I wanted to share some books that I’ve read that have inspired and informed me in really pertinent ways!
1. The Power of Now; a Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
This book highlights how identifying with rigid identities (built from our thought processes and experiences as individuals) can lead to unnecessary emotional suffering. It invites a deconstruction of our egoic selves in the place of a more more fluid, connected, perspective in which each individual forms part of a much larger collective. It also promotes techniques for focusing on the present moment as a path towards enlightenment.
2. Ishmael; an Adventure of the Mind and the Spirit by Daniel Quinn
This story offers a quirky narrative around the development of modern humans taught via a telepathic discussion between a gorilla and a man. There’s a specific focus on the disconnect from, and superiority over, nature that exists within mainstream western ideology and how this is unsustainable and problematic.
3. The New Jim Crow; Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
This book provides an extremely important and detailed insight into the multiple layers of institutionalized racism that exist within the US government, with a specific focus on tactics used to target, criminalise, and dehumanise black men.
4. Flow; the Psychology of the Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
This book is a really cool take on mindfulness because it emphasises that you can achieve a state of flow in any activity you are doing (whether it’s work, sex, reading, exercising, eating, etc.). It emphasises how the more we train ourselves to be mindful no matter what we are doing, the more fulfilled we will feel overall. It also demonstrates how this manner of living can help you feel more connected to the earth and other humans by genuinely taking notice of these things.
5. Mindlift; Mental Fitness for the Modern Mind by Kasper Van Der Meulen
This book contextualises the modern (specifically western, capitalist) brain as an incredibly power tool that we can consciously and mindfully train and utilise to our benefit. The basic functions of the brain are introduced, and there are 50 tips/methods/activities offered that can help you maximise your brain capacity in a sustainable, empowering way, to live a healthier life.