The best books on things we don’t normally perceive or consider, but which have great importance

Who am I?

I’ve always been interested in the interface of biology and the mind, and between the mind and usually invisible worlds. Both Philip K Dick and the medieval Jewish philosophers labor mightily to unpack and communicate realms of the imagination residing in science fiction as well as Hebrew Bible prophecy. Likewise, the influx of Eastern religious practices and beliefs have pointed to areas of consciousness previously unknown to the West.


I wrote...

DMT and the Soul of Prophecy: A New Science of Spiritual Revelation in the Hebrew Bible

By Rick Strassman,

Book cover of DMT and the Soul of Prophecy: A New Science of Spiritual Revelation in the Hebrew Bible

What is my book about?

After completing his groundbreaking research chronicled in DMT: The Spirit Molecule, Rick Strassman was left with one fundamental question: What does it mean that DMT, a simple chemical naturally found in all of our bodies, instantaneously opens us to an interactive spirit world that feels more real than our own world?

When his decades of clinical psychiatric research and Buddhist practice were unable to provide answers to this question, Strassman began searching for a more resonant spiritual model. He found that the visions of the Hebrew prophets--such as Ezekiel, Moses, Adam, and Daniel--were strikingly similar to those of the volunteers in his DMT studies. Carefully examining the concept of prophecy in the Hebrew Bible, he characterizes a "prophetic state of consciousness" and explains how it may share biological and metaphysical mechanisms with the DMT effect.

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

The Guide for the Perplexed

By Moses Maimonides,

Book cover of The Guide for the Perplexed

Why this book?

The classic 13th century medieval Jewish philosophic text that proposes a sophisticated—for that time—metaphysical model of spiritual experience; in this case, prophecy as articulated in the Hebrew Bible. The intellectual scaffolding for my attempt to resurrect a metaphysics of prophecy in my 2014 book "DMT and the Soul of Prophecy."


Theological-Political Treatise: Tractatus Theologico-Politicus

By Robert Harvey Munroe Elwes, Benedictus de Spinoza,

Book cover of Theological-Political Treatise: Tractatus Theologico-Politicus

Why this book?

Ostensibly an implacable intellectual foe of Maimonides’ “Guide,” this twice-excommunicated Jewish philosopher makes his own compelling arguments for the basis of spiritual experience/prophecy. At the same time, one senses a powerful compatibility with his philosophical opponent’s viewpoints.


Valis

By Philip K. Dick,

Book cover of Valis

Why this book?

VALIS—Vast Active Living Intelligence System—is one of PK Dick’s most inspiring, and at the same time, depressing, novels. A bizarre film leads a rag tag group of friends to even more bizarre adventures. They meet a 2-year-old Messiah who cures the protagonist’s psychosis. Any more would be spoiling the plot.


Four Novels of the 1960s

By Philip K. Dick,

Book cover of Four Novels of the 1960s

Why this book?

“The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldridge” is the most horrifying and terrifying novel I’ve ever read. A terran psychedelic drug begins being supplanted by one from another star system. The latter compound never lets you come down—just when you think you have, you start tripping again. And so on…


Be Here Now

By Ram Dass,

Book cover of Be Here Now

Why this book?

For better and for worse, I read this book when it came out in 1971. It set me on a long and winding path through psychedelics, Eastern religion, and psychology, from which I never returned.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in spirituality, Medieval philosophy, and Baruch Spinoza?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about spirituality, Medieval philosophy, and Baruch Spinoza.

Spirituality Explore 170 books about spirituality
Medieval Philosophy Explore 8 books about Medieval philosophy
Baruch Spinoza Explore 10 books about Baruch Spinoza

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Into the Wild, The Four Agreements, and Zen Flesh, Zen Bones if you like this list.