of those books that should be taught in schools. A lack of self-esteem is what is causing much of the victim culture washing across the west. The six pillars are the foundations of healthy self-esteem. Nathaniel Brandon was a student of Ayn Rand, a philosopher in the 20th century. He has done a terrific job of building on her work and lectures all over the world. I love the freedom that comes from a real selfhood and Nathaniel focuses on the psychology of the individual rather than the collective.
American Apparel ex CEO, Dov Chaney called this book – ‘The Atheists Bible’. I’m far from an atheist, but I understand what he was getting at. I am a big fan of the writer, about the book he said – “I believe I described a reality that no other book tried to describe,” he says. “I went to an extreme for literary purposes because I felt all the self-help books out there were so gooey and Pollyanna-ish and nauseating. It was making me angry.” In 48 Laws of Power, the author tells of numerous different stories throughout history to demonstrate how a man can become more powerful and manipulate situations to his advantage. It is highly strategic and one that requires a deep understanding in my opinion. As well as an offence, I use the knowledge of the laws for defence in my own life.
Napoleon Hill is best known for ‘Think and Grow Rich’, and this book was born off the back of that. The author saw that there were hundreds of thousands of people reading his book with only a small minority achieving anything noteworthy. Although written in 1938, it was only published in 2011 due to the book being ‘too controversial’ for its time. Probably because of the title and the Christian culture in the USA at the time. The book is a dialogue between the writer and the devil (the mind) about how he manipulates the weaknesses inherent in human beings and what his end is – a fascinating insight into the psyche of one of the great personal development writers ever.
Entrepreneurialism and Investing
Warren Buffet, widely considered to be the best investor of our time called this book – “the best book on investing ever written”. Since reading this book, a lot later than I should have in all probability, my investing has taken on a new lease of life. I really enjoy investing, and I see it as a game rather than a serious business; but that is mainly due to my philosophy on life, than finance in general. The Intelligent Investor makes you take a step back and see the bigger picture. I became much more defensive and made critical decisions using fundamental data rather than speculating after reading this book. When I look back, it has saved me a small fortune from naive errors I would have made.
I read this book on the banks of the River Ganges in Rishikesh. Not the type of book you’d expect to be reading in a place like that, but it gave me the headspace to absorb and begin strategising in numerous different areas of life. Ray Dalio is the creator of the biggest hedge fund in the world. His equation is Pain + Reflection = Progress. Ray uses downturns in the market and in business to find his ‘principles’. Principles that I find indispensable in my entrepreneurial ventures, and all other areas of life. “To be principled means to consistently operate with principles that can be clearly explained” (Write them down!)
This one isn’t as well-known as some of the others. The entrepreneurial world is shifting so quickly that many businesses won’t be able to adapt quick enough as we move into this new era. In ’24 Assets’, Daniel Priestley configures 24 different assets that small and medium enterprises will need to flourish. I love how practical the book is. I sat outside in the sun in my garden, made a note of all the 24 assets before reading the book and then wrote notes using my notecard system (link). Within 48 hours, I had an implementation strategy for the assets I knew could work well. You are reading one of them.
I love Robert Greene because of his knowledge of history and his storytelling. His knowledge of the strategic masters throughout history is phenomenal. Robert has a beautiful way of telling the stories of these masters and putting it into applicable lessons to be utilised in business and life. A pure genius of our time.
A historical book and one that is still used by the USA military academy today. ‘Know your enemy and know yourself, and in 100 battles you will never be in peril’. This book is full of timeless wisdom that is so simple and yet incredibly profound. It moves you into the context of life instead of what Robert Greene calls ‘tactical hell’. This book will be a one you keep going back to when you need a simple answer to a seemingly complex problem.
I love this book and Simon Sinek’s philosophy on life in general. The basic premise is to focus on why you are doing something, rather than the actual act of doing. Speak to emotions first, showing why, rather than the logic of what or how. ‘People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it… so why do you do, what you do?’. This is an inspiring book and gave me a new sense of vigour. I began to ask why I was doing anything at all. This was one of the books that got me writing this very article.