By John O.. Ex-Worldwide Church of God pastor.
There may have been a time when someone wrote an article, just on reference books, but I can't remember. While some books may prove valuable, others can be rubbish, and it's always up to each individual to sort out the wheat from the chaff.
Since our respective cult departures (and even during the process), and while it's been a great benefit for people to read this website, some also like to read other literature that may be appropriate to the new way of life and freedom that they're now entering. There's a big world out there, and there's a lot of material written on the spiritual subjects . . . some good and some bad. Certainly, we have a lot of garbage out there, but some books do stand out as possibly helpful to people who are looking to THINK for themselves and those who may be searching for truth.
I am NOT recommending any of the below books as "gospel" truth, but simply as guides and/or references for anyone to read and who feels they want to research further into spiritual matters and learn of our real nature as it applies to our future and to our eternity. Many of these books have helped many people, but if you find that something doesn't apply to you, then simply toss it. However, please try and read on or between the lines, whichever is applicable, and who knows? . . . Someone might find a pearl of great price. Truth can come from many directions. We all must discern for ourselves which of those directions "bears witness." These reference books, below, are some of my personal references only, and ones that I've found helpful over the years. An individual examination by each person must determine if such literature can be as helpful or if it's only redundant material.
God breathes life and abilities through all people. With some cases the written results (owing to the person's level of spiritual love) are edifying and it shows in the writing. In other cases (as in the case of cult hirelings), the results are only fit for the trash bin. Some people incorrectly believe that any inspired writing must come when the writer is in some sort of "trance." If it's truly inspired writing and from the right source, then no one is EVER in a trance. The writer simply sits down and types a helpful article or book in exactly the same way as any of us do on this website. God's ideas come to everyone, and the writer just types the words as the ideas flow. It's that simple.
Please don't have any fear with books that you may read. If the contents are drivel, then you'll know quickly enough and you don't need to read further. If we're open to the Higher Spirit of God (as we are when we leave or start doubting cults), then we'll be able to discern the difference. It'll be easy. The evaluation is in your hands, and believe me, you won't be mislead or seduced. You'll figure it out, Ok.
Cities and many large towns usually have one or more bookstores that cater to metaphysical subjects. The word "metaphysics" is not new, nor is it demonic. The word is made up from two other words: "meta" and "physical." The Greek word "meta" means: Greater than or higher than, in all areas. So, we're talking about a subject which is something higher or greater than the physical. Metaphysics simply means a discussion on the Spiritual aspects of creation. It's NOT weirdism.
In many of these metaphysical bookstores, there are always a variety of books. Since the owners are in business, they cater to profit, and therefore they must cater to everyone's taste. And some of those tastes can be ultra-wacky. It's always prudent to discern wisely when in these stores, as much of the reading can be a waste of time, but many books can be pure gems. Any discerning person can find the truth and dig out a valuable book in any bookstore, just the same as a bee finds honey in the center of a poisoned flower, and extracts it.
Many of the books mentioned in this article might be available from such bookstores. These, below mentioned, books are the ones that have proved themselves over the years and have helped many people. They may or may not be of value to everyone who reads them, but each person must find that out for themselves. If you local store doesn't have a stock of any particular book, then you can always mail order any of them from DeVorss & Company, at P.O. Box 550, in Marina del Rey, California, 90294-0550. Their phone is: (800) 843-5743, Fax is (310) 821-6290 and their email is: email@example.com . Orders can be taken by phone and catalogs (as I remember) can be sent free of charge. You'll have to call for individual prices.
No one on this site has any connection with DeVorss, and there is no personal gain to be had from us giving their address and contact numbers. This is simply a reference for people who may wish to use it, and that's all. There may be other outlets for many similar books and reading, but I don't know of them at the present. I do, however, understand that New York city has many such places, but I don't know exactly where. You'll have to personally check them out.
The whole idea of the below list is for anyone's personal reference, inspiration, and edification only. The philosophy in these books will help people think to question God and creation for themselves. No book is intended as dogma, but simply a guide for all seekers of the truth. Maybe there's things in these books that can help, and maybe there's not. We can only find out by investigation. If any or all of them can be of help, then well and good. Then this exercise has not been in vain.
So then, here are some books that may help folks who want to do some extra reading. I've added a pr,cis on each one to help cover and inform about the contents.
CHRIST IN YOU by Anonymous. This little book is a gem and was written in England before 1910 A.D. When the publisher originally received the manuscript for this book, they didn't quite know how to endorse its teachings. Eventually, they added Biblical footnotes that are annoying and were NOT in the original text, but the publishers felt they needed more authentication before releasing it. So they asked a renowned British theologian at the time, Dr. Alexander Whytte, to write a "Foreword" to the book. Whytte read the book, and then sent the book and a note back to the publisher. "I cannot," he said, "nor am I worthy, to write a Foreword to such a book. I have not attained to its teachings, but I follow after . . . "
THE EDINBURGH AND DOR? LECTURES ON MENTAL SCIENCE by Thomas Troward. This volume of double lectures will make people really think. Although dated in some ways (and Troward like many Brits of his time incorrectly believed in possibility of British-Israelism), it does provide an excellent common sense approach to spiritual realities without any Religiosity, Churchianity, or Bibliosity. It was written as a result of his lectures in Scotland and London between 1904 and 1909 A.D.
THE CREATIVE PROCESS IN THE INDIVIDUAL also by Thomas Troward. We don't know exactly when Troward wrote this one, but he copyrighted it in 1915 A.D. Once again, it puts the emphasis on proper thinking from a spiritual point of view and reaping the results of blessings. Troward was a highly moral man (but never "churched"), and knew the value of life's reciprocity in all our actions.
THE IMPERSONAL LIFE by Anonymous. This book, written from a spiritual instructor's point of view, maybe a little dogmatic, but that's the author's style. Like other books, its message is clear . . . allow the God energy to work through us, and stand guard at the doorway of our most precious possession (as Thomas Paine also said), and that's the mind.
THE WAY TO THE KINGDOM also by the Anonymous author of "The Impersonal Life" (above). The contents are best described on the book's back cover. "These words," it says, "are addressed to those who are seeking the way into the Kingdom of God - the Kingdom where a Great Love and Wisdom, the serving and inspiring of others, and the utter forgetfulness of self, are the natural way of everyone who dwells therein." Obviously, this book has nothing to do with Religiosity.
ILLUSIONS by Richard Bach. Available at most bookstores in paperback. This may seem an odd book to include, but it's an analogy of what could be. And it's really funny. Don't read the story as simply an interesting tale, but read between the lines and you'll get the real spiritual meaning of this gem. The opening chapter is priceless.
JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL also by Richard Bach. Available at most bookstores in paperback. This allegory is an interesting one. It shows that life continues, no matter where you are or who you are. Once again, read between the lines, and imagine yourself as Jonathan.
There are undoubtedly lots of other books you can also read. Among them are, THE INFINITE WAY by Joel Goldsmith, and THE JOY BRINGER and AND IT WAS TOLD OF A CERTAIN POTTER both by Walter Lanyon. These two Lanyon books may be hard to find, but some libraries still might carry them. DeVorss does not. Keep seeking and find your own books as well. There's undoubtedly an avalanche of them out there just waiting to fall on someone . . . if they stand in the right place.
Over the years, friends of mine have turned up all sorts of gems in second hand book stores, swap meets and garage sales. It's worth while looking from time to time and when you have a chance. You never know what gems of wisdom you'll find . . . especially when you're not really searching for anything specific. But whereas, once we would never look at any such books, dictated as such by the cult hirelings, now we're all free to do as we want. No one can tell us now what to read, how to study, or why we must conform to any particular belief. Let's prove everything for ourselves. We now have minds that are not controlled by cultic thinking, and now we can finally exercise our God given right to think, study, and believe what we prove to be factual.
Happy reading and blessings.
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