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Big Idea books that can radically transform your life.

Updated on October 4, 2009

There have been a few books that have made an enormous difference in my life. I'm not sure that there are ten of them, but I'll stick to the really significant ones.

Power vs. Force

David R. Hawkins

What if you could have a simple, objectively-verifiable Yes-or-No answer to any question you wanted to ask? Any question. Think about it. They've found a way to do it, using the body itself as a mechanism to access nonlocalized consciousness. Now, anything that is known to anyone, anywhere, is knowable everywhere else by everyone. They've even gone so far as to use this technique, now that they have it, to identify levels of consciousness. I used to buy copies of this book and give them to my friends. It's so important that I've even made a webpage about it .

A Course in Miracles

Jesus is back to further explain the stuff we didn't get last time. Here, he's working through automatic writing in the 70's through an elderly lady who has since passed on. This book clarifies everything that didn't seem to make sense, and he pulls the concepts in the Gospel together into a very simple, coherent model of existence that just makes sense and is loving and appropriate, just like it should be. And nobody has to get nailed to anything. Whether you're a Christian who wants to better understand the message in the Bible, or you're an occultist who wants to have a solid grasp of the spiritual principles of High Magick, this book is definitely for you. Like reading a mystery novel backwards, everything gets simpler and makes more and more sense as you read through it.

Lord of Light

Roger Zelazny

A science fiction novel that reaches into spiritual and mythical territory. In the far-flung future, colonists settling a planet have the technological means to capture the souls of the dying and reincarnate them in vat-grown bodies. Rather than create an idyllic utopia, they hone their psionic abilities and techno-toys and set themselves up as deities right out of the Hindu pantheon, keeping advanced technology out of the hands of the primative civilization created by their offspring. Immortal and psionically-powerful technocrats who maintain strict religious loyalty from their worshipers through displays of godly might, mind-scans and tight control over who gets reincarnated into just what form and how, these gods are opposed by one of their own, a colonist named Sam who styles himself after the Buddha, goes down among men, and attempts to oppose the pantheon as a renegade deity and the last living supporter of Accelerationism - the political ideal that the advanced technology should be shared by those in positions of authority to benefit everyone rather than merely using the planet and its population as a combination whorehouse and game preserve. Beautifully written, with sly wit, plenty of metaphysical insight and political pragmaticism, this book probably sums up my raison d'entre and political philosophy all in one.


Daniel Quinn

A spiritual seeker answering a want ad from a guru is rather surprised to find a gorilla. Even moreso when the gorilla is found to be intelligent and telepathic. From an outside-society perspective, Ishmael teaches the man to re-learn what he has grown up being taught about his own society, in particular the fatal blind spots that are invisible to those of us who, as Ishmael put it, grew up in a cage and have therefore learned to become blind to its existence. He demonstrates a tremendous inherent dysfunctionality within what we have learned to call "civilization", and what we must do if we are to prevent it from destroying ourselves and every other emergent species on the planet. Often regarded as an ecological plea, Ishmael is more aptly viewed as an exposé of some of our social and psychological blind spots that we have been taught to overlook and accept since birth. An irreplacable read.

The Screwtape Letters

C.S. Lewis

Yes, the C.S. Lewis who brought us Narnia. An avid Christian, he wrote an extraordinarily insightful examination of spirituality and common errors we make today, and managed to also make it an imaginative and immensely entertaining piece of well-thought-out fiction. Written as a series of letters from Screwtape, a senior infernal temptor to his agent Wormwood out in the field, on assignment to tempt his "patient" to eternal damnation, C.S. Lewis provides clarity about many misconceptions we fall victim to as Screwtape explains Advanced Tempting techniques to his young nephew. Read it as creative and unique fiction, read it as intelligent spiritual evaluation and enquiry, but most importantly - read it. You will find it a treat, and will find yourself coming back to it once about every year or so. And for those interested, John Cleese has done a dead-on reading of the audiobook version.

Hero with a Thousand Faces

Joseph Campbell

Campbell evaluates aspects of mythology common to all cultures everywhere in the world - in this case, the omnipresent myth of the Hero's Quest - overlaying them to find the common denominators, and through them the underlying message. The Hero on his quest was traditionally someone who did not fit into his society, and performed his role by leaving it, overcoming great challenges, emerging triumphant, and gaining something important and valuable in the process. But the last common element in the Hero's Quest was its completion - with the Hero returning to share the results of his victory with his society. An archetypal handbook for the societal outcast in any era, this book clarified to a large extent my perception of my relationship with my society.

Fraud: The Strategy Behind the Bush Lies and Why the Media Didn't Tell You

Paul Waldman

For those to whom the Bush presidency seemed like a screenplay written by an institutionalized mental patient, this book will tie it all together in a way that makes rational sense. Thoroughly researched, the book takes us through Bush's career up to and including his term in office, producing plentiful cites and documentation all along the way. Readers will be interested to find that the "Bible Belt hick retard" cliche that Bush depicted so well to America was a deliberate hoax concocted by the Bush camp - not only to accrue some intense voter demographics, but to deflect criticisms of what Bush knew well in advance would be some outrageous policy decisions. Aware that most of the mainstream press are happy to sing the administration's praises and look the other way whenever possible, the Bush team realized early that if the media can call you stupid, they won't have to call you a liar. Bush used this to his advantage - political advantage, not moral - throughout his term in office. Which is at least refreshing to find - without this key fact, his term in office is mind-meltingly incomprehensible. It also brings the Obama presidency into perspective as well, as Bush's successor pulls the exact same tricks... but substitutes soft-soap promises and an empty "go-getter" image where Bush would've feigned mental incompetence. Not dry at all, this book is actually a joy to read - and doubtless makes a great gift for someone you care about.

I'm going to cut the list short, rather than fill the rest of the list with Douglas Addams and Terry Pratchett novels, because we're looking for books which have significantly influenced my life, and while they're excellent, entertaining, and exquisitely-written, I can hardly describe them as Big Idea books... more's the pity.


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      В этом обновленном составе отправились на европейские гастроли. Расписание такое: 3 концерта в Италии, 11 в Германии, 2 в Швеции, 4 во Франции по 1 в Бельгии, Швейцарии, Голландии, Норвегии и Дании, на Англию пришлось 4 концерта (2 на стадионе “Уэмбли” в Лондоне). И вот тут-то пришлось киссовцам столкнуться со всей строгостью наших муниципальных уложений. Англосаксонские народы (англичане в особенности), по моим наблюдениям, помешаны на безопасности. В Англии вон даже электрические вилки вместо двух штырей имеют три (третий для полнейшего заземления), внутри штепселя — специальный предохранитель. Все провода особыми винтами схвачены, чтоб не дай бог! А говорят, все равно их током бьет. Но неважно. Это я все к тому, что пожарный инспектор или инженер по технике безопасности при местном райсовете имеет большую власть и силу. И к тому же, каналья, как правило, взяток не берет. Вот как запретит (что-нибудь слишком рискованное для публики ему покажется) и все – перекраивай концерт, меняй режиссуру, модифицируй декорации. Например, Джин Симмонс на концерте на ракетном двигателе улетал наверх к колосникам. Сняли. Были особые пиротехнические эффекты специально для стадионов.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I helpful to obtain high on living yet of late I've truly built up a amount of resistance.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      I missed out on the Screwtape letters. Sounds like a good one. Thanks

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Satori, Satori, Satori, I am absolutely gobsmacked and blown away, this hub is awesome!

      I don’t think I have ever read an article that was so exhilarating and so refreshing to read as this before, it’s fantastic honestly.

      You have a special gift in your unique style of writing unread by me before so congratulations.

      Certainly going to bookmark this for future reference, as the top 3 sounds right up my street, all the best Mark.

    • Greenheart profile image


      9 years ago from Cambridge

      Thanks Satori for your hub.

      You are obviously an interesting person so

      i thought it would be great to connect.

      I am new to hub pages but think it is a great medium to

      connect with others.

      I too am into spirituality and the net.

      I think Joseph Campbell is a great writer and need to read more of him.

      I would be grateful if you would have a look at my hub about my spiritual teacher,Adi Da.

      And i would love it if you would leave a comment of any kind!.

      Thanks and wishing you a magical,happy,prosperous and mysterious '2010'.


    • profile image


      10 years ago

      This hub is tremendous, wow -- great job. Going to read 'Screwtape Letters' and 'A Course in Miracles' . Thank you for posting this- you writing is excellent.

    • Satori profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from California

      Thanks so much for your terrific comments.

      desert blondie, I'm glad you liked Hero with a Thousand Faces! You might consider picking up Lord of Light, they have some interesting parallels. And Zelazny's writing is so cynically humorous.

      Jerry G2, I always feel like a superhero when I read the comments you leave for me. Thank you so much for that - with some of the sacrifices I make to fix society both here and offline, sometimes I really need that validation. Bless you for sharing it.

    • Jerry G2 profile image

      Jerry G2 

      11 years ago from Cedar Rapids, IA

      Fantastic list! It's always great to see a really great collection of thoughtful, insightful works. Many people who are avid followers of some of these books condemn the others, which is really a shame and a travesty, and it is very encouraging to see another individual who recognizes insightful work, regardless of "affiliation" and appreciates it. Well done, and keep up the important work you do here on hub pages!

    • desert blondie profile image

      desert blondie 

      11 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

      Gotta get my hands on a copy of A Course In Miracles...sounds wonderful! Had to read "heroes" for grad. work...loved it! Looking forward to reading your "why we celebrate celebrities" BEST!

    • Satori profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from California

      Will do. As I learn more about HubPages, I have to take time to go back and overhaul my Hubs to make them a little more polished. I'm working on a few at the moment, but they're more generally-oriented. When I've settled in a little and gotten caught up, there'll be more. I'm just hitting my stride. Thanks for all the encouragement. =)

    • Bozyslawa profile image


      11 years ago

      please keep up your creativity, it is amazingly interesting to read your insights and watch the pictures you chose!

    • Satori profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from California

      That's tremendous, Bozyslawa! It's great to know that my ideas are carrying over into peoples' lives. Thanks again. =)

    • Bozyslawa profile image


      11 years ago

      Your unique style and insights are most inspiring, i hope you will keep adding, and i am keenly watching your hubs, always looking for new ideas from you.

    • Satori profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from California

      Thanks for the note of support!

    • MM Del Rosario profile image

      MM Del Rosario 

      11 years ago from NSW, Australia

      I like CS Lewis too....welcome to hubpages, keep up the good work.

    • Satori profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from California

      I appreciate the encouragement, Bozyslawa - and the advice! Have a look - I added two more while you were commenting. Given your interests, you'll probably appreciate them. =)

    • Bozyslawa profile image


      11 years ago

      absolutely unbelievable hub! you have a way with words that is amazing and attention-grabbing, your reviews are  inciting to read (what else would you ask for!), your collection most appealing, your thoughts and opinions interesting - well, please make sure to add more reviews!

       as for tags - each book title should be a tag, each author - another tag, a lot of key-words that you mention (religion, sci-fiction, stories, literature, film DVD, Video, mystery novel, Bible, Christianity, dysfunctionality, lots of specific terms you are using, etc.) - don't be shy about taggs!

      congratulations, well done!


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