2/21 The Books On My Path to Enlightenment

Here is my journey toward enlightenment. Yes, the journey has been mostly through books. Reading is the primary (most efficient and thorough) way that wisdom is acquired.

  • Marshall, Marvin. Discipline Without Stress, Rewards, or Punishment. I found it entirely by accident (is there such a thing?) and read it in 2004. The effect was as sudden and as changing as birth.
  • Ruiz, Don Miguel. The Four Agreements. Recommended, then given to me by Max Harmon. Who is wise. And quiet and patient and many of those things that mark wisdom. This book began connecting all the questions and ideas constellating in my head. I read it in 2006.
  • Plato. Excerpt from The Republic. My friend, Mike Pacella, asked if I knew about Plato’s Cave. Now I do. And it is the foundation for understanding everything. Seriously. Your understanding will be limited until you understand this. 2007 for me.
  • Egri, Lajos. The Art of Dramatic Writing. This was required for a class I took at UCLA. After the class was over I read the book. Boom. Born again. Do you understand what that means? Without changing my state (living), my entire existence changed. 2007 for me.
  • Shree, Swami; Yeats, William Butler. The Ten Principle Upanishads. I “happened” upon a list at philosophy.org. This book was on the list. For some reason I bought it (instead of any other on the list). Was not life-changing. No second-birth, no sudden light-bulbs, no epiphany, but I list it because it was another step for me. Read in 2008
  • The Bible. I did not encounter it here, rather here is where I began to understand it philosophically. All the things I had read or heard were in here. However you view it, it is the greatest philosophical work written.
  • Hesse, Herman. Siddartha. Sensei, John Divelbiss suggested I read it, then insisted I read it. “Better than the Bible” was my review. Caused an enlightenment growth-spurt. Read in 2009.
  • Huxley, Aldus. The Perennial Philosophy. I am on chapter four. When I finish, it will easily be the greatest book I have ever read. I could not have understood or accepted it even one year ago.
  • Wright, Kurt. Breaking the Rules. Friend/mentor Dan Dobson insisted I read it. I’m at chapter three of part one. It will change everything. Here are some quotes… from just a few pages:

“True visionaries demonstrated a consistent and remarkable openness to new ideas… In contrast, the leader who was theory-driven had to hold every new idea at arm’s length until he could confirm it would not risk upsetting this theories of how things should work.” “It will be impossible for any of us to experience wholehearted commitment and become effortless high performers as long as we remain theory-driven.” “The natural and self-sustaining source of creative energy needed to enjoy this level of commitment is simply not available to us as long as we continue to look outside ourselves for answers.” “[this book] will equip us all to look more skillfully inside ourselves–not to our egos or intellects, but to our hearts and our intuition–where the only true answers for guiding our lives await our discovery.” “I learned the importance of being able to read and understand a crowd’s direction, and then take this as a clue to begin my search for the truth in exactly the opposite direction.” “Effortless high performers operate at a level of wholehearted commitment that is far deeper, more intuitive, and longer-lasting than most people ever experience.” “Effortless high performers ask very different questions of themselves than do less productive people.” “Fear is a key by-product of the illusory world view of depletion and shortage. Love, trust, and anticipation of joy is the by-product of the world view of surplus and abundance.”

That’s my journey so far. Why did I start so late? It seems that the few people who ever begin the journey start late. Also, having kids helps. Nothing spurs maturation like parenting. So, what do you think?

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