Recommended Reading on Personality, Spirituality, and Self-Discovery

7 Personality Types

Discover Your True Role To Achieve Success And Happinness


(Hay House, 2009)

Elizabeth Puttick, Ph.D., is a sociologist, trained counselor, and expert on personal development and comparative religion who currently works in the publishing industry. She is the author of Women in New Religions and leads seminars and lectures internationally. In this book she conveys the seven soul types identified in the Michael teachings (Server, Artisan, Warrior, Scholar, Sage, Priest and King) as seven “archetypes”. The book begins with a questionnaire to help the reader identify their own type. There then follows a chapter on each of the types (or Roles) which includes lots of useful information on how the role characteristically operates at home, at work and in relationships. Examples are also given of how the archetype has been portrayed in myth, fiction and film, and each chapter ends with a list of famous real-life examples.

See 7 Personality Types at

— a d v e r t i s e m e n t —

Character Styles


(W. W. Norton & Company, 1994)

Stephen M. Johnson, Ph.D., a professor of psychology in Menlo Park, California, divides his time between clinical teaching and the private practice of psychotherapy. In this book he presents an integrated personality theory, showing how core existential issues from childhood underlie the spectrum of character styles in adulthood. Johnson explains how each personality pattern manifests along a continuum from functional to dysfunctional — from normal coping to the nagging symptoms of neurosis to the severe pathology of personality disorders. He also describes the inner experience that makes each dysfunctional pattern both unique and worthy of empathy.

See Character Styles at

Character Strengths and Virtues

A Handbook and Classification


(Oxford University Press, 2004)

This groundbreaking handbook is the first progress report from a prestigious group of researchers who have undertaken the systematic classification and measurement of positive traits. Character Strengths and Virtues classifies twenty-four specific strengths (authenticity, persistence, kindness, and so on) under six broad virtues that consistently emerge across history and culture: wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence. Each strength is thoroughly examined in its own chapter, with special attention to its meaning, explanation, measurement, causes, correlates, consequences, and development across the life span, as well as to strategies for its deliberate cultivation. This book is not light reading for the layman, but it demands the attention of anyone interested in psychology and what it can teach about the good life.

See Character Strengths and Virtues at

Transforming Your Dragons

How To Turn Fear Patterns Into Personal Power


(Bear & Company, 1994)

The book outlines a unique, imaginative approach that helps you recognize your negative traits (“chief features” in the Michael system), understand their root causes, and work towards overcoming them. Psychotherapist Jose Stevens has been helping people overcome the fears that can cripple them for decades. He says: “you as an individual cannot transform yourself unless you personally face your own fears. Facing fear often means looking at the dark, shadowy side of yourself — not to feel guilty or shameful or to punish yourself, but to release the potential vitality locked up therein.” He describes the major fears and their manifestations as “dragons” — the dragons of arrogance, self-deprecation, impatience, martyrdom, self-destruction, greed, and stubbornness — and says they are “the cause of all human-created suffering.” Stevens explains how the dragons develop and gain their power (almost always in childhood), and how they impact adults. He then provides detailed instructions on how to “slay” each dragon. Numerous case studies reinforce his concepts. Readers wanting to regain their energy and know the power that comes from inner peace will find Transforming Your Dragons an excellent resource that’s full of practical help.

See Transforming Your Dragons at


The Adventure of Self-Discovery

Dimensions of Consciousness and New Perspectives in Psychotherapy and Inner Exploration


(State University of New York Press, 1988)

Stanislav Grof’s explorations of the human psyche began when he investigated the clinical uses of LSD at the Psychiatric Research Institute in his native Prague, Czechoslovakia. It quickly became clear that therapeutic LSD sessions were able to radically speed up the recovery process for many psychiatric disorders. It also became clear that what LSD revealed about the human psyche went far beyond the current understanding of mainstream, materialistic science.

After exploring LSD therapy for 20 years, and having moved to the United States, Grof spent a further 30 years using a natural alternative which he calls Holotropic Breathwork (a safe form of hyperventilation) to bring about the same therapeutic experiences.

The typical breathwork session begins with physical and emotional tensions surfacing. Continued fast, deep breathing brings intensification of physical and emotional pain until the suffering reaches a climax, followed by sudden release, with subsequent deep relaxation and even bliss. During the termination phase, any residual tensions can be released by massage of the painful area.

In early breathwork sessions, most people dramatically relive their birth. Later sessions bring transpersonal experiences such as past life traumas, Kundalini release and mystical oneness. There is a definite trend over many breathing sessions from difficult, negative episodes to more positive, healing experiences.

In this book, Grof has collated the variety of “holotropic” (towards-wholeness) experiences which underpin his advanced model of the human psyche. There are many vivid and startling examples to enjoy.

See Adventure of Self-Discovery at

See also:


The Pathwork of Self-Transformation


(Bantam, 1990)

For more than twenty years, Eva Pierrakos was the channel for a spirit entity known only as the Guide. Combining rare psychological depth and insight with an inspiring vision of human possibility, the Guide’s teachings, known as the Pathwork, have influenced many. Here, the core teachings of the Guide have been collected in one volume synthesizing its essential wisdom. Many people have described this book as life changing. There are certainly very few books that delve as deeply into the inner workings of the unconscious and how the lower self (the shadow and its various masks) interacts with the true, higher self. Paragraph after paragraph in these teachings provide a lifetime’s worth of insights.

See The Pathwork of Self-Transformation at

See also:

Soul and Reincarnation

Children’s Past Lives

How Past Life Memories Affect Your Child


(Bantam, 1998)

When her young son’s hysterical fear of loud noises is cured by past life regressionist Norman Inge, and her daughter’s fear of house fires is likewise laid to rest, Bowman, who had already been regressed by Inge, began to explore past-life regression techniques and theories, particularly as they relate to young children. Part memoir, part guidebook for parents, part summation of the works and philosophies of such respected authorities as Jungian therapist Roger Woolger, psychologist Helen Wambach and psychiatrist Ian Stephenson, among others, this book argues passionately for the existence of past lives and for the special abilities of young children to recall their pre-birth memories. Topics covered include death accounts by children, the way phobias may be connected with death in a past life, particularly a traumatic death, and the signs that indicate that a child is struggling with an unresolved past-life burden. An inspiring and ground-breaking book.

See Children’s Past Lives at

See also: Return From Heaven: Beloved Relatives Reincarnated Within Your Family ~ Carol Bowman

Journey of Souls

Case Studies of Life Between Lives


(Llewellyn, 1994)

Destiny of Souls

New Case Studies of Life Between Lives


(Llewellyn, 2000)

After stumbling upon a special hypnosis technique to reach the higher consciousness of his therapy clients, Dr. Newton discovered some amazing insights into what happens to us before birth and after death. Journey of Souls and its follow-up Destiny of Souls are based on the amazingly consistent memories of 70 different clients in Newton’s private practice who recalled their souls’ experiences between human lives. We learn many fascinating things about death, rebirth, reincarnation, the spirit world, and the nature of the human soul, each illustrated with accounts of first-hand experiences. I cannot recommend these books highly enough.

See Journey of Souls at

See Destiny of Souls at

See also:

Your Soul’s Plan

Discovering the Real Meaning of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born


(Frog Ltd, 2009)

Schwartz investigates the conversations and decisions that take place between lives. Interviewing about a dozen people who have experienced loss, illness, accidents, and addictions, and with the help of some talented spiritual mediums, he explores the idea of agreements made before birth to learn and experience certain life lessons. A deeply insightful guide as to why our lives unfold as they do and how to direct them to a deeper place. Highly recommended to anyone trying to understand the suffering, tragedy or loss that has caused them to question life, death and/or God.

See Your Soul’s Plan at

Life Before Life

Children’s Memories of Previous Lives


(St. Martin’s Griffin, 2008)

This popular examination of research into children’s reports of past-life memories describes a collection of 2,500 cases at the University of Virginia that investigators have carefully studied since Dr. Ian Stevenson began the work more than forty years ago. The children usually begin talking about a past life at the age of two or three and may talk about a previous family or the way they died in a previous life. Their statements have often been found to be accurate for one particular deceased individual, and some children have recognized members of the previous family. A number have also had birthmarks or defects that matched wounds on the body of the deceased person. Life Before Life presents the cases in a straightforward way and explores the possibility that consciousness may continue after the brain dies. It is a provocative and fascinating book that can challenge and ultimately change readers’ understandings about life and death.

See Life Before Life: Children’s Memories of Previous Lives at

The Michael Teachings

Messages From Michael


(Berkley Trade, 1995; first published 1979)

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s four Michael books are among the best examples of channelled wisdom … ever. Messages From Michael, the first in the series, tells the story of how the Michael teachings first came through a Ouija board to a shocked group of San Francisco residents in the 1970s. The source describes itself as a teaching entity residing on the causal plane of existence, and goes on to explain the nature of the soul and its evolution through reincarnation. The wisdom is remarkable for its clarity and detail: there are seven types of soul, there are five distinct stages of reincarnation, and there are various personality patterns known as overleaves, each of which comes in seven flavours. Once you understand soul type, soul age and overleaves, you will forever look at everyone, yourself included, in a completely different light. Suddenly, it is possible to understand every other human being on the planet in terms of their soul and personality. And, above all, in terms of the choices they make. For if there is one message that Michael bangs on about it, it is this: all is chosen.

The writing style is not to everyone’s taste — do we really care who ate what cookies in the middle of a reading? — and to be honest there are more readable introductions to the Michael teachings (see below). But this is the original and arguably the best in terms of capturing the essence of the Michael group entity and their teachings.

See Messages From Michael at

See also the three other books in this series:

The Michael Handbook

A Channeled System For Self Understanding


(Warwick Press, 1990)

This book presents the complete system of knowledge that make up the Michael teachings in a way that not only makes perfect sense, step by step, but is also fun. It describes how souls evolve and how their personalities operate through roles, goals, attitudes and chief features. It explains soul ages and how the number of lifetimes you have had affects the way you see the world. The authors provide easy to understand examples including famous people and amusing drawings.

See The Michael Handbook at

See also:

Book Reviews

10 thoughts on “Books

  1. I’d highly recommend three books by Michael Singer:
    “The Untethered Soul”
    “The Search for Truth”
    “Three Essays on Universal Law”

    -the first on this list, especially, has a very readable focus on what is our true home within – our consciousness. Very accessible, without teachings or frameworks or names for things other than consciousness. And very practical.
    -the second is his work with his students to create a model of the human system based on consciousness, with chakras, the mental frequencies, and the physical all included, as well as our spiritual or higher selves. I believe this book was created to link the spiritual perspective with the scientific. A bit dense to read at times, though very interesting and provides a very solid framework for the human system.
    -The third I have not completed all three sections, though what I have read so far does not miss the mark in any way.

    All are grounded and clearly written, and have not conflicted with any other teachings I have read.

  2. very nice books and among them, I have read some books by Dr.Ian Stevenson, master on Reincarnation in the world, who was Professor in Virginia University, US and some books by Dr.Satwant Pasricha, Clinical Psychologist at NIMHANS, Bangalore, India. Very nice and reliable books on the subject. Let viewers suggest some more books so that that can be added to my library. //rudresh agadi//

  3. Hi Barry, completely brilliant work you’re doing. You may want to check out: The Last Frontier, Julia Assante. What a stunner!

  4. Barry,
    I don’t know where to start my search/research to learn why I am here, who am I really. Can you give me some suggestions?
    Thank you

    • Hi Susan

      Well, that is generally what this website is about, but I understand you really want to get down to what’s personally true for you as an individual.

      Top suggestion: Take an Enlightenment Intensive.

      Second: Get a personal Michael reading from one of the Michael channels – see the bottom of my page on The Michael Teachings.

      Third: Do a range of personal growth groups – anything that helps you look beyond the surface into your inner self (warts and all!).

      Fourth: You could send your question to the wise spirits here:

      Five: Meditate. There are 1,000s of different ways of doing so, but the two that have worked most for me are:
      – asking myself for my deepest truth
      – surrendering myself to the cosmic flow of pure energy

      It’s a good idea make a “sense of truth” your touchstone – “Is this true for me?” “Does this feel right?” “What else is true about me?” “What is my ultimate truth?”

      And whatever you do, don’t join a cult.

      Hope this helps, and good luck!


  5. I am really happy I came across this website and I think your book recommendations are fantastic! I have added quite a few to my “TBR” list. I hope this is an ever growing list for you! I would love to recommend a book I read recently called “The Bible of Mithra: A Book of Clarity” by author Andre Atabaki ( Spirituality has always fascinated me and I love to see others perspective on it. This book was very enlightening and obviously very well thought out and researched. It is nice to engage in a deep and spiritual text without having the point of view forced upon you. Self help through conscious altering awareness, very cool. A very good read; I hope it will make it to your list of recommendations!

    • Thanks Deborah – I’ll take a look at that one.

      PS I have lots more to add here so stand by for an update in near future.


  6. You say there is a place we go to wait to be born again our soul actually picks out the fetus ?? Why would a soul choose a fetus inside a drug addict or bad mother then ? Wouldn’t the soul what to be born from better and is there any books written about this in between place where our soul goes to wait till it chooses again ? Thank you and hoping you can find me this info. Melissa

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