If you are interested in expanding your awareness and maybe even following a mystical path – these are some of the people you should learn about. They are not all mystics, but they are all interesting.
Eventually, more names will be added. The NAMES are all linked to Wikipedia – not always the best or most informative sites but a good start. Do some additional research. It will be FUN!
If you think someone is missing from the list – or you wonder why someone has been included – let me know and we can discuss it.
Note: the list is alphabetical by last name except for stage names, titles, or commonly known names of the person.
Agrippa, Heinrich Cornelius (1486-1535)
German magician, occult writer and theologian.
Akhenaten (c. 1300BCE)
Known as the first monotheist ruler and the inspirational fountainhead for numerous mystical, metaphysical and spiritual organizations throughout history. Father/uncle of King Tut. One of our favorites.
Albertus Magnus (1206-1280)
Catholic saint. Advocate of peaceful coexistence of science and religion.
Apollonius of Tyana (c. 15-c. 100)
A contemporary of Jesus and somewhat of a competitor for the title of Saviour. Some assert that the difference between them comes down to St. Paul’s ability to generate better public relations.
Author of the classic, comic novel of metamorphoses The Golden Ass.
Archarya Nagarjun (150-250)
Influential Buddhist teacher and philosopher.
Not much needs to be said about him here. If you’ve never heard of him, you just haven’t been trying.
Averroes (Ibn Rushd) (1126-1198)
Influential Islamic philosopher and polymath.
Influential Islamic polymath, philosopher and medical doctor.
Bacon, Francis (1561-1626)
The founder of empiricism. Author of The New Atlantis. Sometimes falsely accused of being William Shakespeare.
Bacon, Roger (1214-1294)
A Franciscan friar and an early advocate of the scientific method.
Bailey, Alice A. (1880-1949)
One of the giants of the New Age movement. Her work has inspired even the United Nations – there is a special meditation room in the U.N. building in New York funded by Bailey’s organizations. One of our personal favorites.
Beethoven, Ludwig Van (1770-1827)
A brilliant and troubled genius. His works are immortal. His 9th Symphony is possibly the greatest achievement of the human species. Any species could go to the moon or power the Internet, but the 9th Symphony is a pure expression of the human spirit and speaks magnificently of our past and future potential. One of our favorites.
Black Elk (1863-1950)
Lakota holy man. Author of Black Elk Speaks.
Blake, William (1757-1827)
Brilliant, influential – a giant! One of our favorites.
Blavatsky, Helene Petrovna (1831-1891)
Arguably the founder of the entire New Age movement. Her work informs and influences every area of mysticism and spiritual philosophy in the world.One of our favorites.
Bodhidharma (c. 5th/6th century)
Brought Buddhism to China, early teacher of Zen, possible founder of the Shaolin traditions.
Boehme, Jacob (1574 – 1624)
Influential Christian mystic and theologian.
Author of the highly influential Consolation of Philosophy. One of our favorites.
Bruno, Giordano (1548 – 1600)
Regarded as a martyr for free thought and modern scientific ideas.
Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama) (563BCE-483BCE)
Any comment here would be superfluous – this is one of the supreme lights of the world. One of our favorites.
Burton, Sir Richard Francis (1821-1890)
Scholar, soldier, adventurer, poet, intellectual, man of action. Great fun at parties.
Campbell, Joseph (1904-1987)
Catch phrase – “follow your bliss.”
Camus, Albert (1913-1960)
Influential existentialist philosopher and novelist. Winner of the Nobel Prize.
Cavendish, Margaret (Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne) (1623-1673)
Poet, philosopher, scientist, dramatist, and animal rights advocate. One of the very few women of her time to publish under her own name and to openly (and effectively) challenge male philosophers such as Hobbes and Descartes.
Coelho, Paolo (1947 – )
Influential mystic and writer.
Columbus, Christopher (1451-1506)
The visionary explorer – not the film maker.
One of the most influential and respected Chinese philosophers.
Copernicus, Nicholaus (1473-1543)
Count of St. Germain (1712-1784)
International man of mystery.
Cousteau, Jacques-Yves (1910-1997)
Explorer, scientist, conservationist – one of our favorites.
Crowley, Aleister (1875-1947)
The premier occultist of the 20th century – advocate of Magick as a way of life. Also a poet, mountaineer and world traveler. One of our favorites.
Curie, Marie (1867-1934)
Two Noble Prizes – one for physics and one for chemistry – amazing!
Da Vinci, Leonardo (1452-1519)
The definitive Renaissance Man.One of our favorites.
Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso) (1935 – )
The current and 14th incarnation of the original Dalai Lama, is the spiritual leader of Tibet in exile and an influential speaker, writer and teacher of Buddhism. Winner of the Nobel Prize.
Dali, Salvador (1904-1989)
Influential surrealist artist.
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)
Author of The Divine Comedy. His other great work The New Life, is much more accessible and provides useful background for the study of the more famous book.
Darwin, Charles (1809-1882)
Explorer, naturalist and champion of the theory of evolution which he codified and established as a solid scientific doctrine with his main books The Descent of Man and the Origin of Species
De Beauvoir, Simone (1908-1986)
Philosopher and political activist.
Dee, John (1527-1608)
Scientist and occultist.
Dickens, Charles (1812-1870)
Highly regarded and influential novelist and social critic. One of the giants of literature.
Dion Fortune (1890-1946)
Influential magical theorist and occultist. One of our favorites.
Disney, Walt (1901-1966)
Animation innovator and humanitarian.
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor Mikhailovich (1821-1881)
Possibly the greatest novelist of all time. One of our favorites.
Edison, Thomas Alva (1847-1931)
His business was coming up with great inventions – and he was extremely successful at it. Among hundreds of patents he is probably most famous for creating a workable light bulb.
Einstein, Albert (1879-1955)
Emerson, Ralph Waldo (1803-1882)
Poet, philosopher, individualist. One of our favorites.
Taught philosophy as a way of life.
Erickson, Milton Hyland (1901-1980)
Influential psychotherapist and hypnotherapist.
Eriugena, John Scotus (810 – 877)
Influential theologian and philosopher.
Evagrius of Ponticus (345-399)
Influential Christian philosopher and ascetic.
Flamel, Nicolas (1330-1418)
Fossey, Dian (1932-1985)
Primatologist. Murdered for trying to protect gorillas.
Franklin, Benjamin (1706-1790)
Universal genius, social butterfly and all around great guy! One of our favorites.
Freud, Sigmund (1856-1939)
Founder of psychoanalysis.
Galdikas, Birute (1946 – )
Primatologist – Orangutan.
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)
Garcia Marquez, Gabriel (1927 – )
Geber (Jabir ibn Hayyan) (721-815)
Polymath and considered to be the first practical alchemist.
Giger, H. R. (1940 – )
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von (1749-1832)
Goodall, Jane (1934 – )
Primatologist – Chimpanzees
Graves, Robert (1895-1985)
Poet, scholar, novelist. author of The White Goddess.
Grimm, Jacob (1785-1863)
Of the Brothers Grimm’s Fairy Tales fame. Also a noted linguistic scholar.
Grimm, Wilhelm (1786-1859)
Of the Brothers Grimm’s Fairy Tales fame.
Gurdjieff, G. I. (1866-1949)
Influential spiritual teacher.
Harrison, George (1943-2001)
Influential singer / songwriter.
Heraclitus of Ephesus (535BCE-475BCE)
Influential philosopher. One of our favorites.
Hesse, Hermann (1877-1962)
Novelist. One our favorites.
Hill, Napoleon (1883-1970)
New Thought writer. One of our favorites.
Hugo, Victor (1802-1885)
Influential French novelist and poet.
Hypatia of Alexandria (360-415)
Neoplatonist philosopher- the genius of her age. She was savagely murdered by a Christian mob.
Imhotep (c. 2900BCE)
Egyptian architect, engineer, physician, poet, philosopher – designer of pyramids – accorded divine status after death.
Jesus Christ (c. 6BCE-c. 33CE)
Any comment here would be superfluous – this is one of the supreme lights of the world. One of our favorites.
Joyce, James (1882-1941)
Influential novelist. One of our favorites.
Jung, Carl Gustav (1875-1961)
Founder of analytical psychology.
K’inich Janaab’ Pakal (603-683)
Mayan king and possibly an astronaut.
Kafka, Franz (1883-1924)
Influential novelist. One of our favorites.
Sanskrit poet and dramatist.
Kempe, Margery (1373-1439)
Mystic writer and traveler. Wrote the first English language autobiography.
Kepler, Johannes (1571-1630)
German mathematician and astronomer. A key figure in 17th century science.
Khayyam, Omar (1048-1131)
Scientist, philosopher and poet.
King, Jr., Martin Luther (1929-1968)
Civil rights activist and inspirational speaker. Assassinated.
Krishna (c. 3228BCE- c. 3102BCE)
Hindu deity and world savior. One of our favorites.
Krishnamurti, Jiddu (1895-1986)
Influential speaker and writer on spiritual subjects. Some considered him to be the prophesied World Teacher, but he, rightly, denied this assertion.
Lao Tzu (600BCE – 470BCE)
Author of Tao Te King. One of our favorites.
LaVey, Anton Szandor (1930-1997)
Writer, occultist, musician. Founder of the Church of Satan.
Leary, Timothy (1920-1996)
Advocate of psychedelic drugs for expanding consciousness.
Lennon, John (1940-1980)
Influential singer / songwriter and peace activist. One of our favorites.
Lewis, C. S. (1898-1963)
Christian philosopher and writer. Author of the Chronicles of Narnia.
Lewis, Harvey Spencer (1883-1939)
Writer, occultist – first Imperator of the Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis. One of our favorites.
Llull, Ramon (c. 1232-c. 1315)
Influential Christian monk, theologian and scientist. He was Martyred while on a missionary trip to North Africa.
Locke, John (1632-1704)
Influential Enlightenment thinker. Consider the Father of Classical Liberalism.
London, Jack (1876-1916)
Author of the Call of the Wild.
Louis Claude de Saint Martin (1743 – 1803)
“The Unknown Philosopher.”
Lovecraft, H.P. (1890-1937)
Popular and influential writer of weird fiction with cosmic themes. First to talk about ancient aliens visiting earth. Developed an entire mythology to serve as background to his work. This mythology – known as the Cthulhu Mythos – was picked and used extensively by many other writers. Created the popular story of the evil book known as the Necronomicon. One of our favorites.
Luria, Isaac (1534 – 1572)
Jewish mystic and rabbi, he is thought of as the father of contemporary Kabbalah.
Luther, Martin (1483-1546)
German priest and theologian, the great leader of the Protestant Reformation.
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)
Highly influential peace activist and social critic. He is the thought of a the liberator and founder of modern India.
Indian sage who established the central tenets of Jainism.
Maiden of Ludmir (Hannah Rachel Verbermacher) (1805-1888)
Only female Rebbe in the Hasidic Movement.
Mandela, Nelson (1918- 2013 )
Influential South African politician and civil rights activist. Winner of the Nobel Prize.
Marco Polo (1254-1324)
Explorer and adventurer.
Mark Twain (1835-1910)
Extremely popular novelist, humorist and lecturer. Author of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.
Marpa Lotsawa (1012-1097)
Tibetan Buddhist teacher.
McCartney, Sir James Paul (1942 – )
Influential singer / songwriter. Animal rights advocate. Considered “the most successful composer and recording artist of all time.” One of our favorites.
Mechthild of Magdeburg (c. 1207-c. 1282/1294)
Medieval mystic with visions of God. She has an asteroid named after her – How cool is that?
Meister Eckhart (c. 1260-c. 1327)
Influential philosopher and mystic.
One of the greatest sculptors and painters of all time.
Mirabai (c. 1498-c. 1547)
Hindu mystical singer and devotee of the Lord Krishna.
One of the great masters of comedy in Western literature.
Montessori, Maria (1870-1952)
Italian physician, educator and humanitarian. Founded the Montessori educational system.
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus (1756-1791)
Arguably the greatest musical genius of all time. Unappreciated in his own lifetime he very likely starved to death. Buried in an unknown, paupers grave. One of our favorites
Mugai Nyodai (1223-1298)
The first female Zen master.
Muhammad, the Prophet (570-632)
“The Prophet of Islam.” One of the most influential men in human history.
Murasaki Shikibu (973-1014)
Japanese novelist and poet. Author of The Tale of Genji.
Newton, Isaac (1643-1727)
Scientific revolutionary. An intellectual giant.
Neyshapuri, Attar (1145-1220)
Influential Islamic poet and theologian.
Nietzsche, Friedrich (1844-1900)
Influential German philosopher and original thinker. He said “some men are born posthumously” and this was true of him – he did not achieve his well deserved respect and fame until after his death. One of our favorites.
Highly controversial and radical spiritual teacher, he was a brilliant and prolific speaker, teacher and writer. His own life story is called “Autobiography of a Spiritually Incorrect Mystic” and this expresses his viewpoint exactly. Loved by some, hated by many more, his teaching needs to be approached with a mystical if critical mind set to be appreciated. One of our favorites.
Ouspensky, P. D. (1878-1947)
Russian esotericist and follower of Gurdjieff.
Roman poet. Author of Metamorphoses.
Padmasambhava (c. 8th c)
Venerated as the “Second Buddha.”
Paracelsus (Philip von Hohenheim) (1493-1541)
Renaissance physician, scientist and occultist.
Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952)
Influential Indian yogi and guru. Author of the popular Autobiography of a Yogi.
Parmenides (515BCE – 450BCE)
Greek poet and philosopher. Author of the influential On Nature.
Parsons, John (Jack) Whiteside (1914-1952)
Rocket scientist and occultist. Influential in developing Jet Propulsion technology.
Petrarch, Fracesco Petrarca (1304-1374)
Italian scholar and poet. The “father of humanism.”
Philo of Alexandria (20BCE-50CE)
Helenistic Jewish Biblical philosopher.
Philoponus, John (490-570)
Christian philosopher and theologian.
Picasso, Pablo (1881-1973)
Influential and innovative artist.
Plato (c. 427BCE-348BCE)
It has been said that all philosophy is merely a footnote to Plato.
Influential neo-platonist philosopher and mystic. One of our favorites.
Poe, Edgar Allan (1809-1849)
Great American writer. He had a troubled life but produced a remarkable body of literary work. One of our favorites.
Pope Gregory I (540-604)
Known as the “father of Christian worship.”
Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (c. 500)
Christian mystic philosopher and theologian.
Influential Greek philosopher, mystic and mathematician. Famous for the Pythagorean theory.
Rabia of Basra (717-801)
Female Muslim saint and Sufi mystic.
Influential Hindu mystic, yogi and guru.
Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950)
Influential Hindu spiritual master.
Rand, Ayn (1905-1982)
Philosopher and novelist. Founder of Objectivism. One of our favorites.
Rasputin, Grigori Yefimovich (1869-1916)
Russian mystic and healer. Crazy but fun.
Persian polymath. Made extensive contributions to a wide variety of fields. Considered one of the great physicians of history.
Persian Muslim poet, jurist, theologian and Sufi mystic.
Sequoyah (Ssiquoya) (1767-1843)
Cherokee silversmith who developed a system for reading and writing the Cherokee language.
Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)
Highly influential dramatist and genius of the first caliber. Arguably the greatest writer of all time.One of our favorites.
Shankara, Adi (788-820)
Influential Hindu philosopher.
Shaw, George Bernard (1856-1950)
Influential dramatist and social critic.
Socrates (c. 469BCE-399BCE)
A martyr to Truth. It is likely there would be no real philosophy without Socrates.
St. Anthony the Great (c. 251-356)
Christian monk and theologian. Known as the Father of all Monks.
St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430)
Highly influential Christian philosopher and theologian. Author of an autobiography called Confessions and The City of God.
St. Bernadette Soubirous (1844-1879)
Christian mystic known for her visions of the Virgin Mary.
St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373)
Christian mystic. One of the 6 patron saints of Europe.
St. Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510)
St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)
Christian mystic. A Doctor of the Church and a patron saint of Italy.
St. Clare of Assisi (1194-1253)
Christian mystic. Early follower of St. Francis. The first woman to write a monastic Rule of life.
St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226)
Christian mystic.Often known as the second Jesus. Highly influential spiritual philosopher and mystic.
St. Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179)
Christian mystic, philosopher, composer, visionary, polymath. A Doctor of the Church.
St. Joan of Arc (c.1412-1431)
Christian martyr, military leader, visionary, defender of the faith, patron saint of France. Martyred at the age of 19. One of our favorites.
St. John of the Cross (1542-1591)
Christian mystic, scholar and poet. Considered one of the great Spanish writers. A Doctor of the Church.
St. Julian of Norwich (c. 1342-c. 1416)
Highly influential and important Christian mystic and English nun. A Saint in the Anglican and Lutheran churches.
St. Mechtilde of Hackeborn (1240-1298)
Influential Christian mystic and musician.
St. Theresa of Avila (1515-1582)
Influential and brilliant visionary writer and mystic. A Doctor of the Church. One of our favorites.
St. Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897)
Christian mystic. Author of The Story of a Soul. The youngest person to be named a Doctor of the Church.
St. Thomas Aquinas (1265-1274)
Immensely influential Christian mystic, philosopher, writer and theologian. A Doctor of the Church.
Sukhasiddhi (c. 11th c)
Beloved Buddhist teacher and spiritual master.
Tagore, Rabindranath (1861-1941)
Influential Bengali polymath, writer and musician. The first non-European to win a Nobel Prize in literature.
Tao Qian (365-427)
Influential Chinese poet and mystic.
Tesla, Nikola (1856-1943)
One of the most original scientists in history. His inventions have impacted the entire modern world. One of our favorites.
Thales of Miletus (c. 624BCE – c. 546BCE)
Known as the first philosopher in history.
Thomas a Kempis (1380 – 1471)
Influential Christian mystic. Author of The Imitation of Christ.
Thoreau, Henry David (1817-1862)
Highly influential American author, poet, and philosopher of the Transcendentalist movement. Author of Walden and “Civil Disobedience.”
Tolstoy, Leo (1828-1910)
Influential Russian writer and mystic. Author of War and Peace.
Van Gogh, Vincent (1853-1890)
Without question the greatest painter of all time. One of our favorites.
Verne, Jules (1828-1905)
Visionary and influential novelist.
Wang Bi (Fu Si) (226-249)
Chinese philosopher and commentator on the Tao Te Ching
Watts, Alan (1915-1973)
Influential spiritual philosopher. One of our favorites.
Weigel, Valentine (1533 – 1588)
German theologian, philosopher and mystical writer. A precursor to Theosophy.
Weishaupt, Adam (1748-1830)
Founder of the Bavarian Illuminati.
Wells, H. G. (1866-1946)
Visionary and influential novelist.
Whitman, Walt (1819-1892)
Enlightened poet and philosopher. One of our favorites.
Wilson, Robert Anton (1932-2007)
Influential mystic, philosopher and writer. One of our favorites.
Yeshe Tsogyal (757-817)
Popular Tibetan Buddhist teacher. Often considered a female Buddha.
Your blog is pretty cool