13 Books That Changed My Life

13 Books That Changed My Life

I’ve always been curious how the world works.

So when someone interesting posts a list of books that helped craft their world-view, I’ll sift through it and usually purchase one or two of their recommendations.

Thanks to this, over the years I’ve read quite a few thought-provoking books.

With that in mind, here is a list of books that have helped craft my world view. 

Maybe there’ll be something here that piques your interest. 

1. The Immortality Key: The Secret History Of The Religion With No Name by Brian C. Muraresku

What it’s about

This book is a fascinating exploration of the historical and cultural intersections between ancient religious practices and the use of psychoactive substances. 

Muraresku explores recent discoveries that suggest psychedelics were integral to the formation of Western civilisation and the genesis of Christian thought, which directly led to the enlightenment, reformation and industrial revolution.

What I picked up

I found this book incredibly thought provoking because it suggests that the psychedelic state can allow us to access new (and better) ways of thinking, enhance our moral and ethical understanding, and potentially lead to the evolution of human consciousness. 

I had a newfound respect for psychedelics after reading this book. It also gave me a new understanding of early Christian religion.

2. Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food by Catherine Shanahan

What it’s about

Explains how traditional diets can positively influence our genetic expression and overall health. Dr. Shanahan, a physician and biochemist, uses the science of epigenetics to explain the connection between diet, gene expression and health. 

What I picked up

There’s wisdom in our traditions. Eat like your ancestors as modern diets are deficient in nutrients and inflammatory. 

Prioritising nutrient dense foods is key - these are almost exclusively animal-based foods like meat on the bone, bone marrow, organs, and seafood.

When eating grains and plants, be sure to cook well, sprout or ferment so as to unlock the nutrients within for absorption. 

Another great book with a similar message is Eat Like A Human by Dr. Bill Schindler.

3. Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality by Anthony De Mello 

What it’s about

De Mello, a Jesuit priest and psychotherapist, combines insights from various spiritual traditions with practical wisdom in this highly accessible book. 

What I picked up

There’s one quote that sticks in my mind from this book: “I’m an Ass; You’re an Ass; We’re All Asses.”

Meaning, no one’s perfect, and that’s fine. Focus on self awareness, acceptance, and treating yourself and others with compassion.

4. The Rebel's Apothecary: A Practical Guide to the Healing Magic of Cannabis, CBD, and Mushrooms by Jenny Sansouci

What it’s about

An informative and practical guide that explores the therapeutic benefits of cannabis (including cannabinoids CBD and THC) and medicinal mushrooms.

Sansouci provides scientific insights, personal anecdotes (her father’s cancer recovery), and practical advice on how to use these natural remedies for health and wellness.

What I picked up

When it comes to healing from serious diseases like cancer, mushrooms and cannabis offer profound benefits that are overlooked by mainstream healthcare providers. While chemotherapy has its uses, medicinal mushrooms and cannabis are valuable tools that should be considered.

5. Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds and Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake

What it’s about

Explores the diverse and complex roles that fungi play in the natural world, human culture, and future technologies. Sheldrake, a biologist and mycologist, delves into the fascinating world of fungi, revealing their profound impact on ecosystems, human health, and even our understanding of life itself.

What I picked up

Fungi and mushrooms are so much more important to life than I ever thought. In fact, they are the foundation for pretty much all plant and animal life, are sources of medicine, food and technology, and will no doubt offer many more valuable lessons and solutions as we progress as a civilisation. 

6. The Bitcoin Standard by Saifedean Ammous

What it’s about

A comprehensive exploration of the economic, historical, and technical aspects of money. Ammous then presents Bitcoin as a revolutionary form of money that addresses the shortcomings of traditional government-issued fiat currencies and private central banking systems. 

What I picked up

I have long known that the most powerful institutions in the world were broken and corrupt. However, this book showed me that the root cause for this was a monetary system that was rigged in favour of central bankers and governments. 

I learnt what money really is - an emergent technology to preserve and exchange energy - and that having corruptible humans in charge of its issuance always leads to currency debasement. 

Bitcoin is decentralised (just like fungal organisms), meaning there is no one point of control and, therefore, is resistant to debasement, corruption and outsider attacks.   

7. The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age by James Dale Davidson, Lord William Rees-Mogg

What it’s about

A forward-thinking book that explores the profound impact of the information revolution on society, economics, and governance. The authors argue that technological advancements will lead to significant changes in the structure of society, empowering individuals with things like an internet-based digital currency (Bitcoin?) while traditional nation-states will struggle to retain power. 

What I picked up

Digital currency (AKA Bitcoin) will become a decentralising tool for freedom from overreaching Governments that are losing power as the digital world grows and matures. Made me appreciate the need to be adaptable in the digital age. Making money will increasingly rely on intellectual capital rather than physical resources.

8. Brain Energy: A Revolutionary Breakthrough in Understanding Mental Health--and Improving Treatment for Anxiety, Depression, OCD, PTSD, and More by Christopher M. Palmer MD

What it’s about

A novel perspective on mental health disorders by linking them to metabolic (energy) and mitochondrial dysfunctions in the brain. Dr. Palmer offers insights into how this understanding can revolutionise treatment approaches for various mental health conditions. 

What I picked up

Most, if not all, mental health disorders are fundamentally metabolic disorders. Meaning they are characterised by problems with how the brain uses energy and rooted in the function of mitochondria in cells. 

Things that can improve mitochondrial function and metabolism include the ketogenic diet, nutrient dense diet, exercise, stress reduction techniques, reducing toxin exposure, sauna, and supplements like mushrooms and cannabinoids.  

9. Superabundance: The Story of Population Growth, Innovation, and Human Flourishing on an Infinitely Bountiful Planet by Marian L. Tupy, Gale L. Pooley

What it’s about

An optimistic view of humanity's future, arguing that population growth and innovation lead to increased abundance and prosperity. The authors challenge the conventional pessimism about overpopulation and resource depletion, suggesting instead that human ingenuity and creativity drive progress and improve living standards. 

What I picked up

On the whole, things have gotten remarkably better as the population has grown. The world doesn’t have too many people. Humans aren’t a cancer on the Earth. 

In fact, humans and their ingenuity make the world safer, happier and more prosperous. We need more people and more freedom, not less. 

10. Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon

What it’s about

A guide to embracing creativity and innovation by borrowing and transforming ideas from others. The book encourages readers to take inspiration from the world around them and develop their own unique artistic voice. 

What I picked up

Collect inspiration from books, blogs, social media - anywhere really. Combine the ideas to create your own ideas. 

“Every new idea is just a mashup or a remix of one or more previous ideas.” 

Stand on the shoulders of giants.

11. Fiat Food: Why Inflation Destroyed Our Health and How Bitcoin Fixes It by Matthew Lysiak

What it’s about

Matthew Lysiak explores the relationship between the monetary system and the food industry, arguing that inflation and economic policies have negatively impacted public health. The book proposes Bitcoin as a solution to these issues.

What I picked up

Government policies, influenced by the fiat monetary system, have contributed to an industrialised food system focused on profit over health. 

As the value of money decreases (inflation), food producers cut costs to maintain profitability, often resorting to cheaper ingredients and production methods that compromise nutritional value.

Also, subsidies and economic incentives favour large-scale agriculture and processed foods, leading to widespread consumption of unhealthy products.

Basically, a corrupt monetary system (private central banking) has led to a corrupt food system where short term profits are prioritised over long-term health.

12. The Bigger Picture: How Psychedelics Can Help Us Make Sense of the World by Alexander Beiner 

What it’s about

Alexander Beiner explores the transformative potential of psychedelics in understanding and addressing complex societal and individual challenges. The book delves into how these psychedelics can offer new perspectives, foster personal growth, and influence cultural and social paradigms.

What I picked up

Through their ability to shift perceptions, heal trauma, and inspire new ways of thinking, psychedelics have the potential to contribute significantly to personal and societal well-being.

13. Change Your Diet, Change Your Mind: A powerful plan to improve mood, overcome anxiety and protect memory for a lifetime of optimal mental health by Dr Georgia Ede

What it’s about

Explores the profound impact of nutrition on mental health. A guide to understanding how dietary choices can enhance mood, alleviate anxiety, and protect cognitive functions. 

What I picked up

Meat (including beef, lamb, chicken, seafood) is brain food. As are eggs. 

Ultra processed food (high sugar, refined carbohydrates, refined vegetable fats) is terrible for the brain. 

Keeping blood glucose levels stable is vital for mental health.  

Final thoughts

So there you have it. My list on non-fiction books that have had a profound influence on my worldview. 

These titles have taught me a lot about health, happiness, nature, economics, history and more.

Do you have any book recommendation that you think I should read? Let me know in the comments. 

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