Highlights of my personal library

I was asked for a list of books I recommend, or which are in some way related to my own work. Instead of compiling a list by hand, I thought I'd share with you a few photographic highlights of my personal library. It's not complete, but these are the books I have used mostly in recent times. They inform my work either positively or negatively: that is, I don't necessarily recommend all of these books. In fact, I am very critical of a few of them. Be it as it may, I've taken them all seriously enough to form an opinion about them, and they have all influenced me in one way or another. Click on the pictures for a high-resolution version.

These are mostly technical books about artificial intelligence, neuronal modelling, and computer engineering. They inform my work insofar as understanding the brain and the mind requires understanding if and how we can replicate them algorithmically.

This is an eclectic shelf. Several books are about the phenomenological study of psychedelics. There are also several books by Alan Watts, an almost complete collection of Jacques Vallée, and a few formal, academic philosophy books.

Another very eclectic shelf comprising philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience. There is an almost complete collection of Patrick Harpur's volumes here, which have been influential on me.

Some mythology, folklore, philosophy, and psychology. Marie-Louise von Franz's collection on the psychology of fairytales is a highlight. Gebser's The Ever-Present Origin is another important book here. The book next to it, without a name on the spine, is The Kybalion.

My partial collection of Jung's volumes.

All kinds of things here, including a few volumes by physicist and mathematician Roger Penrose and two volumes on the exquisite science of emergence. Chalmers' classic The Conscious Mind is a highlight.

Again all kinds of things here. Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach is probably the highlight. Cheetham's All the World an Icon is also worth mentioning. The two massive volumes by Richard Tarnas are still waiting to be read. The thin, untitled volume on the extreme left is The Corpus Hermeticum.

Mostly psychology and philosophy of language, with a sprinkle of paleo-anthropology. Chomsky's "Language and Mind" and Hillman's "The Soul's Code" are my personal favourites.

Copyright © 2014 by Bernardo Kastrup. All rights are reserved.


  1. Replies
    1. Oh it's there alright... 4 volumes... look carefully and you shall find! ;) hehe

  2. I knew they had to be there! Found 'em this time :)

  3. Hello Bernado - Just watched your excellent talk at the science-nonduality conference. As an admirer I'm not surprised to see a fascinating and eclectic bookshelf. Personally, I'd take Chalmers down to the charity shop to make room for, say, Ulrich Mohrhoff and George Spencer Brown. but that's just me. It seems to me that you are part of a growing world-wide movement. Hope so.

    1. I hope so too, Peter. I took your book recommendations to heart, here and in the forum. Give me some time to acquire and read some of that stuff and I will comment further in the forum. Thanks, B.

  4. Good to see that you have "Vedanta Treatise" by Swamy Parthasarathy -- thats a good state, i have met and studied his book.

    You would do good to read Swami Vivekananda or Swami Ramatirtha.

    Or Yogi Ashwini or "Autobiography of a Yogi" by Swami Paramahansa Yoganandya to understand the experiential side of this science.

    1. Yes, I was given that book by an Indian friend who thought I'd like it a lot. I haven't read it yet, but recent feedback in social networks gave me new impetuous to tackle it rather sooner than later... ;)

  5. Hello Bernardo. I have been following your work via your appearances on Skeptiko and I am half way through 'Why Materialism is Baloney'.I was interested in this post about your personal library to see if there would be any books by Ken Wilber in your collection. I have been curious since I became aware of your work if you had read any of his books and if you had any thoughts about his take on all of this. I would think there is a lot of common ground between the two of you, although as I recall, he is generally critical of idealism as a solution.

    Michael Harris

  6. You have a lot of the same books as i do.

  7. I think you'd like any of the books of Nisargadatta Maharaj. The core of his teachings have no cultural/religious underpinnings. It's fun to compare the different ways you both say essentially the same things.


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