Philosophy books can seem daunting. Most people think of them as passages and passages of theory that seem absolutely impossibly to apply in real life. However, not all philosophy books are heavy. If you think Descartes, Dostoevsky and Nietzsche are a bit much, maybe you could start out with the books mentioned in this article. We have mentioned 10 best philosophy books for beginners. They’re relatively lighter but just as insightful. Plus, they do not talk about incomprehensible, abstract concepts. Rather, they either weave story with philosophy or tackle subjects that are, if not tangible, at least comprehensive.
List of 10 Best Philosophy Books For Beginners:
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl
- The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays by Albert Camus
- The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa
- The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
- Life After Death by Deepak Chopra
- The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield
- The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
- The Dark Interval by Rainer Maria Rilke
- And the Flowers Showered by Osho
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Alchemist has been a bestseller for ages now. It has provided an easy doorway into philosophy for millions of people all over the world. At its core, this is the story of Santiago, a shepherd as he journeys across the deserts of Egypt in search of his destiny. On his journey, he meets several people who teach him the secrets of lifer. Eventually, he meets with the alchemist of the desert. From the Alchemist, he learns the language of the desert and the power of omens. This is the perfect book to initiate you into the subject.
Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl
In this novel, Frankl recounts his experiences in the Holocaust. He describes the horrors of the war. Plus, he also talks about the ways people found philosophical meaning in their life even amidst the gory. He goes on then explain his ‘logotherapy’ which says that the basic human drive is not pleasure, as Freud and others suggested, but meaning. Our desire to find spiritual meaning even in the direst circumstances is the only hope that remains for the horrors life unleashes.
The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays by Albert Camus
This essay collection is a masterpiece of the existential school of philosophy – the essays progress from despair to meaning. It begins with contemplation on suicide, and ends with the story of Sisyphus, and what we can learn from it. This book will definitely awe you with its reflections on the indomitability which is so intrinsic to human nature. With its mixture of philosphical musings, anecdotes and poetry, Camus’ collection is one to devour for beginners yto philosophy and experts alike.
The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa
Published posthumously, this book is the culmination of Portuguese poet Pessoa’s life philosophies and learnings. This book is a collection of short and aphoristic paragraphs about tedium, disassociation, isolation and so much more that can never be put into words. A sentence from a Goodreads review summarizes this book perfectly, it feels like “stretching your soul on the rack of time.” This is one of the most poetic speculations of philosophy and now considered a classic – definitely making it a must read.
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
The apex of Lebanese poet Gibran’s work, The Prophet is a series of philosophical sermons the Prophet gives to villagers. Here, Gibran pours our his philosophies on Love, Marriage, Children, Work, Passion, Beauty, Art and more. When asked to summarize, Gibran said that his book says “you are greater than you think and all is well.” This optimistic and eyeopening view on the nature of life will offer you solace at your darkest.
Life After Death by Deepak Chopra
If you’re plagued with the fear of death, this is the book for you. It answers questions about and speculates death, taking a microscopic view of life. Combining his own experiences with ancient Vedic wisdom and even particle physics, he creates his unique philosophy on the nature of death and what comes after it. Drawing on the world’s spiritual traditions, he crafts a masterful and thought-provoking piece tht will leave you astonished.
The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield
This book is one of a kind – an adventure in pursuit of a spiritual mystery. It is absolutely impossible to put down because of the adventure element – the search for a manuscript lost in Macchu Picchu, Peru. But also, it provides deep insight into the intangible philosophies of life – coincidences, infinite energies of the world, conscious evolution and intimate relationships.
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
As the title suggests, this book revolves around the philosophy of living in the moment. Even though this is an oft repeated phrase in the world of philosophy and even by “wannabe deep” people, it’s very hard to realize. The human mind is trained to learn from the past and dream about the future. However this book offers great advice and even better meditations on this philosophy that might just change your life.
The Dark Interval by Rainer Maria Rilke
This is a collection of Rilke’s essays on grief, loss and spirituality. he ponders the nature of death and God and offers inexplicable solace to those harboring grief. He reflects on the process of bereavement and mourning, and draws on his philosophy to aid people in finding meaning in grief.
And the Flowers Showered by Osho
Osho in this novels, portrays Zen philosophy in its purest, most distilled and essential form. Combining nuggets of Zen wisdom in the form of anecdotes and stories with his holistic explanation of them, he creates palatable and abstract philosophies. From the state of sublime emptiness and the meaning of happiness to understanding death, these reflections cover an array of topics.
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