In a way, of course, it’s easy to come up with a list of great fiction. There is so much to choose from. And so much of it has been around for hundreds, even thousands, of years. Many of the works on this list have been tested and proven worthy of survival and study by great minds of all ages.
However, we aren’t looking for a list of merely great fiction – we are looking for works that can light up a person’s soul and lead them to mystical glory. Or we, at least, are looking for work that can inspire us to lead a more enlightened life.
And here lies the big problem. Enlightened people – for the most part – go against the flow of society. They challenge authority and the status quo. Enlightened people are dangerous. So books that can lead people to an enlightened state must also be dangerous. Would governments, religious organizations, and powerful people in general allow writings to exist that inspire the common people to think for themselves and seek happiness outside the mainstream?
There is clearly evidence that books of all kinds have been suppressed and destroyed throughout the ages for just this reason. Some obvious examples are the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Library discovered in the past century. These works were deliberately hidden away to protect them from destruction by the leaders of society. It is only by chance that they were ever found. How many works have not been found? How many books have been lost forever – their authors killed, their readers persecuted? Book burning and the persecution of writers continue to this day throughout the world. Mass literacy and access to information offer some protection from the abuses of governments and religions – but many illuminated works are still lost every day.
With this in mind is it even possible to have a list of enlightened literature? There are legends, of course, of secret books and whole libraries available only to the initiated few – works that can truly illuminate people’s minds. Some of the books on this list speak of these occult libraries. Others described true illumination coming, not from books, but from the SOURCE of all LIGHT – the Divine.
What we need to rely on is the stupidity and over confidence of the world’s current power brokers. We must believe that they don’t know what to look for and that they believe “lesser” people are incapable of identifying TRUTH. Enlightened ideas are disguised as humor, satire, children’s stories and fantasy. The student of illumination must pick out the great ideas. As the Bible says, “For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line,
here a little, there a little.”
Truly, some of the writers on this list were not aware of their own illumination potential. There might be just one sentence in one book, maybe a paragraph, maybe just a feeling or sensation that seems to arise independently of the words used. We must be like archaeologists searching for a lost civilization in a desert – picking out a bit of pottery here, a scrap of parchment there until we uncover the whole city.
It is quite possible that just reading one or two selections from this list will flood your mind with light. However, it is better to consider enlightenment as a cumulative process. Studying the items on this list and the other lists on the site will be like blowing air on a glowing ember within you until it sparks and bursts into a roaring flame.
All the titles are linked to descriptive pages (so I don’t have to describe them) and over time I will add more personal comments. This list is by no means complete. More items will be added in time. There are online versions of many of the older books and some of the links lead to these. Mostly the links are to summaries and analysis of the works and the authors. Other summaries are also available if you do a search. NOTE: All the poems are linked to online readable sources as well as descriptions and bios of the poets.
The linked page also offers a more detailed biography of Aesop.
The linked page also offers a more detailed biography of Andersen
Subsequent books in the series seem to go off track for me. But the original novel is quite good.
One of our favorite writers and people.
The link is to a complete pdf copy of the book. Well worth reading.
The link is to a complete PDF copy of the book. Takes a while to load because of the photographs that form part of the novel. “This is a story for people who follow their dreams and make their own rules; a story that has inspired people for decades.”
This book is worth owning.
A complete Ebook version from The Gutenberg Project. It’s a beloved classic for good reason. Wonderful!
The link is to a great study guide to a fascinating book.
The link is to one of the many summaries of this classic book. This particular link offers a complete free study package as well. Also available is a complete pdf version of the book.
This is the original of “Planet of the Apes.” Very different from the films. An excerpt from the book is available here.
Everything by Ray Bradbury is worth reading. These are just some of our favorite stories.
The link is to a wiki article with a detailed, chapter by chapter summary, including spoilers. So, just go out and read the book.
Another book you know you should just go out and read. The link is to a detailed wiki page summary.
Originally a Twilight Zone episode written by Bradbury about a child, Agatha, who is unwilling to accept an Electrical (robot) Grandmother as a surrogate for her dead mother, until the Grandmother demonstrates her own immortality., it was made into a great short story, filmed a couple of times and used as the title of a number of songs. The story’s title is based on a poem by Walt Whitman.
An online version is available here from the Gutenberg Project
One of the greatest novels, ever – the link is to a site that gives you everything you want to know about the book including an online pdf version.
Yeah, it’s a children’s book – Just go read it (and look at the pictures).
Definitely NOT a children’s book.
Burnett, Frances Hodgson – A Little Princess: Being the Whole Story of Sara Crewe Now Told for the First Time/
Another children’s book – so called – Burnett is saying a lot more in his books than the movie versions would have you believe.
Wiki page is short. The whole book is available online here.
The wikipedia link is very short. This is only Conrad’s second novel but it already shows elements of his genius. A full text of the novel is available here.
Much more information is available for Heart of Darkness – Conrad’s most famous book.
Aleister Crowley, “the Wickedest Man in the World,” is known mainly for his contributions to ceremonial magic and religion. But he was also an accomplished poet, novelist and dramatist.
The character of Simon Iff featured in Moonchild is a magician, psychologist and psychic detective. Fun and insightful stories of an unusual man’s adventures.
Another so-called children’s book that is so much more.
Brilliant and beautiful book – much more accessible than the better known Divine Comedy.
Absolute classic of Medieval spiritual literature. Demonstrates in a powerful way the journey of enlightenment.
You know the story – but do you know the book? Worth a read or even two.
Dickens is legendary. These are just some of the most accessible books.
Even at his worst, in bad translations, he is still better than everyone else. His books are rough going, packed with themes and insights that dazzle the mind. He is worth every minute you spend with him.
There are only 7 novels and they are all excellent.
Another children’s book that is more than it seems.
Known mostly as a teacher of occult arts, her novels offer the reader a rare and authentic glimpse of the world beyond the material. One of our favorites.
Especially: Innocent Erendira and Other Stories, Leaf Storm and Other Stories, No One Writes to the Colonel and Other Stories, and the classic One Hundred Years of Solitude
Beautiful, inspirational book – now available as a pdf file here.
Grahame, Kenneth – The Wind in the Willows
Another children’s book that’s not. Complete e-copy available here.
There are many online versions of the books – because the stories are so great.
Another favorite. A fairy tale for adults in the space age. Brilliant.
This is where the highly usable expression came from.
You might as well just read ALL of Hemingway – but this novel really pushes the enlightenment themes we are looking for.
Please just go ahead and read, and re-read, everything you can by Hesse. The books listed here are particular favorites.
A classically oriented forerunner of “the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” and all the Da Vinci Code type stuff about secret societies.
Hesse is a library of enlightenment all to himself.
Just the story titles should make you want to read this.
Also called Magister Ludi — master of the game (school) — Hesse IS a master.
The link is to one of the many, many summaries of this book. It is, of course, also available online in many translations. Why so much info? Simple. This is the greatest book ever written. Almost 3000 years old and still nothing has been written that is better than this epic. It is a book that must be read.
A good, fun, adventure story. Not as good as the Iliad, but people are always making references to the story. The recent movie, O Brother Where Art Thou? was loosely based on the Odyssey.
Love Shirley Jackson.
One of the best novels, and characters, ever. A great favorite.
Better than the critics say. Certainly WAAAAY better than the movie.
Classic play by someone with some real knowledge of alchemy and the world.
Still funny and relevant.
You either already know about Joyce or you should go out immediately and find out about him. This wikipedia page is weak but it will give you a start. You have to read this book and Ulysses – it’s compulsory.
Definitely a favorite.
You know his name – now read his books. A bio and many online works available here.
according to the American Library Association’s Banned Books website, Wrinkle was one of the top 25 most-attacked books of the 1990s. Found out why.
She wrote a lot that should also be on this list (see the home page of this link). Read as much as you can.
Again, much, much more than a children’s book.
The classic novel not the game.
Love this book.
A must read to understand the world.
A favorite author.
The book examines philosophical questions about life.
Complete text with illustrations Available from the Gutenberg Project here.
First of the franchise and the most enlightening.
He is the best and simply must be read by everyone.
Shaw inspired a lot of great writers and wrote a lot of great plays. This is just a list of the most accessible and thematically most enlightened.
Subtitled “the modern Prometheus” the book brought a fire to human consciousness. Forget the movies – read the book.
Stevenson had a lot of great stories to tell – this is one of the most unusual.
Read everything by Swift – He is classic and modern at the same time. Satire at its best.
Have to include Tolkien in this list – for the books NOT the movies.
More accessible than Lord of the Rings and more fun.
Tolstoy was a mystic and a genius – a difficult writer but should be read forever. These are some of his more readable books.
Twain is mostly known as a humorist – sometimes as a children’s writer – yet with this book he became one of most controversial American writers. Huckleberry Finn is always being banned somewhere – even today.
An inspirational classic for thousands of years.
Verne is a master story teller and Captain Nemo is one of the greatest characters in literature. Read all Verne’s books, starting with these.
An adventure novel that surveys the ancient world and its emerging religions.
Kind of a sequel to the Iliad but not as good. It’s Rome’s national origin epic.
Voltaire was the enlightened intellectual of his generation and this is his satirical masterpiece.
Vonnegut’s earlier books are amazing. They combine science fiction, history, anthropology, social criticism and especially humor. If you read these titles you might just become hooked on his style – and that’s ok.
The great Indian epic. One of its chapters is the famous Bhagavad Gita. You will probably never read the entire book – it is huge – but there are many condensed versions.
Besides being one of the fathers of Sci-fi, Wells was a scientist, historian, and social commentator. His books reveal his vast learning and even after more than100 years his stories are still relevant.
How to become real.
Robert Anton Wilson was all about illumination. If you want a new viewpoint on the world around you, and beyond you, just read his books.All the links are to his website so please explore that site thoroughly.