Fight Club, Power of Now: Inspirational, Life-Changing Books You Must Read Right Now
With the advent of technology and the meteoric rise of social media, books have almost become a thing of the past. Now, you can read the contents of an entire book in a snappy article or review, listen to in audio format while you drive, or browse through them on your Kindle. However, it can be argued that nothing beats the magic of actually reading a physical book. Moreover, if you're into improving yourself, then you're in luck, for the self-help industry has been booming in the last few decades, churning out more and more books on every topic under the Sun. While most of it just recycles ancient wisdom and dishes out generic catchphrases, there are very few books that achieve cult status. Now, I'm no expert, but here are a few books that have truly shaped my thinking process and helped me navigate through this maze called life.
Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender - David R. Hawkins
If you've ever dabbled into spirituality and mindfulness, you will absolutely love this masterpiece. Sometimes, the best thing one can do in a situation is nothing, and the book hammers this point home. Written by the world-renowned psychiatrist and spiritual researcher David R. Hawkins, this beauty singlehandedly defies all rules of the self-help industry. In this book, Dr Hawkins shines a light on three ways in which human beings process their emotions- suppression, repression and escape. Not only does he prove that all three mechanisms are wrong, but he also provides a very simple solution to fix the human condition. All he advocates is mindfulness, to let the emotions come to the surface, observe it without judgement, and it will eventually be released from the body. While this book is definitely on the 'woo-woo' side of the spectrum, the method is easy to apply and the results are almost instantaneous.
Once you go through this book and apply these principles firsthand, you will realize this is the only self-help you will ever need.
Power Vs Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behaviour -David R. Hawkins
The beloved Dr Hawkins makes an appearance once again with another gem. While Letting Go dealt with raising your energetic vibrations on a personal level, this book covers a similar topic, but on a societal level. Now, don't get me wrong, some of the themes in this book are really hard to digest, even for a hardcore supporter like me. But, there are still some golden words of wisdom you can't ignore. The good doctor argues that one can learn if a person is truthful or lying by a method called Kinesiological testing. According to this theory, your muscles will go strong if you hear something universally true and will go weak if you hear something false. Not only that, but you can also figure out which out food products, books, modes of entertainment, philosophy, music etc are good for your spirit using the same technique.
Now, before you roll your eyes, he does back up this insane sounding theory with some solid reasoning. Giving examples of statements made by iconic figures like Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa or Jesus Christ, the book will leave you curious, at the very least. Moreover, he even encourages the readers to test it out for themselves and gives detailed instructions on how to go about it. Other than this topic, he also explains what he means by Power and Force. According to Hawkins, ideas or intentions that come from a place of 'Power' are unstoppable and conversely, ideas that come from 'Force' instil fear, hatred and will eventually crumble. Overall, it's a fascinating read that will provide a new perspective on major events in human history.
The Sea-Wolf - Jack London
If straight up spiritual self-help is not your thing and you want something more substantial, then there's nothing better than this Jack London classic. The story is more than a century old, but its message is timeless. A psychological adventure that follows a mild-mannered, bookish man called Humphrey Van Weyden, 'The Sea-Wolf' takes us on a journey of a lifetime. Van Weyden is shipwrecked and soon finds himself in a seal-hunting schooner called Ghost. The vessel is manned by Wolf Larsen, a devilish brute in every sense of the word. The book juxtaposes Van Weyden's idealistic way of looking at life with Larsen's cynical, hedonistic and barbaric worldview. In spite of being afraid of the captain, our protagonist holds spirited debates with him on literary works, the meaning of love and the inherent value of life. There are so many iconic lines in the book that will leave you floored, expertly combined with some thrilling action.
At the end of it all, 'The Sea-Wolf' is all about the enduring spirit of man, which can face all kinds of torture and still come out victorious. Whether you agree with Wolf Larsen or Van Weyden, you will definitely enjoy this book to the core, barring some descriptive nautical terms.
The Power of Now- Eckhart Tolle
You must have definitely heard of this book by now. Considered to be one of the biggest game changers in spirituality and self-help, this book is the Holy Bible for millions. Written by Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now talks about one of the most fundamental ideas in the world of spirituality- the importance of the present moment. The now world famous guru talks about "the watcher" or "the presence", which allows us to observes our own thoughts and feelings. According to Tolle, this "presence" is the true essence of a human being and is the key to solving all our personal, as well as world problems. He postulates that if we could all get really present to the moment and quieten our minds, there would be no sorrow or suffering. As you can see, this idea is truly phenomenal and no wonder it started a major revolution in philosophy.
Tolle further argues that not only can your current problems be vanquished with this technique, you can also heal all your past traumas and come out as a new person. Calling this collective emotional baggage as "the pain body", he explains how it can be treated. I was shocked and delighted to find that many principles in this book resonate with the ideas in 'Letting Go' by David Hawkings. Personally, I believe both the books promote the same universal truth in essence. However, I would urge you to read them both before drawing any conclusions.
Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk
Everyone has watched Fight Club starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton by now. It was, is, and always will remain a cult classic as long as Western society exists. However, if you happen to read the actual book the film's based on, you'll find that it doesn't hold a candle to it.
Written by Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club presents a very interesting amalgamation of ideas. It's not just a psychological thriller, it's a full blown attack on consumer culture and capitalism. The book firmly establishes the plight of the modern man- a weak, scared, hollowed out husk who just numbs his pain with shopping for food, objects, drugs or sex. It challenges every single thing that society promotes and encourages namely vanity, materialism, stability, romance and a whole lot more. Through the psychotic and charismatic Tyler Durden, Chuck argues that humans are inherently meant to be hunters; to be in the wild, where they can fend for themselves. Even if you don't resonate one hundred percent with Palahniuk's ideas, you can definitely appreciate the idea of manning up, standing up for yourself and most importantly to, "let that which does not matter truly slide."
So go on and read all these life-changing books and thank me later. If you feel any other book deserves to be on the list, then please let me know in the comments below.
Contributed by: Shivkumar H.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Sayan Chakraborty