Can Books Help You Become More Spiritual?
Once upon a time I was told that I was a spiritual person. And that actually rather threw me because for all that I have been seeking knowledge and “inner truth” for a good many years, I don’t tend to actively think of myself as being all that spiritual.
Spirituality and spiritual and such terms are heard more and more these days. “I’m not religious, I’m spiritual.” They’re used so much indeed that I think we’ve forgotten what they mean. And I’m including me in there.
My mind, for all my seeking and discovering, sees a “spiritual person” as someone a lot more at peace with himself and the world around him. My mind creates a myth of calmness and clarity of vision within this person that I don’t see myself as having.
Still, I continue my journey. Seeking knowledge both of my self and the world around me. Seeking my own inner truth, but not necessarily from the sources you might expect.
Over the years, my studies have taken me down many different avenues. As I am drawn to the written word, I have sought meaning from there. Here, you will find some of the places and books I have found which have helped me to create my inner truth and spiritual practises.
So can books help you to become more spiritual? I don’t think so. Not by themselves, no. They can however, give you knowledge and a starting point from which to begin your own search.
12 Steps to Happiness
When I was in my very early 20s I became involved with 12-step programs through the man I was dating and his children. It was my involvement here which led to my seeking spiritual knowledge away from what I had been exposed to as a child.
I learned a new language, figured out that I had a co-dependent personality, and sought ways to move beyond that. “Co-Dependent No More” by Melody Beattie was instrumental in that move.
The Sleeping Prophet – Edgar Cayce
Around that same time, just beginning my search into what it was I really believed, someone handed me this book and suggested I read it. Saying that much of what I was articulating was mirrored in the writings of this man.
I read this one and several others after about Edgar Cayce’s teachings and visions, and while much did resonate within me, I can’t say that I agreed with all of it. Even so, “There is a River” by Thomas Sugrue helped to set me on this life I am leading today.
Discovering Pagan Religions
Quite by chance I picked up and read a book about Wicca in the early 1990s. Through reading I realised that this book was describing beliefs and ideas which I had already developed for myself. After years of knowing I wasn’t one thing, I was finally moving towards knowing what I was.
That book was “The Truth About Witchcraft Today” by Scott Cunningham. This is the book I recommend even today for anyone seeking basic knowledge of what Wicca is and is not.
I continued by reading other books by Scott Cunningham and through that began to develop my personal Pagan practises.
Discovering my Spiritual Truth as a Woman
I went through what I call my radical feminism stage in the early 1990s. During that time I read many books presenting religion and spirituality from a feminist perspective. One which sticks in my mind and which I still carry to this day is “When God was a Woman” by Merlin Stone.
My self-help book stage
I went through a stage as well where I read all of the up and coming self-help books that were hitting the shelves. This was back in the mid-1980s at the beginning of that craze.
One book I did pick up though which I felt aided in my personal growth was “The Dance of Anger” by Harriet Lerner, PhD. When she originally wrote the book she was working at The Menninger Foundation which at the time was settled in its original location in Topeka, Kansas.
This book helped me to look at how anger was eating me up inside (I who for years felt only the emotions of people around me and couldn’t identify my own). It too helped me in discovering my truth about who I am as a spiritual person.
Is religious the same as spiritual?
At one time, religious and spiritual did mean the same thing. Within the past 100 years though this has slowly changed. Religion does not give the same structure to a person’s life as it once did (for good or for bad). People have started looking inside themselves for meaning in life, instead of looking externally.
One book which looks at this question in more depth is The Search for Spirituality: Our Global Quest for a Spiritual Life by Dr Ursula King, professor emerita of theology and religious studies at the University of Bristol.
Finding Spiritual Truth in Non-Fiction
Some express surprise that I have found inner truths about my own ethical beliefs within the pages of a fantasy book. Others, who know me well, are not surprised at all.
One such was a series of books written by David Eddings called The Belgariad. There, I learned and understood that when practising magic, care needed to be taken because even the most innocent action today could have a profound reaction tomorrow.
I also discovered a quote which I use to this day when doing divination work:
The future is not set in stone. Even if it was, you can always break the stone.
Past-life impressions? Healer from Birth
I knew from a very early age that I wanted to be a nurse. I don’t recall a time of ever wanting to be anything else. Even thoughts of being a wife and mother were pushed out by this burning desire.
I now believe that these early thoughts were influenced in no great part by past-lives. I have always been a healer. At least as far as I can remember.
In the midst of my studies into Goddess worship I also looked at the role of women as healers in times gone past. One excellent book I read on this subject was “Woman as Healer” by Jeanne Achterberg.
During my years at university I learned about Martha Rogers and “The Science of Unitary Human Beings” as part of the work I did in earning my nursing degree. It was this knowledge which led me to exploring energy healing, and ultimately to becoming a Reiki Master.
I have continued my work in learning more about Reiki and most recently began looking into the origins of Reiki. This search has led me to reading “The Original Reiki Handbook of Dr. Mikao Usui” edited Frank Arjava Petter, translated by Christine M. Grimm.
Truth in the Information Age: Access to the world’s largest library
These days, anyone with a computer and an internet connection has access to the world’s largest library. All you need to do is figure out how to search it.
Over time, I have found a wide range of websites which have aided in helping me to find my own internal truth. These are just a few.
The Wiccan Rede: A Historical JourneyA well researched history of the Wiccan Rede. A must read for any Wiccan or Pagan.
..:: Scalar Waves and the Human Mobius Coil System ::..
Excerpts from the book “The Heart of Health; the Principles of Physical Health and Vitality” by Stephen Linsteadt, NHD
Contemporary cell research is now based on the principles of quantum physics that shows the world as being created out of energy.
A look at the implications this has on cellular research.
The Shaman’s Well | A Watering Hole For Your Inner Sage
Launched in October 2010, The Shaman’s Well delivers a steady stream of content for those following a shamanic path. Notice that we are not delivering content just about shamanism. We strive to support the growth of those on the shamanic path by bringing them in depth articles about shamanism, but also including ideas on Yoga, Health, Buddhism and other topics.
This is but a handful of the books and resources I have found over time which have helped to guide me along my life path. I am fairly certian that were I to create a similar list in a year’s time, I would have other books to add or would be tempted to leave one out. I debated in my head, for instance, on whether or not to include Mark Townsend‘s books detailing his own spiritual journey as a Church of England priest and Druid. In the end though, I decided this was a list of books that led me along my journey.
Your own book list will be completely different, and I expect at least one book in my list will have you scratching your head in bewilderment. I invite your comments and questions should you have any, and if there is a book that had a strong influence on your own spiritual growth and development, please share it with us here.
- Spiritual Wellness: Find Your Way. (wellnessblogging.wordpress.com)
- Breaking Free from Cultural Lore to Spiritual Freedom (theanjananetwork.net)
- Finding Your Spirituality (withanopenheart.org)
- Welcome to the first Spiritual Wellness Blog! (livingwellatuhn.com)
- Book Review: Spirituality Without Structure by Nimue Brown (lornasmithers.wordpress.com)
- Religion or Spirituality (discoveringwisdom.com)
- Finding Your Spiritual Path! (angelicblessings.wordpress.com)
- Spirituality, With or Without Religion (carlmccolman.com)