Many people have written to me asking what they should read to properly educate themselves. Here is a list of books that I found particularly influential in my intellectual development. I wrote number thirteen, Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief. It was published in 1999. It was heavily influenced by the authors of all the books listed below.
Trigger warning: These are the most terrifying books I have encountered.
In the lecture I included with this post (see below) I discuss the suffering inextricably associated with life, attributing some of it to tragedy, a necessary consequence of human limitation, and the remainder to evil, the conscious and malevolent attempt to worsen Being. I suggest that human beings can tolerate tragedy — even triumph over it, if they are guided by truth — but that evil is a far more insidious, subtle and damaging force.