We live in a time of unprecedented access to knowledge. But with so much material to choose from, and so little time to sift through and contemplate the trends and relations within and between fields, most people never make it to the best ideas that make everything else make sense in a higher context. I have listed here some of the best books, authors and suggestions that anticipate the future of science and society.
The list is geared towards the more readable and contemporary texts, so should not be taken as a best books of all time type of list, but rather as a pedagogical guide to the future evolution of ideas. Scope, context and relevance to future science and metaphysics are therefore better represented than influence or historical importance. Some of these suggestions are key cultural and philosophical authors that give the new science(s) a meaningful context. All the texts listed, whether they are science, metaphysics or cultural context, (most of them are some interpenetration of the above), they are all, of course, philosophical.
I obviously have not read every book out there, but the more one reads, especially the more philosophically one reads, the easier it is to spot trends and cliches with an ear out for what is novel and brimming with potential, and an eye for the dead ends and regressions.
I have been helped immensely by the people listed here, and I hope I or they can help you. There are obviously many other good books out there. But if one can get a good broad, critical and metaphysical view of what is happening on this planet and the evolution of its culture and knowledge, one can make much more sense out of the conflicting array of more niche-oriented, field specific and practical knowledge trends.
Given the importance of biopolitics I have made a separate list in my therapy and practice section for health sites and critical books on medicine. This tends to be one of the most difficult fields for people to navigate without a better view of the metaphysics and philosophy of science that is crucial to navigating our technologically “enframed” society, so take a look there as well.
Key texts for general theory, interdisciplinary science, and complexity theory:
“Grammatical Man:Information, Entropy, Language and Life”,
“Winston Churchill’s Afternoon Nap: A Wide Awake Inquiry into the Human Nature of Time”,
“The Improbable Machine:What The Upheavals In Artificial Intelligence Research Reveal About How The Mind Really Works”
-three books that expertly lay out the problems with the old paradigm of linear science and open up the way forward in simple elegant prose. beginner level reading but full of deep insight. Also check out James Gleick‘s books on chaos and information theory for a broader introduction, and Ian Stewart’s books for basic technical overviews to nonlinear science.
Suzie Vrobel’s “Fractal Time: Why A Watched Pot Never Boils”
– an important work, the best out of the European fractal science community. some advanced material, but still readable without any previous knowledge. Simultaneity by Vrobel and company is also very good.
Mae Wan Ho’s “The Rainbow and the Worm: The Physics of Organisms”
– one of the most important books of our time. It gives an overview of the emerging new science of organisms that is destined to seed a new culture. some equations that can be skipped, but still advanced reading for anyone not used to high level science. Even beginners though will get much value from what they do understand. The Third edition is even more packed with the best science in all the crucial fields. For an interesting but basic intro to biophysics see: Changlin Zhang’s Invisible Rainbow: A Physicist’s Introduction to the Science Behind Classical Chinese Medicine
David Byrne and Gil Callaghan’s Complexity Theory and the Social Sciences
-A survey of one of the most important transitions in Western thought- the “Complexity turn”. This book elucidates in clear prose the ‘post-disciplinary” science that is the fruit beginning to bear from the myriad developments of philosophy and science that are merging in our age. Though it focuses on social theory, it makes a case for complexity theory being the future of a trans–disciplinary science linking all fields of knowledge.
***One of the main authors explored in this work is also crucial reading:
Manuel DeLanda, who has written several important and helpful books. They are somewhat advanced and in–depth but are clearly written explanations of and extrapolations from the rather abstruse work of Gilles Deleuze into contemporary science.
His Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy and A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History are two of my favorite books in any genre.
Paul Cilliers’ Complexity and Post-Modernism
-The key text by one the most influential thinkers in the Complexity paradigm.
P.D. Ouspensky’s In Search of the Miraculous
Gurdjieff’s a bit severe and hyperbolic in his metaphors, but there is no denying his unique insight in this great book by his greatest student and beleaguered victim, Peter Ouspensky. Though it gets a bit technical for a beginner.
Carlos Castaneda’s books
– they are really one big story. I recommend reading them in order. Castaneda was a controversial character and there are misleading ideas in these books, but Castaneda was up to something more mysterious and powerful than easy literal truths. These books are beautiful and important explorations of what it takes to live a mystical life in the modern world. Great introduction for beginners. Though one should be aware: there is much flirtation in his books with the darker path of self-service.
Sri Aurobindo’ books
-Aurobindo was an avatar for our age. He traversed the path further than anyone in our times and left detailed signs to guide the rest of us. Start with Satprem’s “Sri Aurobindo or The Adventure of Consciousness”. Satprem has an adulatory tone that may bother some, but he has summarized and collected the best passages from what can be a foreboding and verbose body of work.
Rudolf Steiner’s Knowledge of Higher Worlds and Its Attainment
While some of Steiner’s work takes it symbolism too literally, he is undoubtedly one of the greatest minds in recorded history. This book is an especially great introduction to the spiritual path. After that, dive in to his lectures and world at your own risk. He is probably the most brilliant mind in modern history, but it is easy to get lost, so don’t take him (especially his Christianity) too literally. But if you can handle a little Christianity, “Start Now” is a good compilation of Steiner’s Anthroposophical meditations to begin a practice of spiritual science.
Peter Wilberg’s books
– one of the few contemporary thinkers using the critical tools of western philosophy to cut through the New Age fashions and form a coherent spiritual vision for our time. He is particularly useful for his psychoanalytic theory and its philosophical frame for understanding health issues. He combines the best of post-Freudian academic psychology with the mystical wisdom of Gnosticism and Tantra. For an entertaining book on Tantra, please see David Deida’s Wild Nights if you don’t mind a little crass humor.
Carol K. Anthony’s “Guide to the I Ching”
– the best version around. you don’t even need Wilhelm’s version if you have her guide to it, but the Wilhelm edition is the core text for the world’s most sophisticated tool for divination. The I Ching is so helpful as a guide in our age of dubious teachers and frequent self-delusion.
Jane Roberts’s Seth Books
–“Seth Speaks” gives the clearest broadest picture of the universe of any book in our culture. Some of the other Seth books are somewhat affected by the frequent notes and commentary but they are all full of unique gems found nowhere else yet frequently imitated since. Yes, it is channeling, but Jane was an incredible powerhouse of creative psychic energy that needed to dissociate to bring it all through for us. She does not compare to the muddled occultists that came before her or the shallow New Age channels that have tried to imitate her.
The Law of One Books(The RA material):
The RA Material is the other major high point of modern channeling. The Seth books are in a poetic, accessible language that illuminates the most difficult concepts with clear natural metaphors that give the impression of a condensed common sense, whereas RA speaks from an alien, abstract, and sometimes difficult to swallow level of science- like detail that nonetheless makes for some of the most interesting connections between many other narratives. The connections with UFOlogy and the Reciprocal Systems theory of Dewey Larson make the Law of One crucial reading for understanding contemporary spiritual cosmology and its convergence with cutting edge science.
Exploring Theosophy: David Pratt’s website is a great introduction to Theosophy and addresses many of the problems and potentials of occult philosophy: http://davidpratt.info/
Damo Mitchell’s books, especially: “A Comprehensive Guide to Daoist Nei Gong”: As I discuss on the Meditation page here, I think a top-down approach to spirituality is necessary for our age, and many bottom-up methodological approaches tend to get decontextualized from their principles. On the other hand, the body is often neglected in modern occultism, or in westernized yoga or tantra, the methods used are misunderstood and wholly incomplete. To address this I recommend reading Damo and applying the principles of Nei Gong to any work on the body and its energy (or energy-body). Unlike much of the material out there on hatha yoga or tantra, the Taoist internal arts have a sophistication that can prevent many of the errors we see when practitioners start working with the body. And unlike many other writers on Taoist method, Damo has a clear and deep understanding of the important principles and knows how to communicate that understanding.
Exploring Theosophy: This website deserves two placements. I put this in the spiritual section as well but David Pratt’s website also has a great collection of essays exploring many of the sciences from an esoteric angle. He is the best when it comes to anthropology and geology, and some damn good health essays:http://davidpratt.info/
Liam Scheff’s Official Stories: a short funny book that covers some of the biggest science frauds of our time in easy to understand chapters on AIDS, vaccines, Big Bang theory, plate tectonics, along with some funny takes on the history of the CIA and the JFK assassination.
For a more in–depth take on the fraud of modern virology read: Janine Roberts’ book: “Fear of the Invisible”
Arthur Firstenberg’s “The Invisible Rainbow: A History of Electricity and Life” is a detailed argument for how life is dependent on electricity and affected negatively by electrical technology
Dewey Larson’s books on Reciprocal Systems Theory and the theory’s further development called “RS2“. Advanced reading but accessible for thoughtful people. These guys are the cream of the crop in the scientific underground. Fascinating stuff. They have figured out the crucial concepts that illuminate fundamental physical science with the light of relational, reciprocal transformations that are being grasped at in all attempts at a unified scientific understanding. This evolving system of theory reflects and supports the systems/complexity paradigm that has emerged across many of the sciences, but which has not yet reached down to the fundamental physics. ….All material is available for free on the website
here are some videos–introductory and advanced:http://reciprocalsystem.org/presentation-list
Before diving too deep into the latest in the theory, I suggest starting with Larson’s Neglected Facts of Science, which is a nice intro book to the most important concept it is crucial to understand: “scalar motion”. This book attempts to just cover the inductive basis of the theory–its grounding in neglected facts:
or New Light on Space and Time for a good book-long overview of the whole original theory:
I also suggest Bruce Peret(the top scholar in the scientific underground)’s short series on rs2 in the pdf section, which is here, along with most of Larson’s books in pdf format::http://reciprocalsystem.org/papers
For a short essay by another RS2 researcher on the conceptual difficulties of the RS and an insightful argument for it being an example of Goethe’s archetypal approach to science, see:RStheoryGoethe
Michael Salla’s books and webpage: Dr. Salla takes all the far out accounts from supposed secret space program whistleblowers and puts the breakaway civilization in context. The result is the first truly coherent picture of what has been going on since humanity’s breakthrough into the larger cosmic situation. The whistleblowers may be difficult to believe but they do add a fascinating new chapter to the esoteric literature and conspiracy speculation. Whether it is all “true” or not, I added Salla to this list because I think he does a good job putting together our culture’s most recent attempts at making sense of the deep esoteric politics; whether the result is myth, or literally true, I think it represents the cutting edge of humanity’s more imaginative vision of the cosmos.
Paul Laviolette, Joseph P. Farrell, Claude Swanson – three of the best writers attempting to understand the underlying physics of the field. LaViolette’s Genesis of the Cosmos is his most accessible, though his theory is a bit idiosyncratic, however interesting. Swanson has his own theory where he attempts to integrate much of the alternative science research, relying heavily on William Tiller and Russian torsion research. His grand synthesis isn’t as coherent as the Reciprocal System, but his massive three-volume work is a helpful and exhaustive presentation of the evidence of so many researchers in the field. Farrell is a machine of speculation, but he knows how to spin a good tale while summarizing so much of the alternative research into plausible generalizations.
Cultural History and Theory:
William Irwin Thompson’s books especially “The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light”, “Coming into Being” (both great books of cultural history) and for those interested in an excellent curriculum for students, his “Transforming History” sketches one of the best approaches to education available
Egil Asprem’s The Problem of Disenchantment: Scientific Naturalism and Esoteric Discourse 1900-1939 is a key text for situating the alternative knowledge culture of today as a complex series of attempts at dealing with Modernity with its roots in the early 20th century
Wouter J. Hanegraff’s New Age Religion and Western Culture: Esotericism in the Mirror of Secular Thought as well as his other works are also important contributions to understanding contemporary science and religion at their interface.
Bruno Latour’s The Pasteurization of France— critical reading both for its excavation of the origins of germ theory (which has become a crucial paradigm for politics and critique) and the theoretical light it sheds on the making of a science
John David Ebert is a troubled but valuable guide to the greater history of knowledge culture. John makes rather difficult material accessible to anyone. He sees the important ideas like no one in the academy can. Especially check out his video lectures on the greats of cultural philosophy:
Rudolf Steiner, Oswald Spengler, Arnold Toynbee and Jean Gebser are the greats in this genre, especially Gebser’s Ever Present Origin
Another good resource for Steiner is here: http://www.rudolfsteineraudio.com/ which is a site where you can listen to all of Steiner’s lectures, which is where his best material was produced.
Joscelyn Godwin’s books
– the best guide to esoteric music. Godwin’s “The Golden Thread” is the best simple introduction to the Western esoteric tradition. And here is a pdf of his whole excellent study of the history of cyclical theories of time and Atlantis: book
Dane Rudyhar’s “The Magic of Tone and the Art of Music”, and “Culture, Crisis and Creativity”
-a genius polymath of the Spirit, he wrote many books, but in these two his gifts as an astrologer and composer come together beautifully to trace the contours of cultural evolution and the development of music
-in my opinion, the best of the alternative history researchers. though be warned his narrative is biased towards the point of view of the Masonic elites. Graham Hancock is a good counterpoint to Gardner in that he gives a more popular account, whereas with Gardner you get the feeling you are getting the inside scoop. Gardner is also unique in that he tells the all important story of alchemy and the importance it played in ancient history. Though Joseph P. Farrell develops some of these aspects further in his books.
Jason Rez Jorjani’s Prometheus and Atlas
-A rather controversial but fascinating philosophical history and argument for the importance of the psychical and occult and its revolutionary implications for society.
Richard Tarnas’ The Passion of the Western Mind
-a very good history of Western Philosophy for beginners
Peter Sedgwick’s Descartes to Derrida: An Introduction to European Philosophy
-an in depth introduction to Modern philosophy that really renders some rather difficult material into a delightful and accessible book, with an interestingly dismissive and critical take on who Sedgwick fails to recognize as the central theorist of our times: Gilles Deleuze
A.W. Moore’s The Evolution of Modern Metaphysics:Making Sense of Things is a more in-depth and insightful book on modern philosophy which culminates in and explains tersely the revolutionary thinking of Gilles Deleuze
Steven Best and Douglass Kellner’s Postmodern Theory, The Postmodern Turn, and The Postmodern Adventure
-an excellent trilogy of books on the landscape of postmodern culture for beginners
Keith Ansell-Pearson, Eugene W. Holland, and Henry Sommers-Hall all have multiple excellent books exploring and explaining the most important and difficult philosopher of our time, Gilles Deleuze
Paul Feyerabend’s Against Method
-still the best argument for epistemological anarchy. for a good intro to Feyerabend, these letters are excellent:
Jeffrey A. Bell’s Deleuze and Guattari’ What is Philosophy: A Critical Introduction and Guide
–an excellent look at D&G’s masterpiece especially as it relates to logic science and art
Brian Massumi’s User’s Guide to Capitalism and Schizophrenia: Deviations from Deleuze and Guattari
–a interesting intro to Capitalism and Schizophrenia–D&G’s important but abstruse work of genius. Though a more practical guide to “A Thousand Plateaus” is Brent Adkins’ concise chapter by chapter summary book, or better yet Eugene W. Holland’s thematic guide.
John Deely’s Four Ages of Understanding
–A massive and fascinating revisionist tome detailing the history of philosophy from the semiotic point of view that features a detailed study of medieval philosophy.
Gregory Desilet’s “Cult of the Kill”
– an independent scholar who writes better about academic theory than any academic (surprise, surprise). I say that not just because he is a master thinker and communicator, but because he gets to the heart of what post-modern thinking has to offer. Greg has been a immensely helpful personal mentor of mine over the years. The attention he gives to the ethical substance of metaphysical and narrative structure is the crucial insight postmodern thinking should lend to any attempt at metaphysics in our age and his ethical sensitivity has deeply shaped my thinking.
Rocco Gangle’s Diagrammatic Immanence: Category Theory and Philosophy
-A brilliant but technical attempt at integrating both Analytic and Continental Philosophy with the foundational Mathematical Theories of Categories. The technical chapters can be skimmed without losing the point pdf here:wholebook
Finance, Political Economy, Radical Theory:
Bertrand De Jouvenal’s On Power: Its History and Growth: in this brilliant text by an important forgotten genius, we get an excellent counterpoint to Marxist and materialist overemphasis on economics and revolution with a realistic look at the functioning of power.
Ellen Brown’s Web of Debt: an accessible and entertaining breakdown of our financial system with the crucial focus on the history and possibilities of money creation.
Naomi Kline’s The Shock Doctrine:The Rise of Disaster Capitalism is a detailed journalistic look at the history of Neoliberalism. Shocking and moving in its attention to the human cost of this global transformation. Too bad she has fallen victim to her own success; like most leftists she has become an establishment figure in the wake of Trump derangement syndrome
See Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the U.S. for a further history of class struggle in this country.
Capital and its Discontents: a great collection of leading progressive thinkers interviewed by Sasha Lilley. Though as the Great Reset moves forward, the progressive movement has been misunderstanding its significance, thus forcing incisive political resistance to form a “dissident” right, or at least the left’s insanity has forced real resistance to be framed however inaccurately as “rightwing”
David Harvey’s many good books
– Marx for our complicated times. his books are academic but very accessible. “A Brief History of Neoliberalism” is especially pithy.
Peter Dale Scott’s books
-crucial history of the West’s “Deep State”
Nitzan and Bichler’s Capital as Power is a good example of how we can incorporate an account of the designs of dominant capital into political economy without it becoming conspiracy theory, something the dissident right has been doing, making them a better possible hope for a future anti-capitalist post-marxist politics–since the left is mired in generic marxism and identity politics
General Philosophy of Science and Scientific Metaphysics
Representing and Intervening: Introductory Topics in the Philosophy of Science by Ian Hacking is the best book I have found on the history of philosophy of science (though Feyerabend’s Against Method is a better book)
Wooden Books Series by various authors
Homage to Pythagoras by various authors, (including Robert Lawlor, whose book Sacred Geometry is a great theoretical and practical guide to the subject. Projective Geometry by Olive Whicher is also important in this genre)
Newton, Maxwell, Marx from Thomas K. Simpson, and
Wave Forms by James Bunn, all beautifully look into the poetry and spirit of science at a high level.
Check out Charles Muses’ book Destiny and Control in Human Systems: Chronotopology, and Arthur M. Young’s The Reflexive Universe and Mathematics, Physics and Reality for some esoteric math and physics.
Here is an in depth book on concepts in science:mark wilson
For a curious novel that about the inner earth, whose concepts fictionalize theosophical and esoteric science themes about the earth:etidorhpa
More from the scientific underground (more advanced or mathematical):
I suggest checking out the following contemporary underground science theorists:
Ernest McClain‘s books explore music theory at the heart of ancient philosophy building off “Meditations on The Rg Veda:Four Dimensional Man” by Antonio DeNicolas. Both of McClain’s great works here in pdf: http://www.ernestmcclain.net/
Miles Mathis: One of the best critics of modern physics and mathematics; an interesting and troubled genius…http://mileswmathis.com/
Douglass A White: A deep thinker and theorist with a flare for mathematical ingenuity:http://bentylightgarden.com/
F.E.D. : Symbolic logic theory of everything, an extension of Muses’ work into dialectics. Not for the faint of heart or impatient. Here are some interviews I did with F.E.D. writer “Hermes”:inteviewpage
Ken Wheeler: The “angry photographer” and his rants against Einstein frame some of the best ether physics around:
Richard Tarnas’s Cosmos and Psyche is the best intro to astrology from an academic and cultural history perspective. Though here on this website we are exploring a more semiotic approach than Tarnas’s essentialist “Archetypal” astrology, he has done great work
Liz Green, Stephen Arroyo, Sue Tompkins, Chris Brennan, Jeanne Avery
Priscilla Costello’s Concise Guide to Practical Astrology
Bernadette Brady’s Astrology: A Place in Chaos