SPIRITUAL AND/OR NEW AGE BOOKS

 

 

Although I have tried, in this section, as much as possible, to group books together by "theme", I have not imposed any rigorous order or scheme of organization on what is presented here.  (The only real scheme I have adopted is to divide the list into two parts:  "original entries", which encompasses all of my initial selections to this list, and "additional entries", in which I will list all other books, irregardless of subject, as they come to my attention.)  This is, most definitely, a place to browse!  -  In that spirit, enjoy!  (Note:  Some items are individually linked to amazon.com.  To purchase, or further consider, any item which is NOT directly linked to its page on amazon.com,  please use the all-purpose amazon.com link located at the bottom of this page, which will take you to amazon.com's home page and search engine.)

 

Original Entries  

 

The Journey of Rainsnow.  This is my own book, which describes my own spiritual adventures, centered on past-life memories, synchronicities, and other esoteric phenomena.  You can read more about it on this web site (The Rainsnow Books), or at amazon.com.  

Through Time into Healing.  This is my favorite book by Dr. Brian Weiss.  In my opinion, it gives the best overview of past-life regressions and their possible benefits.  I like it even more than Dr. Weiss' Many Lives, Many Masters, a fascinating book which played a major role in sparking recent interest in past-life regressions.  Also by Dr. Weiss:   Only Love Is Real, the true story of an amazing reencounter of soulmates. 

Other Lives, Other Selves: A Jungian Psychotherapist Discovers Past Lives, by Dr. Roger Woolger.  This is another excellent introduction to past-life regressions.  Woolger's treatment of the subject is philosophically deeper than most, and his writing style is superior.

Children's Past Lives, by Carol Bowman.  This is an excellent study of the phenomenon of past-life memory among children.  It should be indispensable reading for any parent who believes in reincarnation.  It would not be an exaggeration to call this book a classic, nor to categorize Bowman as one of the most important figures of the contemporary past-life field.

Across Time and Death, by Jenny Cockell.  This is one of the most mesmerizing modern accounts of past-life remembering available.  It is the real-life story of a woman living in our own times, who remembers a previous life as a mother whose premature death left her children orphaned in the past.  Born again, into a new life, but still haunted by concern and love for the children she left behind - driven by a mother's unending loyalty, which cannot be contained by the boundaries of time - she begins a fascinating and deeply moving quest to find her past-life children (who are now older than she is) in the present!  This startling premise, and the amazing vindication of many of Jenny's memories by fact, turn this into one of the most important past-life books of our day!

Beyond The Ashes:  Cases of Reincarnation From The Holocaust, by Rabbi Yonassan Gershom.  This is a fascinating and well-written book by a writer who stands out for his personal authenticity, his sincerity, and his spiritual dedication (he is one of those rare individuals, in our modern times, who is willing to pay the price demanded by his beliefs).  The book combines fascinating material on past-life memories related to the Holocaust, with a clear and effective introduction to Jewish mysticism, in which the belief in reincarnation thrives.  From Ashes To Healing contains the accounts of 15 individuals with past-life memories of the Holocaust, linked and supported by the Rabbi's commentary.  Jewish Tales Of Reincarnation explains and demonstrates instances of the Jewish belief in reincarnation (among kabbalists and Hasidim), drawing stories and case studies from folkore, mystical writings, and contemporary accounts.  I AM NOT PROVIDING LINKS TO THESE BOOKS FROM MY SITE, OUT OF RESPECT TO THE RABBI, who is, after all, the author of these works.  Please use his own web site as a platform for buying his books!  (See "Sites Of Interest.")

Past Lives, Future Lives, by Bruce Goldberg.  Bruce Goldberg is one of the most popular writers on past-life regressions today.  This book is filled with interesting material, and, as the title indicates, covers not only past-life regressions, but also the controversial realm of future-life progressions:  seeing oneself in a future existence.  (My favorite book on the subject of future lives is Chet Snow's Mass Dreams of the Future, but that book is hard to come by these days.) 

Children Who Remember Previous Lives, by Dr. Ian Stevenson.  Dr. Stevenson is probably the world's foremost scientific researcher regarding the mystery of reincarnation.  For years, the focal point of his research has been the investigation of children who seem to remember previous lives.  This book is scholarly and detailed, but will be eagerly read by anyone who is deeply into the study of reincarnation.  It serves as a good introduction to Dr. Stevenson's approach and findings.

Black Elk Speaks, by Black Elk as told to John Neihardt.  This book simultaneously deals with Native American (specifically Lakota, or Sioux) spirituality, and with Native American culture and history. It is the poetically told, real-life story of a young, visionary Lakota man, whose tales of spiritual experiences are interwoven with the heartbreaking chronicle of his people's struggle to remain free, as the power of the whites (wasichus) slowly closed in about them in the 1860s and 1870s.  Years after defeat, and the institution of the reservation system, Neihardt encountered the aged Black Elk, who was hoping to find some way to pass on his vision of life before he died.  Neihardt, a writer and a great poetic soul, proved to be the perfect medium for the communication of Black Elk's message to the world of the conquering whites.  It is a message that has influenced me profoundly, and which offers - not explicitly, yet clearly to those are able to connect with it - the seed of a new future for us all.  A more thorough overview of traditional Lakota spirituality is provided in The Sacred Pipe, by Black Elk, with Joseph Epes Brown.

Lame Deer Seeker of Visions, by John (Fire) Lame Deer and Richard Erdoes.  This book is simultaneously spiritual, cultural, and personal.  It describes (in his own words) the life and times of John Lame Deer, a Lakota storyteller, "hell-raiser" and medicine man, growing up, and trying to find himself, and to hold on to his roots in the midst of 1900s America, which seemed bent on crushing the heritage, pride, and spiritual legacy of native peoples.  This is a book which had a great impact on me.

Of Water And The Spirit:  Ritual, Magic, And Initiation In The Life Of An African Shaman, by Malidoma Patrice Some.  This is the fascinating, first-person account of an African shaman, chronicling his development as a youth, his struggle to return to ancestral forms of spirituality after being subjected to a period of severe cultural and religious indoctrination by European teachers, who were convinced of their moral superiority; and finally, his advancement down his own spiritual path.  It is a lively book, filled with wisdom and life, spiritual depth and cultural vibrancy.

The Way Of The Shaman, by Michael Harner.  The classic modern work on shamanism, considered to be the pillar of the contemporary shamanic revival in the West.

Soul Retrieval, by Sandra Ingerman.  A "disciple" of Harner, Sandra Ingerman presents an outline, here, of how the ancient shamanic technique of "soul retrieval" can be used to deal with a wide variety of psychological issues confronting our present times.  She convincingly argues that this age-old approach to emotional and physical illness may be put to use, today, as an effective form of alternative therapy. 

Plants Of The Gods:  Their Sacred Healing And Hallucinogenic Powers, by Richard Evans Schultes, Albert Hofmann, and Christian Ratsch.  A fascinating and detailed look at a wide variety of plants, and how they have been used as part of the spiritual life of peoples throughout the world.

Saved by the Light, by Dannion Brinkley.  Probably the best known, true-life story of an NDE (near-death experience), and its impact on its survivor.  Brinkley, a self-described bully with a mean heart, was transformed by this experience, in which, after being struck by lightning and pronounced dead, he claims to have seen the world beyond ours, where he gained new spiritual insights, before being resuscitated.  This book is his story and his message.

Embraced by the Light, by Betty Eadie.  This book stands as another major classic, in the field of first-person NDE survivor narratives.  It contains many beautiful and moving moments.

Life After Life, by Dr. Raymond Moody.  This is considered a classic in the field, one of the most influential early treatments of the subject of the NDE.  (Melvin Morse and PH Atwater are also important writers in this field.)  Besides his work on NDEs, Dr. Moody has also written Reunions:  Visionary Encounters With Departed Loved Ones, a fascinating book about his efforts to utilize ancient techniques of mirror-gazing and trance-induction to facilitate meetings between grieving individuals and their departed loved ones.  While he has developed a facility of his own to help stimulate these out-of-the-ordinary encounters, he also lays the groundwork, in this book, for individuals to attempt to utilize his techniques on their own.

Journey of Souls, by Michael Newton.  Newton, utilizing the same techniques as those which are employed to produce past-life regressions, has attempted to gain understanding, through the experiences of his subjects, of what happens between a person's death and rebirth.  This includes the nature of the between-lives world, our relationships with spirit guides, and many other intriguing mysteries, as well.  This book has been very successful, and is probably the classic New Age work on the subject. 

One Last Time, by John Edward.  John Edward is my favorite famous spirit medium.  This book captures his enjoyable style, which projects humor, compassion and sincerity, as he discusses the experience of spirit communication in a personal and tangible way.  He also has another book, available at this time, which bears the same title as his TV show, Crossing Over.  Also worthwhile. 

There Is A River: The Story Of Edgar Cayce, by Thomas Sugrue. This is one of the best available biographies on Edgar Cayce, the fascinating "American prophet" and psychic who, though steadfastly Christian from beginning to end, came to believe in reincarnation, on account of many past-life readings which he did for others (and himself). But, most of all, he was known for his ability to heal others, or discover the keys for healing others, while "lost" within a deep trance state; as well as for his down-to-earth compassion, his wisdom, and his genuine moral commitment to others.

The Holographic Universe, by Michael Talbot.  This is probably the best attempt to explain a wide variety of paranormal and esoteric phenomena from a scientific point of view which is currently available for the non-scientist.  Of course, Talbot cannot explain these phenomena from the current scientific framework utilized to evaluate them; instead, he is forced to explore alternative takes on reality in which science and mysticism seem capable of merging.  The book is a wealth of theories, facts, and anecdotes, and is, simply stated, a fascinating and potentially mind-altering read.  Highly recommended.

The Secret Vaults Of Time:  Psychic Archaeology And The Quest For Man's Beginnings, by Stephan A. Schwartz.  I have not read this book, personally.  But I would like to!  I've listed it here because I've heard some positive comments, and it seems interesting (it deals with the use of psychic abilities, such as remote viewing, to help unlock secrets from the past).

Forbidden Archaeology:  The Hidden History Of The Human Race, by Micheal Cremo and Richard Thompson.  The abridged version is entitled The Hidden History Of The Human Race.  Though some have called this a "crackpot book", and others have heralded it as a courageous breakthrough, it has undeniable value for demonstrating the way in which scientific knowledge is sometimes constructed more upon the basis of assumptions and prejudices than upon objective facts.  Meticulous research on the use and suppression of evidence in the creation of theories regarding the age and development of the human race is presented, and it is eye-opening, to say the least.

Cryptozoology:  A To Z, by Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark.  A small but interesting book, in encyclopedia format, on the topic of undiscovered, unknown, or at least scientifically unaccepted animals.  That is what cryptozoology is all about.  The search for creatures of which we have hints, from unconfirmed observations, folklore, or speculations, yet no scientifically accepted proof.  The Loch Ness Monster, the Yeti, Big Foot, various forms of sea serpents, surviving dinosaurs, mammoths, giant sloths, "ape men", the search is on!  If this subject fascinates you, and you have the means, the classic in this genre is On The Track Of Unknown Animals by Bernard Heuvelmans (the father of cryptozoology), a splendid, highly detailed, and exciting book that must have led many a promising young biologist astray!  But is not adventure nearer to the essence of life than reputability?  Also by Heuvelmans, but now very hard to find, is In The Wake Of The Sea Serpents.  However, for first-timers, and all those who are not willing to invest big bucks on this subject, this book - Cryptozoology:  A To Z - will do just fine.

The Secret Life Of Plants, by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird.  This book provides an astonishing glimpse into the mysterious world of plants.  Drawing on many sources, but most impressively, upon many well-constructed scientific studies, the authors demonstrate that plants are not the nearly inanimate life forms we have come to believe, but living beings, in the truest sense of the word, with the capacity to react not only to the physical elements, but also to the emotions of people and animals, in what seems to be a sentient and even intelligent way.  This book is highly recommended to executives of lumber companies, though vegetarians should, perhaps, think twice before reading this one.  After all, you do need to eat something!

The Scientist:  A Metaphysical Autobiography, by John Lilly.  John Lilly was a brilliant and eccentric scientist, known for his research on communication between man and dolphin, his investigation of "inner space", his use of mind-altering drugs and the flotation tank.  He was one of the most remarkable seekers of our times.

The UFO Experience, by J. Allen Hynek.  A classic in the field, written by a serious and respected scientist.  This book approaches the UFO phenomena from an objective, non-sensationalistic point of view, and for that reason, its findings are all the more impressive.  Also by Hynek (and Philip J. Imbrogno with Bob Pratt) is Night Siege, a very fascinating and convincing exploration of the famous Hudson Valley sightings of the 1980s, just north of New York City.

The UFO Book, by Jerome Clark.  This book, in encyclopedia-format, contains a wealth of information about many sightings and aspects of the UFO phenomenon. 

Extraterrestrial Civilizations, by Isaac Asimov.  This book really does not belong in a New Age/Spiritual section, but I have placed it here for the scientific validation it gives, at least, to the concept of life on other planets.  No, this is not some kind of extravagant volume providing detailed descriptions of civilizations among the stars, it is, instead, a basic introduction to the reasoning which underlies the belief of most scientists that intelligent life exists on other worlds, besides our own.  It describes the conditions believed necessary for the development of life, and the rise of extraterrestrial civilizations.  (Some view Asimov's work as a more succinct version of Walter Sullivan's earlier classic, on this same subject:  We Are Not Alone.)  Of course, this is not a perfect work, nor the last word on many matters.  And yet, it does help to lay a foundation for better understanding the subject.

Witnessed:  The True Story Of The Brooklyn Bridge UFO Abduction, by Budd Hopkins.  This is one of the weirdest books on the subject you'll find.  You will be tempted to either say, "This is whacked!", or "They're here."  I can't make up my mind.  This purportedly true story involves a woman said to have been abducted by a UFO right out of her apartment building, in New York City,  and claims that the incident had multiple witnesses.  My own judgment is that Budd Hopkins is an honest and serious, if possibly imperfect, researcher, and if this is so, then the case really does become quite mind-boggling.  Whatever the case, the book makes for an exciting read!  More comprehensive general treatments of the alien abduction phenomenon are presented in Budd Hopkins' Missing Time, and in John Mack's Abduction:  Human Encounters With Aliens, but these two classics are becoming harder to find.

The Fairy Faith In Celtic Countries, by W.Y. Evans-Wentz.  This is a wonderful book, both scholarly and anecdotal, which was originally completed in 1911.  William Butler Yeats, the famed Irish poet, encouraged Evans-Wentz to capture what he could of what remained of the rich fairy traditions of Ireland and the other Celtic lands, before these traditions were withered away by the power of the modern mentality.  What results is a folkloric treasure.

Isis Magic, by M. Isidora Forrest.  A well-researched and thorough book which explores the ancient Egyptian Goddess Isis, and how she has been viewed and worshipped through time.  It then provides abundant material showing modern-day believers how they can develop a meaningful spiritual relationship with Isis today.  This book is substantial.  It is THE book for the modern-day Isis worshipper.

Mythology:  Timeless Tales Of Gods And Heroes, by Edith Hamilton.  This is probably the most popular and widely-known introduction to Greek mythology available, although many other authors, such as Bullfinch, and Robert Graves (a great scholar), have also become forever linked to the subject.  These tales are not only fascinating, helping to excite and expand the imagination, they often contain profound truths and insights into the nature of the universe, life, and the human condition.

The Mythic Tarot, by Juliet Sharman-Burke and Liz Green.  I use the mythic tarot deck, myself, and love this book.  At one time, you could buy the book, a pack of mythic tarot cards, and a cloth on which to spread the cards, all in one package.  I am not sure if the cards are still being produced, and sold with the book, or not.  (I think they are.  Please let me know if they're not!)  The mythic tarot deck utilizes figures and stories from Greek mythology, which, for me, help to enhance and deepen the possibilities of the cards (but every reader will have his or her own preferences).

Tarot For Beginners:  An Easy Guide To Understanding And Interpreting The Tarot, by Scott Hollander.  I consider this to be a good introductory book to the tarot, and one which will help those individuals who wish to develop their own tarot-reading abilities.  But every reader has his own point of view:  for some, this book is the greatest, while others find one or more faults with it.  The truth is, it is hard to find a perfect book on the tarot, since many books tend to give too limited or rigid a range of meanings for the cards, or else lack important details.

A Complete Guide To The Tarot, by Eden Gray.  This is another book which could help the beginning tarot reader.  Like all books, it has its strengths and weaknesses.  The serious tarot reader should, doubtless, own several different books on the tarot; and will, of course, develop his or her own personal relationship with the cards over time.

The Rider Waite Tarot Deck, designed by Arthur Edward Waite and Pamela Coleman Smith.  This is the classic deck.  In a world proliferating with new decks and approaches, this classic, with its powerful and clear presence and imagery, remains the standard.  It awakens the depths of the imagination, stimulates the psychic potential of the reader, and helps to turn the tarot into a powerful experience for all.

The Only Astrology Book you'll Ever Need, by Joanna Martine Woolfolk.  An excellent and thorough introduction to the art of astrology.

DREAM BOOKS.  Although I am very interested in dreams and dream interpretation, I am almost always dissatisfied with books about dream interpretation; and especially with so-called dream dictionaries.  I will, therefore, give no recommendations in this category.  (If you are a publisher, and think you have a good book on this subject, let me know!)  I will mention two books on dreams that are worthwhile, however.

Our Dreaming Mind, by Robert L. Van De Castle, is a worthwhile book which discusses the history and role of dreams in different cultures, and various psychological and scientific takes on dreams.  It is a substantial book.  Although it might greatly enhance your overall knowledge of dreams (presuming you are not already well-read on the subject), it is NOT designed to aid you in interpreting your own dreams.

The Dream Encyclopedia, by James R. Lewis.  As the title suggests, this book is in encyclopedia-format.  It is filled with interesting information.  In the back, it contains a limited dictionary of dream symbols.  As in all such cases, the dictionary could be useful if you do not allow it to confine your own imagination and bind you to meanings which may not be accurate in your case.

The Art Of Happiness, by His Holiness The Dalai Lama, and Howard Cutler.  In this best-seller, a Western psychiatrist interviews the Dalai Lama, and seeks to elicit insights from him which will help us as we struggle to find meaning and happiness in our  lives.

The Heart Of The Buddha's Teaching, by Thich Nhat Hanh.  This is a clear introduction to the basic principles and sensibilities of Buddhism by a well-respected teacher, and great human soul:  Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk, originally from Vietnam, who is dedicated to promoting awareness, spirituality and peace throughout the earth.

A Path With Heart:  A Guide To The Perils And Promise Of Spiritual Life, by Jack Kornfield.  Kornfield is one of America's foremost Buddhist teachers, who seeks to demonstrate how Buddhist philosophy and perspectives may be applied to everyday life.  He is also the author of After The Ecstasy, The Laundry:  How The Heart Grows Wise On The Spiritual Path.  This book takes on an important issue:  how to survive on the spiritual path when one's insights, learning, and spiritual discoveries do not solve all of life's problems, as one had hoped; how to go on when one's spiritual high vanishes, leaving one back in reality.  He provides encouragement for those who have reached this point, and new directions for constructing a durable spirituality that can endure not only the stubborn hardships of the real world, but also the disappointments of its own "come-down" from ecstasy.

The Undefended Self:  Living The Pathwork Of Spiritual Wholeness, by Susan Thesenga and Eva Pierrakos.  This book contains important material for self-development from Eva Pierrakos, a woman who sought to channel greater wisdom and insight to the earth from a source she called "The Guide."  Her work seems to be a mixture of channeled insight and psychology (influenced, especially, by Jung).  This book presents the concepts of "The Mask" (the image we often try to maintain, for others and ourselves), "The Higher Self", and "The Lower Self", and attempts to develop exercises and approaches that will allow individuals to gain a more honest understanding of who they really are, as a first step for integrating their "Higher" and "Lower" selves, and achieving mental and emotional health.  Another related book, by Eva Pierrakos and Donovan Thesenga, is Fear No Evil:  The Pathwork Method Of Transforming The Lower Self.  The work deals with a critical piece of wisdom, which is that in order to live as spiritually advanced beings, we must, first, be quite familiar with our "dark side."

The Tao Te Ching, translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English.  I do not know whether Amazon.com's version of the Feng/English translation of the Tao Te Ching is the same as the one I have in my own library, or not.  Mine has no explanatory introduction or scholarly commentary, it is just the text, itself.  Those who want to read an analysis or explanation of the material will need to look for another version, or else complement this one with some additional reading.  The Tao Te Ching was written by Lao Tsu, a Chinese sage born around 600 BC, and is considered to be the essential "scripture" - though that word hardly fits - of Taoism, the mysterious Chinese spiritual philosophy which has so intrigued readers of our own times.  "Mysterious" is an understatement.  The word "Tao", itself, is variously translated as "the path", "the way", "the spiritual essence or principle of the Universe", "the original and natural state of the Universe", "the mother of all things"; or, best of all, left untranslated, for it is a word that seems to flow and change shape depending on context, yet without ever losing its substance. As for the 81 mystical poems which the book contains, they are often cryptic, close to unfathomable.  And yet, one senses the power within them, like a mountain concealed by fog, and hopes that through meditation and study of their words, one will finally be able to catch a glimpse of the secret of existence.  Confucius, the brilliant philosopher who was a contemporary of Lao Tsu, was astonished by his meeting with the old sage, who both baffled him and humbled him. It is said that after the meeting, Confucius did not speak for three days, and when he finally did, told his disciples:  "I have just seen a Dragon!"  For anyone wishing to duplicate his experience, there is The Tao Te Ching.

Spontaneous Healing, by Dr. Andrew Weil.  A classic in the alternative health care field, aimed at helping us to understand and utilize the power of our own body to heal itself.  It is a sensible and responsible book.

Love, Medicine, And Miracles, by Dr. Bernie Siegel.  This book has made a big difference in many people's lives, showing them the importance of love, the importance of not giving up, and the importance of taking an active role in their own healing when faced with life-threatening illness. 

Love And Survival:  The Scientific Basis For The Healing Power Of Intimacy, by Dr. Dean Ornish.  This is a beautiful and compassionate book which discusses the importance of the heart and mind in healing, and especially the power of love.  Loneliness, isolation, and the lack of love, are huge killers, and our health problems cannot be thought of as purely physical afflictions, for our emotional states are deeply connected to both sickness and recovery.  Dr. Ornish provides a compelling voice to argue for a deeper approach to well-being in our society.

Prescription For Nutritional Healing, by Phyllis A. Balch and James F. Balch.  This substantial reference work provides a general orientation regarding the role of various nutrients in promoting human health, then offers specific nutritional suggestions - what vitamins, minerals, supplements, and natural food sources should you have, or not have? - for helping to deal with a wide range of specific health problems and diseases.  (You look up the condition, then find the suggested nutritional response for it.)  Of course, the proposed remedies should often be combined with other treatments/responses, as well.  It should also be noted that the field of diet and nutrition is filled with conflict, debate, opposing theories, and frequent shifts in perspective, so that it is impossible to find a source that could truly be described as "definitive", or the "Bible of Good Nutrition."  However, this book does constitute a valuable tool in the attempt to use nutrition as one more asset in our battle to retain, or recover, our health.

Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom, by Dr. Christiane Northrup.  This is a guide to women's health (by a woman, for women).  It is in many ways unconventional, yet in touch with the mainstream.  Dr. Northrup deals with women's health issues, the roots of illness, and potential treatments, on a variety of levels.  She believes strongly in natural therapies, the value of herbs, and the crucial role of the emotions in contributing to wellness or illness, but is also familiar with conventional treatments, which she believes are appropriate for some cases.  

Hypnosis For Change:  A Practical Manual Of Proven Hypnotic Techniques, by Josie Hadley and Carol Staudacher.  This is a solid introduction to self-hypnosis, and what it can do for you in terms of working on a wide variety of problems, ranging from smoking, and weight gain or weight loss, to stress, phobias, and pain control.  It also deals with how you can use hypnosis to promote learning, and athletic achievement.  It provides some theory, strategies for change, and scripts for recording your own self-hypnosis tapes.   

The Therapeutic Touch:  How To Use Your Hands To Heal, by Dolores Krieger.  This important book described the tradition, background, technique, and effectiveness of energy healing, at a time when the Western world was ready to listen.  Krieger, with a PhD in nursing, has been a major influence on the introduction of complementary alternative therapy in hospitals, and the methods she has explained may also be used at home, for everyday purposes.  Another popular book by Dolores Krieger is Accepting Your Power To Heal:  The Personal Practice of Therapeutic Touch

On Death And Dying, by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross.  Sometimes, death cannot be avoided.  Prayers and healing fail, because it is time for life to move to a new stage, and for the soul to enter into a new phase of growth.  This is Kubler-Ross' classic, groundbreaking work on the process of dying.  Her explanation of this process, with its intense emotional states, is based upon extensive interviews with the dying, and her work with terminally ill patients.  On Death And Dying constitutes an important resource for those who are facing death, for their families, and for the healthcare and hospice workers who are attending to them.  Kubler-Ross has also written other valuable books, including The Wheel Of Life.

Hands Of Light:  A Guide To Healing Through The Human Energy Field, by Barbara Brennan.  This is the New Age classic on energy healing.  Brennan's approach towards auras and chakras, which are said to play a crucial role in the well-being of the body, is highly visual.  She vividly sees energy fields, patterns, shapes, sizes, and colors, which tell her a great deal about a patient's condition, problems, and needs.  Depending on what she sees, she then interacts with their energy field in such a way as to "repair" the damage which she has found, and restore balance and health to the body.  Basic concepts of psychology are integrated with this energetic approach.  The book is impressive for its detail, and for its splendid illustrations, and could really be called a practitioner's manual on energy-healing.  However, the book also has the potential to be severely frustrating for those whose healing sensibilities are less visual than Brennan's, for it may prove very difficult for many to reach the same level of visual awareness that she has reached, and therefore, to employ her methods.  There are many forms of healing, and a spectacular ability to see all the different lights and levels of the human energy field is not an essential prerequisite for being a great healer.  Nonetheless, this book belongs in the library of anyone interested in the practice of healing through the human energy field.  Brennan's follow-up book to Hands Of Light is Light Emerging:  The Journey Of Personal Healing

POPULAR NEW AGE BOOKS: Following is a list of some books which have enjoyed some success or popularity among New Age readers. I do not necessarily have an opinion on them (might like some, might not like others, might not have read others!) I just list them here in case you havenít read them yet, and might be interested.

Conversations With God, by Neale David Walsch. Multiple volumes, each of which can be read independently. The premise is interesting. ND Walsch sat down, with earnest questions, and tried to open up a space in his heart in which he could meet with God, and get the answers to his questions. You will have to decide if the voice he received is Godís voice, or his own; if God has one universal voice for Humanity, or if He, instead, has different (and sometimes contradictory) things to say to different people; if His voice can ever reach us purely, or if it is always affected by the human filter through which it passes. (In that way, Godís yellow, passing through a manís blue, might come out as green.) In all events, Walsch takes up a lot of issues in these books, from the way individuals live their lives, to the nature of the universe, to the nature of our social, political, and economic system.

The Celestine Prophecy, by James Redfield. This book is essentially a development of Redfieldís spiritual philosophy, presented through the medium of an adventure novel. In it, he presents nine "insights" which are said to be of crucial significance for the future of our planet. Many readers were captivated by the emphasis he placed upon synchronicities, or meaningful coincidences, which act as messages and doorways into a more magical and spiritual way of life. Redfield followed this with another book of spiritual philosophy wrapped up within an adventure story: The Tenth Insight. Another book, The Celestine Vision: Living The New Spiritual Awareness is spiritual philosophy without the adventure-story-coating. It is meant to provide guidance for moving towards a new period of personal and social transformation. The books have useful points and valuable components. And they are important pieces of New Age culture. Now, will someone please turn off the mike before I say something I may regret!

Nostradamus: The Complete Prophecies, by John Hogue. This volume contains many of the mystical quatrains of Nostradamus, the 16th-century physician and prophet, whose work has always intrigued occultists, and become increasingly popular during the New Age. Advocates claim that Nostradamusí prophecies are remarkably accurate, and point to events which took place long after his death, events which are taking place right now, and events which may yet take place in the future. Critics counter that his prophecies are expressed so vaguely, so cryptically, and so enigmatically, that people can read whatever they like into them. This book, which contains both Hogueís translations, and the original French, has been both praised and criticized (for Hogueís interpretations). Whatever the case, there can be no doubt that Nostradamus was a remarkable and fascinating figure.

The Bible Code, by Michael Drosnin. This book claims that the Torah (the first five books of the Bible) contains a secret code that enables extremely accurate prophecies to be made about human history, including our own times and the future. Some see this as evidence of Godís hand - proof of Godís existence, imbedded into the text of His holy book. (The code is based upon the systematic use of select letters - exactly in the manner of a secret cipher- taken from the Hebrew text.) Some critics who believe that such a code exists, much prefer Cracking The Bible Code, by Jeffrey Satinover, considering it to be a more serious and careful work than Drosninís. Others object to the whole premise, and believe that coincidence, mathematical probability, and imagination are being exploited to create the appearance of a miracle out of nothing.

The Deeper Wound: Recovering The Soul From Fear And Suffering, by Deepak Chopra. A post 9/11 book, meant to help address some of the issues left in the wake of that tragedy, or suggested by it. Deepak Chopra is a spiritual man and capable communicator, who is particularly beloved by the New Age. He has written many books, including: The Path To Love: Spiritual Strategies For Healing; The Seven Spiritual Laws Of Success: A Practical Guide To The Fulfillment Of Your Dreams; Ageless Body, Timeless Mind: The Quantum Alternative To Growing Old; and How To Know God: The Soulís Journey Into The Mystery Of Mysteries.

The Seat Of The Soul, by Gary Zukav. Can we human beings reconnect with our souls to develop "authentic power", instead of dwelling on the attainment and maintenance of "external power", as we seem to be doing now? Zukav is hopeful that we are in the midst of a process of spiritual evolution which will lead us towards that new phase. Zukav has also written The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview Of The New Physics, Soul Stories, and The Heart Of The Soul: Emotional Awareness, with Linda Francis, which aims to help people reestablish that connection with their own heart and soul. Zukav is very popular, and something like the New Age laureate of Oprah. He writes in a terse, direct way that seeks to communicate effectively with the reader, but some dislike the tone of authority in his words, feeling that he is telling us "this is how it is" instead of "this is what I think." After all, the universe is filled with many mysteries, and it is hard to discuss them with the same degree of certainty that applies to many more common forms of knowledge. Once again, however, Zukav is a big figure in the New Age, and his work has played an important role in shaping New Age culture.

Care Of The Soul: A Guide For Cultivating Depth And Sacredness In Everyday Life, by Thomas Moore. Moore has also written The Reenchantment Of Everyday Life. Moore believes we must change the level and intensity of our relationship with the substance of our daily lives; to transform our existence into something more meaningful, and, essentially, bring life back to life.

Anatomy Of The Spirit:  The Seven Stages Of Power And Healing, by Caroline Myss.  This book deals with the relationship between emotions, spirituality, and health.  Myss has also written Sacred Contracts:  Awakening Your Divine Potential, a book which seeks to help the reader find his/her own spiritual identity and purpose in life.

Ten Secrets For Success And Inner Peace, by Wayne Dyer. Dyer has written a LOT of books, including: Thereís A Spiritual Solution For Every Problem; Real Magic: Creating Miracles In Everyday Life; Your Sacred Self: Making The Decision To Be Free; Manifest Your Destiny: The Nine Spiritual Principles For Getting Everything You Want. He is a popular and motivational speaker, as well as writer.

The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology Of Love, Traditional Values And Spiritual Growth, by M. Scott Peck. He is also the author of People Of The Lie: The Hope For Healing Human Evil. Many people value his works.

The Camino, by Shirley MacLaine. In this book, Shirley describes her journey along a demanding medieval pilgrimage route through northern Spain, in a desire to achieve a greater spiritual awakening. Although some will not greet every one of her personal insights and discoveries with open arms, she did go on quite an adventure, and discover many things. I say, hats off to this tough and spiritual woman, who wonít call it quits, no matter how steep the mountain, or how nasty the critics!

 

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