Suggested Reading

Below is a list of suggested reading to help you expand your knowledge of the conference themes. None of the reading is required.

The American Soul: Rediscovering the Wisdom of the Founders by Jacob Needleman

An Endless Trace: The Passionate Pursuit of Wisdom in the West by Christopher Bamford, Introduction by Philip Zaleski

Alchemy (The Weiser Concise Guide Series) by Brian Cotnoir (Author), James Wasserman (Editor)

The Spiritual Teachings of Ralph Waldo Emerson by Richard Geldard

Other Powers by Barbara Goldsmith

Nature and Culture: American Landscape and Painting, 1825-1875 by Barbara Novak

The Esoteric Origins of the American Renaissance by Arthur Versluis

Sacred Earth: The Spiritual Landscape of Native America by Arthur Versluis

Master of the Mysteries: The Life of Manly Palmer Hall by Louis Sahagun

Paschal Beverly Randolph: A Nineteenth-Century Black American Spiritualist, Rosicrucian, and Sex Magician (Suny Series in Western Esoteric Traditions) by John Patrick Deveney

Emerson: The Mind on Fire by Robert D. Richardson Jr.

Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind by Robert D. Richardson Jr.

The Golden Thread: The Ageless Wisdom of the Western Mystery Traditions by Joscelyn Godwin

The Inner West by Jay Kinney

Free Love in Utopia: John Humphrey Noyes and the Origin of the Oneida Communityby George Noyes (Author), Lawrence Foster (Author)

Shadow Culture: Psychology and Spirituality in America by Eugene Taylor

Woodstock 1969 - The First Festival: 3 Days of Peace and Music by Elliot Landy

In Search of the Hidden Treasure by Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan

Sisters in Spirit: Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Influences on Early American Feministsby Sally Roesch Wagner

The Woman's Bible: A Classic Feminist Perspective by Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Green Hermeticism: Alchemy and Ecology by Peter Lamborn Wilson, Christopher Bamford, Kevin Townley, Pir Zia Inayat Khan

The Riddle of America by John Wulsin (Editor)

Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Essays and Lectures: Nature: Addresses and Lectures / Essays: First and Second Series / Representative Men / English Traits / The Conduct of Life (Hardcover) by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Whitman: Poetry and Prose by Walt Whitman (Author), Justin Kaplan (Editor)

Basic Call To Consciousness by Akwesasne Notes

Gehennical Fire: The Lives of George Starkey, an American Alchemist in the Scientific Revolution by William R. Newman

Mr. Sammler's Planet by Saul Bellow

Hope on a Tightrope: Words and Wisdom by Cornel West

Parting The Waters - America In The King Years - 1954-63 by Taylor Branch

Exiled in the Land of the Free: Democracy, Indian Nations & the U.S. Constitution by Oren Lyons, Donald Grinde, Robert Venables, John Mohawk, Jr., Howard Berman, Vine Deloria, Laurence Hauptman, Curtis Berkey

The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Martin Luther King Jr. and Clayborne Carson

An Autobiographical Novel by Kenneth Rexroth

 

The American Soul: Rediscovering the Wisdom of the Founders
  - Jacob Needleman
The critically acclaimed work that asks: What was the spiritual vision of the founding fathers - and how can we reclaim it today? Looking at the lives of America's founders - including Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin - scholar and bestselling author Jacob Needleman explores their core of inner beliefs, their religious and spiritual sensibilities, and their individual conception of the purpose of life. The founders, Needleman argues, conceived of an "inner democracy": a continual pursuit of wisdom and self-improvement that would undergird the outer democracy in which we live today. Any understanding of America as a nation of spiritual values will in the years ahead require Needleman's work as a point of reference.

 

An Endless Trace
The Passionate Pursuit of Wisdom in the West

  - Christopher Bamford, Introduction by Philip Zaleski
Two powerful motives weave beneath the surface of our spiritual history: the desire to know and the desire to love. The secret history of the West is the story of saints, mystics, alchemists, poets, and philosophers trying to unite these two streams and celebrate - in the world and in their own persons - the sacred marriage of Logos and Sophia, Word and Wisdom. This book, an impressionistic history of the Western spiritual tradition, follows the traces - ancient Greece into modern times - of those who sought to know the world and themselves, while realizing that they must overcome themselves to love the world and one another. To purchase and for more information please click here

 

Alchemy (The Weiser Concise Guide Series)
  - Brian Cotnoir (Author), James Wasserman (Editor)
In The Weiser Concise Guide to Alchemy, Brian Cotnoir offers a detailed, step-by-step introduction of Alchemy that explores its mysteries while illustrating its use as a modern spiritual system of attainment. He provides an overview of the history of Alchemy, from the first meldings of Egyptian technology, through the Middle Ages - the golden age of alchemy - right up to contemporary techniques. He demystifies the relationship between Alchemy and chemistry, and he provides evidence to detractors that Alchemy is much more than a medieval form of psychotherapy. (The guide includes practical laboratory experiments that safely, and intelligently, lead readers to an understanding of this ancient art and spiritual practice.)

 

The Spiritual Teachings of Ralph Waldo Emerson
  - Richard Geldard
No one who has ever felt the life-changing pull of Emerson's enormous mind, has ever doubted his power or his greatness; though we are often puzzled to know whether he is primarily a poet, an essayist, or a philosopher. Richard Geldard is not puzzled at all by this: he has written a book which plainly shows the essential Emerson to be a teacher, the Socrates of Massachusetts, a man with a message that we need to hear today.

 

Other Powers
  - Barbara Goldsmith
A highly readable combination of history and biography, Other Powers interviews the stories of some of the most colorful social, political, and religious figures of America's Victorian era with the courageous and notorious life of Victoria Woodhull - psychic, suffragette, publisher, presidential candidate, and self-confessed practitioner of free love. It is set amid the battle for women's suffrage, the Spiritualist movement that swept across the nation in the age of Radical Reconstruction following the Civil War, and the bitter fight that pitted black men against white women in the struggle for the right to vote.

 

Nature and Culture: American Landscape and Painting, 1825-1875
  - Barbara Novak
In this richly illustrated volume, featuring more than fifty black-and-white illustrations and a beautiful eight-page color insert, Barbara Novak describes how, for fifty extraordinary years, American society drew from the idea of Nature its most cherished ideals. Between 1825 and 1875, all kinds of Americans - artists, writers, scientists, as well as everyday citizens - believed that God in Nature could resolve human contradictions, and that nature itself confirmed the American destiny.

 

The Esoteric Origins of the American Renaissance
  - Arthur Versluis
The early presence of esotericism in North America has not been much studied, and even less so the indebtedness to esotericism of some major American literary figures. In this book, Arthur Versluis breaks new ground, showing that many writers of the so-called American Renaissance drew extensively on and were inspired by Western esoteric currents.

 

Sacred Earth: The Spiritual Landscape of Native America
  - Arthur Versluis
The author reconstructs the archetypal and symbolic significance of indigenous rituals and sacred sites, placing Native American spirituality in the context of the world's great religions. The comparison illustrates the richness and universality of the native approach to the earth as a cherished being and reveals the poverty of our present-day attitudes toward the natural environment and its living creatures.

 

Master of the Mysteries: The Life of Manly Palmer Hall
  - Louis Sahagun
Master of The Mysteries: The Life of Manly Palmer Hall offers an intimate portrait of this elusive luminary who set as his life's work the daunting task of reconciling scientific reason with ancient wisdom-issues that seekers and scientists still struggle with today. Author Louis Sahagun draws from Hall's massive archives and a wealth of interviews to provide an insider's view of the birth of a metaphysical subculture that continues to have a profound influence on movies, television, music, books, art, and thought.

 

Paschal Beverly Randolph: A Nineteenth-Century Black American Spiritualist,
Rosicrucian, and Sex Magician (Suny Series in Western Esoteric Traditions)

  - John Patrick Deveney
Paschal Beverly Randolph, an African American who carved his own eccentric path in the mid-19th century from the slums of New York to the courts of Europe, performed as a spiritualist trance medium. Self-educated, he became one of the first Black American novelists and took a leading part in raising black soldiers for the Union army and educating Freedmen during the Civil War. His most enduring claim to fame is the crucial role he played in the transformation of spiritualism, a medium's passive reception of messages from the spirits of the dead, into occultism, the active search for personal spiritual realization and inner vision. This is the first scholarly work on Randolph, and it includes the full text of his two most important manuscripts on sexual magic.

 

Emerson: The Mind on Fire
  - Robert D. Richardson Jr.
Ralph Waldo Emerson is one of the most important figures in the history of American thought, religion, and literature. The vitality of his writings and the unsettling power of his example influence readers to this day. Drawing on a vast amount of new material, this award-winning book brings to life an Emerson very different from the stereotype of the passionless Sage of Concord, providing a rewarding intellectual biography that is also a portrait of the whole man.

 

Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind
  - Robert D. Richardson Jr.
This biography of Henry Thoreau offers insight into his social activism, his interest in fine arts, William Gilpin and John Ruskin's influence on his nature writing, and his involvement in, and influence by, the Agassiz-Darwin debate over "The Origin of Species."

 

The Golden Thread: The Ageless Wisdom of the Western Mystery Traditions
  - Joscelyn Godwin
In this concise survey, Godwin identifies the great movers and shakers of the Western Mystery Tradition, providing a brief history and description of each. Moving chronologically from ancient Egypt to 20th-Century Europe, he covers Hermes, Zoroaster, Orpheus, Pythagoras, Plato, the Gnostics, the alchemists and Rosicrucians, Freemasons, and the Theosophists, as well as others. Godwin views each of these traditions as stages of spiritual development, but because all stem from the perennial wisdom, the knowledge they offer can be just as relevant and transformative today as it was hundreds of years ago.

 

The Inner West
  - Jay Kinney
In The Inner West, more than twenty essays by seventeen leading authors shine a light on some of the most mysterious and closely held aspects of the Western tradition. Its authors bring to life the symbolist and occult philosophies that populate the history and beliefs of the Western way. These same philosophies - which include variants of Christian and Jewish mysticism, and the teachings of figures like Rudolf Steiner and G. I. Gurdjieff - can present a deep and different spiritual path for today's seekers.

 

Free Love in Utopia: John Humphrey Noyes and the Origin of the Oneida Community
  - George Noyes (Author), Lawrence Foster (Author)
The "free love" Oneida Community, founded in New York state during the turbulent decades before the Civil War, practiced an extraordinary system of "complex marriage" as part of its sustained experiment in creating the kingdom of heaven on earth. For more than thirty years, two hundred adult members considered themselves heterosexually married to the entire community rather than to a single monogamous partner. Key selections from a large collection of primary documents detailing Oneida's early years were compiled by George Wallingford Noyes, nephew of the founder. The present volume, astutely edited and introduced by noted communitarian scholar Lawrence Foster, marks the first publication of G. W. Noyes's remarkable manuscript, excerpted from the irreplaceable original documents that were deliberately burned after his death.

 

Shadow Culture: Psychology and Spirituality in America
  - Eugene Taylor
A modern Varieties of Religious Experience that traces the sources of the New Age movement through three hundred years of "alternative" spirituality. America is witnessing a third Great Awakening, an explosion of interest in esoteric and mystical religious experience. Shadow Culture finds the roots of the New Age in the sermons of Jonathan Edwards, the writings of Emerson and Thoreau, and the counterculture of the 1960s. It will appeal to anyone interested in the resurgence of spiritualism in America, from New Age seekers to Gnostics, from agnostics to Unitarians, from Swedenborgians to practicing Buddhists.

 

Woodstock 1969 - The First Festival: 3 Days of Peace and Music
  - Elliot Landy
In the turbulent sixties, the Vietnam War was raging. The frontiers of civil rights and personal consciousness were being redefined. Young Americans were challenging and rejecting traditional values and the society in which they lived - the so-called Establishment. The Woodstock Festival was a manifestation of this group consciousness - the desire to create a free, loving and just world. Elliott Landy, the event's official photographer, created this book to capture and preserve the true vision and pure essence of the festival - what it was like to be part of the sixties, sharing the spirit of unlimited hope, optimism, and belief that the world can be made better through peace and love.

 

In Search of the Hidden Treasure
  - Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan
Like no other book, In Search of the Hidden Treasure captures the centuries-old traditions of Sufism. Its pages allow the contemporary reader to become immersed in the words, sights, and wisdom of this powerful mystical wing of Islam. Here is the world of whirling dervishes; of mysterious alleyways where chanting is heard all day long; and of a young poet named Rumi, who writes impassioned love songs to God.

 

Sisters in Spirit: Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Influences on Early American Feminists
  - Sally Roesch Wagner
This groundbreaking examination of the early influences on feminism may revolutionize feminist theory. Distinguished historian and contemporary feminist scholar Sally Roesch Wagner has compiled extensive research to analyze the source of the revolutionary vision of the early feminists. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Matilda Joslyn Gage, and Lucretia Mott had formed friendships with their Native neighbors that enabled them to understand a world view far different, and in many ways superior, to the patriarchal one that existed at that time.

 

The Woman's Bible: A Classic Feminist Perspective
  - Elizabeth Cady Stanton
The publication of The Woman's Bible in 1895 and 1898 represented the feminist pioneer's last strike at the roots of the ideology behind her gender's subordinate role in society. In keeping with her characteristic radical individualism, Stanton attacks religious orthodoxy on a political rather than scholarly basis. This clarion call to action consists of a book-by-book examination of the Bible, placing events in their historical context, interpreting passages as both allegory and fact, and comparing them with the myths of other cultures. It endures as an extraordinary document because of the questions it addresses, the topics it covers, and its still-resonant sincerity.

 

Green Hermeticism: Alchemy and Ecology
  - Peter Lamborn Wilson, Christopher Bamford, Kevin Townley, Pir Zia Inayat Khan
During spring and summer 2006, Pir Zia Khan convened a series of gatherings to begin to unfold the contemporary meaning of ancient, sacred science for our time. Green Hermeticism is a partial record of that meeting. Peter Lamborn Wilson explores the many ramifications of the alternative worldview offered by Hermeticism; Christopher Bamford provides a broad historical overview of the tradition from the Ancient Mysteries to contemporary manifestations of the alchemical tradition; while Kevin Townley brings a practical dimension to the gathering, teaching the preparation of herbal elixirs and demonstrating that cosmology and philosophy can become a truly healing path for the Earth. Green Hermeticism is necessary reading for anyone seeking a spiritual and cultural path for the healing of the current ecological and cultural crisis.

 

The Riddle of America
  - John Wulsin (Editor)
"Essays Exploring North America's 'Native Expression-Spirit" published by the Association of Waldorf Schools in North America.

 

Walden
  - Henry David Thoreau
Walden is the classic account of two years spent by Henry David Thoreau living at Walden Pond near Concord, Massachusetts. The story is detailed in its accounts of Thoreau's day-to-day activities, observations, and undertakings to survive out in the wilderness for two years. Thoreau's journal is an exquisite account of a man seeking a more simple life by living in harmony with nature. In today's fast-paced consumer-driven society, the austere life style endorsed by Thoreau is as relevant and refreshing as ever.

 

Essays and Lectures: Nature: Addresses and Lectures / Essays: First and Second Series
/ Representative Men / English Traits / The Conduct of Life (Hardcover)

  - Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Library of America is an award-winning, nonprofit program dedicated to publishing America's best and most significant writing in handsome, enduring volumes, featuring authoritative texts. Hailed as "the most important book-publishing project in the nation's history" (Newsweek), this acclaimed series is restoring America's literary heritage in "the finest-looking, longest-lasting edition ever made" (New Republic).

 

Whitman: Poetry and Prose
  - Walt Whitman (Author), Justin Kaplan (Editor)
Contains the first and "deathbed" editions of Leaves of Grass, and virtually all of Whitman's prose, with reminiscences of 19th-century New York City, notes on the Civil War, especially his service in Washington hospitals and glimpses of President Lincoln, and attacks on the misuses of national wealth after the war.

 

Basic Call To Consciousness
  - Akwesasne Notes
This book is a compelling critique of Western culture and an eloquent text on the rights of Indigenous nations. New contributions by John Mohawk, Chief Oren Lyons, and Jose Barreiro provide an added depth and continuity to the original edition. Basic Call covers the 1977 conference on "Discrimination Against the Indigenous Populations of the Americas" hosted by the Non-Governmental Organizations of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. The issues addressed in Basic Call to Consciousness are as relevant today as when first written. This book speaks for the basic rights of humankind and all our relations.

 

Gehennical Fire: The Lives of George Starkey, an American Alchemist in the Scientific
Revolution

  - William R. Newman
Both the quest for natural knowledge and the aspiration to alchemical wisdom played crucial roles in the Scientific Revolution, as William R. Newman demonstrates in this fascinating book about George Starkey (1628-1665), America's first famous scientist. Beginning with Starkey's unusual education in colonial New England, Newman traces out his many interconnected careers - natural philosopher, alchemist, chemist, medical practitioner, economic projector, and creator of the fabulous adept, "Eirenaeus Philalethes." Newman reveals the profound impact Starkey had on the work of Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, Samuel Hartlib, and other key thinkers in the realm of early modern science.

 

Humboldt's Gift
  - Saul Bellow
Saul Bellow's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel explores the long friendship between Charlie Citrine, a young man with an intense passion for literature, and the great poet Von Humboldt Fleisher. At the time of his death, however, Humboldt is a failure, and Charlie's life is falling apart: his career is at a standstill, and he's enmeshed in an acrimonious divorce, infatuated with a highly unsuitable young woman, and involved with a neurotic mafioso. And then Humboldt acts from beyond the grave, bestowing upon Charlie an unexpected legacy that may just help him turn his life around

 

Mr. Sammler's Planet
  - Saul Bellow
Mr. Artur Sammler, Holocaust survivor, intellectual, and occasional lecturer at Columbia University in 1960s New York City, is a "registrar of madness," a refined and civilized being caught among people crazy with the promises of the future (moon landings, endless possibilities). His Cyclopean gaze reflects on the degradations of city life while looking deep into the sufferings of the human soul. "Sorry for all and sore at heart," he observes how greater luxury and leisure have only led to more human suffering. To Mr. Sammler - who by the end of this ferociously unsentimental novel has found the compassionate consciousness necessary to bridge the gap between himself and his fellow beings - agood life is one in which a person does what is "required of him." To know and to meet the "terms of the contract" was as true a life as one could live. At its heart, this novel is quintessential Bellow: moral, urbane, sublimely humane.

 

Hope on a Tightrope: Words and Wisdom
  - Cornel West
The New York Times best-selling author of Race Matters and Democracy Matters offers open-hearted wisdom for our times in this courageous collection of quotations, speech excerpts, letters, philosophy, and photographs that reflect the profound humanity that fuels the passionate public intellectual. In a world that seesaws between unconditional love and acceptance and blind hatred and exclusion, Hope on a Tightrope will satisfy readers in search of deep wells of inspiration and challenge that marries the mind to the heart.

 

Parting The Waters - America In The King Years - 1954-63
  - Taylor Branch
Traces the birth of the American civil rights movement and profiles Martin Luther King, Jr., detailing the roles played by key figures around him and in government during the period up to the assassination of President Kennedy.

 

Exiled in the Land of the Free: Democracy, Indian Nations & the U.S. Constitution
  - Oren Lyons, Donald Grinde, Robert Venables, John Mohawk, Jr., Howard Berman,
Vine Deloria, Laurence Hauptman, Curtis Berkey
Exiled in the Land of the Free is a dramatic recounting of early American history and an eloquent call for reform that will not be ignored. Written by eight prominent Native American leaders and scholars, each a specialist in his area of expertise, it is a landmark volume, sure to be read by generations to come.

 

The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  - Martin Luther King Jr. and Clayborne Carson
Clayborne Carson has created a book that remarkably approximates a self-portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. Delving into all aspects of this man's life, the work covers his boyhood, his education, and his emergence as a leader. From his relationships with his wife and children, to his dealings with the important political figures of the era, this book defines the history of a genuine hero.

 

An Autobiographical Novel
  - Kenneth Rexroth
This edition revises expands Kenneth Rexroths classic 1966 Autobiographical Novel. Rexroth’s original memoir, which Publishers Weekly called “one of the most lively and intelligent autobiographies we have read in years,”’ detailed his life until 1927, when he was 22; this new edition spans two additional decades of his literary career.

 
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Esoteric Upstate New York:
Iroquois Nations, Feminists, Utopians and 21st Century Esotericists
 
 
 
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