Doron S. Antrim:  Activist/Change Agent,  Retired” Businessman & Entrepreneur,
Lifelong Seeker of Spiritual Truth, Philosopher, Engineer, Musician

Doron’s Spiritual Journey

The Seven Most Influential Books

While I am not a voracious reader (I am usually too busy with other pursuits), I have always read, primarily non-fiction with a focus on philosophy, science, and history, topics that could grow my concept and beliefs about human spirituality.  Of the few hundred books I have read or scanned over the past 50 years, the following seven have had the most influence on my spiritual development.

Author, Title

Influence on my spiritual development

Beck, Charlotte (Joko);
Everyday Zen: Love and Work

By far THE most influential book in my spiritual development. It taught me Zen philosophy and how to meditate.  Of the many authors/teachers I have read on Zen and on meditating, Joko alone focuses on the most difficult challenges – how to integrate one’s practice into the work-a-day world.

James, William;
The Varieties of Religious Experience

James gave me powerful confirmation of the transcendentalist, metaphysical hypothesis about God and human spirituality that I had gained from Dr. Seale, and his New Thought Church.  He drew from a study of 214 accounts of individual religious experiences from across different cultures to summarize characteristics of the spiritual life and beliefs.  They also share significantly with beliefs in Zen and other Eastern religions.

Clark, Glenn;
The Soul’s Sincere Desire

This thin book taught me how to pray effectively.  It is based on an article that appeared in the August 1924 issue of the Atlantic magazine, The Soul’s Sincere Desire, by Glen Clark.  It is the personal record of a man who has learned to pray as naturally as to breath, and whose every prayer is answered.  The interest in the article was so tremendous that the entire edition of the magazine was sold out at once and hundreds of requests to reprint it were received.  This propelled Dr. Clark to prepare the book, which shows the miraculous force of prayer in his life and exemplifies a technique of prayer that can offer practical aid and comfort to many people – as it has to me.

Frankl, Viktor;
Man’s Search for Meaning

This powerful little book has given me guidance in how to endure anything.  It tells how Viktor Frankyl, a renowned Austrian psychiatrist before WWII, endured as a long-time prisoner in bestial Nazi concentration camps where he found himself stripped to naked existence.  His father, mother, brother, and his wife died in the camps so that, excepting for his sister, Frankyl’s entire family perished.  How could he – every possession lost, suffering from hunger, cold and brutality, hourly expecting extermination – how could he find life worth preserving?  The answer has been a guide throughout my life.

Smith, Adam;
Powers of Mind

I have long believed that to live an examined life I must examine and know my mind, to the degree possible.  This book provides reporting that is both broad and deep on the powers of mind and is written by a brilliant investigator and author.  Adam Smith reports on: frontiers of brain and consciousness research, movements like Transcendental Meditation; meetings with and research on Zen Buddhist monks, swamis, and mystics; experiments into extrasensory perception and mind/body control; and much more.  While the reporting is dated (the book was published in 1975) it provides a solid introduction to the field that has expanded since and is a valuable primer on the powers of mind.

Wheatley, Margaret;
Leadership and the New Science

I was steeped in trials and travails of leadership and management when this brilliant book was published to high praise in 1994, and it gave me new perspectives on how to be an effective leader.  Wheatley seeks realities from  what she calls “the new science” -- research in quantum mechanics, chaos and complexity theory, and other fields -- that have relevance to organizations and leadership.  The lessons for leaders that she draws from these fields resonated strongly with me.

Capra, Fritjof;
The Tao of Physics

This book provided strong reinforcement for my spiritual beliefs.  The author, a particle physicist, correlates the philosophy of Eastern religions with the strange, counterintuitive realities of the quantum universe in which we exist. To me, spiritual beliefs become realities when illuminated by the light of scientific reality, of the way the universe works.


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