Are you a spiritual seeker? Are you on a journey towards spiritual awakening? Then these spiritual books can certainly show you the way and give you a head start in understanding your spiritual side.
Books that guide your spirit
Most of us know about the major spiritual doctrines like the Bible, Bhagavad Gita, Quran, the Tibetan Book of the Dead, and many others. However, there are many other valuable spiritual books that can help to energize your spirit, fill your heart, and enliven your soul. When you know exactly which books to read for soul enrichment, self-awareness, self-knowing, and self-love, your quest for spirituality becomes easier and more meaningful.
Ashton August, author, yoga instructor, and the founder of YogiApproved explains “I don’t know about you, but to me, there is nothing more fulfilling than cozying up with a good book. Books have guided me through all the various stages and chapters in my life, and remain a central part of who I am and what I believe in.”
Best spiritual books you need to read
If you are a spiritual seeker looking for must-read spiritual books, then this short selection can be the perfect way for you to jump-start your journey. Here are 5 spiritual books that you must read to invigorate your spirit and soul:
1. Nature and the Human Soul by Bill Plotkin
“The caterpillar is to the butterfly as an uninitiated ego is to an initiated one. The imaginal buds are to the caterpillar as the soul is to the uninitiated ego.”
This exceptional book is crucial if you wish to pursue spiritual advancement. The author Bill Plotkin highlights the different soul-centric stages of human development and empowers us to explore the deeper levels of the human soul.
Gary Z McGee, author, and former Navy Intelligence Specialist explains that this book shows how most people are trapped in the lower 3 ego-centered stages of human development “and so authentic psychological and spiritual maturity has become an uncommon achievement, and genuine, venerated elder-hood is nearly nonexistent.” Nature and the Human Soul is an excellent read that you can’t afford to miss.
2. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
“In the end, these things matter most: How well did you love? How fully did you live? How deeply did you let go?”
This is a short novel that focuses on the spiritual journey of a person known as “Siddhartha”. Siddhartha Gautama was also the name of Lord Buddha. However, the protagonist of the novel is a different individual who begins his own journey of self-discovery. This book effectively combines both Eastern and Western philosophies and is often seen as a work of reverse missionary activity as it promotes Eastern spiritual beliefs in the West.
“If you haven’t heard of Siddhartha or its author, please trust me when I kindly ask that you stop right here and go get this book! Siddhartha is a game-changer. It’s a beautiful story, a quick read, and one that will entirely shift and empower your perspective,” suggests Ashton August.
3. The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James
“The best use of life is to spend it for something that outlasts it.”
Pregnant with narrative quotes, this enlightening spiritual book has played a significant role in defining modern spiritual & religious experiences. It was initially a part of the Gifford Lectures delivered in Edinburgh during 1901. William James introduced his optimistic beliefs and ideas on spiritual experience to the academic sphere. His work segregates religious and spiritual experiences into morbid-mindedness and healthy-mindedness.
The Varieties of Religious Experience is “a philosophical inquiry into the psychology of first-hand spiritual experience. It broke the mold for how religion and spirituality were studied,” explains Gary Z McGee. He adds that James said, “It consists of the belief that there is an unseen order, and that our supreme good lies in harmoniously adjusting ourselves thereto.”
4. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
“The timeless in you is aware of life’s timelessness. And knows that yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream.”
Published in 1923 and in over 20 languages, The Prophet is considered a classic. This spiritual book includes poetic prose that is spiritual, inspirational, and philosophical in nature. The 28 chapters in the book cover a wide array of topics like happiness, sorrow, love, work, freedom, self-knowledge, passion, beauty, pleasure, good and evil, death, and religion.
Author Gary Z McGee writes “Heavily influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche, Kahlil Gibran wrote The Prophet with an Übermensch-like poetic verve. It’s a tiny book of 26 prose-poetry essays about a prophet, Almustafa, who has a candid discussion with a group of people regarding life and the human condition.”
“Nuggets of spiritual gold are woven throughout The Prophet in the form of a wise man sharing his teachings with the townspeople about life,” adds Ashton.
5. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
Published in 1997, this spiritual book has sold over 3 million copies in the US and has been translated into thirty-three languages. Recommended by Oprah Winfrey, The Power of Now is an excellent book that will help you navigate through the everyday stress of life and empower you to be more mindful. By showing us the value of the present moment, Tolle takes us on a motivating spiritual journey towards self-development and exploration of the self.
Eckhart Tolle writes “Don’t read with the mind only. Watch out for any “feeling-response as you read and a sense of recognition from deep within. I cannot tell you any spiritual truth that deep within you don’t know already. All I can do is remind you of what you have forgotten. Living knowledge, ancient and yet ever new, is then activated and released from within every cell of your body.”
Author Ashton August explains “As a yoga instructor, I am often asked which book I recommend to someone newly beginning his or her personal journey inward. The Power of Now is my answer to that. But whether you’re just beginning, or well on your path, this spiritual book captivates your soul through speaking in simple truths.”
Here are 26 more spiritual books that every spiritual seeker must read as recommended by Carol Kuruvilla, associate editor of HuffPost:
- The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster
- The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories, by Marina Keegan
- Sophie’s World, by Jostein Gaarder
- Thirst: Poems, by Mary Oliver
- Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life From Dear Sugar, by Cheryl Strayed
- The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
- The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion
- The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho
- The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant
- Mortality, by Christopher Hitchens
- The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy
- Mother Night, by Kurt Vonnegut
- The Shack, by Wm. Paul Young
- The Dude and the Zen Master, by Jeff Bridges and Bernie Glassman
- How Should a Person Be?, by Sheila Heti
- The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, by Alan Watts
- Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, by Marjane Satrapi
- The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
- The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow
- Letters to a Young Poet, by Rainer Maria Rilke
- Long Day’s Journey into Night, by Eugene O’Neill
- Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramahansa Yogananda
- A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life, by Santideva
- A Gift of Love: Sermons from Strength to Love and Other Preachings, by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
- Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor E. Frankl
- Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, by Brené Brown
Although the books mentioned here are highly helpful, insightful, and valuable, there are many other books out there that can make your spiritual journey more fulfilling.
Awaken your spirituality
A good book can fill your mind and heart with wonder and make your life a lot more meaningful and satisfying. Now that you know which particular spiritual books you need to read to start your journey of self-discovery and self-awareness, it’s time to go get these books and start reading.
Here is an interesting video that you may find helpful: