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Jan 16

Seek and You Shall Find

More than ever it seems like you hear about people who are "spiritual but not religious." The news and the internet, at least, call these people Spiritual Seekers. It is a term that turns up everywhere, but it poorly defined; or rather I should say that it is well defined in so many different ways that gleaning any one universal definition is nigh impossible. Of course I feel the need to spit in that particular ocean.

A Spiritual Seeker is one who acknowledges there is more to this world than what she readily sees and is look for more.

Very good, admission of ignorance is the first step in seeking enlightenment. Biblicaly we would say "The Fear of God is the beginning of Wisdom." That statement encompasses two things, at least: first that you recognize a greater reality than yourself and that recognize there are consequences for your actions. That is, of course, not all it means but for our Spiritual Seekers it is a start.

The fear I have is that spiritual seeking is like finding something useful on the internet or something to eat in a dorm's communal fridge. Most of it is garbage and unless you have some kind of guide or are really careful you will waste your life eating a lot of crap. Of course that is why people put together lists like 26 books every "Seeker but not Religious" person should read (that happen to be published by an imprint of Harper Collins) I have read 7 of them. Man's Search for Meaning is great, The Alchemist is....over rated. The rest I am familiar with fall between those two.

So, how about I give you a list? 10 Books every Seeker should read:

1. Aristotle's Rhetoric - You can get this a #2 for just about any price you care to pay. I think his complete works are $1.99 on Kindle. If you are to seek you should discipline your mind enough to sort out the wheat from the chaff. If you do not you get what you desrve.
2. Aristotle's Ethics - Ultimately a very humanistic view of ethics as his appeals to the gods are more for appearance than anything else. This teaches you to analyze your motivation and the possible outcomes of your behavior.

The rest are in no particular order:
3.The Books of Magic You want the one in the link. Imagine if Harry Potter had been written by someone who actually had a clue as to what they were talking about. This graphic novel will give you the first glimpse into magical thought.
4. Promethea You want a lovely illustrated but heavy duty primer on magical thought? Then you need to start here and read the whole series. Slowly, you will hurt yourself.
5. The Bible: Yes, the whole thing. Go into it without thinking you know what it says. Read it carefully. Draw your own conclusions. Look up historical information. Ignore the Zondervan foot notes, don't even buy one with the Ryrie foot notes. What the vast majority of people think the Bible says is not at all what it says.
6.The Koran: Yes, the whole thing. Go into it without thinking you know what it says. Read it carefully. Draw your own conclusions. Look up historical information. What the vast majority of people think....you get the point.
7. The Tao of Pooh/The Te of Piglet: Here is your introduction to Taoist thought, which will also get you into Buddhism and Confucianism, all told illustrated by our childhood friends in wonderful ways.
8. The Complete Works of Charles Fort: There is more in this universe than you can possibly know. Doubt it all, but look at it all.
9.Beowulf, The Eddas, the story of Orpheus, the Odyssey, the Epic of Gilgamesh: Find a good translation of any of those or all of them. These were not simply stories meant to entertain, they told of human nature, the quest for enlightenment, and the world around us. Remember, ancient people were not stupid or primitive. They were just like you and me. Do not forget that.
10.Oh Man. I can't narrow this list down. Read the root texts of any and all religious movements. Not the commentaries. Not the devotional. THE TEXT ITSELF. Do not believe the lie you will tell yourself that you cannot understand it. You can. Just take your time. Also read stories. Hero stories. Big stories. Watch the Matrix and realize it is a gnostic gospel. Just read and keep your eyes open.

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