There have been many books that I have read over the years that I have found incredibly useful in helping me understand the world around me. Each book has helped me on my journey to who I am today. I will be adding to this list as I discover new books that move me.
How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
This particular book is full of incredibly insightful philosophy that has had a dramatic impact on my thinking about freedom. What is particularly nice about this book is that it actually teaches you how to be free today. This book is focused on identifying common mental traps that have been subtly engrained into our thinking by society. Once you free your mind from this mental baggage you will be a long way down the road to freedom.
Personal Development for Smart People: The Conscious Pursuit of Personal Growth
Steve Pavlina is one of my favorite writers. He takes an experimental approach to systematically improving his life and then shares his findings for all of us. It was through his blog that I was first introduced to subjective reality. His writings on lucid dreaming, polyphonic sleeping, and blogging have been most fascinating. His approach to life is very logical and practical and based upon his writings you would assume he would be a libertarian. Unfortunately, he hasn't quite awakened to libertarianism despite it being otherwise compatible with his world view. I was so surprised and disappointed by this that I felt compelled to write the article "Libertarianism for New Agers" in the hope that we could win him over to our cause.
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
This is a more spiritual book that opened my eyes to the illusion of time and helped me find peace in any situation. It was through this book that I was finally able to come to terms with the injustice of my divorce and live in peace. Once you internalize these teachings you gain an entirely new perspective on the world. This new perspective frees you from any and all fear. Being free from fear is the foundation of freedom and is what gives me the courage to pursue freedom even in the face of retaliation by the government.
I carry a copy of this book with me on my phone and read it when ever I travel. I find it is helpful to take time to remind myself of these lessons so that I don't get lost in the busyness of life.
Mises on Money
This was one of the first books to open my eyes to how money works. It is through this book that you can begin to see through the myths that surround money and learn to see it as just another commodity.
How to Be Invisible: Protect Your Home, Your Children, Your Assets, and Your Life
Privacy is something that is expensive and time consuming to acquire and maintain, if you do not plan ahead then you will not have it when you need it. These days you never know when you will be sued or acquire a stalker. At any moment your life could be turned upside down. I do not practice all of the techniques described in this book, but reading it was worth while because it opened my eyes to daily risks that most of us are unaware of.
Adventures in Legal Land
This is one of my favorite books that is right up there with Cracking the Code. We all know that the very existence of government is based upon logically inconsistent arguments. This inconsistency flows through the entire body of laws and regulations. Governments around the world must work very hard to maintain the appearance of legitimacy, consistency, and fairness. Adventures in Legal land is an entertaining look at walking the courts into a corner using their own rules. I think my favorite technique is how he fights traffic tickets by getting the court to declare the officer incompetent to testify. You should read this book for no other reason than to be aware of its arguments in the event you are ever at the mercy of a bureaucrat.
Cracking the Code
This book was incredibly useful in helping me understand the nature of how governments manipulate the wording of laws to be legally compatible with the constitution while simultaneously tricking the average man into voluntarily submitting to non-existent laws. While I agree with how this book interprets the letter of the law, I do not recommend making decisions under the assumption that the government will actually follow the letter of the law. This book taught me that the law doesn't matter, all that matters is what is enforced. Once you realize this it will shatter any illusion that we are living under the rule of law. I also highly recommend the book "Upholding the Law - And Other Observations" by the same author.
Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever?
Part of being free is being healthy, so I am very interested in anything that can improve my health without much effort. Because of this book I bought an earthing sheet that I sleep on every night. It is hard to say how big of a difference it has made in my life because I don't know how I would have felt without it. The electrical science and philosophy behind earthing makes sense to me and the experiments and testimonials I have read are quite compelling. One thing is for certain, it cannot hurt and if even a fraction of the claimed benefits are true then it is well worth the cost.
A New Sacred Geometry: The Art and Science of Frank Chester
This is the book that opened my eyes to the world of sacred geometry and its relevance toward advancing scientific discovery. Frank Chester discovered a new platonic solid, a 7 sided polyhedron with surfaces of equal area. What is amazing about his discovery is how it relates to the science of the heart and vortexes. You will never think of your heart the same way again after reading this book. Hint: it isn't a pump. I highly recommend looking into Frank Chester's work.
Against Intellectual Monopoly
This book presents an incredibly compelling case for eliminating intellectual property because it is fundamentally incompatible with physical property rights and harms economic progress. This book is a large part of why I put everything in the Public Domain.
I have a lot of respect for the philosophy of "shrugging" and abandoning those that consume more than they produce. This is a large part of what BitShares is about, creating an alternative community much like Galt's Gulch. I don't agree with everything in the book, but found it to be quite refreshing. If only we could convince the best and brightest to abandon the current economic system and only associate with members of the BitShares community.
No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority
This is the book convinced me to stop worshiping the constitution of the United States and abandon the notion that democracy is a legitimate form of government. You will see that I only support non-binding polling of public opinion. We are working on technologies to provide provably honest online elections for the sole purpose of accurately measuring public opinion.
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life
I thought I was a fairly good communicator before I discovered Marshall Rosenberg, but now I know better. I spent so much time talking about the non-aggression principle as it applied to physical aggression that it never occurred to me that speech could be violent. I knew how I felt when people said certain things to me that 'hurt'. I knew that I didn't like being pressured into things or blamed for something I have no control over. After reading about Nonviolent Communication things really started to click. It gave me new ears to hear what those around me were saying and made it easier for me to respond in love rather than anger. At the end of the day I found the principles behind nonviolent communication to be in alignment with my overall world view and have successfully applied it to great effect in my relationships.