13 Best Mystical Books for Amazing Stories

Are you looking for the best mystical books? Take a look at a few of the top titles you may want to dive into below!

Mysticism is an excellent topic covering everything from the Christian God to Paganism and from science fiction to fantasy worlds. This genre has grown significantly during the past few decades, and many interesting titles have been added to the list. 

Human beings are a complicated species, and their imaginations can run wild. That is where the mystical experience originates. If you are interested in some of the best mysticism books, look at a few of the best titles you should add to your list below.

1. Mysticism: A Study in the Nature and Development of Spirituality, by Evelyn Underhill, 1911 

The first book that is a must-read is titled Mysticism: A Study in the Nature and Development of Spirituality by Evelyn Underhill. This is a powerful book that is divided into two sections. The first section takes a closer look at philosophical, psychological, and theological underpinnings. Next, it takes a deeper dive into the historical backdrop behind mysticism. Then, in the second portion of the book, the author takes a closer look at the applications of mysticism throughout history. She also dives into what it means for spiritual growth. It is an excellent book for people interested in understanding mysticism comprehensively. It could also be an excellent book for you to learn more about the topic. 

“On every level of life, from housework to heights of prayer, in all judgment and efforts to get things done, hurry and impatience are sure marks of the amateur.”

― Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism: A Study in the Nature and Development of Spirituality
Mysticism
  • Underhill, Evelyn (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 106 Pages - 06/23/2011 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)

2. The Varieties of Religious Experience, by William James, 1905

One of the most powerful mysticism books of all time is titled The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James. He was a psychologist and delivered various lectures at the University of Edinburgh. Even though he was a scientist by training, he was also a theologian. This book takes a closer look at the origin and nature of religion, why it evolved, and the vital role it has played in human society. This book is a great place to start if you want to learn more about how religion evolved and why religion has become so essential. 

“Good-humor is a philosophic state of mind; it seems to say to Nature that we take her no more seriously than she takes us. I maintain that one should always talk of philosophy with a smile.”

― William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience
The Varieties Of Religious Experience: A Study In Human Nature
  • James, William (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 284 Pages - 11/09/2009 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)

3. Dark Night of the Soul, by St. John of the Cross, 16th Century

Dark Night of the Soul is a powerful poem that dates back to the 16th century. It was written by St. John of the Cross, a Spanish Mystic. He did not title the poem himself, but the title was added later based on the power and contents of the poem. It has become an essential poem for anyone looking to study religion. It gives a glimpse into the importance of religion in Spain during the 16th century and across the rest of Europe. In religion, when someone talks about a Dark Night of the Soul, they usually talk about a crisis of faith on their journey with God. The poem looks closely at why it happens, how someone can return to the right path, and why spirituality is essential.

“I lost myself. Forgot myself.
I lay my face against the Beloved’sBeloved’s face.
Everything fell away and I left myself behind,
Abandoning my cares
Among the lilies, forgotten.”

― Saint John of the Cross, Dark Night of the Soul
Dark Night of the Soul (Dover Thrift Editions: Religion)
  • St. John of the Cross (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 128 Pages - 05/09/2003 (Publication Date) - Dover Publications (Publisher)

4. The Complete Mystical Works, by Meister Eckhart, 1979

Meister Eckhart is one of the most revered mystical scholars of all time. Anyone interested in exploring mysticism should look at his Complete Mystical Works. The sermons focus on mystical beliefs, how they impact someone individually, and why the treatise is essential. This is an excellent read for people who follow Christianity and those who do not. Many exciting topics are tackled throughout religion and diversity, and it can give people an inside look at why these topics remain essential even to this day. 

“I am as sure as I live that nothing is so near to me as God. God is nearer to me than I am to myself; my existence depends on the nearness and the presence of God.”

― Meister Eckhart, The Complete Works
The Complete Mystical Works of Meister Eckhart
  • Hardcover Book
  • Eckhart, Meister (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 640 Pages - 01/01/2010 (Publication Date) - Herder & Herder (Publisher)

5. Dune, by Frank Herbert, 1965

If you are looking for a fantastic sci-fi series that also discusses mysticism, you’ll definitely want to check out the Dune series by Frank Herbert. This is a collection of six fantasy classics, and it even features a forward by Neil Gaiman. This is a science fiction Masterpiece that focuses on a dessert world called Arrakis. The main character is Paul Atreides, who will eventually become a mysterious leader. Even though his family comes from a long line of noble stewards, a mysterious substance called Spice is wreaking havoc on the world. 

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

― Frank Herbert, Dune
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Dune
  • Ace, A great option for a Book Lover
  • Easy To Read
  • Comes with Proper Binding
  • Herbert, Frank (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

6. The Cloud of Unknowing, by Carmen Acevedo Butcher, 14th Century

Even though the author of the original title is unknown, it was translated into modern English by Carmen Acevedo Butcher. The Cloud of Unknowing is an ancient text that dates back to the 14th century. It is one of the highlights of English mysticism and a practical guide that helps people find God. Even though it has become more of a historical text than a religious one during the past few hundred years, it is still a long series of letters written by a monk to some of his students. Therefore, it remains one of the most essential texts in English mysticism. If you want to learn more about how a monk from several hundred years ago would point his students in the right direction.

“For I tell you this: one loving, blind desire for God alone is more valuable in itself, more pleasing to God and to the saints, more beneficial to your own growth, and more helpful to your friends, both living and dead, than anything else you could do.”

― Anonymous, The Cloud of Unknowing
The Cloud of Unknowing: and The Book of Privy Counseling
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 224 Pages - 08/01/1996 (Publication Date) - Image (Publisher)

7. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho, 1988

Best Mystical Books: The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho, 1988
Eirik Solheim, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Alchemist, which comes from bestselling author Paulo Coelho, is one of the most powerful and enchanting novels. It has a massive following around the world, and it focuses on the wisdom of simplicity. The story focuses on an Andalusian shepherd boy. His name is Santiago, and he is traveling to the Egyptian desert from Spain. He is looking for treasure that has been buried in the pyramids. Even though the journey begins as one that focuses on identifying worldly Gods, it eventually focuses on treasure found near the pyramids and within one’s soul. The lessons from this book endure today.

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”

― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
The Alchemist
  • Attractive paperback with scene of the desert and hills beyond. In
  • colors of tan, orange and brown.
  • Paulo Coelho (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 197 Pages - 04/25/1993 (Publication Date) - HarperOne (Publisher)

8. The Essential Kabbalah, by Daniel C. Matt, 2009

If you are looking for a book that will teach you more about Jewish mysticism, you will want to read The Essential Kaballah. While the tome, in its original language, can be complex for the layperson to interpret, Daniel C. Matt has done an exceptional job translating it. This book contains a tremendous amount of important historical information, even for those not interested in following Judaism. You can figure out why people believe what they believe and the impact it has had on society, and take some of the most essential lessons from the book for yourself. Even if you do not consider yourself religious, you might find a few lessons you can apply to your life. 

“I can hardly open my mouth to speak without feeling as though the sea burst its dams and overflowed. How then shall I express what my soul has received” How can I set it down in a book?”

― Daniel Chanan Matt, The Essential Kaballah
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The Essential Kabbalah: The Heart of Jewish Mysticism
  • Matt, Daniel C. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages - 01/06/2009 (Publication Date) - HarperOne (Publisher)

9. The Kybalion, by the Three Initiates, 1908

There are plenty of unique texts in the world of mysticism, and The Kybalion, by the mysterious Three Initiates, is a perfect example. This is arguably the most famous work of the occult from the 20th century. Many people have studied this book for generations, looking for hermetic wisdom. Now, as the calendar rolls from the twentieth to the 21st century, the book is just as popular as ever. Furthermore, this book version features a new introduction by Richard Smoley, one of the most famous scholars of mysticism. If you are interested in learning more about the occult, you may want to look at what information is contained within these pages. 

“When the pupil is ready to receive the truth, then will this little book come to him, or her. Such is The Law. …The Law of Attraction, will bring lips and ear together – pupil and book in company. So mote it be!”

― Three Initiates, The Kybalion
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The Kybalion: Centenary Edition
  • Hardcover Book
  • Three Initiates (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 176 Pages - 01/30/2018 (Publication Date) - TarcherPerigee (Publisher)

10. A Separate Reality, by Carlos Castaneda, 1991

Carlos Castaneda is one of the most famous anthropologists of all time. This book, A Separate Reality, tells the story of his life. In 1961, he underwent a rigorous apprenticeship to tell the world about the Yaqui Indians. Instead, he learned more about himself. He encountered many difficulties, learned a lot about other cultures, and changed his perspective on the world. Finally, in 1968, he returned to Mexico, Don Juan, and hallucinogenic drugs. His wife has had a lot of ups and downs, but it has never been boring. If you want to learn more about how this book impacted him and what you can learn from his stories.

“For instance, we need to look with our eyes to laugh, he said, because only when we look at things can we catch the funny edge of the world. On the other hand, when our eyes see, everything is so equal that nothing is funny.”

― Carlos Castaneda, A Separate Reality
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A Separate Reality
  • Castaneda, Carlos (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 272 Pages - 08/01/1991 (Publication Date) - Washington Square Press (Publisher)

11. The Forty Rules of Love, by Elif Shafak, 2009

Love is a component of mysticism, and Eli Shafak takes a closer look at two separate narratives in The Forty Rules of Love. One narrative of love takes place in the current environment. It unfolds with all of the traditional drama that dating provides. It is something that will probably be familiar to a lot of readers. The other narrative occurs in the 13th century when the main character encounters his spiritual mentor. Then, as the story unfolds, the reader is taken on an enjoyable journey that focuses on love, loss, heartbreak, and happy endings. If you want to figure out everything love is about, you should consider reading this book. 

“East, West, South or North makes little difference. No matter what your destination, just be sure to make every journey, a journey within. If you travel within, you’ll travel the whole wide world and beyond.”

― Elif Shafak, The Forty Rules of Love
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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi
  • Shafak, Elif (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 368 Pages - 04/26/2011 (Publication Date) - Penguin Books (Publisher)

12. The Hero With a Thousand Faces, by Joseph Cambell, 2008

If you are looking for a book that combines spirituality and psychology, you should look at The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. This book takes a closer look at world religions and mythology. In essence, it creates a roadmap that helps people navigate contemporary life. For example, one of the reasons why ancient populations turned to the heavens is that they had difficulty explaining what was happening. So even though modern science has come a long way, there is still a spot for spirituality today. He also draws a lot of parallels between science fiction and religion, which is why a lot of the literary genres overlap as well. You can find a copy of this book on Amazon.

“He must put aside his pride, his virtue, beauty and life and bow or submit to the absolutely intolerable.”

― Joseph Campbell, The Hero With a Thousand Faces
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The Hero with a Thousand Faces (The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell)
  • The Hero with a Thousand Faces (The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Campbell, Joseph (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 432 Pages - 07/28/2008 (Publication Date) - New World Library (Publisher)

13. The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle, 2004

The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle, became a best-seller. Now, Tolle is one of the most inspiring teachers in the world. The author took a journey from despair to self-realization just after turning 29. Even though it took him approximately ten years to understand what was happening, he mastered relaxation techniques, studied Buddhism, and discovered the power of meditation along the way. Now, you can go on a similar journey with him, as he teaches you how to live a pain-free life. 

“Any action is often better than no action, especially if you have been stuck in an unhappy situation for a long time. If it is a mistake, at least you learn something, in which case it’s no longer a mistake. If you remain stuck, you learn nothing.”

― Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now
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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi
  • Shafak, Elif (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 368 Pages - 04/26/2011 (Publication Date) - Penguin Books (Publisher)

Interested in learning more? Check out our round-up of the best 7 plot twist books of all time!

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