The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain
This one is most fundamental: we have two brains, meshed by nerve-fibers called the "corpus callosum", and in Logic/Language/Linearity/Reductionism mode the Left-Brain-Mode is dominant, suppressing R-Mind.
The _problem_ is that our culture/mental-habit assumes that L-Mind mode is self-inherently-valid and _reality_ cannot bear any other mode.
( or L-Mode's /habit/ cannot bear/permit the existence of other mode-of-Mind )
Betty Edwards' third-edition work is a condensed decades-of-her-developing-R-Mind-in-others, in growing totality-knowing, or R-Mind. She includes quotes from neuroscientists, artists, philosophers and students as well as precisely chosen exercises.
Her 'killer class' lasts 5 days, though it took me years of intermittent work to get somewhere ( braindamage, so I had to try only a little at a time ), her book gives the needed information, the necessary sequence and process, the necessary insight into gaining one's own /totality-seeing/ mode of knowing.
Nothing I recommend for everyone can be as globally deepening and empowering as recommending one work-through ( rather than merely read ) this .. and gain one's own R-Mind knowing, and therefore have _both_ modes of knowing.
Her website is www.drawright.com
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
This one I recommend because it is centered, considered, valid, and /in our culture/ deeply needed... ( because society's assumption is that our worth /must not/ interfere with society's process... )
He undoes the assumption that the /urgent/ is what we need be doing, rather it is the /important/ we need be doing.
He points out that a change in our mode happened after the war ( WWI or WWII, sorry ), when we went from principles-mode to appearances/image/personality-mode, and that this shift undermined our worth-growing, our very human development.
He gives systematically developed principles and means of rooting one's worth well, in reality itself, and of undoing the undermined-ness we're unconsciously trained into.
Corps Business: The 30 Management Principles of the U.S. Marines
This one is /vital/ effectiveness. Freedman makes few erors, one being a labelling of 'stress' when the context he's describing is actually development of understanding ( hospital-staff who put themselves into a patient-perspective by weekend-long role-playing, offsite ). This book I found /thrilling/ .. because /someone gets it/!!
These three works, together, give deeply, more of one's own capability and one's own developing, than any other three I know.
Other gnostic-growing recommendations include...
Sexual Energy and Yoga
The basis of realization, is channeling creative energy through spiritual consciousness.
In this book she gives us evidence that others had clued-in to the channelling, gives us the knowing that sexual-/energy/ is the basis of evolution
( think about it: we know that diversity /really/ got going when sexual differentiation/reproduction got going, single-celled organisms budding and making clone-daughters of themselfs doesn't create diversity anywhere /near/ as quickly as sexual reproduction, but she pointed out that even /within/ an organism, sexual energy drives evolution -- guys excel /to gain woman-attention/!! And every development one experiences is part of one's continuum's evolving... )
She points out that creative energy can be channelled bodily, OR psychically, points out that psychically committing/expressing creation _is_not_ inferior to body-expression of creative capability, and explains the context and function of psychic tantra/tension.
Organizing From the Inside Out
This one is an excellent basis for undoing obstacles to one's inner-peace and relaxation. Instead of organizing from the outside-in ( choose the system-of-organization, make one fit in-it ), she points out that it is /our/ organization, and asks us to stop jamming /our/ harmony .. and discover the organization that works our way.
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
The Hidden Jesus: A New Life
First-time I'd come across /living/ christianity...
Power Yoga: The Total Strength and Flexibility Workout
( correct yoga )
Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art
Indian and Japanese and a Lebanese/Mexican hybrid cooking are my favourites, for Japanese cooking this one you want.
Two sections, the methods, and then the recipes. Exceptional. For health.
the Saxon Mathbooks ( www.saxonpub.com )
If one need /understand/ and /know/ mathematics, any level, these are the books to work with.
If you need maths because of comp-sci, and the books demanded by the institution you attend don't communicate knowing, then you'd be damaging your life's totality by letting the wrong-means have their way with you, eh?
Choose your right means.
The Pimsleur Tapes, for /learning/ languages ( www.pimsleur.com )
Learning a significantly different language helps undo the mind-habits that imprison us so entirely.
John Shaw's Nature Photography Field Guide
John Shaw is one of two photographers I consider really worth knowing, the other being Galen Rowell.
I'm recommending this one of JS's, because if you practice photography, and like nature, this one investment will give you more than any gizmo ever could.
We actively value only that which we know and are reminded of, so nature photography is actually a long-term conservation-of-health ( personal and ecological ) endeavour.
Investing for the Financially Challenged
Straight talk, by someone who's not interested in seeing someones lose wealth just to believe-in the markets.
Being used by market-fads or social assumptions degrades one's capability to constructively use one's own resources, one's own life-means, and that damages one's worth. Use, rather than be-used-by, funds, and commit one's heart-meaning.
Eating Well for Optimum Health: The Essential Guide to Bringing Health and Pleasure Back to Eating
-- a /very/ few questionable things, there,
1. recommending mushrooms, because some mushrooms are anti-cancer drugs .. but .. I don't take anti-cancer-drugs /now/ because I don't have cancer... unnecessary drug-taking isn't healthy...
2. recommending against canola-oil, stating that one component in it is toxic, but then not telling us what component that'd be ( typical doctor/authority, that, protecting authority, contrast with the Corps Business book above... ),
3. recommending against fructose, but not telling us what chemical consequence it is that causes him to recommend against it ( ditto ),
4. his dismissal of The Atkins Diet is based on him having tried a /different/ diet, and having that different diet be bogus .. which proves nothing whatsoever... the Atkins diet is high-protien, as much fats as one wants, and suppress carbohydrates. The diet Andrew Weil had been on was high-oil, rest irrelevant ( he could eat what he wanted ), and it didn't work. Again, that does not prove anything whatsoever.
I still recommend this because it is /sane/.
Shogun Management: How North Americans Can Thrive in Japanese Companies
Good. Learning from this, and making one's work less spastic, means growing worth more, among one's life.
I'm not toltec, I'm Tibetan/Japanese Buddhism, but these I recommend because the realizations Carlos gained give understanding, and understanding is leverage... work through 'em in order to gain maximally...
First, the concrete and context teachings:
The Wheel Of Time: The Shamans Of Mexico Their Thoughts About Life Death And The Universe
Next the deep-end teachings:
The Active Side of Infinity
Finally the means of developing one's own knowing, given the perspective and understanding/context gained in the previous two:
The Art of Dreaming