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Four Classic Self Help Books That Are in a Gray Area

If you are following this blog and getting to know me by what I post, you will know that I love speculative fiction ( SciFi, Horror, Fantasy, Futurism, etc ). But what I also love is wholesome goodness, and what I love even more than that is a background and some deep digging into the inner workings of our psyche – the human soul, mind, and spirit. While these books, in my opinion, reside in somewhat of a gray area-if thought about and meditated on, will empower you with great insight into not only your own intricacies, but also the intricacies of your psyche that is instilled upon you by things of your own human nature and also the universe itself.. It’s from all that is good and as Alan Watt’s put it – “If I am my foot, I am the sun.”

DISCLAIMER: These books might not tell you step by step, rather they are for insight that, in my opinion, will help you in the long run more than a step by step guide.

Man and His Symbols by Carl Jung

Man and His Symbols owes its existence to one of Jung’s own dreams. The great psychologist dreamed that his work was understood by a wide public, rather than just by psychiatrists, and therefore he agreed to write and edit this fascinating book. Here, Jung examines the full world of the unconscious, whose language he believed to be the symbols constantly revealed in dreams. Convinced that dreams offer practical advice, sent from the unconscious to the conscious self, Jung felt that self-understanding would lead to a full and productive life. Thus, the reader will gain new insights into himself from this thoughtful volume, which also illustrates symbols throughout history. Completed just before his death by Jung and his associates, it is clearly addressed to the general reader.

Extracted from GoodReads

There is so much here to be valued. As a pioneer of modern psychology, Carl Jung was friends with Sigmund Freud and made great advancements in discovering the inner workings of the subconscious and tied these to the findings he discovered being a dream interpreter, traveling the world in his own free time. Fun fact – a song by the band know as Tool titled 46 & 2 is thought to be inspired by Carl Jung’s teachings about the shadow.

The Emerald Tablet: Alchemy of Personal Transformation by Dennis William Hauck

The Emerald Tablet—an ancient document that contains the essence of the alchemical teachings—has had an important influence on many Western spiritual and religious traditions. Ostensibly concerned with turning base metals into gold, alchemy was in fact dedicated to transforming the lead of self into the gold of spirit. This brilliant history of alchemy traces its sources back to ancient Egypt, and presents alchemy as a useful, practical system of self-transformation. Each of the seven steps of alchemical transformation is explained, with hands-on techniques and exercises, treating alchemy as a living discipline for achieving a spiritual awakening.

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A prime example of how material processes can be extrapolated ( such a strange word, in my opinion ) into self improvement. There is a bunch of really cool artwork in this one as well. Go check out Mr. Hauck’s website.

The Power of Now by Eckart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle’s message is simple: living in the now is the truest path to happiness and enlightenment. And while this message may not seem stunningly original or fresh, Tolle’s clear writing, supportive voice and enthusiasm make this an excellent manual for anyone who’s ever wondered what exactly “living in the now” means. Foremost, Tolle is a world-class teacher, able to explain complicated concepts in concrete language. More importantly, within a chapter of reading this book, readers are already holding the world in a different container–more conscious of how thoughts and emotions get in the way of their ability to live in genuine peace and happiness.

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Just reading the writing in The Power of Now instills stillness within me. It feels good. Maybe it will for you? Maybe it won’t? The only way to know is to give it a shot. This is the newest book in the list and while I don’t agree with everything the book says, it helps me simply to ponder the things within the pages.

The Art of War by Sun Tzu

Conflict is an inevitable part of life, according to this ancient Chinese classic of strategy, but everything necessary to deal with conflict wisely, honorably, victoriously, is already present within us. Compiled more than two thousand years ago by a mysterious warrior-philosopher, The Art of War is still perhaps the most prestigious and influential book of strategy in the world, as eagerly studied in Asia by modern politicians and executives as it has been by military leaders since ancient times. As a study of the anatomy of organizations in conflict, The Art of War applies to competition and conflict in general, on every level from the interpersonal to the international. Its aim is invincibility, victory without battle, and unassailable strength through understanding the physics, politics, and psychology of conflict.

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How is military strategy tied to self help? Whether you admit it or not, you are at war with even yourself the minute you wake up in the morning. I personally used to have issues with anger – and I still need to keep a close eye on it – I believe I had these issues because I wasn’t using certain skills I was perfectly capable of using, but was just simply choosing not to for whatever reason. “everything necessary to deal with conflict wisely, honorably, victoriously, is already present within us”. Reality is based on conflict, no?

Which of these books have you read, if any?
Got any to add?

Guys, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley

By S.D. McKinley

S.D. McKinley lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. He was born in the first half of the 1980's and grew up in Wisconsin as a young boy, then moved to Georgia when he turned exactly twelve years old. During teenage years, he raced dirt track go karts and played guitar. He discovered his current love for all kinds of art after his mid-life crisis at 25 years old. S.D. McKinley began writing books in 2017.

2 replies on “Four Classic Self Help Books That Are in a Gray Area”

LOL, the Art of War as a self-help book – that’s a nice twist on this classic! 😉 Have you considered adding Machiavelli’s Prince as well? 😀 Seriously, though, I have a lot of respect for Jung; some of his ideas were brilliant.

Ah. Would you consider this a type of political self help book, Mr. Ola? I have been mostly unfamiliar with Nicolo Machiavelli, other than by hearing his name, but for those of you who are unaware you may read this entire book online @ Project Gutenberg. Thank you for stopping by and commenting Ms. G.

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