Core Readings for Creative Asylum

St. Eustace by Albrecht Durer

St. Eustace by Albrecht Durer


Freedom from the Known
Jiddu Krishnamurti (Author), Mary Lutyens (Editor)

Krishnamurti shows how people can free themselves radically and immediately from the tyranny of the expected, no matter what their age – opening the door to transforming society and their relationships.

Introduction to Indian Philosophy
Chatterjee (Author), Satischandra and Dhirendramohan Datta (Author)

Major new text, guide to Indian philosophy, balanced, covers most issues – by two leading Indian philosophers

The Ten Principal Upanishads
Shree Purohit Swami (Author), W.B. Yeats (Author)

Of the many thousands of books that essentially are one of a kind and out of print, few are more worthy of being reissued than this very beautiful rendition of the heart of the Upanishads. World class poet W. B. Yeats, working with Vedic scholar Sri Swami Purohit, retired to Majorca away from the war clouds gathering over Europe in the thirties with the intent of making “a translation that would read as though the original had been written in common English” (p. 8). Here’s an exchange between the boy Nachiketas and Death from the Katha Upanishad that gives a sense of just how well Yeats and Purohit succeeded:

Nachiketas said: “Some say that when man dies he continues to exist, others that he does not. Explain, and that shall be my third gift.”

Death said: “This question has been discussed by the gods, it is deep and difficult. Choose another gift, Nachiketas! Do not be hard. Do not compel me to explain.”

It is from the Upanishads that the Bhagavad Gita finds its inspiration. One can see immediately in this short exchange the seed from which the dialogue between Arjuna and Krishna grew. Indeed it is from the Upanishads that the central doctrines of Hinduism are derived, and the philosophy of yoga, and even that of Buddhism. As such the Upanishads, despite their repetition and extraneous material, constitute one of the great spiritual works of humankind. What Yeats and Purohit have done here, in contradistinction to other translations that I have read, is to make the work intelligible, accessible and a pleasure to read. To do this, it is true they have trimmed; and they have drifted in parts from a strictly literal translation, preferring instead to emphasize the spirit and the essence of the Upanishads. Consequently, for the scholar this is not the best translation. But for those who want the feel and the heart of the Upanishads without the ritualistic circumlocutions or much of the repetition, this is an idea translation. Through the poetic use of words, incorporating the magic of sound and rhythm in judicious repetition, Yeats and Purohit are able to preserve the oral formulaic expression of the Upanishads, and bring the sense of their power to the modern English speaker. This is an outstanding achievement. Here is the refrain that ends this beautiful translation:

“This is perfect. That is perfect. Perfect comes from perfect. Take perfect from perfect; the remainder is perfect. May peace and peace and peace be everywhere.”

~Dennis Littrell, author of “Yoga: Sacred and Profane (Beyond Hatha Yoga)”

Sphota Theory of Language
Harold G. Coward (Author)

One of the most significant attempts to understand language from within in the history of human thought. Dr. Coward has described the complex and often intuitive aspect of Sphota Theory in clear English. He has placed the technical arguments of the Sphota Theorists within the proper context of the philosophical schools of thought current in classical India. But he has also related the sphota view of language to modern life and especially to the function of words and scripture in contemporary experience.

The Garland of Letters: Studies in the Mantra-Sastra
Sir John Woodroffe (Arthur Avalon) (Author), T. M. P. Mahadevan (Introduction)
Books written by the Author Sir John Woodroffe can perhaps be called as Classics.One is indebted to him for his study of Tantra Sastra and the scholarly works he produced in English.His Books like “Serpent Power”,”Sakti And Sakta” etc.,have helped the Readers to gain excellent knowledge on the generally difficult to interpret subject of Tanta Sastra. In line with the other classics the Author in the present Book has in great detail explained the significance of the Letters in the context of the Tantra knowledge.Thus it becomes a must for the student of Tantra Vidya.

The Way of the Dream
Marie-Louise Von Franz (Author)
I’ve seen the video too and highly recommend it if you can find it, but this has everything in it that the video does, it’s basically a transcript of the interviews, and makes a nice collection of examples of Jungian dream work, by one of Jung’s closest associates and a remarkable person herself. This is also much more approachable than many of Marie-Louise von Franz’s academic writings. It’s something of a Jungian treasure.*listing*buyused

Hinduism and Jungian Psychology
J. Marvin Spiegelman (Author), Arwind U. Vasavada (Author)

This landmark work synthesizes the insights of East and West. It includes unique analyses of Yoga and the Chakras as well as discussions of Eastern psycho-therepeutic methods.


The Undiscovered Self: With Symbols and the Interpretation of Dreams
C. G. Jung (Author), R. F.C. Hull (Translator), Sonu Shamdasani (Foreword)

These two essays, written late in Jung’s life, reflect his responses to the shattering experience of World War II and the dawn of mass society. Among his most influential works, “The Undiscovered Self” is a plea for his generation–and those to come–to continue the individual work of self-discovery and not abandon needed psychological reflection for the easy ephemera of mass culture. Only individual awareness of both the conscious and unconscious aspects of the human psyche, Jung tells us, will allow the great work of human culture to continue and thrive.

Jung’s reflections on self-knowledge and the exploration of the unconscious carry over into the second essay, “Symbols and the Interpretation of Dreams,” completed shortly before his death in 1961. Describing dreams as communications from the unconscious, Jung explains how the symbols that occur in dreams compensate for repressed emotions and intuitions. This essay brings together Jung’s fully evolved thoughts on the analysis of dreams and the healing of the rift between consciousness and the unconscious, ideas that are central to his system of psychology.

This paperback edition of Jung’s classic work includes a new foreword by Sonu Shamdasani, Philemon Professor of Jung History at University College London.

This Noble Land
by James A. Michener

James A. Michener endeared himself to readers everywhere with books like Hawaii, Tales of the South Pacific, Centennial, and Chesapeake. His writing style and concise, comprehensive research was at the foundation of books that have become American treasures.

In This Noble Land Michener takes a different approach, though one not entirely unexpected from an author who, it is evident, loved America deeply. The book takes a hard but, I feel, honest view of America, where it has been, what it is now (the view of things in 1999) and where Michener believes it is headed.

Michener addresses the political problems facing us and what it will take, in his view, for Americans to continue their past record of greatness. He speaks of morals, of ethics and of integrity–from the standpoint of what we were as a country to the backsliding nation that we have become.

In my favorite chapter of the book Michener tackles very eloquently the problem of America’s love affair with professional sports, the unfortunate decline of the morals of many sports figures, their poor example to America’s youth and the sorry fact that we would, as a nation, gladly pay top dollar for tickets to any sporting event while refusing to acknowledge the plight of America’s poor.

Taken all in all, whether you like This Noble Land or not will depend entirely upon how closely your views agree with those of the author. For me, I felt that Michener’s vision as expounded in This Noble Land was 20/20. The book is already four years old at this review but I feel that it will have merit for decades to come. Hopefully we will have the sense as Americans to change things for the better.

Douglas McAllister


Spring #80 Technology, Cyberspace & Psyche (Spring: a Journal of Archetype and Culture) by Nancy Cater (Feb 23, 2009)
The latest issue of Spring: A Journal of Archetype and Culture, Vol. 80, is dedicated to an exploration of life in the Information Age. Combining Jungian and Archetypal perspectives with the views of artificial intelligence and internet pioneers, the volume penetrates the array of present and future innovations in search of their psychological implications. Connected or disconnected? Essays by Robert Romanyshyn, Mikita Brottman, Glen Mazis and others take up this central question. Enter a virtual world, discover your smart phone transference and consider living with robots–all in Vol. 80.

Spring: a Journal of Archetype and Culture, Vol. 88 Winter 2012, Environmental Disasters and Collective Trauma
This issue explores the intimate connections between environmental disasters and collective trauma. It is becoming increasingly obvious that our relationship with nature has changed. While our ability to predict natural events has increased, our collective illusions of control are being eroded by global communications that confront us with detailed information and images of the damage wrought by such events, leaving us to recognize how fragile our communities really are. The intrusion of natural disasters into the human psyche stimulates an age–old anxiety about our place on the earth and activates our fear of catastrophic change.

The Rise of the Creative Class – Revisited: 10th Anniversary Edition – Revised and Expanded Richard Florida (Author)
Ten years ago, Richard Florida published a path-breaking book about the forces that were reshaping our economy, our geography, our work, and our whole way of life. Weaving story-telling with reams of original research, he traced a fundamental theme through a host of seemingly unrelated changes in American society: the growing role of creativity. In the decade since, we have endured a series of world shattering events—from the collapse of the tech bubble to 9/11 to the economic meltdown of 2008—any one of which might have been sufficient to derail the forces he described  Instead, the drive towards creativity as only intensified, both in the US and across the globe. In late 2011, the social media site LinkedIn reported that the word most used by its members to describe themselves was “Creative.”

In this newly revised and expanded edition of his now classic book, Florida has brought all of its statistics up to date (and provided a host of new ones); further refined his occupational, demographic, psychological, and economic profile of the Creative Class; incorporated a decade’s worth of his own and his colleagues’ quantitative and qualitative research; and addressed his major critics.  Five completely new chapters cover the global effects of the Creative Class and explore the integral features and factors that shape “quality of place” in our rapidly changing cities and suburbs. Florida delves into the roles played by technology, race, and poverty in perpetuating and exacerbating income inequality and the pervasive influence of class throughout every aspect of society. Throwing down the gauntlet, he proposes a dramatic new social compact for our time—one that can turn our emerging Creative Economy into an enduringly Creative Society.

We currently inhabit a strange period of interregnum in which the old order has collapsed and the new order is not yet born, Florida writes. The old order has failed; attempts to bail it out, to breathe new life into it or to somehow prop it back up are doomed to history’s dustbin. The key is not to limit or reverse the gains that the Creative Class has made but to extend them across the board, to build a more open, more diverse, more inclusive Creative Society that can more fully harness its members’—all of its members’—capacities.

The Creative Economy: How People Make Money From Ideas
John Howkins (Author)

But how do you turn creativity into money – cash, capital and profit? It is not just having a bright idea that counts – it’s what you do with it.  John Howkins, a leading expert on creative business, shows us what creativity really is, gives the hard data on its global turnover ($2.2 trillion a year) and outlines the key rules for success.  The rules include:

Invent yourself. Be unique

Own your ideas. Understand copyright and patents

Know when to work alone, and when in a group

Learn endlessly. Borrow, reinvent and recycle

Exploit fame and celebrity

Know when to break the rules

Whether in film or fashion, software or shoes, by focusing on our individual talents we can all make creativity pay.

Makers: The New Industrial Revolution
Chris Anderson (Author)

Wired magazine editor and bestselling author Chris Anderson takes you to the front lines of a new industrial revolution as today’s entrepreneurs, using open source design and 3-D printing, bring manufacturing to the desktop.  In an age of custom-fabricated, do-it-yourself product design and creation, the collective potential of a million garage tinkerers and enthusiasts is about to be unleashed, driving a resurgence of American manufacturing.  A generation of “Makers” using the Web’s innovation model will help drive the next big wave in the global economy, as the new technologies of digital design and rapid prototyping gives everyone the power to invent — creating “the long tail of things”.


From the Information Economy to the Creative Economy – Moving Culture to the Center of International Public Policy  Published in: GIA Reader, Vol 12, No 3 (Fall 2001)

Shalini Venturelli
2000, 39 pages. Center for Arts and Culture, Washington D.C.

The Guardian:
Hanna Rosin: are men an endangered species?
It’s not just that women are adapting better to seismic shifts in economy and culture – as this provocative extract from The End of Men explains, they are surpassing their male counterparts at work and home