Here are my Top Ten favorite spiritual, philosophic, or religious books. I’ll start with The Story of Jesus (as republished in “Jesus, A New Revelation” by Michael Foundation) because Jesus was my first portal to the spiritual life. He told me “Ask and it shall be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door shall be opened.” He was right. The door opened to my knock. The Bhagavad Gita was my next spiritual stop on the road, after hearing the Maharishi speak in the late 1960s http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/gita/. I have a couple of translations of that one. The one I bought as a teenager I no longer have. Tao De Ching, http://www.sacred-texts.com/tao/taote.htm, was a great inspiration to me, then it was back to my church roots, reading the Psalms and the Book of Isaiah. I got interested in philosophy after reading Bertrand Russell’s History of Western Philosophy, and read two by Jacob Needleman, Lost Christianity and Real Philosophy. He was one of my professors at San Francisco State University, a brilliant man with a great command of religious knowledge and wisdom. When I read Thomas Merton’s Seven Storey Mountain, I renewed my quest for truth and set out to discover God personally. I also discovered the truth of Buddha’s teachings in The Dhammapada, Eknath Esvaran’s translation. Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws of Success helped my search to have a practical foundation. Mother Earth Spirituality by Eagle Man Ed McGaa helped me renew my relationship with my Ojibwe American Indian heritage and spirituality, http://www.fourdirectionsteachings.com/transcripts/ojibwe.pdf. He is a good teacher for the journey on the Red Road. All of these combined to keep me on the road to truth, goodness, and love.
The Story of Jesus (as told in Jesus, A New Revelation, Michael Foundation)
Bhagavad Gita, translated by Eknath Easwaran; Blue Mt. Center of Meditation, 1975
Tao De Ching, translated by Gia Fu-Feng/Jane English, (Vantage, 1972, and also by Stephen Mitchell (HarperCollins, 1988)
The Psalms, and the Book of Isaiah, available separately or found in the Bible
History of Western Philosophy, Bertrand Russell; Simon and Schuster, 1945
Real Philosophy by Jacob Needleman (Arkana, 1990)
Lost Christianity also by Jacob Needleman (Doubleday, 1980)
The Seven Storey Mountain, Thomas Merton; Harcourt, Brace, and Co., 1948
The Dhammapadda, translated by Eknath Easwaran; Arkana, 1987
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, by Deepak Chopra; New World Library 1993
Mother Earth Spirituality, Eagle Man (Ed McGaa); Harper Collins, 1990
Knock and the Door shall be opened
Jesus was my first guide on the path when I sought enlightenment. The best version of his story is found in Jesus, a New Revelation (Michael Foundation)
Teachings of the Buddha
This text represents possibly the closest approach to what Buddha actually said. His philosophy of the eight-fold path taught me about the value of discipline in seeking to attain righteousness, right living.
Easwaran translated two of the titles on my list: Bhagavad Gita and the Dhammapada. This master of Asian religious teachings was a professor at UC Berkeley for many years and founded the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation in Marin County California where his legacy continues to thrive. He passed away in 1999.
Bertrand Russell's classic work
I have read and consulted this book so many times that I am now on my third copy of it. Mr. Russell thoroughly explains the philsophical movements of our culture in easy to understand language.
Jacob Needleman's classic work
I was fortunate to have a class in philosophy with Professor Jacob Needleman at San Francisco State University. He understands the religious philosophies of both the West and the East and treats them with equal respect and reverence. He's been a great role model for me in my interfaith work.
The Quest for God
Thomas Merton's classic about his journey from the dissolute artist life to one of a Catholic monk inspired me to claim the experience of God for myself. I took his title literally and began to climb the mountain near my house several times a week, adopting a strict regimen seeking physical and spiritual health.
Eagle Man Spiritual teacher
When my search confirmed that part of the family was Ojibwe Canadian Indian, I became very interested in the spiritual heritage of Native American peoples, including my own tribe, the Ojibwe. Ed McGaa willingly shared the teachings of his Lakota people with all who sought their wisdom.