1. The Ra Material
Originally published in 1984, this spiritual book from L/L Research has made a significant contribution to the New Age movement. According to the authors, the content was not created by them but by a “sixth-density being” called Ra, the same Ra that appears in ancient Egyptian theology.
This information has come to the authors through a technique called channeling. This involves the “channel” (the person doing the channeling) going into a trance state, after which their body is taken over by another entity that uses their speech or hands for communication.
This contact was discovered by the group during years of group meditation, and they decided to record the sessions. Besides the profound wisdom and deep philosophy that Ra shares with us, the fact that this contact and such an intelligent being may exist at all implies levels of existence of which we are not even remotely aware.
2. The Urantia Book
The Urantia Book (Urantia being the name of our planet) was also supposedly channeled but this time using a typewriter instead of speech. The receiving group was led by Dr. William Sadler, a highly respected psychiatrist who taught at the postgraduate School of Medicine at Chicago University.
The group explicitly stated that they and the sources do not want to equate any person with authorship of the book. The content, as opposed to the writer, is most important, and that is exactly what the book should be judged on.
The topic of the book encompasses nearly everything—from God and the superuniverse to earthly history, evolution, religion, and the meaning of spirituality. There is even an account of the life and teachings of Jesus.
This is supposedly the most accurate account ever because this information came directly from metaphysical observers, as opposed to the Bible which was handed down and altered through generations. Could this be the Bible’s successor?
3. The Psychopath Test
Written by Jon Ronson in 2011, this fun-to-read memoir follows the author’s journey into the world of psychopathy. What he discovers is disturbing and thought-provoking.
According to Dictionary.com, a psychopath is “a person with a psychopathic personality, which manifests as amoral and antisocial behavior, lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, and extreme egocentricity.” Normally, we conceive of these people as being easy to spot, and most of them are surely detained or being treated.
But such is not the case, Ronson discovers. Most psychopaths are out and about, using their superficial charm and manipulative abilities to trick us into believing they are normal, often to the point of faking emotions which they do not feel.
But it gets worse when Ronson learns that many people at the top of the socioeconomic hierarchy could be psychopaths, as it is precisely their traits that help them get to the top. According to his discoveries, as well as the opinions of many psychiatrists, much of the world’s negativity could be caused by these few psychopaths at the top while the rest of us suffer the consequences.
4. Fingerprints Of The Gods
Written by the British author and journalist Graham Hancock, this comprehensive work challenges the established historical narrative. Hancock travels around the globe unraveling mysteries left by the ancients, like architectural similarities shared by ancient cultures that had no contact and unexplained knowledge of the stars.
His search starts with a 16th-century map by Piri Reis that depicts the shape of the land at the South Pole, which he couldn’t have known about because it was covered by 1 kilometer (0.6 mi) of ice. This continent has not been free of ice since the last ice age 9,000 years ago.
This clue, among others, leads Hancock to conclude that ancient human civilizations received knowledge from an earlier, advanced civilization that was able to perform difficult tasks like global mapping. This civilization was eradicated by meteors that ended the ice age, also causing flooding in many parts of the globe.
Perhaps we have been viewing history in a much too limited perspective.
5. DMT: The Spirit Molecule
What is the relationship between spiritual experiences and the brain? Can they be induced by psychedelic chemicals? These are questions that Rick Strassman, MD, tries to answer in DMT: The Spirit Molecule.
Strassman argues that there must be a biological part to the process that facilitates mystical experience. He proposes that an endogenous psychedelic, meaning a psychoactive substance, naturally exists in the brain. This chemical is released at certain moments, producing near-death and other mystical experiences.
He gives us multiple reasons to suspect that the chemical might be dimethyltryptamine (DMT), which is a big reason why studies should be done about this substance. Strassman undertook this research on humans.
The sessions were strangely dominated by experiences that seemed to involve the soul leaving the body, as though propelled by a slingshot at lightning-fast speeds through space-time. After this, contact was made with various entities.
Could psychedelics and mystical experience through meditation be the key to out-of-body experience? Or are these simply artifacts of consciousness?
6. The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide
The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide is a guidebook written by James Fadiman, “America’s wisest and most respected authority on psychedelics and their use.” In this work, he dispels the myth in textbooks and on the Internet which says that psychedelics are purely for fun and have addictive properties.
Rather, he explains how psychedelics have many positive properties—including spiritual, therapeutic, and problem-solving uses—and are not biologically addictive at all. They can even help against substance addiction.
According to this book and many others, psychedelics are not as bad as we have been led to believe. Instead, their functions are amazing.
7. Journeys Out Of The Body
This non-New Age, lucid, rational book about astral projection is one of the finest about the subject. Robert Monroe was a businessman without any religious background who suddenly started experiencing going out of his body. Rational as he was, he visited a physician and a psychiatrist, who both concluded that nothing was wrong with him.
He decided to document his experiences in a scientific way, which resulted in the writing of this book. It is full of amazing things that Robert discovered on his journeys. If we are to believe Robert’s accounts, there exists a vast nonphysical realm unknown to us.
8. The Kybalion
Published in 1908, this peculiar informational work written by “The Three Initiates” is an account of the seven ancient Hermetic Principles. These are great secrets that have been handed down by word of mouth, starting with Hermes Trismegistus who supposedly received this knowledge from Egyptian gods.
The Three Initiates describe cryptic knowledge and principles regarding mentalism and human experience, explaining how to influence experience and the mind and change them to your will. This book implies a great body of knowledge about the underpinnings of the universe that is unknown to most of humanity.
9. The Emerald Tablets
Also originating in ancient Egypt, The Emerald Tablets were supposedly created by Thoth, which is thought to be another name of Hermes Trismegistus. This could emphasize the importance of his teachings.
The Emerald Tablets teach great wisdom in a more poetic format shrouded by metaphor. In this work, it is not about the literal meanings of the words but about their resonance with the soul.
Yet again, we see a profound work originating in ancient Egypt, which only adds to its mystery. The work also explains that Thoth erected the Great Pyramid of Giza using metaphysical techniques, which would explain why this impossible-to-create structure exists. The Egyptians didn’t even build the pyramids.
Here we see another book that points to the existence of a higher order of life.
10. Autobiography Of A Yogi
Published in 1946, this narration of the life of Paramahansa Yogananda—who was born in Gorakhpur, India—is truly fascinating. His awareness and experience of the spiritual at a young age was through the roof. Paramahansa witnessed many miracles and, with the aid of his master, regressed into memories of his past life. There, he discovered the reason for his spirituality.
Just like any other book that strays too far from ordinary experience, Autobiography of a Yogi has received its fair portion of criticism. This is completely understandable as Western minds generally do not believe in reincarnation and miracles. However, if this yogi master writes the truth, the implications are world-changing. Reincarnation and a metaphysical realm would not be mere ideas.
Benjamin de Vries is a young philosopher and writer from the Netherlands, especially interested in spirituality and phenomenology