Enlightened People

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.

People

 

 Agrippa, Heinrich Cornelius (1486-1535)

German magician, occult writer and theologian.

agrippa

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.

akhenaten

Albertus Magnus (1206-1280)

Catholic saint. Advocate of peaceful coexistence of science and religion.

albertus magnus

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.

apollonius of tyana

Apuleius (125-180)

Author of the classic, comic novel of metamorphoses The Golden Ass.

lucius-apuleius

Archarya Nagarjun (150-250)

Influential Buddhist teacher and philosopher.

Nagarjuna

Aristotle (384BCE-322BCE)

Not much needs to be said about him here. If you’ve never heard of him, you just haven’t been trying.

Aristotle

Averroes (Ibn Rushd) (1126-1198)

Influential Islamic philosopher and polymath.

averroes

Avicenna (980-1037)

Influential Islamic polymath, philosopher and medical doctor.

Avicenna

Bacon, Francis (1561-1626)

The founder of empiricism. Author of The New Atlantis. Sometimes falsely accused of being William Shakespeare.

Francis-Bacon

Bacon, Roger (1214-1294)

A Franciscan friar and an early advocate of the scientific method.

Roger Bacon

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.

alice_bailey

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.

Beethovan

Black Elk (1863-1950)

Lakota holy man. Author of Black Elk Speaks.

Black Elk

Blake, William (1757-1827)

Brilliant, influential – a giant! One of our favorites.

blake

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.

Blavatsky

Bodhidharma (c. 5th/6th century)

Brought Buddhism to China, early teacher of Zen, possible founder of the Shaolin traditions.

bodhidharma

Boehme, Jacob (1574 – 1624)

Influential Christian mystic and theologian.

boehme

Boethius (480-525)

Author of the highly influential Consolation of Philosophy. One of our favorites.

Boethius

Bruno, Giordano (1548 – 1600)

Regarded as a martyr for free thought and modern scientific ideas.

Bruno

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.

Buddha

Burton, Sir Richard Francis (1821-1890)

Scholar, soldier, adventurer, poet, intellectual, man of action. Great fun at parties.

Burton

Campbell, Joseph (1904-1987)

Catch phrase – “follow your bliss.”

joseph-campbell

Camus, Albert (1913-1960)

Influential existentialist philosopher and novelist. Winner of the Nobel Prize.

albert-camus

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.

Margaret Lucas Cavendish

Coelho, Paolo (1947 – )

Influential mystic and writer.

Paulo Coelho

Columbus, Christopher (1451-1506)

The visionary explorer – not the film maker.

christopher-columbus

Confucius (551BCE-479BCE)

One of the most influential and respected Chinese philosophers.

confucius

Copernicus, Nicholaus (1473-1543)

Scientific revolutionary.

Copernicus

Count of St. Germain (1712-1784)

International man of mystery.

St.Germain

Cousteau, Jacques-Yves (1910-1997)

Explorer, scientist, conservationist – one of our favorites.

Jacques Cousteau

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.

aleister-crowley

Curie, Marie (1867-1934)

Two Noble Prizes – one for physics and one for chemistry – amazing!

MarieCurie

Da Vinci, Leonardo (1452-1519)

The definitive Renaissance Man.One of our favorites.

da vinci

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.

dalai_lama

Dali, Salvador (1904-1989)

Influential surrealist artist.

00t/29/arve/tih/001/022

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.

dante-alighieri

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

Charles-Darwin

De Beauvoir, Simone (1908-1986)

Philosopher and political activist.

beauvoir

Dee, John (1527-1608)

Scientist and occultist.

john_dee

Dickens, Charles (1812-1870)

Highly regarded and influential novelist and social critic. One of the giants of literature.

Charles Dickens

Dion Fortune (1890-1946)

Influential magical theorist and occultist. One of our favorites.

dion-fortune

Disney, Walt (1901-1966)

Animation innovator and humanitarian.

disney-walt

Dostoyevsky, Fyodor Mikhailovich (1821-1881)

Possibly the greatest novelist of all time. One of our favorites.

dostoievski

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.

Edison

Einstein, Albert (1879-1955)

Scientific superman!

einstein

Emerson, Ralph Waldo (1803-1882)

Poet, philosopher, individualist. One of our favorites.

Emerson

Epictetus (55-135)

Taught philosophy as a way of life.

Epictetus

Erickson, Milton Hyland (1901-1980)

Influential psychotherapist and hypnotherapist.

erickson

Eriugena, John Scotus (810 – 877)

Influential theologian and philosopher.

eriugena

Evagrius of Ponticus (345-399)

Influential Christian philosopher and ascetic.

evagrius

Flamel, Nicolas (1330-1418)

Alchemist.

flamel

Fossey, Dian (1932-1985)

Primatologist. Murdered for trying to protect gorillas.

fossey

Franklin, Benjamin (1706-1790)

Universal genius, social butterfly and all around great guy! One of our favorites.

Ben Franklin

Freud, Sigmund (1856-1939)

Founder of psychoanalysis.

freud

Galdikas, Birute (1946 – )

Primatologist – Orangutan.

Birute_Galidkas

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

Scientific revolutionary.

galileo-galilei

Garcia Marquez, Gabriel (1927 – )

Innovative novelist.

Marquez

Geber (Jabir ibn Hayyan) (721-815)

Polymath and considered to be the first practical alchemist.

geber

Giger, H. R. (1940 – )

Surrealist artist.

giger

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von (1749-1832)

Literary giant.

Goethe

Goodall, Jane (1934 – )

Primatologist – Chimpanzees

goodall

Graves, Robert (1895-1985)

Poet, scholar, novelist. author of The White Goddess.

graves

Grimm, Jacob (1785-1863)

Of the Brothers Grimm’s Fairy Tales fame. Also a noted linguistic scholar.

j grimm

Grimm, Wilhelm (1786-1859)

Of the Brothers Grimm’s Fairy Tales fame.

w grimm

Gurdjieff, G. I. (1866-1949)

Influential spiritual teacher.

gi-gurdjieff

Harrison, George (1943-2001)

Influential singer / songwriter.

harrison

Heraclitus of Ephesus (535BCE-475BCE)

Influential philosopher. One of our favorites.

heraclitus_of_ephesus

Hesse, Hermann (1877-1962)

Novelist. One our favorites.

hesse

Hill, Napoleon (1883-1970)

New Thought writer. One of our favorites.

napoleon-hill

Hugo, Victor (1802-1885)

Influential French novelist and poet.

victor hugo

Hypatia of Alexandria (360-415)

Neoplatonist philosopher- the genius of her age. She was savagely murdered by a Christian mob.

hypatia-of-alexandria-1

Imhotep (c. 2900BCE)

Egyptian architect, engineer, physician, poet, philosopher – designer of pyramids – accorded divine status after death.

imhotep

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.

Jesus

Joyce, James (1882-1941)

Influential novelist. One of our favorites.

joyce

Jung, Carl Gustav (1875-1961)

Founder of analytical psychology.

Jung

K’inich Janaab’ Pakal (603-683)

Mayan king and possibly an astronaut.

pakal

Kafka, Franz (1883-1924)

Influential novelist. One of our favorites.

kafka

Kalidasa (370-450)

Sanskrit poet and dramatist.

kalidasa

Kempe, Margery (1373-1439)

Mystic writer and traveler. Wrote the first English language autobiography.

margery_kempe

Kepler, Johannes (1571-1630)

German mathematician and astronomer. A key figure in 17th century science.

keplar

Khayyam, Omar (1048-1131)

Scientist, philosopher and poet.

khayyam

King, Jr., Martin Luther (1929-1968)

Civil rights activist and inspirational speaker. Assassinated.

king-jr

Krishna (c. 3228BCE- c. 3102BCE)

Hindu deity and world savior. One of our favorites.

Krishna-With-Cows

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.

krishnamurti-Jiddu

Lao Tzu (600BCE – 470BCE)

Author of Tao Te King. One of our favorites.

lao-tzu

LaVey, Anton Szandor (1930-1997)

Writer, occultist, musician. Founder of the Church of Satan.

ANTON LAVEY

Leary, Timothy (1920-1996)

Advocate of psychedelic drugs for expanding consciousness.

leary

Lennon, John (1940-1980)

Influential singer / songwriter and peace activist. One of our favorites.

Lennon

Lewis, C. S. (1898-1963)

Christian philosopher and writer. Author of the Chronicles of Narnia.

lewis cs

Lewis, Harvey Spencer (1883-1939)

Writer, occultist – first Imperator of the Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis. One of our favorites.

Lewis H.S.

Llull, Ramon (c. 1232-c. 1315)

Influential Christian monk, theologian and scientist. He was Martyred while on a missionary trip to North Africa.

Llull+Il·luminat

Locke, John (1632-1704)

Influential Enlightenment thinker. Consider the Father of Classical Liberalism.

locke

London, Jack (1876-1916)

Author of the Call of the Wild.

london

Louis Claude de Saint Martin (1743 – 1803)

“The Unknown Philosopher.”

louis Saint_Martin

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.

lovecraft-and-felis-1

Luria, Isaac (1534 – 1572)

Jewish mystic and rabbi, he is thought of as the father of contemporary Kabbalah.

luria

Luther, Martin (1483-1546)

German priest and theologian, the great leader of the Protestant Reformation.

Luther

Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

Highly influential peace activist and social critic. He is the thought of a the liberator and founder of modern India.

mahatma_gandhi1

Mahavira (599BCE-527BCE)

Indian sage who established the central tenets of Jainism.

mahavira

Maiden of Ludmir (Hannah Rachel Verbermacher) (1805-1888)

Only female Rebbe in the Hasidic Movement.

maiden of ludmir

Mandela, Nelson (1918- 2013 )

Influential South African politician and civil rights activist. Winner of the Nobel Prize.

mandela

Marco Polo (1254-1324)

Explorer and adventurer.

MarcoPolo1

Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Extremely popular novelist, humorist and lecturer. Author of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.

Mark Twain

Marpa Lotsawa (1012-1097)

Tibetan Buddhist teacher.

marpa

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.

McCartney

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?

mechthild

Meister Eckhart (c. 1260-c. 1327)

Influential philosopher and mystic.

meister-eckhart

Michelangelo (1475-1564)

One of the greatest sculptors and painters of all time.

Michelangelo

Mirabai (c. 1498-c. 1547)

Hindu mystical singer and devotee of the Lord Krishna.

Mirabai

Moliere (1622-1673)

One of the great masters of comedy in Western literature.

Moliere

Montessori, Maria (1870-1952)

Italian physician, educator and humanitarian. Founded the Montessori educational system.

maria-montessori

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

Mozart

Mugai Nyodai (1223-1298)

The first female Zen master.

mugai

Muhammad, the Prophet (570-632)

“The Prophet of Islam.” One of the most influential men in human history.

muhammad

Murasaki Shikibu (973-1014)

Japanese novelist and poet. Author of The Tale of Genji.

murasaki-shikibu

Newton, Isaac (1643-1727)

Scientific revolutionary. An intellectual giant.

Newton

Neyshapuri, Attar (1145-1220)

Influential Islamic poet and theologian.

neyshapuri

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.

friedrich-nietzsche

Osho (1931-1990)

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.

osho

Ouspensky, P. D. (1878-1947)

Russian esotericist and follower of Gurdjieff.

ouspensky

Ovid (43BCE-18CE)

Roman poet. Author of Metamorphoses.

Ovid

Padmasambhava (c. 8th c)

Venerated as the “Second Buddha.”

padmasambhava

Paracelsus  (Philip von Hohenheim) (1493-1541)

Renaissance physician, scientist and occultist.

paracelsus

Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952)

Influential Indian yogi and guru. Author of the popular Autobiography of a Yogi.

paramahansa

Parmenides (515BCE – 450BCE)

Greek poet and philosopher. Author of the influential On Nature.

parmenides

Parsons, John (Jack) Whiteside (1914-1952)

Rocket scientist and occultist. Influential in developing Jet Propulsion technology.

parsons

Petrarch, Fracesco Petrarca (1304-1374)

Italian scholar and poet. The “father of humanism.”

petrarch

Philo of Alexandria (20BCE-50CE)

Helenistic Jewish Biblical philosopher.

philo

Philoponus, John (490-570)

Christian philosopher and theologian.

philoponus

Picasso, Pablo (1881-1973)

Influential and innovative artist.

picasso

Plato (c. 427BCE-348BCE)

It has been said that all philosophy is merely a footnote to Plato.

Plato

Plotinus (204-270)

Influential neo-platonist philosopher and mystic. One of our favorites.

Plotinus

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.

Poe

Pope Gregory I (540-604)

Known as the “father of Christian worship.”

Pope Gregory

Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (c. 500)

Christian mystic philosopher and theologian.

pseudo-dionysius

Pythagoras (570BCE-495BCE)

Influential Greek philosopher, mystic and mathematician. Famous for the Pythagorean theory.

pythagoras

Rabia of Basra (717-801)

Female Muslim saint and Sufi mystic.

rabia

Ramakrishna (1836-1886)

Influential Hindu mystic, yogi and guru.

ramakrishna-paramahamsa1

Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950)

Influential Hindu spiritual master.

RamanaMaharshi1

Rand, Ayn (1905-1982)

Philosopher and novelist. Founder of Objectivism. One of our favorites.

rand

Rasputin, Grigori Yefimovich (1869-1916)

Russian mystic and healer. Crazy but fun.

Rasputin

Rhazes (865-925)

Persian polymath. Made extensive contributions to a wide variety of fields. Considered one of the great physicians of history.

rhazes

Rumi (1207-1273)

Persian Muslim poet, jurist, theologian and Sufi mystic.

Rumi

Sequoyah (Ssiquoya) (1767-1843)

Cherokee silversmith who developed a system for reading and writing the Cherokee language.

sequoya

Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)

Highly influential dramatist and genius of the first caliber. Arguably the greatest writer of all time.One of our favorites.

shakespeare

Shankara, Adi (788-820)

Influential Hindu philosopher.

shankara

Shaw, George Bernard (1856-1950)

Influential dramatist and social critic.

Shaw

Socrates (c. 469BCE-399BCE)

A martyr to Truth. It is likely there would be no real philosophy without Socrates.

socrates

St. Anthony the Great (c. 251-356)

Christian monk and theologian. Known as the Father of all Monks.

St.-Anthony

St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430)

Highly influential Christian philosopher and theologian. Author of an autobiography called Confessions and The City of God.

st. augustine

St. Bernadette Soubirous (1844-1879)

Christian mystic known for her visions of the Virgin Mary.

St. Bernadette_Soubirous

St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373)

Christian mystic. One of the 6 patron saints of Europe.

st-bridget

St. Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510)

Christian mystic.

St_catherine_of_genoa

St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)

Christian mystic. A Doctor of the Church and a patron saint of Italy.

St-Catherine of Siena

St. Clare of Assisi (1194-1253)

Christian mystic. Early follower of St. Francis. The first woman to write a monastic Rule of life.

St-Clare-of-Assisi

St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226)

Christian mystic.Often known as the second Jesus. Highly influential spiritual philosopher and mystic.

st. francis

St. Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179)

Christian mystic, philosopher, composer, visionary, polymath. A Doctor of the Church.

st. hildegard

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-joan-of-arc-

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. John of the Cross

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. julian-of-norwich

St. Mechtilde of Hackeborn (1240-1298)

Influential Christian mystic and musician.

st.-mechtilde

St. Theresa of Avila (1515-1582)

Influential and brilliant visionary writer and mystic. A Doctor of the Church. One of our favorites.

st. teresa of avila

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-therese-of-lisieux

St. Thomas Aquinas (1265-1274)

Immensely influential Christian mystic, philosopher, writer and theologian. A Doctor of the Church.

st__thomas_aquinas

Sukhasiddhi (c. 11th c)

Beloved Buddhist teacher and spiritual master.

Sukhasiddhi

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.

tao qian

Tesla, Nikola (1856-1943)

One of the most original scientists in history. His inventions have impacted the entire modern world. One of our favorites.

tesla

Thales of Miletus (c. 624BCE – c. 546BCE)

Known as the first philosopher in history.

thales

Thomas a Kempis (1380 – 1471)

Influential Christian mystic. Author of The Imitation of Christ.

thomasakempis

Thoreau, Henry David (1817-1862)

Highly influential American author, poet, and philosopher of the Transcendentalist movement. Author of Walden and “Civil Disobedience.”

Thoreau

Tolstoy, Leo (1828-1910)

Influential Russian writer and mystic. Author of War and Peace.

tolstoy

Van Gogh, Vincent (1853-1890)

Without question the greatest painter of all time. One of our favorites.

van gogh

Verne, Jules (1828-1905)

Visionary and influential novelist.

verne

Wang Bi (Fu Si) (226-249)

Chinese philosopher and commentator on the Tao Te Ching

wang bi

Watts, Alan (1915-1973)

Influential spiritual philosopher. One of our favorites.

alan-watts

Weigel, Valentine (1533 – 1588)

German theologian, philosopher and mystical writer. A precursor to Theosophy.

weigel

Weishaupt, Adam (1748-1830)

Founder of the Bavarian Illuminati.

weishaupt

Wells, H. G. (1866-1946)

Visionary and influential novelist.

Wells

Whitman, Walt (1819-1892)

Enlightened poet and philosopher. One of our favorites.

whitman

Wilson, Robert Anton (1932-2007)

Influential mystic, philosopher and writer. One of our favorites.

wilson

Yeshe Tsogyal (757-817)

Popular Tibetan Buddhist teacher. Often considered a female Buddha.

Yeshe-Tsogyal

One comment on “Enlightened People
  1. Dan Martin says:

    Your blog is pretty cool

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