As I’ve said many times before, I’m an avid reader. I try (keyword: try) to read a book a day, depending on whether or not time permits.
Recently I’ve been delving into a lot of different spiritual books, which can be quite intimidating. Some of these books grapple with intense concepts such as death, the meaning of life, the ego, finding your place in the world, and transcending your old self.
Despite their difficulty to read, spiritual books are perhaps the most rewarding books that you could ever read.
They will teach you amazing life lessons that have been passed down to us from wise sages of the past, they will help you to better understand yourself and your reality, and they will give you a deep sense of fulfillment (if you internalize them).
So, without further ado, here are my top 5 spiritual books that will make you a better man.
Recommended to me by a spiritual guru in a cozy town near the Shenandoah Valley, this book has the potential to change the world.
The premise is extremely simple: power is different than force. But it has absolutely world-shattering implications.
Think of force as pulling out the oars and desperately rowing your way across the ocean, while a man who simply adjusts his sail blazes past you. The man who adjusts his sail? He understands power.
Power is aligning your energies with the universe; it’s accepting reality for what it is, and even embracing it. You don’t try to fight it, but rather you try to change it. Force is when you resist reality, and fight it.
Although these concepts are extremely simple, they have profound applications and implications.
In my opinion, this is probably one of the best spiritual books ever written, if not THE best ever written.
Power vs. Force even talks about varying “levels of consciousness,” which David Hawkins ranks on a scale from 1-1000. Only a handful of people have ever unlocked “Christ-Consciousness,” or 1,000 level consciousness. People like Buddha, Krishna, and Jesus have unlocked this incredibly impactful state of awareness.
Most people exist around “level 205,” according to Hawkins. As you go up the scale, however, you gain incredible powers and insights. Einstein, Beethoven, and Nietzsche, for example, were at “level 499.” Do you see how significant just a rise of several hundred points is?
The author also claims that his book raises the “level of consciousness,” of each reader by roughly 10-15 points, which is huge considering most human beings only advance by 5 points in their entire lifetime.
Hawkins grapples with the concepts of good and evil in the world, and with the various mindsets, or “levels of consciousness,” that are duking it out. For example, the book has a chart comparing the impact of different levels of consciousness on reality.
One human being at the level of 300 causes the same amount of positive change in the world as 90,000 individuals below 200 cause negative change. One human being at the level of 400 counterbalances 400,000 individuals below level 200. One human being at the level of 700 counterbalances 70 million individuals below 200.
This is how powerful spiritual awakening is. Just one fully spiritually awakened human being can permanently alter the course of reality.
I realize that this is all extremely difficult to understand, so I recommend that you get yourself a copy of this book and let the brilliant David Hawkins explain it to you. Be warned, however. It’s probably one of the deepest spiritual books out there. It’s nearly 400 pages of extremely dense philosophizing and discussion. But, if you can plow through it, it’s nothing short of life-changing.
“Handling an emotional crisis leads to greater wisdom and results in lifetime benefits. Fear of life is really the fear of emotions. It is not the facts that we fear but our feelings about them. Once we have mastery over our feelings, our fear of life diminishes.” -David Hawkins M.D. Ph.D., Power vs. Force
This is an absolute must read for every man trying to improve himself. It provides a framework through which to understand relationships, purpose, your career, and your life. It’s definitely one of the best spiritual books of all time (specifically for men).
This book was life-changing for me, because of its emphasis on valuing your purpose over your woman.
This is NOT an idea that the mainstream would accept, and it’s very understandable. We need a lot of men without a purpose in order for society to function. They’re the guys that’re flipping burgers, filing papers, and doing unfulfilling tasks.
But that isn’t you. You’re not on this blog to live a meaningless life, you’re here to improve your life and live a fulfilling one.
The Way of the Superior Man advocates that you place your masculine purpose above all else. There is a reason why I talk so much about developing a masculine purpose on this blog—without it, your life goes to shit (as you can see by looking at 99% of men).
“But before your woman? Isn’t she supposed to be your sunshine, your rainbows, your sweetheart, the love of your life?” a chode would say. No, dude. Yes—you’re supposed to love her, but doing that entails being a man on your purpose. Women can sense when a man is weak, lacks a spine, and doesn’t have a fucking purpose. And they’re repulsed by it.
Why do you think it is that women flock to men who are hustling and grinding their passion out? Actors, musicians, celebrities, business owners, athletes…yes, there’s a social proof aspect involved.
But I guarantee that even if a girl didn’t know who he was, she’d still be attracted to him, because she can just sense that he’s on his purpose. She can sense it in the way that he moves, the way that he talks, and the way that he acts.
He doesn’t dilly dally, he’s not a floppy jellyfish bitch, he’s a fucking man who acts and makes decisions based off of who he is. He’s a genuine man.
If you are struggling with relationships, I highly recommend checking out The Way of the Superior Man, because of its emphasis on male/female spirituality and their interplay within a relationship. As far as relationships go, this is definitely one of the best spiritual books out there.
“The most loving women are the women who will test you the most. She wants you to be your fullest, most magnificent self. She won’t settle for anything less. She knows it is true of you. She knows in your deepest heart you are free, you are Shiva. Anything less than that she will torment. And, as you know, she’s quite good at it.” -David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
Although this book is more of a story than it is an informational guide, it is filled with countless gems of wisdom. The story takes place in the 1950’s, as a young boy begins to become fed up with society and its determination to crush the spirit out of every living man.
He grows dissatisfied with his life, and decides to hitch-hike all around the U.S., particularly along the West Coast. He meets plenty of friends along the way, such as Japhy, an aspiring Zen Buddhist, Henry, the philosophizing kook, and “Princess,” the young, blonde-haired nymphomaniac with an obsession for tantric sex.
If there’s one thing that I learned from this book, it’s the value of embracing life. The author, who acts as the character “Ray” in this novel, doesn’t know what’s going to happen. He doesn’t know where he’ll get his next meal. He doesn’t know if he’ll die tomorrow or live until he’s 100.
But what he does know, is this: he wants freedom. He’s tired of being chained to a society that is clearly very sick, and he’s desperate to escape from the system.
And on this epic journey spanning years, all throughout the caves of Northern California and the beaches of SoCal, we get a glimpse into the life of a vagabond; a man wandering through nature without a care in the world.
This book is reminiscent of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s work, in that they both have an appreciation for how man can feel so, so insignificant when he’s in nature. There’s something about looking at the trees, hearing the birds chirp, and seeing the vast forest surround you, that makes you realize life goes on without you.
If you are a man who is afraid of living life, I highly recommend reading The Dharma Bums. As far as adventure, Buddhism, and the beauty of life go, this is definitely one of the best spiritual books out there.
It will teach you the value of embracing life, taking risks, and going on adventures. It will teach you the value of friendship, the importance of just letting go, and it’s a phenomenal insight into the philosophy that sparked the 1960’s revolution.
“I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all. The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify (by their own lonesome familiarity) to this feeling.” -Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums
Born out of the men’s mythopoetic movement, I could easily put this book under the “Male Psychology,” category, but I think it’s worthy of putting in this article, because it’s also one of the best spiritual books out there.
Although the book was heavily influenced by Carl Jung’s theory of the archetypes, it is extremely spiritual. The book tells the story of Iron John, an old Eastern European folktale, but there’s a catch. Each significant event in Iron John’s life can be viewed through a spiritual, or psychological lens; Robert Bly goes very in depth on these topics and how they relate to a man coming of age.
One of the main premises of the book is that man needs to get in touch with his inner “Wild Man,” or his primal masculinity. This is a stance that I endorse 100%.
The story starts off with a young boy, and follows him into adulthood; it analyzes the psychological developments and spiritual evolution that he goes through as a boy, and a lot of the problems that the boy faces are eerily familiar to most men.
I won’t reveal too much, because I want you to enjoy the novel itself, but it starts off with hunters mysteriously vanishing in a forest nearby the king’s castle. After many deaths, a conniving hunter is finally able to capture the creature causing the deaths.
This creature, which represents the Wild Man, is locked away out of fear, and the key to his cage is given to the queen.
Enter Iron John, who is a young boy at this time.
As he’s playing with his golden ball, he accidentally lets it slip into the Wild Man’s cage. “Give me back my ball!” John shouts. “Not unless you let me out,” says the Wild Man.
After denying the Wild Man freedom twice, the boy finally hardens up and decides to steal the key from his mother. He gets his golden ball back and accompanies the Wild Man into the forest, where he will be taught to be a man.
Just this first part of the story could be intensely analyzed, and Bly does just this. I will give a brief analysis, however.
Essentially, what’s going on here, is John exists in the “mother world,” or the world where emotions, intuition, and sensitivity reign supreme. This is the case for all of us; there is a reason why boys of the past were often torn away from their mothers at the age of 8 to become men.
John is afraid of becoming a man, however—as most young boys are. Being a man involves being courageous, decisive, assertive, and having many qualities that are difficult to develop. This is why he turns down the Wild Man’s offer.
Eventually, however, it is time to become a man—he must steal the key from his mother. This is symbolic of the fact that becoming a man is often a rebellion against the “mother world.” Mothers want to smother their baby boys in love and affection, and keep them in a permanent state of boyhood. Ever seen a Jewish mother kiss her 45 year old son on the forehead and pinch his cheek? That’s what she’s doing.
It is no coincidence that in order to let out the Wild Man, or his inner masculinity, John must steal the key from his mother, or rebel against the mother world. It is only through standing up to our mothers and asserting our masculinity that they will come to respect us, and that we will come to be men.
John decides to man up—he steals the key from his mother, and unleashes the Wild Man. This is where his journey towards manhood begins.
Like I said, this is only a brief synopsis of the first part of the story, so if you want the full story and psychological/spiritual analysis in its full glory, I highly recommend checking out the book. It is, in my opinion, one of the best spiritual books out there (especially for men trying to discover their masculinity).
“The Wild Man doesn’t come to full life through being “natural,” going with the flow, smoking weed, reading nothing, and being generally groovy. Ecstasy amounts to living within reach of the high voltage of the golden gifts. The ecstasy comes after thought, after discipline imposed on ourselves, after grief.” -Robert Bly, Iron John: A Book About Men
No list on spiritual books would be complete without the Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu.
For a man who wrote the work that spawned Taoism and influenced the entire future of the East, we actually know very little about him. We don’t even know what century he lived in (historians disagree).
Despite his mysterious life, however, this remains one of the most influential works on spirituality ever to be written. It is also the most difficult to comprehend.
This is, perhaps, because Lao Tzu didn’t want us to comprehend the Tao, for the Tao is something that cannot be comprehended. It can only be experienced, merged with, and felt. Sound kind of woo-woo to you? Yeah, it did to me at first. But then I read it.
It was extremely difficult for me to wrap my head around, being someone who is highly logical and analytical, but with some practice I began to understand.
I began to see that the Universe was one, that the world isn’t black and white, and that happiness is something that is found within. Had I not read this book, I do not know where I would be right now.
The book is divided up into little segments, so it’s easy to read. One could spend a lifetime just contemplating a single segment, however. Lao Tzu is known for his cryptic, yet profoundly simple words.
Unfortunately, however, words cannot do a justice to explaining this beautiful masterpiece, so I’m just going to stop talking. Buy the book and read it yourself. It’s literally one of the best spiritual books of all time, if not THE best spiritual book ever written.
“A man with outward courage dares to die; a man with inner courage dares to live.” -Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
Becoming a more spiritual man and getting in touch with your masculine energy is of the utmost importance; if you do not develop your spirituality, you will not reach your full potential. Period. If you want to do this, you must read spiritual books; there’s no way around it.
Developing your spirituality, although incredibly rewarding in itself, affects your entire life. When you develop your spirituality, and fine tune your masculine purpose, you will literally be shocked at what happens.
You will become far wealthier and women will be magnetically drawn to you.
As you charge down your own path in life, with the conviction that comes with having a strong sense of purpose, women will sense that you are a man who is awake. Women are extremely attracted to men who are doing their best to forge their own path; this is, perhaps, one of the most potent aphrodisiacs in existence.
But, ironically enough, money and women come to you, precisely because you don’t care too much about them. By realizing that your purpose is to help the world, or to share your gifts, women and wealth take a backseat.
Others can sense this, however—people sense that you’re not trying to con them or scam them, so they grow interested in your product or art. Women can tell that you’re a strong man who is charging down his path in life, and they naturally want to support you (an alpha male).
So develop your spirituality! Go now, I cannot do it for you. Every second you waste is a second that you will never get again.
If you have any questions, comments, or recommendations for spiritual books, please leave them down below. I love hearing from my followers and always learn something new from their input. As always, I hope that you guys enjoyed the article, and I’ll see you next time!
Jon Anthony is a dating coach, fitness expert, and self-improvement guru. He dropped out of college to start Masculine Development in 2015, and has since been self-employed, helping men across the world achieve their best lives. You can best reach him on social media, or via email for questions.