Recommended Books: List and Guide

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The Living Force
FOTCM Member
This list is also available on the Cassiopaea Wiki on the Recommended books page.

Below is the current list of books recommended by the QFG, followed by a guide for delving into the material and related resources. The list and/or the guide were last updated on August 2, 2014. They are discussed in "Recommended Books: Discussion".

The list is divided into a number of sections; priority is not implied by their ordering. However, there are some recommendations. If you are new to the recommended books, the 'Health and Diet' as well as 'Narcissism "Big Five"' sections are highly recommended places to start; these subjects are important because physical and psychological functioning is the basis of all we do. The 'Fourth Way' section also contains material integral this forum, and which is necessary to understand much of the discussion and work that takes place here.

Additional information regarding the sections, subjects and books is found in the guide. Apart from general information, it contains footnotes for many of the books. It can point you to discussions, excerpts, and additional resources such as videos, articles and interviews related to books or subjects. For books that are legitimately available for free, it will also point you to where to find them online.

Take your time with the list, guide and recommended material; there's no use rushing through the material faster than it is understood. It also pays to consider one's individual situation, and accordingly what to prioritize at the moment. No one can tackle all of it at once, and no one is expected to.

In order to best understand whichever subjects you choose to focus on at the time, it may pay to look up the section(s) in the guide: it sometimes contains recommendations on the order in which to read books. When nothing in particular is said regarding the reading order of books in a section, the order in which the section lists them is a rough suggestion - since your individual needs may however be different, take your time to make your choices. As for the sections themselves, some sections contain books that may be useful background for exploring other sections, though largely, there's no problem exploring sections in parallel, if that's your inclination.

Finally, "Tips and experiences ordering recommended books" may be a helpful thread to read. For people who wish to save money, this post on ordering used books may be of particular interest.

P.S. Some books are listed in several sections. In these cases, simply to keep things tidy, there is a "main" section for the book - and if the book has a footnote, it will belong to the "main" section. Also, other sections that include the book will list it in italics.

List of Recommended Books

1. Health and Diet
Diet research of the forum: A summary of the science background1.1 - Gabriela Segura
Keto-Adapted: Your Guide to Accelerated Weight Loss and Healthy Healing1.2 - Maria Emmerich
Primal Body, Primal Mind1.3 - Nora T. Gedgaudas
The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable1.3 - Stephen D. Phinney and Jeff S. Volek
Life Without Bread: How a Low-Carbohydrate Diet Can Save Your Life1.3 - Christian B. Allan & Wolfgang Lutz
When the Body Says No1.4 - Gabor Mate
The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice and Sustainability1.5 - Lierre Keith
Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food - Catherine Shanahan & Luke Shanahan
The Iron Elephant: What You Should Know about the Danger of Excess Body Iron1.6 - Roberta Crawford
Fiber Menace1.7 - Konstantin Monastyrsky
The UltraMind Solution1.8 - Mark Hyman
Detoxification and Healing: The Key to Optimal Health - Sidney MacDonald Baker
Detoxify or Die - Sherry Rogers
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Autoimmune Disorders - Stephen B. Edelson and Deborah Mitchell
Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome1.9 - Rodger Murphree
Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival1.10 - T. S. Wiley & Bent Formby
Sex, Lies, and Menopause: The Shocking Truth About Synthetic Hormones and the Benefits of Natural Alternatives1.11 - T. S. Wiley, Julie Taguchi & Bent Formby

2. Narcissism "Big Five"
The Myth of Sanity: Divided Consciousness and the Promise of Awareness2.1 - Martha Stout
The Narcissistic Family - Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman and Robert M. Pressman
Trapped in the Mirror: Adult Children of Narcissists in their Struggle for Self2.2 - Elan Golomb
Unholy Hungers: Encountering the Psychic Vampire in Ourselves & Others - Barbara E. Hort
Character Disturbance: The Phenomenon of Our Age2.3 - George K. Simon

3. Cognitive and Social Science
Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious3.1 - Timothy D. Wilson
Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change3.2 - Timothy D. Wilson
Thinking, Fast and Slow3.3 - Daniel Kahneman
You Are Not So Smart3.4 - David McRaney
What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite3.5 - David DiSalvo

4. Neuroscience
Brain Changer: How Harnessing Your Brain's Power to Adapt Can Change Your Life - David DiSalvo4.1
In An Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness4.2 - Peter A. Levine
The Archaeology of Mind: Neuroevolutionary Origins of Human Emotions4.3 - Jaak Panksepp and Lucy Biven
Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships4.4 - Daniel Goleman
The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation4.5 - Stephen W. Porges
Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy4.6 - Pat Ogden, Kekuni Minton and Clare Pain

5. Psychopathy
Defense Against the Psychopath: A Brief Introduction to Human Predators5.1 - Stefan H. Verstappen
The Sociopath Next Door - Martha Stout
Women Who Love Psychopaths: Inside the Relationships of Inevitable Harm5.2 - Sandra Brown
Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work - Robert Hare and Paul Babiak
Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us - Robert Hare
The Mask of Sanity: An Attempt To Clarify Some Issues About The So-Called Psychopathic Personality5.3 - Hervey Cleckley
Political Ponerology: A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes5.4 - Andrzej Lobaczewski
The Authoritarians5.5 - Bob Altemeyer
The Paranoia Switch: How Terror Rewires Our Brains and Reshapes Our Behavior--and How We Can Reclaim Our Courage5.6 - Martha Stout

6. Social Interaction and External Considering
The Fire from Within9.3 - Carlos Castaneda
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High6.1 - Kerry Pattersson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler
How to Win Friends and Influence People6.2 - Dale Carnegie
Miss Manners (articles, books)6.3 - Judith Martin

7. Other Psychology
Fear of the Abyss: Healing the Wounds of Shame & Perfectionism7.1 - Aleta Edwards
The Caricature of Love7.2 - Hervey Cleckley
Making Sense of People: Decoding the Mysteries of Personality7.3 - Samuel Barondes
Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration7.4 - Sal Mendaglio
Books on Positive Disintegration7.5 - Kazimierz Dabrowski
Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking7.6 - Malcolm Gladwell
How to Spot a Dangerous Man Before You Get Involved7.7 - Sandra Brown
Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, And Other Sex Offenders7.8 - Anna Salter
Operators and Things: The Inner Life of a Schizophrenic7.9 - Barbara O'Brien
The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self7.10 - Alice Miller
In Broad Daylight7.11 - Harry N. MacLean
Molecules of Emotion - Candace Pert
Mean Genes - Terry Burnham and Jay Phelan
The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind7.12 - Gustave Le Bon
The Denial of Death7.13 - Ernest Becker
Escape from Evil7.13 - Ernest Becker

8. Fourth Way
The Wave Series (all volumes)8.1 - Laura Knight-Jadczyk
In Search of the Miraculous: Fragments of an Unknown Teaching8.2 - P.D. Ouspensky
Life Is Religion: 12 Daily Exercises for Mind, Body, and Soul8.3 - Quantum Future Group
Brain Changer: How Harnessing Your Brain's Power to Adapt Can Change Your Life - David DiSalvo4.1
Gnosis (all volumes)8.4 - Boris Mouravieff
Meetings with Remarkable Men - G.I. Gurdjieff
Life is Real Only Then, when "I am" - G.I. Gurdjieff
Tertium Organum8.5 - P.D. Ouspensky
Struggle of the Magicians8.6 - William Patterson
Gurdjieff and the Women of the Rope: Notes of Meetings in Paris and New York 1935-1939 and 1948-1949

9. Other Esoterica
The Sufi Path of Knowledge: Ibn Al-Arabi's Metaphysics of Imagination9.1 - William Chittick
The Active Side of Infinity9.2 - Carlos Castaneda
The Fire from Within9.3 - Carlos Castaneda
Fulcanelli: His True Identity Revealed9.4 - Patrick Riviere
The Mystery of the Cathedrals - Fulcanelli
The Dwellings of the Philosophers - Fulcanelli

10. Information Theory, Metaphysics and Evolution
Origin of Life: The 5th Option10.1 - Bryant M. Shiller
The Living Stream: Evolution and Man - Sir Alister Hardy
The Scars of Evolution: What Our Bodies Tell Us About Human Origins - Elaine Morgan
Information and the Nature of Reality: From Physics to Metaphysics10.2 - Paul Davies and Niels Henrik Gregersen
Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False10.3 - Thomas Nagel

11. Politics and Pathocracy
911: The Ultimate Truth11.1 - Laura Knight-Jadczyk and Joe Quinn
JFK: The Assassination of America11.2 - Laura Knight-Jadczyk
Manufactured Terror: The Boston Marathon Bombings, Sandy Hook, Aurora Shooting and Other False Flag Terror Attacks11.3 - Joe Quinn and Niall Bradley
The Controversy of Zion11.4 - Douglas Reed
JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters11.5 - James Douglass
The Secret Team: The CIA And Its Allies In Control Of The World11.6 - Fletcher Prouty
JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy11.7 - Fletcher Prouty
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism11.8 - Naomi Klein
Defying Hitler: A Memoir11.9 - Sebastian Haffner
Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall11.10 - Anna Funder
The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion11.11
The New Pearl Harbour: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11 - David Ray Griffin
The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions - David Ray Griffin
Where Did the Towers Go? Evidence of Directed Free-energy Technology on 9/1111.12 - Judy Wood
None Dare Call it Conspiracy - Gary Allen
In the Name of Sanity - Lewis Mumford

12. Hidden History
Secret History of the World (all volumes)12.1 - Laura Knight-Jadczyk (vol. 1-3) and Pierre Lescaudron (main author of vol. 3)
The Apocalypse: Comets, Asteroids and Cyclical Catastrophes12.2 - Laura Knight-Jadczyk
Cosmic Winter - Victor Clube and Bill Napier
Cosmic Serpent - Victor Clube and Bill Napier
From Exodus to Arthur - Michael Baillie
New Light on the Black Death - Michael Baillie
Where Troy Once Stood - Iman Wilkens
The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes - Richard Firestone, Allen West, Simon Warwick-Smith

13. General History and Historical Method
The Historian's Craft13.1 - Marc Bloch
The Ancient City: A Study on the Religion, Laws, and Institutions of Greece and Rome13.2 - Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges
Essays in Ancient and Modern Historiography - Arnaldo Momigliano
On Pagans, Jews and Christians - Arnaldo Momigliano

14. Caesar
Gallic War and Civil War - Julius Caesar
The Civil Wars - Appian
The Ancient City: A Study on the Religion, Laws, and Institutions of Greece and Rome13.2 - Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges
Escape from Evil7.13 - Ernest Becker
Caesar: Politician and Statesman - Mattias Gelzer
The Assassination of Julius Caesar - Michael Parenti
Julius Caesar - Philip Freeman
Et tu Judas! Then Fall Jesus - Gary Courtney
Jesus Was Caesar - Francesco Carotta

15. Bible History
The Origins of Biblical Israel - Philip Davies
History and Ideology in Ancient Israel - Giovanni Garbini
The Mythic Past - Thomas L. Thompson
The Messiah Myth - Thomas L. Thompson
The Bible Unearthed - Neil Asher Silberman and Israel Finkelstein
David and Solomon - Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman
The Lost Gospel - Burton Mack
A Myth of Innocence - Burton Mack

16. UFOs and Aliens
High Strangeness16.1 - Laura Knight-Jadczyk
UFOs and the National Security State16.2- Richard Dolan
Operation Trojan Horse16.3 - John Keel
The Eighth Tower - John Keel
The Stargate Conspiracy - Picknet and Prince
Gods of Eden - William Bramley

17. Esotericism and Parapsychology
Shamanism - Mircea Eliade
Cosmos and History - Mircea Eliade
The Sacred and the Profane - Mircea Eliade
Varieties of Religious Experience - William James
The Afterdeath Journal of an American Philosopher - Jane Roberts
Magic: The Principles of Higher Knowledge - Karl Von Eckarthausen
Darkness over Tibet17.1 - T. Illion
The Darkened Room - Alex Owen
The History of Spiritualism - Arthur Conan Doyle
Book on Mediums - Allen Kardec
Many Voices: The Autobiography of a Medium - Eileen J. Garrett
Deviance and Moral Boundaries - Nachman Ben-Yehuda
Occult and Scientific Mentalities in the Renaissance - Brian Vickers (editor)
The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor - Joscelyn Godwin
The Secret Teachings of All Ages - Manly Hall
The Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts: A Riveting Investigation Into Channeling and Spirit Guides17.2 - Joe Fisher
Spirit Releasement Therapy: A Technique Manual17.3 - William J. Baldwin
Thirty Years Among the Dead17.4- Carl A. Wickland
The Unquiet Dead: A Psychologist Treats Spirit Possession - Edith Fiore
Life Between Life - Joel L. Whitton
Prophecy in Our Time - Martin Ebon
Evidence Of Survival After Death - Sir William F. Barrett and James H. Hyslop
Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation - Ian Stevenson
Power of the Pendulum - T.C. Lethbridge
Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science - Nandor Fodor
Haunted People: The Story Of The Poltergeist Down The Centuries - Hereward Carrington and Nandor Fodor
The Haunted Mind - Nandor Fodor
Hostage to the Devil17.5 - Malachi Martin
Unleashed: Of Poltergeists and Murder: The Curious Story of Tina Resch - by William Roll and Valerie Storey

18. Optional
The Noah Syndrome18.1 - Laura Knight-Jadczyk
Bringers of the Dawn - Barbara Marciniack
The Ra Material - Carla Rueckert, Don Elkins, and Jim McCarty
The C's Transcripts - Laura Knight-Jadczyk, et al
The Teachings of Don Juan (the other books)18.2 - Carlos Castaneda
Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson - Gurdjieff
The Field - Lynne McTaggert
When God Was a Woman - Merlin Stone
Egypt, Canaan and Israel in Ancient Times - Donald Redford
The Case for the UFO18.3 - Morris K. Jessup
The Books of Charles Fort
Worlds in Collision - Immanuel Velikovsky
An Introduction to Information Theory: Symbols, Signals and Noise18.4 - John R. Pierce
Signature in the Cell18.4 - Stephen C. Meyer
Darwin's Doubt18.4 - Stephen C. Meyer
The Science Delusion/Science Set Free18.5 - Rupert Sheldrake
The Neandertal Enigma - James Shreeve
Shattering the Myths of Darwinism - Richard Milton
The Chalice and the Blade - Riane Eisler
The Hidden History of the Human Race (condensed edition of Forbidden Archeology) - by Michael Cremo
Invisible Residents - Ivan T. Sanderson
Programmed to Kill: The Politics of Serial Murder - Dave McGowan
Understanding the F-Word - Dave McGowan
The Hero With a Thousand Faces - Joseph Campbell
The Crack in the Cosmic Egg - Joseph Chilton Pearce
Psychology of Intelligence Analysis - Richards J. Heuer, Jr.
The Quest to Feel Good18.6 - Paul R. Rasmussen
The Angry Book18.7 - Theodore Isaac Rubin
Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ18.8 - Daniel Goleman


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Guide to the Recommended Books and related material and resources

The guide has been growing over time, and more and more additional resources have been linked. Since no one can be expected to read, watch, or listen to all the things that are linked, here (before the first section) follows any general notes that may help you prioritize.

You'll find both "SOTT Podcasts" and "SOTT Talk Radio Shows" listed and linked. The podcasts are older - nowadays, the editors instead use the call-in show format, allowing listeners to participate in the discussions. If you need to prioritize, you may want to skip more of the podcasts in favor of the newer shows, at any rate when they cover the same subject, since the shows will then have the most up-to-date information.

Reading transcripts of the podcasts and/or shows may also be quicker, and/or may give you an idea of which ones you'll find most important at the moment. Transcripts are always linked when available (at the time of the latest update) for the sections and books below. Conversely, you may find other podcasts and/or shows of interest; not all that are relevant to a subject are necessarily linked. All podcasts can be found here, and their transcripts here. For the newer shows, all are available here, and a list of transcribed ones here.

1. Health and Diet

Health is an important matter, since the state of our body not only affects our physical capabilities, but also our emotional health and intellectual ability. But the connection also goes the other way around - emotional health affects physical health; e.g., chronic stress and repressed emotion can cause disease. So this is a complex topic, and its physiological and psychological aspects both need equal attention. This means that diet and metabolism, sleep, stress management, emotional processing, and healthy interpersonal dynamics all matter.

Among the books of this section, many are concerned with diet, which is a key question - the footnotes for these books link to more information. It should be noted that by "diet", we don't mean something you do temporarily, or to lose weight (though that is one common effect); we mean something that is permanently adopted in order for one's body and brain to function at its best - a lifestyle, in other words.

The most optimal diet we know of at this time is the ketogenic diet. In a nutshell, the diet involves the following: the removal of the most detrimental things from one's diet - e.g. gluten, dairy, soy, and sugar; and replacing carbohydrates with fat, while keeping protein restricted to moderate amounts. This is a large change from a "standard" diet, and therefore, before proceeding with these changes, it is important to understand what one is doing and why. We strongly recommend reading the most important resources on diet beforehand; see #1.1 and #1.2 below.

Our consensus on the best way to approach a transition to the ketogenic diet has changed over time. The old recommendation was to first transition to our old paleo diet, and only then proceed to the ketogenic diet. With new information, that has changed: we now recommend people to proceed straight to the ketogenic diet. We now know more about the issues that can arise and how to solve them, and a fast transition done right is both simpler and better for the body.

When it comes to the psychological aspects of maintaining good health, the book When the Body Says No (see #1.4) covers the role of chronic stress and unhealthy ways of handling emotion in disease: we are often conditioned by upbringing and culture to neglect stress, and to either repress or hyperexpress our emotions - and ultimately it takes its toll on the body.

Health issues can also be caused by trauma; In An Unspoken Voice (see #4.2) describes the physiological basis of trauma and how it can be worked through by working with the body. The 'Neuroscience' (#4) section also contains further reading relevant to this and related subjects, among other things.

For additional psychological material, section #2 - the 'Narcissism "Big Five"' - is a good place to start; the information for it will direct you not only to its books, but also to all of the other psychological sections.

Apart from all these books and the corresponding dietary and other approaches, there is the Eiriu-Eolas Breathing Program (main thread, FAQ/guide), which we recommend and which you can use for free. It reduces stress and facilitates emotional processing through the controlled stimulation of the vagus nerve (for more on the vagus nerve, see section #4, 'Neuroscience'). In gradually clearing up emotional baggage, many have found it to help with mental clarity and emotional and interpersonal functioning. In addition, a number of people have reported improvements in physical health. A gentle way to heal, the program is practiced by many on this forum, along with a ketogenic diet.

After all these years, the Diet and Health board now contains discussions on more things than could be listed here (so search to your heart's content!); but also a great deal of outdated information from years past - so in reading, pay attention to when things were posted, and check whether they are consistent with the latest information.

Likewise, the older books having to do with detox - while useful - are outdated with respect to diet; the newer recommended reading on health and diet has taken their place as the most important.

1.1. The dietary research of the forum
Over the years, the editors and Cassiopaea Forum members have done a great deal of dietary research. Much of the most important information is summarized in a document called Diet research of the forum: A summary of the science background. Written by Gabriela Segura, M.D., as well as a number of contibuting editors, it is a must-read for getting up to speed on the research. It has been made freely available here.

A second document is also being prepared, and is meant to provide a practical guide to dietary transition. Such information is very important, because there are a number of common stumbling blocks and individual issues that may be encountered, which almost always have known and simple solutions.

In the meantime, there's another book which also provides a great practical guide, and which is a must-read for everyone interested in dietary transition. That book is Keto-Adapted (#1.2) - see the next footnote for details. Being an excellent read, it will continue to be recommended even after our own document is done.

In addition to the above document and book, there are some other recommended books that provide some more in-depth information on various aspects. Several related to low-carb, high-fat approaches are listed under #1.3. Also, The Vegetarian Myth (see #1.5) provides a very broad perspective of dietary issues - nutritionally, ethically, and politically. If you're curious about vegetarianism, it's a must-read.

Below, several forum threads, articles, and other resources are also listed. The threads are very lengthy, but provide a first-hand account of how our dietary knowledge and experimentation has evolved over the years. The articles, interviews and videos can be quite practical in providing some easily accessible additional information.

The forum threads

The "Life Without Bread" thread chronicled our older paleo diet as it evolved over time, beginning in 2011, with all of the collective input and experiences. While the paleo diet is obsolete, the thread still contains a lot of good information. However, it should be read keeping in mind what has been learned since. The following posts may be particularly useful; in addition, you may want to search the thread for particular topics of interest:The forum thread "Ketogenic Diet - Path To Transformation?" chronicles our ketogenic diet as it evolved; it contains a lot of valuable material and experiences for those now changing their diet. However, the book Keto-Adapted (see above) contains much of the same knowledge (and as of this time, also things that we haven't covered in the thread), and reading it can save you the time it takes to go through the entire thread.

Also, if you're looking for ketogenic diet recipes, check out the "Keto recipes" thread.

For information on the new consensus that the paleo diet is obsolete, and that going straight to the ketogenic diet is optimal, see the thread "Ketoadaptation - Consensus".

Other resources

Here are some articles on SOTT and elsewhere relevant to transitioning to a ketogenic diet:In addition, some recommended online videos:The author of Primal Body, Primal Mind (#1.3), Nora Gedgaudas, was also interviewed in SOTT Talk Radio Show #40 (transcript and recording). (The forum thread for the show is here.)

For more information on any subject related to the ketogenic diet, there's a lot to be found by searching the Diet and Health board and

1.2. Keto-Adapted
Keto-Adapted is a great practical guide to the ketogenic diet. In addition to the document linked to above (#1.1), it provides the introduction needed to transition. The above-mentioned document is still important to get a deeper understanding of the "why" of everything, because this book covers a lot of things briefly, though in an easily read way.

The most important thing about this book - apart from it generally providing a brief summary of the practice - is that it covers a great many common issues that people have in transitioning to a ketogenic diet. In allowing people to understand the problems they may experience in their attempts to adopt the diet, and their solutions, it is a top-priority read. Besides this, it also contains recipes.

One caveat is that Emmerich's dietary approach allows nightshades (which many are sensitive to) and dairy products (which are unhealthy due to the casein). But if you have read the document summarizing our dietary research, and/or Primal Body, Primal Mind (#1.3), you'll already know these things and can keep them in mind as you read Keto-Adapted.

1.3. Primal Body, Primal Mind; The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living; and Life Without Bread
These are three books on low-carb and ketogenic dietary approaches. They were very useful sources as our diet evolved, and while no longer critical to read, they still contain good, additional information. (See #1.1 above for the top-priority reads.)

Primal Body, Primal Mind is very comprehensive, covering all manner of subjects: the need to eliminate gluten, dairy, soy and sugar; food sensitivities; the low-carb, high-fat approach; and supplementation according to individual needs. It gives information important for all aspects of dietary transition, and makes a good supplementary read for everyone.

The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living provides further information on the low-carb approach, and gets pretty close to the ketogenic approach we have arrived at. However, it does not cover the problems with gluten, dairy, etc.; Phinney and Volek's recommendation regarding the amount of protein to eat is also more liberal than what we have come to understand is best through other sources. But taken in addition to the books mentioned above on the ketogenic diet, this one is a good suplementary read.

Life Without Bread is easy to read, and contains information based on the clinical use of a low-carb approach to treating diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, and other illnesses. Both the overweight and the underweight will find an explanation for their issues, in how excess insulin (resulting from excess carbohydrate consumption) can lead to two kinds of hormonal imbalances. The book does however not cover gluten, dairy, and the problems with ingesting these and other damaging foods and substances; nor does its low-carb approach reach the level of what we consider to be a ketogenic diet.

In addition to the above books, The Vegetarian Myth (see #1.5) provides a very broad perspective of dietary issues - nutritionally, ethically, and politically. If you're curious about vegetarianism, it's a must-read.

1.4. When the Body Says No
When the Body Says No (forum thread) covers the role of chronic stress and unhealthy ways of handling emotions in disease. (Emotional repression, as well as emotional hyperexpression, are among several causes of damaging stress.) In ignoring or otherwise neglecting stress - in failing to "say no" - eventually our bodies do it for us.

Through childhood experiences as well as cultural programming, we can easily form habits that are likely to lead to illness and/or premature death. In this, we are supported by a culture which idealizes things like overexertion and "niceness" rooted in repression of anger. Many of us learn to use all manner of justifications (lying to ourselves) to refrain from "saying no", and this book can be quite an eye-opener.

The one really important thing that this book misses in relation to stress and illness is the dietary information, so with regard to health, the diet information also remains top priority. Sorting out one's diet (see #1.1 and #1.2) can help reduce stress, increase ability to handle stress, help with a variety of health problems, and can have psychological benefits as well. But neither is a substitute for the other; the two approaches go hand in hand, and if you're unfamiliar with one or both of them, looking into them is strongly recommended.

The forum thread for When the Body Says No not only discusses the book, but contains videos where Gabor Mate speaks on this and other subjects he has written about.

1.5. The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice and Sustainability
The book The Vegetarian Myth discusses, with scientific backing, the problems (both in terms of health and ethics) inherent in a vegetarian diet, including how agriculture as practiced around the world ultimately destroys the very conditions required for life. The subject has been broadly discussed in this thread, both before and after we encountered Lierre Keith's work. The forum thread also links to and discusses a number of resources.

Lierre Keith was interviewed in SOTT Talk Radio Show #36 (transcript and recording), where she gives an overview of the main ideas. (The forum thread for the show is here.) She's also given a talk on the subject which is available here.

Keith's book is also available in other languages, including French.

SOTT also has a number of articles covering the subject of vegetarianism, among which are:1.6. The Iron Elephant: What You Should Know about the Danger of Excess Body Iron
The Iron Elephant, hemochromatosis, and the general issue of iron overload are discussed in the thread "Hemochromatosis and Autoimmune Conditions". Iron overload can appear as an issue for a number of people after some time on a paleo or ketogenic diet, and is a serious issue best dealt with as soon as possible. The book gives the overall picture; it can now be hard to find, but ways of getting it are discussed in the thread. (See additionally the DMSA thread from here and on.) Another thread discussing the issue in a broader context is the thread "Bloodline Trails".

1.7. Fiber Menace
Fiber Menace is available online at the author's site. It elaborates a very important piece of the dietary puzzle: The detrimental role of fiber in people's diets. See the Life Without Bread thread (note #1.1) for context, more information and general discussion.

1.8. The UltraMind Solution
The UltraMind Solution (summary/review, quizzes) is about how to restore and improve one's brain function by restoring and improving one's health. According to Hyman, brain function is affected by diet, nutritional deficiencies, allergens, infections, toxins and stress; simply put: diet, environment and stress. So correcting these problems can in many cases improve or even cure "mental disorders" that they caused. However, the details of Hyman's advice regarding diet are outdated given what we have learned since - a ketogenic diet (#1.1 and #1.2) does better and also reduces the need for supplementation.

1.9. Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and the accompanying manual, are excerpted and discussed here.

1.10. Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival
Lights Out (forum thread) is about the problem of "light poisoning", disrupted sleep quality and unnatural sleep patterns - and the impact on health this gives rise to. The book also inspired this thread which further discusses the question.

1.11. Sex, Lies and Menopause
Sex, Lies and Menopause (forum thread) is, among other things, "about about the necessity of natural hormone replacement with bio identical hormones taken in rythmic cylical doses".

2. Narcissism "Big Five"

You'll find frequent references on the forum to the "Big Five" psychology books, which are extremely helpful tools towards acquiring a basic understanding of your own "machine". (See section #8, 'Fourth Way', for information on Gurdjieff's ideas which explain the "machine" reference. His psychological ideas can be understood more concretely by connecting them with modern psychological knowledge such as that of the books in this section.) Laura suggests that these books be read in the order in which this section lists them. A few books in 'Other Psychology' (#7) also cover closely related subjects and can be of great help for some. (Material on other psychological subjects can also be found there.)

Two threads that deal with almost universal problems and may help in piecing together psychological concepts are:For further reading on psychological matters, there are also the following sections:
  • 'Cognitive and Social Science' (#3) is also very important for general understanding, including the (sometimes detrimental) workings and tendencies of our brains, and how we really can't know ourselves all by ourselves.
  • 'Neuroscience' (#4) gives information on how we can change ourselves, deeper understanding of how we function, and also includes information on body-oriented therapies.
  • 'Psychopathy' (#5) concerns a subject the knowledge of which can be vital in protecting oneself and others from predation of all kinds.
  • 'Social Interaction and External Considering' (#6) covers the practical question of self-improvement in how one interacts with and relates to others.
2.1. The Myth of Sanity: Divided Consciousness and the Promise of Awareness
The Myth of Sanity (forum thread) is about trauma and dissociation. Trauma forms triggers in us - and when triggered, we dissociate. The severity and kind of dissociation can vary greatly. Knowing of this almost universal issue, how it affects us, and how to heal is essential to being able to know and work on oneself and to understand others.

2.2. Trapped In The Mirror: Adult Children of Narcissists in their Struggle for Self
There's a thread with excerpts and discussion regarding the concept of the negative introject from Trapped In The Mirror. (The book covers much more.) The discussion explores this along with other ideas and material, including such that relates to self-perception, The Work and more.

2.3. Character Disturbance: The Phenomenon of Our Age
Previously, George Simon's earlier book In Sheep's Clothing was listed among the Narcissism "Big Five". His later book Character Disturbance (forum thread with excerpts and discussion) essentially contains the same material and more, being wider in scope, and so obsoletes the previous book. Those who haven't read the newer book are recommended to do so. The previous book remains an optional read for those who would like a partial summary and some additional illustrative examples of covert-aggressive personalities. (For French readers, there is a French translation of the excerpts in the thread here.)

3. Cognitive and Social Science

Another important subject for understanding ourselves and others is the modern findings of cognitive science and social science. These describe how we really don't know ourselves - the extent to which our thought, attitudes and behavior are influenced by nonconscious processing, attitudes and beliefs. These findings have, in addition, verified several of Gurdjieff's ideas (see #8, 'Fourth Way') relating to psychology.

Along with the books of this section, Brain Changer (#4.1) from the 'Neuroscience' (#4) section is recommended - it is about how we can change our behavior and our brains, with the help of mental and other tools. In knowing ourselves better (including knowing the limitations of our self-knowledge), this knowledge can then be used for self-improvement. (This is another book which presents ideas with strong parallels to Gurdjieff's ideas.)

Several important threads on discoveries of cognitive and social science are listed in the footnotes for the books of this section; here are a few additional ones:Much more material can be found on the Psychology & Cognitive Science board.

Along with this section, or as a follow-up, the 'Neuroscience' (#4) section is a good place to explore for a look at other aspects of our functioning. (Beyond the highly recommended book Brain Changer, there's more, such as books that give further insight into our neurology, the physiology of trauma, and how working with our bodies fits into self-work.)

A few of the books in 'Other Psychology' (#7) are also about subjects similar to those of the books in this section.

3.1. Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious
The forum thread "The Adaptive Unconscious", on the book Strangers to Ourselves and its concepts, is very highly recommended, along with the book itself. Understanding the concepts of the adaptive unconscious, the narrative (conscious) self, and their functioning and relation to one another is essential to understanding oneself as well as others.

3.2. Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change
The forum thread on Redirect contains the background to and basic ideas of the writing exercises described in the book. Expressive writing can be used as a route to healing, as also described in the article "Writing to Heal". Such exercises can also more generally address problems relating to psychological narratives (see #3.1). The rest of the book deals mainly with social change (i.e. addressing societal issues using these principles), rather than with individual psychological changes.

3.3. Thinking, Fast and Slow
Thinking, Fast and Slow (forum thread) covers the same basic subject as Strangers to Ourselves (see note #3.1), but in a complementary way. It helps drive home the implications - individual and collective - of how people actually function.

3.4. You Are Not So Smart
There are several threads excerpting and discussing parts of You Are Not So Smart; each deals with how people actually function, as opposed to how people think they function, and with some of the implications - and each is well-worth reading, as is the book itself:3.5. What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite
What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite (forum thread) is another cognitive science book describing a variety of the ways in which our brains can flop in possibly life-impacting ways. The general theme is that of the human brain's blind striving to be in a "pleasant" state, and what this can lead to; in addition, it gives some general strategies for counteracting these tendencies. Covering a bit of everything (though generally in somewhat less depth), it also ties it to everyday life with examples and anecdotes.

The author, David DiSalvo, was inteviewed in SOTT Talk Radio Show #61: What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite. The interview, though brief, covers things related both to this book and to DiSalvo's other recommended book, Brain Changer (#4.1).

4. Neuroscience

The books of this section cover a large variety of things, but the first - Brain Changer (#4.1) - gives information relevant to all self-work: how we can affect the feedback loops that drive us, and change our brains, and various mental and other tools that can be used for this.

Second in this section, In An Unspoken Voice (#4.2) is another important book, describing the physiology of trauma and how it can be treated using a body-oriented approach called Somatic Experiencing. It is a gentle introduction to how our fight, flight, and freeze reactions work neurologically and in relation to trauma.

Affective neuroscience is explored in The Archaeology of Mind (#4.3): the neural circuits behind our basic emotions (which we share with all mammals) and how these circuits - and we - function.

Social neuroscience, explored more broadly and accessibly in Social Intelligence (#4.4), examines how we function in interaction, both outwardly and neurologically.

The Polyvagal Theory (#4.5) elaborates on an aspect of our neurology that is relevant to both our emotional and social lives. In reading of the vagus nerve and its role, you'll also come to see the scientific basis of the Eiriu-Eolas Breathing Program (main thread, FAQ/guide), which is mentioned in more detail under 'Health and Diet' (#1).

In whichever order you read these books (it is recommended to read the first two first), the last one, Trauma and the Body (#4.6), takes a deeper look at trauma and the body which also incorporates understandings from cognitive and behavioral therapy and more.

Beyond the threads and other resources linked in the footnotes for the books of this section, here are some further links on the (very) general subject:
  • A talk at Google (YouTube link) by Daniel Goleman on emotional intelligence, where he describes the importance of emotional intelligence and some of its basic neural factors; see also this general discussion on emotional intelligence; and if you want to read more on the subject, you can also see #18.8 on Goleman's earlier book Emotional Intellience.
  • The forum thread "Schizotype" discusses proposed genetic and neural mechanisms behind the schizophrenia-related spectrum of disorders, including subtler personality variations.
More can be found on the Psychology & Cognitive Science board.

4.1. Brain Changer: How Harnessing Your Brain's Power to Adapt Can Change Your Life
Brain Changer (forum thread) is about how we can reshape our brains and change ourselves and our lives for the better. At the root is metacognition and neuroplasticity: metacognition is thinking about thinking, which can be done deliberately, rather than (as is usually the case) simply being pulled along by a flood of mental energy; and neuroplasticity is the ability of our brains to change over time - and they change according to what they do. So in influencing our own internal and external behavior to be more constructive, in the longer term we accumulate the resulting changes to our brains, and to our selves.

The book is easily read, and brings together a great many things in one place, though all of them are covered quite briefly. It has three parts, one theoretical, one practical, and one recommending further material (both books and movies). The main difficulty in reading the book is gaining a deeper understanding of what is written, and so becoming able to put it into effective practice; it all makes sense on the surface, but requires reflection and further knowledge to really make it click.

There are strong parallels between certain discoveries of modern psychological and brain sciences and Fourth Way ideas. (See #8, 'Fourth Way'.) This book not only makes for a great example, but taken together with The Wave (#8.1), In Search of the Miraculous (#8.2), and other books such as the 'Narcissism "Big Five"' (#2), it can serve as an introduction to The Work. These other books place the information in Brain Changer within a wider context, and also give an understanding of the underlying issues one may have and have to face.

Brain Changer also goes very well with the books of the 'Cognitive and Social Science' (#3) section, e.g. Strangers to Ourselves (#3.1) and DiSalvo's other recommended book What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite (#3.5). These make clearer our mechanical nature, how we don't know ourselves, and some of the things we can do about it.

A thread about the movies recommended in Brain Changer can be found here.

The author, David DiSalvo, was inteviewed in SOTT Talk Radio Show #61. The interview, though brief, covers things related both to this book and to DiSalvo's other recommended book, What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite (#3.5).

4.2. In An Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness
In An Unspoken Voice (forum thread) covers the physiological basis of trauma and a body-centered method of recovery. The theory is based on neuroscience and behavioral studies, and the practice (called Somatic Experiencing) on clinical experience. It ties into and complements the 'Narcissism "Big Five"' (#2) books in providing an understanding of trauma and how it affects the nervous system - and through it, the entire body.

While dealing with trauma through intellectual and emotional exploration can make a difference, involving the body is a powerful approach often overlooked. This is an important book, both because of its relevance to healing trauma, and also because it gives the knowledge of prevention: how to avoid becoming traumatized by overwhelming experiences of the future.

Peter Levine also presents his work in the following videos:
  • Levine describes the effects of trauma (YouTube link) on the nervous system using his "Slinky" metaphor; he also conveys his approach to treating trauma, which involves very gradually releasing (or 'titrating') the compressed fight-or-flight energy, giving the individual the ability to reintegrate it back into the nervous system.
  • In this video (YouTube link), Levine discusses his online course "Healing Trauma", which offers students tools to rebound from the effects of trauma and to come back into life through a reconnection with our body and our sensations and feelings. He also shares the inspirational story of one of his first patients.
4.3. The Archaeology of Mind: Neuroevolutionary Origins of Human Emotions
The Archaeology of Mind is Panksepp's latest exposition on affective neuroscience. It describes the role of seven basic emotional circuits that we share with other mammals, that are the foundation of all our basic emotions, and which in very large part drive us - as they do other mammals. The forum thread quotes Panksepp's earlier work, named Affective Neuroscience; the later book is both an update and a popularization.

4.4. Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships
A thread on Social Intelligence can be found here. This book gives an overview of the neural underpinnings of interpersonal functioning, including empathy. It more describes the "big picture" than the technical details.

4.5. The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation
The Polyvagal Theory (forum thread) presents a highly important collection of scientific papers on the behavioral and regulatory role of the autonomic nervous system, especially in an emotional and social context. It gives a valuable in-depth view, but is also the "heaviest" read in this section; the books listed before it might ease the reading in introducing some relevant concepts and terminology.

4.6. Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy
Trauma and the Body (forum thread) further describes trauma, its effects, and in effect how we are programmed by it, and describing an approach to therapy focusing both on cognitive and somatic aspects. The neuroscience and behavioral knowledge conveyed complements that conveyed by the other books in this section.

5. Psychopathy

Psychopaths (at Esoteric Glossary) are born without conscience - without the ability to empathize. Often charming and convincing, they act as intraspecies predators - preying on others in the interest of their own greed for power, status, money and pleasure. They may also take pleasure in duping as well as hurting others; they may hurt others not only physically (only some commit violent offences for which they go to jail), but also e.g. emotionally, socially, and financially.

With their ruthlessness and talent for manipulation, the more 'successful' of psychopaths easily climb the societal ladders of business, politics, religion, etc. - generally at great cost to others throughout their sphere of influence. In our present world, psychopaths have formed a pathocracy - rule by the pathological (see #5.4, Political Ponerology, and #11, the 'Politics and Pathocracy' section) - and have led our civilization down a path of self-destruction.

You can find a lot of information in the "Psychopathy Studies" on, as well as by searching the forum for threads - and SOTT for articles - on psychopathy, ponerology and/or pathocracy.

Here are also threads for some videos relevant to the subject:The following SOTT Podcasts and SOTT Talk Radio Shows discuss psychopathy and related issues. More are listed for the books of this section when more strongly related to those books and/or their authors.Some additional books on psychopaths and other predators are also found in 'Other Psychology' (#9).

5.1. Defense Against the Psychopath: A Brief Introduction to Human Predators
This short book (less than 50 pages) is available as a free PDF download, and is an excellent quick primer on the subject of psychopathy.

The author, Stefan Verstappen, also made a video based on it, which is linked anbd discussed in this forum thread.

Verstappen was also interviewed in SOTT Talk Radio Show #48: Surviving the Psy-pocalypse (transcript and recording). The forum thread for this show is here.

5.2. Women Who Love Psychopaths: Inside the Relationships of Inevitable Harm
Women Who Love Psychopaths (forum thread - very broad discussion) discusses psychopaths in relationships and their victims, and the dynamics involved. It seems the most empathic and good-hearted are often the ones chosen by psychopaths for victimization; such people, as a result of their compassionate nature, tend to be the most vulnerable to emotional manipulation. The book focuses on female victims and male psychopaths, though it can also be helpful for understanding male victims and female psychopaths as well. The author, Sandra L. Brown, was interviewed in SOTT Talk Radio Show #8: Women Who Love Psychopaths (transcript and recording). (The forum thread for the show is here.)

5.3. The Mask of Sanity: An Attempt To Clarify Some Issues About The So-Called Psychopathic Personality
The Mask of Sanity (article) is Hervey Cleckley's seminal study of psychopathy. It can be downloaded here.

5.4. Political Ponerology: A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes
Political Ponerology (official site) describes how societies become pathological through the influence and leadership of pathological people. It examines the psychological, societal and historical processes involved. It is, in short, a scientific study of the causes of large-scale oppression and inhumanity.

In explaining what has gone wrong with our world, it helps one understand what can be seen all around and to navigate it. The way our civilization is heading, it can literally be a lifesaver. And if (see #12, 'Hidden History') our civilization collapses, knowledge of ponerology may be the only hope for a future civilization to not repeat the deadly mistake of ours: placing psychopaths in positions of power.

A dedicated discussion thread for Political Ponerology which ties a lot of material together can be found here. In addition, various excerpts have been posted all over the forum during many discussions over the years.

SOTT Podcast #25: The 6% Solution (transcript) also discusses Political Ponerology. Additionally, In 2006, interviewed Andrzej Lobaczewski.

Finally, there's several books that make excellent reads in addition to Political Ponerology; here are some of them:
  • The Authoritarians (#5.5) describes the study of the kind of people who are willing to follow pathological leaders; authoritarian followers excuse the lies of their chosen authorities, are willing to commit atrocities on their behalf, attack those who differ, and snitch on fellow citizens in authoritarian regimes.
  • The Controversy of Zion (#11.4), read through the lense of ponerology, makes a great case study.
  • The Crowd (#7.12) studies the susceptibility of crowds to manipulation, control, and misdirection towards destructive ends.
  • The Paranoia Switch (#5.6) studies how pathological leaders can induce and use terror throughout a society to change collective ideas, values, and behavior.
5.5. The Authoritarians
The Authoritarians describes a kind of personality, known as the "authoritarian follower" or "right-wing authoritarian" (RWA). RWAs tend to adopt and aggressively enforce the rules and norms of their chosen authorities, and in tending to choose "authoritarian leaders," easily become the tools of psychopaths in positions of power.

Understanding such "authoritarian followers," and that they constitute a large percentage of the population, makes it clearer how psychopaths in positions of power can find so many people ready to do their bidding, even when it involves commiting atrocities.

The book can be downloaded as a PDF from Bob Altemeyer's page at the University of Manitoba.

The following SOTT articles cover the subject of authoritarian followers:5.6. The Paranoia Switch: How Terror Rewires Our Brains and Reshapes Our Behavior--and How We Can Reclaim Our Courage
The Paranoia Switch (forum thread) discusses how trauma (individual and collective) reprograms our brains, and how the unscrupulous can exploit it to change the ideas, values and behavior of a society. This understanding has been exploited by pathocrats (#5.4) in events such as 9/11. Apart from Political Poneroloy (#5.4), this book also goes especially well with The Shock Doctrine (#11.8), which documents how this understanding has been applied in the service of greed.

6. Social Interaction and External Considering

This section is about external considering: putting aside our self-importance and adapting ourselves to the needs of others - to behaving in whatever ways are constructive without self-oriented concerns getting in the way. This idea is an essential part of the 'Fourth Way' (#8) teachings, which more generally cover the subject of working on oneself.

This striving - to basically become a better person in our interaction and relations with others - also requires working on our basic psychological issues. In this, the other psychological sections, starting with the 'Narcissism "Big Five"' (#2), are also important. They are also important when it comes to understanding what issues other people may have, in order to adapt oneself to the circumstances. (And in the case of 'Psychopathy' (#5), awareness can be critical for the safety and well-being of oneself and others in one's life.)

This section and can be read in parallel with the others mentioned. The issue of self-importance is covered in the first book of this section (taken from 'Other Esoterica', #9; see #9.3, The Fire from Within), in which Carlos Castaneda describes it through his storytelling. The big picture given, thereafter come several books of a more conventional character dealing with various aspects of social interaction and relations - even manners. (Since, in most situations, being mindful of manners is an essential part of being externally considerate.)

6.1. Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High
Crucial Conversations (forum thread) describes how to interact with others in a constructive way even when "stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong". It covers basic and essential skills and can be seen as a primer on External Considering. Compared to The Fire from Within (#9.3), its treatment of the central problem of self-importance is fairly lightweight. Nevertheless, it can very helpful in learning how to conduct oneself well in challenging in-person conversations.

6.2. How to Win Friends and Influence People
Another practical book on basic interaction skills is the classic How to Win Friends and Influence People. While Crucial Conversations (#6.1) aims more at the mastering of difficult in-person conversations, this book is about one's general approach to people. It is an easy read which presents simple and general principles, using many concrete examples and a conversational style. This post includes a link to a free PDF download of the book.

6.3. Miss Manners (articles, books)
The Miss Manners articles and books describe, in a humorous way, how to be "excruciatingly correct". In the discussion on External Considering and Good Manners, Miss Manners has been recommended as a "must read". While written for an American audience, readers in many other countries may still benefit; a fair portion of the advice may still apply (you'll have to use your own basic cultural knowledge, and supplement the information as needed), and through her examples, she demonstrates basic principles and a general thoughtfulness.

This post provides links to the website (from which you can find articles), to examples of articles, and to information about a selection of the books. Among the books, Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior (Freshly Updated) will probably have the greatest relevance to the greatest number of readers.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
7. Other Psychology

The books in this section are a diverse collection that didn't fit into the other psychological sections, and/or which, while not critical enough for most readers to put in those sections, are still too generally important to list in 'Optional' (#18). These books do not really have much of a recommended reading order. They are generally supplementary to the books in the other psychological sections, so beginning with those (and then perhaps reading in parallel, if that suits you) may generally be best. However, there may be personal exceptions, as some may find books among those in this section to be of greater personal importance.

Along with exploring these books, you may also want to further explore the Psychology & Cognitive Science board and its sub-boards more in-depth for additional discussions and material.

7.1. Fear of the Abyss: Healing the Wounds of Shame & Perfectionism
Fear of the Abyss (forum thread) is a book about a kind of personality type, the problems people of this type may have, and how they may resolve their issues and heal the underlying wounding. "PCS people" have among their typical traits perfectionism, control issues, and shame - as well as black and white thinking, trouble with making decisions, fear of disappointment or of dissapointing others, and some other characteristics. Underlying all this is a fear, unconsciously hidden from, of the self - of who and what one is. For those to whom this apply, this book can turn out one of the most important ever read.

For more information, you can also listen to the interview with the author, Aleta Edwards, in SOTT Talk Radio Show #38 (transcript and recording). (The forum thread for the show is here.)

If you begin to recognize yourself in the description of the PCS personality, then given the impact this book can have, why not go for it? For that matter, if you have other PCS persons in your life, it can also help you understand them better.

7.2. The Caricature of Love
The Caricature of Love (forum thread) discusses distortions or "caricatures" of love and sexuality. Though written without the knowledge of ponerology (#5.4), it shows the mindset and influence of pathological characters. The forum thread provides some much-needed context and describes the significance of this book. This post links to a free PDF download.

7.3. Making Sense of People: Decoding the Mysteries of Personality
Making Sense of People was mentioned, excerpted and the material discussed in the "The Adaptive Unconscious" thread (see note #3.1). It describes the categorization of personality in a practically useful way, as well as the joint environmental and genetic basis of personality formation, and the question of character and character development.

7.4. Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration
Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration is a collection of essays on the theory. It can optionally serve as an introductory read before delving into Dabrowski's books; see #7.5, Books on Positive Disintegration, for more on the theory and for reading recommendations.

7.5. Books on Positive Disintegration
Dabrowski's theory of Positive Disintegration is a psychological theory which deals with the kind of deeper personal development usually only described in more esoteric material (see #8, 'Fourth Way'). To really grow, something has to give way - the primitive psychological structure which one starts out with has to disintegrate. Thereafter, one may gradually, through struggle, develop a new orientation towards life and eventually reintegrate; this requiring developmental potential.

A quoted summary, and discussion, of Dabrowsi's concepts can be found here. Reading recommendations can be found in this post in the thread. A summary of Dabrowski's book Multilevelness of Emotional and Instinctive Functions can be found here.

7.6. Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking
Blink deals with nonconscious cognitive processing - a major subject of the 'Cognitive and Social Science' (#3) section - but focuses more on its positive aspects. The more problematic aspects are covered in Strangers to Ourselves (#3.1) and Thinking, Fast and Slow (#3.3). Blink can serve as an interesting supplement.

7.7. How to Spot a Dangerous Man Before You Get Involved
How to Spot a Dangerous Man (forum thread) is another of Sandra Brown's books on the issue of relationships with pathological people - in this case on how women can learn to spot various kinds of pathological men and avoid becoming entangled in dangerous relationships. See #5.2 for information on Women Who Love Psychopaths, her book focusing on women in relationships with psychopaths.

7.8. Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, And Other Sex Offenders
Predators is a book about sexual predators; it both is informative and can be shocking through its descriptions. It was excerpted in the article "The Cult of the Plausible Lie". To see the issue of sexual predation in a wider context - that of pathocracy (see #5, 'Psychopathy' and #11, 'Politics and Pathocracy') - you can visit the thread "Dutroux Cover-up Protected Pedophile Networks" and follow the links in the initial post, and/or watch the documentary Conspiracy of Silence.

7.9. Operators and Things: The Inner Life of a Schizophrenic
Operators and Things (forum thread) is the account, written by a recovered schizophrenic, of her experiences. She describes the 'Operators' who controlled her, one of the many ordinary 'Things'. The forum thread discusses 'Operators' as a possible metaphor both for psychopaths (#5, 'Psychopathy') and for beings at other levels of the STS hierarchy in control of our world.

7.10. Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self
Drama of the Gifted Child is another book on narcissistic wounding; for some it may be a useful addition to the 'Narcissism "Big Five"' (#2).

7.11. In Broad Dayligt
In Broad Dayligt (forum thread) documents the case of a psychopath who had been the terror of his community for many years; while before he had gotten away with it, there came a point when the community took a stand, and he was murdered in broad daylight with the approval of the community.

This documentary (YouTube link), as mentioned in the thread, is well-worth watching after either getting through the book, or reading the alternative online book linked in the initial post.

7.12. The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind
This book, written in 1895, describes the susceptibility of crowds to manipulation - how they can be, and are, hystericized and controlled towards destructive ends. It is important reading for any individual who works with people. And in these times, you never know when you will find yourself in a "crowd out of control" situation and may need to have your wits about you not just for your own sake, but for the sake of innocents around you.

Being so old, the book is freely available; the forum thread discussing the book contains links to downloads in several formats and languages.

This book goes great with Political Ponerology (#5.4), and may have been among the many things drawn upon by the researchers whose work Andrzej Lobaczewski synthesized.

7.13. Denial of Death and Escape from Evil
A thread on Ernest Becker and one of his associates, with some brief discussion of his books, can be found here. Some excerpts from the books are posted in various threads and can be found by searching the forum.

Denial of Death was written first, but the books can be read separately or in any order.

8. Fourth Way

The ideas of Gurdjieff are integral to this forum. If you're not familiar with Gurdjieff, you can read some basic information about his 4th Way teaching, generally referred to here as "the Work", by clicking on the links in these paragraphs. It is a method of self-examination recommended to and practiced by most members of this forum, as a way of seeing ourselves, others, and the world around us from the perspective of OBJECTIVITY, rather than through the distorting prism of our own SUBJECTIVITY -- i.e., our emotional issues, programs, mechanical behaviour, buffers, sacred cows, and wishful thinking. The Work benefits from active participation in a group/network like this, where others also involved in the Work can provide feedback and act as a mirror in which we can see ourselves more clearly. The text The First Initiation written by Mme Jeanne de Salzmann is a must read.

In modern cognitive, behavioral and brain science, there have also been discoveries that strongly parallel several key concepts described by Gurdjieff. As such, both theoretical and practical understanding benefits from reading the material in the psychological and neuroscience sections. Some of the parallels are mentioned in the threads linked to in the information for these sections.

In particular, one of the books from 'Neuroscience' (#4) is also recommended in this section: Brain Changer (#4.1) covers ideas essential to The Work, but as (re)discovered through modern science. Taken together with The Wave, In Search of the Miraculous, and other books such as the 'Narcissism "Big Five" (#2), it can serve as an introduction to The Work.

Since to Work on one's "machine" both involves improving its health and funtioning, and also depends on its health and functioning, the information on 'Health and Diet' (#1) is also crucial. After all, the state of our minds depends on our brains, and the state of our brains on the health of our bodies. But the connection also goes the other way, and so we need to work on both ends: psychological health (including healthy interpersonal dynamics), and bodily health.

Two concepts that are important to this forum are strategic enclosure and external considering. This section is about the Fourth Way and related ideas in general; section #6 takes a simple and practical approach to external considering in particular.

For additional psychological books and information, section #2, the 'Narcissism "Big Five"' is a good place to start; the information for it mentions and contains directions to the rest of the psychological sections and their material.

Additional links

Two videos that cover important concepts, made by Bernhard Guenther and Humberto Braga, can be found on YouTube:There are also relevant articles on SOTT; among these, the following are highly recommended:Additionally, some quotes from specific posts that are useful to read are:More information can be found in exploring the board for The Work.

8.1. The Wave Series (all volumes)
The Wave is a book in 8 volumes that covers concepts and material integral to this forum. Laura wrote it in the process of answering readers' questions about the Cassiopaean Experiment (the subject of, and the project snowballed into something that covers an incredible range of material. Many of the books of the recommended books list - except additions made in later years - are mentioned and excerpted, along with others. The volumes cover esoteric concepts, history, the state of our world, matters of conspiracy and high strangeness, psychology and neurology, and much more. Many parts of it also describe personal experiences, and through this, illustrate the concepts discussed.

In short, The Wave has something relating to almost every area of knowledge explored by the network - the exceptions are mostly in the latest discoveries - and as such, it is essential background material. It is also worth re-reading once in a while as new knowledge is gained, as broader and deeper understanding is then made possible. It is available both in print and for free on (linked in the left sidebar).

8.2. In Search of the Miraculous: Fragments of an Unknown Teaching
In Search of the Miraculous (generally referred to as ISOTM) is Ouspensky's account of his time with Gurdjieff and the teachings during this period. Both information-packed and an easy read, it is a good general introduction to Gurdjieff's ideas, and also gives a good glimpse of how Gurdjieff did things. Part of this approach, as well as several other Gurdjieffian ideas, are an integral part of this forum: they are even referred to in the Forum Guidelines, which quote ISOTM along with Gnosis (#8.4).

In reading The Wave (#8.1), you'll be introduced to a number of the ideas of ISOTM. The definitions of the Esoteric Glossary, linked to in the general information for this section, also briefly explains and relates several basic ideas to other concepts central to this forum. Nevertheless, the book itself remains an essential read for understanding a number of the topics discussed on this forum - as well as for anyone seriously interested in The Work, i.e. the Fourth Way.

One thread discussing ISOTM can be found here. SOTT Podcast 64: In Search of the Miraculous (part 1; transcript) and 65 (part 2; transcript) also discuss ISOTM and Gurdjieff.

Another important thread in relation to the Fourth Way and the teaching as transmitted by Ouspensky and other Gurdjieff pupils is "Imitation Fourth Way Groups Started by Gurdjieff Rejects".

8.3. Life Is Religion: 12 Daily Exercises for Mind, Body, and Soul
Assembled by this forum community, this little book grew out of the discussion following the 23 March 2013 C's session. It brings together key points on The Work, or Fourth Way, and is a handy summary to refer to. Here's the thread announcing its availability.

The name of the book was inspired by the following quote:
C's said:
Life is religion. Life experiences reflect how one interacts with God. Those who are asleep are those of little faith in terms of their interaction with the creation. Some people think that the world exists for them to overcome or ignore or shut out. For those individuals, the worlds will cease. They will become exactly what they give to life. They will become merely a dream in the 'past.' People who pay strict attention to objective reality right and left, become the reality of the 'Future.'
8.4. Gnosis (all volumes)
The Gnosis books go deeper into the theory of the Fourth Way, complementing the material transmitted by Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. Best kept in mind is that Mouravieff had his Christian as well as ideological biases which have colored his work. (Influenced by the Synarchy - article - of Schwaller de Lubicz, he naively believed in the formation of a benign "elite" which would rule the world and lead it to a better future.) These biases are easy to filter out, and there is much of value to be found in Gnosis. Laura wrote of the work of Mouravieff that: said:
[It] provides that ineluctable bridge between the works of Gurdjieff, the Sufi Shaykh, Ibn al-'Arabi, the esoteric Christianity that I have conjectured to have existed during megalithic times and of which we only have ancient Siberian Shamanism as a shadow of a relic, hermeticism/alchemy, and the Cassiopaean Transmissions - my own "channeling." ["Channeling" of "you in the future" - see also The Wave (#8.1).]
The books have been excerpted and discussed in many places, and searching for Mouravieff and/or for Gnosis will give many results, both on the forum (threads) and on (articles). There are also these two threads where general discussion on Gnosis has taken place.

8.5. Tertium Organum
Tertium Organum is Ouspensky's philosophical and metaphysical synthesis, written before his time with Gurdjieff. It contains a great deal of interesting material, some of it referred to in The Wave (#8.1), and is well-worth a read. The copyright has expired, and you can read it online here or download it here.

8.6. Struggle of The Magicians
Struggle of The Magicians (forum thread) examines the lives of Ouspensky, Gurdjieff and some other people around them, and the story of their relation and involvement with one another.

9. Other Esoterica

This section deals with other esoteric material which can be seen as related and complementary to Gurdjieff's 4th Way teachings (section #8): the Sufism of Ibn al Arabi, a selection of the writings of Carlos Castaneda, and the works of the alchemist who wrote under the name of Fulcanelli.

As background for understanding these books, the first two in 'Fourth Way' (#8) are very helpful. In addition, Gnosis (#8.4) makes it easier to relate The Sufi Path of Knowledge to Gurdjieff and to The Cassiopaean Experiment. Alchemical writings such as those authored by Fulcanelli (as opposed to the book about him) are, however, not easy to understand - here, being generally well-read, including diving into 'Hidden History' (#12), may be of help.

A caveat regarding Castaneda's books: his narratives, though presented as factual, are fiction - and he mystifies the ideas he conveys. His books are best approached as collections of ideas expressed through involving fictional stories. Taken in this way, they may stimulate thinking, and you may see parallels with ideas you've read about in other material. Discussion of the relation between Castaneda and Gurdjieff's ideas can be found in this thread - the biography mentioned, The Life & Teachings of Carlos Castaneda, is further discussed here.

A useful quote from Castaneda's first book, and discussion thereof, is further found in the thread "Don Juan & "The Enemies of a Man of Knowledge"". For some further optional reading, a compilation of quotes from Castaneda's "don Juan" can be found on this site (unaffiliated); the site provides them for each of Castaneda's books. While two of Castaneda's books are recommended in full, this offers a condensed reading of the rest which are 'Optional' (#18).

You can also have a look at the 'Esotericism and Parapsychology' (#17) section for other material on esoteric and/or 'paranormal' matters.

9.1. Sufi Path of Knowledge: Ibn Al-Arabi's Metaphysics of Imagination
The Sufi Path of Knowledge is mentioned and quoted in Laura's works, including The Wave. There is also some discussion on its author and his works in this thread.

9.2. The Active Side of Infinity
The Active Side of Infinity covers the very important theme of the Predator's Mind, among other things. This idea is further connected to the ideas of the Fall, and of humanity being food for higher-density STS beings, or "Food for the Moon" in Gurdjieff's terms. In terms of psychology, is also related to the basic issues of negative imprinting, psychological traumatization and defenses, and the formation in us of a false self which takes the place of who we would be by our real nature. See the information and books for #8, 'Fourth Way', and for #2, 'Narcissism "Big Five"', for more on these topics.

For some important information to have in mind in approaching this book (as well as Castaneda's other books), see the caveat in the general information for this section.

You can find a compilation of "don Juan"'s teachings in this book on this external page, which may be useful for reference. The full book is however still recommended.

9.3. The Fire from Within
The Fire from Within is Castaneda's narrative about the struggle against self-importance in order to be able to face the 'petty tyrants' of our lives. For, in esoteric strivings, becoming able to deal with ordinary life things is first priority, a basic necessity. The book can be seen as a manual for External Considering and Impeccability (see section #6, 'Social Interaction and External Considering', for more on this subject).

For some important information to have in mind in approaching this book (as well as Castaneda's other books), see the caveat in the general information for this section.

You can find a compilation of "don Juan"'s teachings in this book on this external page, which may be useful for reference. The full book is however still recommended.

9.4. Fulcanelli: His True Identity Revealed
The book Fulcanelli (forum thread reveals the identity of this alchemist. In the thread you'll find further links to discussions on Fulcanelli, alchemy and their relation to Gurdjieff and his teaching.

10. Information Theory, Metaphysics and Evolution

This section contains books which together discuss a very broad subject: The role of information in our cosmos. While the idea of a personal 'God' is bogus, Nature is also far more complex than materialism can ever account for. (Materialism, for that matter, cannot even account for the fact of conscious experience.) Information seems to be at the basis of the laws of our Universe, and of existence itself - and it seems to drive the process of evolution. That is, evolution is neither directed by some 'God', nor is it a 'mindless' process; it is directed and has 'purpose', though of a more impersonal kind.

In general, processes in Nature seem to be directed from goals, or effects, that attract the causes of their fulfillment. However, the Universe is also open, as discussed e.g. in The Wave (#8.1). That is, which goal becomes the winning attractor may be something decided by consciousness. (See #8, 'Fourth Way', for more information. The subject of information and its role is closely connected to metaphysics, and in turn to more esoteric matters.)

This thread discusses information and information theory in general, including some of the books in this section. The footnotes for the threads also link to further discussion.

Some alternative or additional books (if/as relevant to you) are listed in the 'Optional' (#18) section - see e.g. #18.4 and #18.5.

For a related discussion, you can also listen to SOTT Talk Radio Show #58: Information theory, or why your brain is not your mind (transcript and recording). (The forum thread for the show is here.)

10.1. Origin of Life: The 5th Option
The 5th Option (forum thread) examines life and its origins from an engineering perspective, proposing a Rational Design Hypothesis (not to be confused with Intelligent Design). It describes life as an evolving, Living System with a purpose to be discovered.

10.2. Information and the Nature of Reality: From Physics to Metaphysics
Information and the Nature of Reality was suggested in the thread of the 28 May 2013 C's session, during a discussion of books on information theory. Further books were suggested, and some are listed further below (#10.3, #18.4).

10.3. Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False
Mind and Cosmos has been discussed and extensively summarized in this thread. The book is a relatively difficult read, but the summary attempts to convey its essence in a simpler way for a wider readership.

11. Politics and Pathocracy

Psychopaths (section #5) rule our world; this section lists books that describe the world they have been - and are - creating, and how they have been and are creating it. If you have been following the news at SOTT, you've probably got the general idea long ago, but a more in-depth study is valuable.

The following threads give some information on what might be expected in terms of societal and social conditions when our current civilization ultimately collapses - when whatever remains of 'the rule of law' (however twisted that is) as we know it disappears:11.1. 911: The Ultimate Truth
This book is divided into two parts, which address, respectively, the events of 9/11, and their broader context.

The events are examined along with the "players" involved in their planning and execution: the U.S. government and intelligence agencies on the one hand, and Israeli intelligence on the other. The latter appear to have most likely performed the attacks on the behalf of the U.S., but in the process, to have "changed" the plan and pulled a double-cross for their own purposes.

As for the context of the events, it is historical, religious (the monotheistic religions that serve as systems of social control are examined), and ponerological. Summarized information on ponerology, with excerpts from Political Ponerology (#5.4) is included; see Political Ponerology for further in-depth information (highly recommended!).

Some conclusions are also drawn from the events of 9/11 and this broader context as to where things may be leading up to. This is an important part of the picture, though more has also been learned since; see the newer Secret History of the World (#12.1) volumes for additional information.

Some essays are used in the text which can be found on this forum. These include:SOTT Podcast 22 was dedicated to this book, and was transcribed here. In addition, you might want to listen to and/or read the following related SOTT Podcasts and SOTT Talk Radio Shows:
  • SOTT Podcast #3: 911 Interview With Darren Williams (transcript). (Darren Williams created the Pentagon Strike video, which addresses the main issues with the official narrative about this event in 5 minutes.)
  • SOTT Podcast #12: 9/11 Special (transcript).
  • SOTT Podcast #46: 911 and the Future (transcript).
  • SOTT Podcasts 53, 54, 55, and 56: Counter-Intelligence and the 9/11 Movement (here are transcripts for parts 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively).
  • SOTT Talk Radio Show #32: 911 Revisited - 12th Anniversary (transcript and recording). The forum thread for this show is here.
A few more podcasts are also relevant to 9/11. Names and transcripts for these can be found in the forum thread "Podcast Transcript in Chronological Order".

11.2. JFK: The Assassination of America
JFK: The Assassination of America (forum thread) is a Kindle release of Laura's JFK Series on SOTT. (You can read it on SOTT or support the network by buying the Kindle version.)

Additionally, a highly recommended documentary to go along with any reading on the JFK assassination is Evidence of Revision: The Assassination of America (forum thread).

For related discussions, you can also listed to the following SOTT Podcasts and SOTT Talk Radio Shows:11.3. Manufactured Terror: The Boston Marathon Bombings, Sandy Hook, Aurora Shooting and Other False Flag Terror Attacks
Manufactured Terror (forum thread) is a based on a collection of articles by Joe Quinn and Niall Bradley, with updated information, and makes a compelling case that the official story of how these "terror attacks" happened is largely fiction.

However, the authors take a far more critical approach than many. A lot of confusion has swept through the alternative media regarding these "terror attacks", such as the idea that no people actually came to harm - that it was all "staged" and that "actors" carried out fake attacks with no real victims. Sticking to the facts, Joe and Niall look beyond both the "official" stories and these false alternatives, the latter of which only serve to make reasonable people shy away from any "alternative" explanations.

The authors were interviewed about the book in SOTT Talk Radio Show #71: Manufactured Terror: BUSTED WIDE OPEN! (forum thread). (The subtitle of the show pokes fun at the less critical among conspiracy theorists and a phrase often used by them, e.g. when presenting 'evidence' for their 'actors' theories.)

The following additional SOTT Podcasts and SOTT Talk Radio shows discuss some of the "terror attacks" examined in the book, and related subjects:11.4. The Controversy of Zion
The Controversy of Zion (forum thread) examines the history of Zionism, its ideological leaders, development and establishment. Providing a stark view of historical developments, it goes well with Political Ponerology (#5.4).

11.5. JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters
A thread on JFK and the Unspeakable can be found here. See also Joe Quinn's article JFK and the 'F***ing Crazies'.

11.6. The Secret Team: The CIA And Its Allies In Control Of The World
A thread on The Secret Team can be found here; it includes a link to the book, available to read online.

11.7. JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy
A thread on JFK can be found here.

11.8. The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
The Shock Doctrine (forum thread) reveals the systematic practice of how populations, first rendered vulnerable by means of traumatic shock, are then exploited for the sake of pathological greed. Also recommended is a documentary giving an abridged coverage, available online and discussed and linked here. Complementary to this book and documentary, The Paranoia Switch (#5.6) examines the neurology and psychology of this "limbic warfare" used by psychopaths to shock and bring populations under their control.

11.9. Defying Hitler: A Memoir
Defying Hitler gives a view from the inside of the collapse and pathocratic take-over of a society. A thread can be found here. An extensive article quoting from the book can be found here.

11.10. Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall
Another book describing pathocracy from the inside is Stasiland, on which a thread is found here. In addition, those who wish to get somewhat of a feel for life under the Stasi can see the fictional movie "The Lives of Others", which is discussed here.

11.11. The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion
Some discussion of the protocols, quoting Reed's work (see #11.4) can be found here. The Protocols themselves can be found e.g. by a search on

11.12. Where Did the Towers Go? Evidence of Directed Free-energy Technology on 9/11
Judy Wood appeared as a guest on SOTT Talk Radio Show #15: No Ordinary Inside Job: The 9/11 Psy-Ops (transcript and recording), and she and her work is discussed in the forum thread for the show. (For more on Wood, also see this thread.) Later in the thread, some of the material in the book is discussed.

Wood appears on the whole to be a disinformation distraction: for many, her presentation has the effect of discrediting the basic ideas by association. In addition, her ideas regarding free energy are a red herring and don't stand up to scrutiny. Nevertheless, the question of where the towers went is a valid one; they were observed to turn to dust, and the conclusion that some kind of unknown (to the public) technology was utilized is a valid one. The book contains a collection of some valuable data for those who sift it out.

12. Hidden History

There is much that is ignored in mainstream history, e.g. evidence of highly advanced, ancient civilizations. There is also evidence of the repeated destruction of civilizations, be they advanced or not, by cyclical cometary bombardment - and the research suggests that time is running out for our civilization. Apart from this matter of life and death - one of the most important to learn about - there is also a great deal more to learn from these books. History, after all (and when properly conducted), is the great dot-connector.

Other reading may generally be best to begin with in order to develop a broad knowledge base - though Comets and The Horns of Moses (#12.1) is a good one for anyone curious about the fate of civilizations past, and of ours in the present.

There are also several other sections concerning history to look at. 'Politics and Pathocracy' (#11) covers the modern history of pathocracy; its development, and its grip on our world. 'General History and Historical Method' (#13) covers broader or more general historical subjects, including some basics regarding how to conduct historical research. In 'Caesar' (#14) as in this section, history that was hidden is revealed, though there the question concerns the origins of "Jesus" and Christianity. And in 'Bible History' (#15), the idea of the Bible as a valid historical source is impeccably ripped to shreds, as its origins and surrounding questions are examined.

12.1. Secret History of the World (all volumes)
A thread on the first volume of Secret History can be found here. The first volume (often referred to as SHotW) is followed by others more or less independent of it; the first of these is Comets and The Horns of Moses (forum thread).

The second volume, Comets and the Horns of Moses (CatHoM for short), is essential reading for understanding the current situation of our world. History is repeating, and now as before, the civilization of the day - ours - is about to face destruction by cometary bombardment, plague, and more besides.

The third volume, Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection (forum thread), more extensively explores questions concerning catastrophes and their connection to the conditions of human life. Using the Electric Universe model, a lot of subjects are tied together: the Sun's companion star, periodic cometary swarms that collide with the Earth, and various terrestrial signs (or 'Earth changes') that signal impending disaster. There is also the question: why do these things happen? Throughout history, civilizations that became corrupt and inhuman fell as a result of these events. What seems to be the case is that groups of people collectively attract their destinies. Those groups who align with truth and creativity can survive and thrive; while those who align with lies and entropy are decimated. This book explains a lot regarding both the historical patterns explored in the previous Secret History volume, and what we are observing (and living through) today.

12.2. The Apocalypse: Comets, Asteroids and Cyclical Catastrophes
The Apocalypse (forum thread) describes and references the evidence for a long history of catastrophes, our present situation in relation to these and what is likely to come. It is based upon the Comets and Catastrophe SOTT article series. Comets and The Horns of Moses (#12.1) covers the same theme along with much wider subject ground.

13. General History and Historical Method

This section contains books of a more general historical nature. The Historian's Craft gives basic insight into the process of historical reasearch. The other books are concerned with subjects too general to be confined to any of the other historical sections.

13.1. The Historian's Craft
A thread discussing and summarizing some of the points of Marc Bloch's book can be found here.

13.2. The Ancient City: A Study on the Religion, Laws, and Institutions of Greece and Rome
A thread with excerpts from and discussion of The Ancient City is found here.

14. Caesar

The books listed in this section were recommended in the thread "Was Julius Caesar the real Jesus Christ?". The research discussed in that thread, and the books listed in this section, answer the question of that topic heading: Yes, he was. A documentary mentioned in the thread which introduces this research is The Gospel of Caesar, which can be viewed on YouTube here.

Needless to say, the research of this section, through its conclusions, demolish the basis of Christianity as we know it. Further demolishing of the validity of the Bible is accomplished in section #15, 'Bible History'.

The subject of Caesar has also been discussed in the following SOTT Talk Radio Shows:15. Bible History

The question of the Bible and its validity, historical or otherwise, is important because of its role in shaping the modern world. It has shaped, among other things, our culture - even down to very fundamental assumptions about, and attitudes towards, life and the world. The books of this section thoroughly rip apart the idea that the Bible is what it claims to be, or even a valid historical source, in examining the history of its creation.

The section on Caesar (#14) is also relevant, in its exploration of how the life of Julius Caesar was used to create the Jesus myth and the Christian religion. There is also an article series by Laura on (among other questions) the question of "Who Wrote The Bible". Questions regarding the origins and true purposes of the monotheistic religions are also treated in several of Laura's books, including The Wave Series (#8.1) and the Secret History (#12.1) books, drawing upon the research in this section and much more.

The Controversy of Zion (#11.4) also explores the history of the Jewish people, and with it, the history of the old testament. Though less of an in-depth examination of when and how the old testament was created, it offers a critical look at the ideology which was developed and of the religious 'elite' which created and enforced it. In examining these questions and how history has unfolded, it adds considerably to the study of pathological people in power. Along with Political Ponerology (#5.4), it helps understand their doctrines, actions and influence. This, in turn, is very important for generally understanding history.

16. UFOs and Aliens

This section lists books about the UFO phenomenon and the question of "aliens" and abduction. A recommended introductory documentary is UFOs, Aliens, and the Question of Contact (forum thread) by Bernhard Guenther and Humberto Braga, the latest version of which can be viewed here on YouTube.

On, you'll also find a number of articles dealing with the subject, including:As you may notice in the course of reading up on this general subject, this is very much an esoteric and 'paranormal' issue - and often vice-versa. The subjects being strongly connected, the sections on the 'Fourth Way' (#8), 'Other Esoterica' (#9) and 'Esotericism and Parapsycholoy' (#17) are also recommended along with exploring this subject.

16.1. High Strangeness
High Strangeness conveys the "big picture" regarding UFOs and the nature and role of "aliens". They are not here to help or "save" us - rather, these 4th Density STS Beings manipulate and use humanity for their own ends - as a kind of (most of the time) energetic "food". Castaneda's ideas of 'the Predator' and Gurdjieff's tale of the 'Evil Magician' are good metaphors, along with the movie The Matrix (forum thread.

16.2. UFOs and the National Security State
UFOs and the National Security State is briefly described here. Richard Dolan was also interviewed in SOTT Podcast 74, transcribed here.

16.3. Operation Trojan Horse
John Keel and Operation Trojan Horse are discussed here.

17. Esotericism and Parapsychology

This section lists books from the "Spirit Board" thread as well as additions. If you plan to work with a 'spirit board' at some point for essentially psychological purposes (Knowledge and Being video series), you'll want to read all of these books - and everything else recommended in the "Spirit Board" thread. (Another list of books, also incorporated in this section, can be found here, along with links to further resources.)

More generally, this section can be seen both as an extension of the 'Other Esoterica' section, and as a section of esoteric and 'paranormal' history. The general subject is also connected with the question of 'UFOs and Aliens' (#16), which it is recommended to also read up on, either first or in parallel. ('UFOs and Aliens' is not only essentially an esoteric and 'paranormal' subject, but also an important part of the big picture.)

If you choose to approach this section simply as a supplement (i.e. no 'spirit board' plans, nor otherwise aiming to read it all at present), you can simply pick and choose among these books. (Footnotes for some of the books may, however, give other recommendations, which take priority. They may also give you clues as to which books may suit you best to begin with.)

17.1. Darkness over Tibet
Darkness over Tibet (forum thread) covers the question of what "spirituality" is; one major point is that there is no "one" spirituality as such, but rather two (STO and STS) - and the choice between the two is crucial, and requires discernment. See this article for a brief overview of Illion's concepts. The book is more extensively discussed (and quoted) in this series of articles.

17.2. The Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts: A Riveting Investigation Into Channeling and Spirit Guides
The Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts is an account of the author's personal experiences with channeled "spirits" or "guides". It has been discussed and excerpted here. This book conveys the high risks involved in channeling, and the subtle ways that these "entities" or "spirits" can feed on the channeler(s) and those who become involved. The author himself was ultimately driven to suicide.

17.3. Spirit Releasement Therapy: A Technique Manual
Baldwin's Spirit Releasement Therapy is a good primer on a very complex subject, but does not cover all of the essential aspects, nor is it wholly accurate. While a good start for background, further reading to fill in the gaps was recommended in this post - the books mentioned can be found on this list, though you are also invited to check out the additional links to resources found within that post.

17.4. Thirty Years Among the Dead
Thirty Years Among the Dead was originally published in 1924, and free versions can be found online. One such PDF is the following: _ (deactivated link - copy-paste to your browser's address field to visit).

17.5. Hostage to the Devil
Hostage to the Devil, discussed here, is not light reading. It is very strongly recommended to read through the entire thread, taking the input seriously, before proceeding. This means reading a lot of other, relevant material first along with working on one's psychological hygiene.

Approaching Infinity

FOTCM Member
18. Optional

Since time and money for books are not infinite resources, there has to be some prioritization. The books in this section are still fine reads - but currently not considered to be of enough general importance for the other sections. (Even in this section, though, there has to be some criteria of 'importance' - otherwise, the listing could easily be made ridiculously long.) As a general recommendation, you can think of these books as supplementary to those of the other sections - they may be useful depending on your individual needs and interests (in some cases, perhaps very useful). So, have a look, pick and choose.

18.1. The Noah Syndrome
A thread on The Noah Syndrome can be found here. This is Laura's first and long-unpublished book; some passages may be recognized from their appearance in The Wave Series (#8.1) and in the first volume of Secret History of The World (#12.1).

18.2. The Teachings of Don Juan (the other books)
Two of Castaneda's books are recommended: The Active Side of Infinity (#9.2) and The Fire from Within (#9.3). The rest of his books are optional. See the general information for 'Other Esoterica' (#9) for more on Castaneda and his works, as well as related resources.

18.3. The Case for the UFO
The Case for the UFO (article, article) can be downloaded free (in the annotated Varo edition) as a PDF here.

18.4. Optional information theory books
Some additional books which were suggested (#10, 'Information Theory, Metaphysics and Evolution') on the topic of information theory. Signature in the Cell and Darwin's Doubt (forum thread) by Stephen C. Meyer cover concepts similar to those of The 5th Option (#10.1). An Introduction to Information Theory is a classic (and cheap) textbook which covers the formal theory in a relatively easy way.

18.5. The Science Delusion or Science Set Free
A thread discussing this book of Rupert Sheldrake (variously published as either The Science Delusion or Science Set Free) is here. The book is concerned with the problem of materialist doctrines in mainstream science and the need to take consciousness into account.

18.6. The Quest to Feel Good
The Quest to Feel Good has been quoted and discussed (here and here) as another approach for helping those struggling with psychological issues.

18.7. The Angry Book
The Angry Book (forum thread) describes the negative consequences of suppressing anger; how various issues result from the building of a "slush fund" (an accumulation of stale anger). It also describes how to approach anger with a healthy mindset and express it in a constructive way, thereby avoiding the issues caused by a build-up of "slush" - and healing those already caused.

18.8. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ
Emotional Intelligence is the precursor to Goleman's later book Social Intelligence and conveys the "big picture" of the importance of emotional intelligence. It has no dedicated discussion thread, but has been mentioned in this general discussion on emotional intelligence. You can also see this video (YouTube link) of Goleman speaking on emotional intelligence at Google.


FOTCM Member
► New books have been added recently(up to March 2018), so here's a list of these new books

1. Collingwood - Idea of History (here)
2. Collingwood - Speculum Mentis (here)
3. Raine - Anatomy of Violence (here)
4. Samenow - Inside the Criminal Mind (here)
5. Samenow - The Myth of the Out of Character Crime (here)

Extended List:
6. Glenn & Raine - Psychopathy (here)
7. Tamdgidi - Gurdjieff and Hypnosis (here)
8. Fallon - The Psychopath Inside (here)
9. Ressler - Whoever Fights Monsters (here)
10. Waite - The Psychopathic God (here)

Other related books:
11. Carr - What is History? (here)
12. Cohn - Cosmos, Chaos & The World to Come (here)
13. Kahn - The Education of Julius Cesar (here)
14. Carcopino - Cicero: The Secrets of His Correspondence (here)
15. Enberg-Pederson - Paul and the Stoics (here)

► New books added April 26th 2018:
16. The H Factor of Personality: Why Some People are Manipulative, Self-Entitled, Materialistic, and Exploitive―And Why It Matters for Everyone (here)
17. Making Sense of Genes by Kostas Kampourakis (here)
18. Race and Human Evolution: A Fatal Attraction by Wolpoff (here)
19. The Dopaminergic Mind in Human Evolution and History by Fred H. Previc (here)
20. The Origin of Our Species" by Chris Stringer (here, here and here)
21. The monkey puzzle: Reshaping the evolutionary tree" by John Gribbin (here, here and here)

► New books added May 1st 2018 (22,23 and 24):
22. Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past by David Reich. (here and here)
23. Race: The Reality of Human Differences by Vincent Sarich. (here)
24. Apes, Giants and Man by Franz Weidenreich. (here and here)

► New books added May 14th 2018:
25. Evolution 2.0: Breaking the Deadlock Between Darwin and Design by Perry Marshall (here and here)

► New books added June 5th 2018:
26. The Aryan Christ: The Secret Life of Carl Jung by Richard Noll (corresponding thread)
27. Challenging Postmodernism: Philosophy and the Politics of Truth by David Detmer (corresponding thread)

► New books added June 19th 2018:
28. Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning by Jonah Goldberg (corresponding thread)

► New books added June 26th 2018:
29. "C.G.Jung: Lord of the Underworld" by Colin Wilson. (corresponding thread)
30. "The Strange Order of Things: Life, Feeling, and the Making of Cultures" by Antonio Damasio (

► New books added July 11th 2018:
31. "Darwin's Blind Spot" by Frank Ryan (here)
32. "Virolution" by Frank Ryan (
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