My 45 book lists
ranked by number of views; the most popular are at the top:
1386 -- Mary "John" Magdalene, The Beloved Disciple
943 -- Picture story Bibles
927 -- Gnosticism
838 -- The entheogen theory of religion
730 -- Historical Jesus, or Christ Myth?
503 -- Mystery Religion, Myth, and the Mystical State
474 -- Mythic-only Christ theory
393 -- Ecstatic Alchemy
376 -- Ancient Near Eastern religion
365 -- Reformed/Calvinist theology and determinism
364 -- Original, experiential, mystical Christianity
287 -- Picture story Bibles 3: Baby Bibles
277 -- Rock as gnosis-initiation mystery religion
260 -- The active eucharist that reveals the kingdom of God
240 -- The Swoon/Shroud/India theory of Jesus' death
240 -- Christianity as political rebellion against "divine" Caesar
238 -- Earliest Christianity
236 -- Rush books (Rock group)
219 -- Hermeticism and Ancient Mystic Astrology
215 -- Holy Spirit and Christian Spirituality
203 -- Religious Experiencing
191 -- Western Esotericism
184 -- Philosophy of Mother of God
179 -- Block-universe determinism, Necessity, divine predestination
169 -- Sophia, religious comprehension
164 -- Lord's Supper (Prot., E. Orth, Ecum.)
160 -- Eucharist (Catholic authors)
160 -- Tenseless time, eternity, and timelessness
156 -- How did Christianity catch on?
156 -- How did Christianity catch on? Martyrdom as dissidence
154 -- Religious myth: allegorical metaphor of mystic experiencing
143 -- Picture story Bibles 2
138 -- Theology of Religious Pluralism
120 -- Ancient wine as visionary plant beverage
118 -- Lives of the Apostles
109 -- Eucharist (Catholic authors II)
99 -- The kingdom of God is at hand
41 -- Ancient wine as visionary plant beverage (2)
38 -- Word and Power (doctrine and spiritual experience)
38 -- Jewish Mysticism
24 -- Holy Spirit and Christian Spirituality 2
10 -- Reformed/Calvinist theology and determinism 2
I once posted a list of some top 5 or 10 books that would be most relevant. Today's books aren't good enough, according to my way of thinking; I can only recommend them with reservations. The problem is, I'd have to recommend reading 100 books, because each one covers too few key topics, too weakly. I need to write a great bibliography of 100 books that support my theory. It's more important to know about the books than reading them. See my book lists at the website first, rather than trying to read these thick, half-clueful books.
Mysticism in World Religions (not Geoffrey Parrindar's; the out of print one)
Rebirth for Christianity - Huhn (no Historical Jesus; it's all psychological metaphor)
Myth & Ritual in Christianity - Alan Watts
Ken Wilber -- Up From Eden is a readable early book, and has just enough coverage of Hellenistic religion for me to show how utterly clueless Wilber is there, omitting entheogens and supposing that Mr. Historical Jesus was, inexplicably, far more advanced than his culture
Jonathan Ott: Entheogenic Reformation
Richard Double's book showing the moralistic motives of freewillists and the philosophical/scientific motives of determinists
Surely one of the very best is Elaine Pagels' Gnostic Gospels -- profound, paradigm-changing, readable.
The Jesus Mysteries is also a real landmark -- effectively simultaneously disproves literalist religion and proves mystic religion.
An example of a book that is essential but only for establishing a couple pieces of the puzzle: Dan Merkur's Psychedelic Sacrament (entheogens in Jewish mysticism)
I'd even have difficulty listing any books that show something *so basic* and obvious as that the fundamental role of myth is to express the intense entheogenic mystic altered state, not mundane default-state psychology, much less how the external world works.
Books go out of print all the time, it's terrible, including the very best books. Even the very best books have just bits and pieces of the theory I've pulled together, trivially simple though it may be. Knowing what topics and interpretations to be alert for when reading is more important than which books you read.
Transcendence has been proven to reliably happen quickly, easily, and ergnomically by combining the most effective techniques of study and meditation. First try 30 years of sitting mediation to empty the mind. Then read any ten postings here and reflect on them in the mystic altered state -- test for yourself the ergonomic efficiency of the technology of silencing the mind. See you in 30 years and a week.
If you want to save 30 years, don't try silence before you have tried a week of the cybernetic transcendence approach. It's all down to ergonomics, and the system I am designing is *optimized* for ergonomics."
>I am blown away by the information that is offered by way of this yahoogroup. I would like to learn more and delve deeper into the ideas of egodeath. I am on a limited budget and will be returning to college September of this year, in other words I don't have much money. Can you please suggest 2-3 good books that you feel offer an indepth understanding of egodeath concepts and ideas? Thank you.
That's a hard question. 3? Give me at least 5 -- or really more to the point is, what's your budget?
This is way leading-edge research. It's not like picking out a book on mainstream History of Christianity, where the subject is so old the summary books are all alike, written to a formula. Ask me something easy like what is enlightenment, or about perseverance of the saints, or how the eucharist saves, or whether the canonical Christian scriptures say the will is free, or what are the true Christian scriptures.
I can easily recommend 100 books. But 3? For practical understanding of egodeath?
Consider the 3 pillars:
timeless block-universe determinism
entheogen theory of the origin of religions
Political allegory is far more important in Christian origins and scriptures than has been acknowledged, but it still remains outside the core of enlightenment.
Possible set A:
Rudy Rucker: The Fourth Dimension
Freke & Gandy: Lost Goddess
Dan Russell: Shamanism and Drug Propaganda (entheogens in Western history from prehistory to Constantine/313 CE).
The book Tripping is not in my online lists, but it's the kind of book that may possibly describe some of the phenomena. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0140195742
Hellenistic mythic allegory of mystery-religion initiation is also important. The book that looms large for me on that subject, from an entheogen perspective, is The Apples of Apollo: Pagan and Christian Mysteries of the Eucharist, by Clark Heinrich, Carl Ruck, and Blaise Staples. However, it lacks Christ-myth theory, and lacks timeless determinism.
Therefore, buy the book that was a real find and a vindication for me: Luther Martin: Hellenistic Religions. It lacks entheogens, it lacks Christ-myth theory, but it provides a concise, to-the-point theory that all the mystery-religions were centrally about encountering and, in various ways, somehow "transcending" determinism/Fate/Necessity/heimarmene. That's all you really need to know about the mystery-religions except for the entheogen connection, covered in Apples of Apollo.
I *have* already prepared a list of 25 books, and another list of 50 books, at Amazon.
Listmania list: Ego death as deterministic self-control cancellation
Guide: So you'd like to ... Experience ego death and understand it rationally
Have you skimmed my book lists at Amazon?
See the links at my home page, currently at the top of the home page.
April 12, 2002 - Created egodeath resources at Amazon.com. My main About You area -- My full description area
50-book guide -- So you'd like to ... Experience ego death and understand it rationally
Listmania book lists:
Ego death as deterministic self-control cancellation
Original, experiential, mystical Christianity
Christianity as political rebellion against "divine" Caesar
Mythic-only Christ theory
Entheogen theory of the origin of religions
Block-universe determinism, Necessity, divine predestination
Historical Jesus, or Christ Myth?
Reformed/Calvinist theology and determinism
Tenseless time, eternity, and timelessness
Reading scripture allegorically and metaphorically
The kingdom of God is at hand
The active eucharist that reveals the kingdom of God
>Periodicals with a heavy focus on Western esotericism include:
To help me keep track of issues and periodicals, I'm adding a "periodicals" link at the bottom of the home page, http://www.egodeath.com. For example:
Gnosis - full tables of contents. These 51 issues are available for a limited time. Excellent coverage of Western esotericism, aside from the usual "ordinary state of consciousness" fallacy and the "nonentheogenic meditation" fallacy. Special issue on psychedelics shows that Western spirituality can be as trendy and clueless as Eastern (Tricycle special issue/Zig Zag Zen book).
The Quest - Theosophical society. Western esotericism -- combination of newagey spirituality and turn-of-the-century theosophy, some solid articles on Western esotericism. All articles are online back to 1999, but the decades of previous issues aren't listed, and the page doesn't say if back issues are available.
Parabola - Myth, tradition, meaning. Full tables of contents.
Bible Review - provides critical, accessible coverage of Bible stories and history. Main articles are listed for back issues. Selections from current issue are online.
Entheos - journal on entheogens in religious history
TRIP - was TRP, was Psychedelic Illuminations
Eleusis journal - tables of contents online, some articles online.
Salvia Divinorum magazine. table of contents online, articles are online for subscribers.
Erowid Extracts - newsletter online
Entheogen Review - tables of contents online
Cannabis Culture -- back issues, many articles online. Occasional entheogen articles, activist emphasis on drug policy reform.
MAPS issues - many articles online
Psychedelic Island Views - tables of contents online
Eric Davis' http://www.techgnosis.com. Online articles about gnosis and technology
Erowid's list of periodicals on entheogens
Mind Books - Cached copy of main pages of the defunct site which was the main place to find entheogen books and journal issues.
Books sorted by topic
Books sorted by title
New books up to July 18, 2002
To find these books at a live site, check Drugwar.com or Amazon.
http://www.teach12.com - The Teaching Company
An unusual resource. Bookstore offerings of books on CD are comparatively limited and lightweight.
The following university-level full lecture courses on audio CD (or videotape) may be of interest for a theory of ego death. These lecture courses are delivered by scholars who are reported to be good presenters. As with reading book information at Amazon.com, reading about these lecture courses is enlightening in itself.
Alexander The Great and the Hellenistic Age
Great Ancient Civilizations of Asia Minor
Terror of History: Mystics, Heretics, and Witches in the Western Tradition
Jewish Intellectual History: 16th to 20th Century
Will to Power: The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche
Early Christianity: The Experience of the Divine
Foundations of Western Civilization
Great Ideas of Philosophy
Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition, 3rd Edition
Ancient Greek Civilization
High Middle Ages
Other 1492: Ferdinand, Isabella, and the Making of an Empire
World of Byzantium
Dante's Divine Comedy
Odyssey of Homer
Birth of the Modern Mind: An Intellectual History of the 17th and 18th Centuries
Great Figures of the New Testament
Great Figures of the Old Testament
History of Ancient Rome
American Religious History
Bible and Western Culture
History of Christianity in the Reformation Era
I uploaded a page that's a guide to relevant courses.
In reviewing Francesco Carotta's book Was Jesus Caesar? ( http://www.carotta.de ) http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/9059113969, Thomas von der Dunk comments (translation: Susan): "There are a number of hot topics concerning antiquity about which historians and enthusiastic lay people have been squabbling for years: ... and the historicity of Jesus Christ. When it concerns these topics scholars have barricaded themselves “everyone for themselves mode” in their own trenches from where no real intellectual contact with other positions is possible. In the heat of the battle, by defending certain views (opinions, conceptions) entire academic reputations are subject to ruin. ... If the book contains only a kernel of truth then it will ignite a bomb under the 2000 year history of Christianity. ... what remains is enough discussion material for serious classical philologists, historians and theologians to fundamentally disagree with each other as they have ever since Ernest Renan doubted the divinity of Christ ... If an outsider turns up with an even wilder sounding theory then ... all the academics who never considered this idea themselves, frantically close ranks. If this theory is true, then decades of studies are destined to end up in the wastepaper basket."
That is how I feel when reading the typical books today about mysticism, myth, psychology, and religion -- reading them is a necessary evil; most of them need to be drastically rewritten and are destined to end up in the trash (for example, Freud's explanation of the meaning of the Oedipus myth). If scholarship progresses as it should, 20th Century books on these subjects will look as hopelessly off-base and wrong-paradigm as phlogiston studies or pre-Copernican physics writings.
Reading these books feels like reading fundamentalist essays written by high-schoolers -- like the book Evidence that Demands a Verdict, the "phlogiston theory" of religion books. Today's books are like looking through a series of clouded, distorting mirrors -- the result has only the faintest distorted traces of what actually happened -- like reading a propagandized version of another propagandized version of an event, or a freewheeling docudrama based on another freewheeling docudrama of an event.
Consider the difference between the official portrayal of what the War on Drugs is all about and the reality of what's really behind it all, then multiply that total distortion two or three times -- that is how garbled the 20th Century scholarship about mystic experiencing and religious history is. No wonder Feminist scholars developed a hermeneutic of suspicion.
Whatever really happened, you can be sure that it is entirely different than the official story; the official story is a cover-up of a cover-up, aimed at obscuring and completely distorting, as much as possible, what actually happened. We who thrive on setting error straight are living at a good time, because there is so much error to be corrected, so much that must be scrapped and fundamentally reconstructed.
So many scholarly careers have been based on such totally incorrect assumptions -- so many famous phlogiston researchers who may rightly end up as footnotes like some alchemist -- it may be that the alchemists tell the story more straight than the official scholars of religion. How could the "critical" and "sober" Modern era achieve so much, yet be so deeply deluded and *gullible*? The 20th Century was good at technology -- but scholarship and higher knowledge? An incredibly mixed bag.
>I just stumbled across your site and i've only been reading through the ego-death stuff as it applies to the Rush lyrics, but damn it's genius :) i don't necessarily agree with everything you wrote, but its brilliant nonetheless. not to mention the strange syncronicity with which it is resonating in my life....
Thanks for the encouragement. My project I'm starting -- instead of polishing the site more: survey some 500+ (?) books I've purchased, cover to cover, spending at least 15 minutes per book. It's terrible how many books I bought without reading, or, I read them but have only a muddled picture of structure and scope of each book.
The good thing is that there is a correlation with my quantity of buying and my awareness of cool books; Amazon has been essential and is getting better and better for sweeping across and swooping down on whole areas of interest, such as books about religion underlying Greek myth, and about Sophia/ Mary Magdalene/ Virgin Mary/ Beloved Disciple/ feminist Christianity.
Icke is exactly the same as every author. Acharya totally botches "mystic" astrology, reducing it to literal planets -- but she provides some essential insights. The entire spiritual Establishment today botches spirituality, assuming that meditation is more effective and original than entheogens. Yet one should read some of this spirituality.
The vast majority of commentators and interpreters of Christianity completely botch it, literalizing everything -- yet to discover the mystic aspect, one must read many clueless books that contribute tangentially something of value. Campbell and Jung mistook myth as describing regular dreaming and ordinary state-of-consciousness life passages -- utterly missing the real action. Yet one must read Campbell and Jung.
Watts drastically erred in covering and acknowledging no-free-will merely in a footnote, when every book of his should have had a chapter on the subject. But Watts is one of the best religious writers in the modern era. Wilber has several problems which I've listed and commented on before, yet one must read Wilber. Icke is no better and no worse -- at least he's not essentially different than these other authors, who are all full of it even as they provide something of value.
One must pick and choose from Icke the same as with any supposedly "sober" author; they are all actually inebriated and a mixture of distortion and insight. Even the entheogenists are often literalists and grossly underestimate the extent to which visionary plants have been the main source and ongoing perennial wellspring of mystic experiencing in all eras, all religions, all regions. The name of the game with *all* authors is to pick and choose to piece together the puzzle pieces.
Doherty, for example, for all his sobriety about no-Jesus, still takes for granted uncritically that of course Saint Paul the Apostle existed. That is just as wack, a weed to be uprooted, as Icke's lizards.
If one ignored Doherty because of his Historical Paul gross mistake, ignored Jung because of his gross confusion between dreaming and tripping, ignored Watts because of his gross failure to recognize no-free-will as *central* rather than peripheral "by the way", ignored Acharya because of her gross reductionism of "mysticism" to allegorical reference to mere literal planets... one would be left with vanishingly few books to read, and vanishingly few sources of insight.
>Finished going through David Icke's new book "Tales from the Time Loop"....He recounts his recent expedition to South America to try Ayuhuasca, with a number of his fans.
>I still wonder if his infamous "Psychotic break" at the "mound" in Peru in 1990 was because someone had sliped him some LSD?
>As always, his new book is entertaiing even if his illuminati conspiracy conclusions about Shape Shifting Naga Reptilians, seems like a case of over-literalizing with history. He seems completley unable to look at things symbolicly---but looking at his writing symbolically, rather then literally then he makes perfect sense.
>There is a certain entheogenic naivite that David Icke has...but apparently that is changing. He and many of his fans are Naive enough for Icke to become a new Tim Leary. Can you imagine millions of borderline, conspiracy buffs taking Ayuhuasca? Might be a good thing, or it may just turn into a real mess.
>Although I have read his books I had never heard him speak until three weeks ago on the radio. He didn't sound as I expected. I sounded comp0letley normal and likeable. I picked up no trace of psychosis in his voice---and I had 18 years of experience listening to Mentally ill talk about conspiracies and how illuminati/Alien dentists had implanted radio transmitters in their teeth and was issuing them orders etc.
>The stuff he wrote about Princess Diana in "The Biggest Secret" and the World Trade Center in "Alice in Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster" seems totally far fetched---but is still fascinating and detailed, entertaining reading. He gathers and associates info in a very hypersuggestible way which makes him seem like a manic....but much of his histories have so much validity it is hard to fault him when he comes up with the Reptilian shape- shifter conclusions.
Read reviews at Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com and click the "New & Used" link. Also click the All Editions link if available.
Read more at bn.com, for Barnes & Noble. http://www.bn.com
Then to find lowest prices, search at Abebooks.com. http://www.abebooks.com
Also Powell's - http://www.powells.com.
Also check online library catalogs, and examine books there.
I don't bookmark the home page; I bookmark the Advanced Search pages of the above sites:
Aside from the usual sort of book gifts from family and friends, this is the first penny I've received for my work that started in October 1985. It will enable me to carefully study a significant number of additional books, to contribute more to this research area, for the benefit of everyone.
Thank you for the moral and tangible support. I will continue to strive for clarity and determinate results in building a basic, straightforward model of transcendent knowledge that can be usefully and helpfully taken up by anyone, quickly and easily.
>A site called www.bluehoney.org discusses many of these same mysteries wich include primarily the Amanita Muscaria.
I added that to this links page: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/egodeath/links
>James Arthur is the author of a book called 'Mushrooms and Mankind' and helps keep that site running as well.
>Anyway, I hope you find some further information for your studies and theory work.
I will see the latest, including information about Christ’s Mass.
http://www.bluehoney.org/ChristmasGallery.htm -- It’s interesting that no underside-halos are shown.
Ideally, my site would have better links to resources in bluehoney.org. But time is extremely limited so I don’t know when I may consider working on my links pages."
Lesa Bellevie -- Website about Mary Magdalene
Clark Heinrich -- Books and articles about entheogens in religion and in esotericism
Magic Mushrooms in Religion and Alchemy / Strange Fruit: Alchemy and Religion -- The Hidden Truth
Sep. 2002 / 1995
Mark Hoffman -- Editor of the Entheos journal about the history of entheogens in religion and in esotericism
Earl Doherty -- Nonmystical books demonstrating the ahistoricity of Jesus
The Jesus Puzzle: Did Christianity Begin with a Mythical Christ? Challenging the Existence of an Historical Jesus
Challenging the Verdict: A Cross-Examination of Lee Strobel's "The Case for Christ"
Timothy Freke -- Mystical books demonstrating the ahistoricity of Jesus, Gnostic substantial mystic meaning of Jesus, spirituality including no-free-will and entheogens
The Jesus Mysteries: Was the "Original Jesus" a Pagan God?
Jesus and the Goddess: The Secret Teachings of the Original Christians
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0007145454 / http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1400045940
Spiritual Traditions/Encyclopedia of Spirituality: Essential Teachings to Transform Your Life
Peter Gandy -- Mystical books (with Timothy Freke) demonstrating the ahistoricity of Jesus, Gnostic substantial mystic meaning of Jesus
Clarice O'Callaghan -- A moderator of the JesusMysteries discussion group, which nonmystically studies the ahistoricity of Jesus and the construction of early Christianity
James Arthur -- Researcher into the primacy of entheogens in religion and culture, popularizer of the entheogen theory of religion, author of book Mushrooms & Mankind
Ramon Jusino -- Website about Mary Magdalene as the Beloved Disciple
Andy at Bluehoney.Org -- Website about entheogens, especially mushrooms in mysticism