5 Highly Recommended Books to Steer Your Spiritual Growth
There are many amazing books out there to assist on one’s spiritual journey. Though I’m not an avid reader anymore (and slow at that too), there are some books that I have read in the last couple of decades that have stayed with me in their impact. Here are five of these books that I would highly recommend for spiritual seekers. These books have provided something deep for me – understanding, release, deeper detachment from ego, more. I’ll add an excerpt from each book, a quote that was powerful for me, to give you a flavour, if you haven’t already read the books.
1. The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle
This is a huge bestseller in the spiritual book market, and one which has reached further corners of the globe than perhaps any other in the spiritual category, selling millions of copies worldwide, and being translated into over 30 languages. Eckhart Tolle, interestingly, is the only living author out of the five books in this post.
Excerpt: “Don’t look for peace. Don’t look for any other state than the one you are in now; otherwise, you will set up inner conflict and unconscious resistance. Forgive yourself for not being at peace. The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace becomes transmuted into peace. Anything you accept fully will get you there, will take you into peace. This is the miracle of surrender.”
2. Freedom From The Known – Jiddu Krishnamurti
Freedom From The Known is the first book I read after spiritual awakening that took things onto another, deeper level. It showed me the problem of thinking, thought and mind. Krishnamurti demands self-reflection as you read, and this constant pointing the finger back at oneself eventually bears fruit. The ego doesn’t want you to read this book but that’s why it’s a must!
Excerpt: “To find out actually what takes place when you die you must die. This isn’t a joke. You must die – not physically but psychologically, inwardly, die to the things you have cherished and to the things you are bitter about. If you have died to one of your pleasures, the smallest or the greatest, naturally, without any enforcement or argument, then you will know what it means to die. To die is to have a mind that is completely empty of itself, empty of its daily longing, pleasure; and agonies. Death is a renewal, a mutation, in which thought does not function at all because thought is old. When there is death there is something totally new. Freedom from the known is death, and then you are living.”
3. Paul Brunton Notebooks
Paul Brunton’s notebooks (free) are a vast library of non-dual spiritual guidance and notes. I have found his words on ego and dark night of the soul particularly helpful at moments of need.
PB (as he liked to be called apparently) spent time with Ramana Maharshi, so is of that lineage – advaita vedanta / non-duality. I find his works deep but most importantly, grounded. To receive a daily Paul Brunton note in your inbox, sign up here.
Excerpt: “One day he will feel utterly tired of the ego, will see how cunningly and insidiously it has penetrated all his activities, how even in supposedly spiritual or altruistic activities he was merely working for the ego. In this disgust with his earthly self, he will pray for liberation from it. He will see how it tricked him in the past, how all his years have been monopolized by its desires, how he sustained, fed, and cherished it even when he thought he was spiritualizing himself or serving others. Then he will pray fervently to be freed from it, he will seek eagerly to dis-identify himself and yearn ardently to be swallowed up in the nothingness of God.” – Notebook 357
4. The Road Less Travelled – M. Scott Peck
I have read this book a couple of times (a rare feat it has to be said), the first time was many moons ago, long before I had come across the term spiritual awakening. This book has sold over 10 million copies, changing the lives of people around the globe. It appeals to people of all religions and beliefs. It’s a classic in understanding psychology and the things that hold us back from
Excerpt: “Ego boundaries must be hardened before they can be softened. An identity must be established before it can be transcended. One must find one’s self before one can lose it…”
This quote is deep – for so often people are evading having an identity; the relative self remains denied, so they cannot move onto the losing part.
5. Matthew, Tell Me About Heaven – Suzy Ward
Having had a fascination with what happens during and after death since a young age, I was interested in Suzy Ward’s story of connecting with her son who had died many years before, and in the ‘first-hand description of the afterlife’ presented. I also read other books in the Matthew series. I loved coming across this information. An open mind is needed when reading this book! willingness to review our worldview is demanded when we read this book! I interviewed Suzy about her books, but sadly do not have access to the interview now.
I was particularly interested in what Suzy said about the pre-birth agreement she and Matthew had, due to being a Soul Plan practitioner. This agreement included Matthew dying early and Suzy going on to convey the information she would receive from Matthew from the ‘other side.’ Here is a shorter version of Suzy’s story.
Excerpt: “A pre-birth agreement is never a punishment or an impersonal levy. Our agreement was made by all of us at soul level. We had shared lifetimes before and we had gained emotional strength during those experiences. We chose each other to be a family because every one of us would be given situations and conditions we needed for advancing our spiritual growth. Spiritual growth is what life on earth is all about.”
A Soul Plan reading reveals such situations and conditions – find out more here!
I could have selected many other books for the above short list, for example Nisargadatta Maharaja’s I AM THAT, or Ramana Maharshi’s Who Am I?, Oshos’ books, Gurdjieff works and others. But I think the above are worthy of a top 5 place in terms of impact. For everyone different books will resonate, and at different times, but I hope these picks provide some inspiration and insights for you too,