111 Mystics

The following list of books represent those writings by 111 Pagan, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim mystics dating from the beginning of the common era to the present day. Please buy a book or two (or all 111!). Click on any title to purchase the book from Amazon.com. A portion of the proceeds from your purchase help to pay for the hosting costs of this website. Thank you!

  1. Philo of Alexandria, The Contemplative Life, Giants, and Selections
  2. Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to the Greeks and Other Works
  3. Origen, An Exhortation to Martyrdom, Prayer and Selected Works
  4. Plotinus, The Essential Plotinus: Representative Treatises from the Enneads
  5. Porphyry,Concerning the Life of Philosophy & the Ascent to the Gods
  6. Ephrem the Syrian, Hymns
  7. Gregory of Nyssa, The Life of Moses
  8. Evagrius Ponticus, The Praktikos & Chapters on Prayer
  9. Pseudo-Macarius, The Fifty Spiritual Homilies and the Great Letter
  10. Augustine, Selected Writings
  11. John Cassian, Conferences
  12. Proclus, The Elements of Theology
  13. Pseudo-Dionysius, The Complete Works
  14. Benedict, The Rule of St. Benedict
  15. Gregory the Great, Be Friends of God
  16. John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent
  17. Maximus Confessor, Selected Writings
  18. Rabi’A, Doorkeeper of the Heart
  19. John Scotus Eriugena, The Voice of the Eagle
  20. Symeon the New Theologian,The Discourses
  21. Al Ghazzali, Mishkat Al-Anwar (the Niche for Lights)
  22. William of Saint Thierry, The Way to Divine Union
  23. Bernard of Clairvaux, Selected Works
  24. Aelred of Rievaulx, Spiritual Friendship
  25. Hildegard of Bingen, Selected Writings
  26. Richard of St. Victor, The Book of the Patriarchs; The Mystical Ark; Etc.
  27. Elisabeth of Schönau, The Complete Works
  28. ‘Attar, The Conference of the Birds
  29. Ibn Al’Arabi, The Bezels of Wisdom
  30. Francis and Clare, The Complete Works
  31. Jalal Al-Din Rumi, The Essential Rumi
  32. Albert the Great, On Union with God
  33. Mechthild of Magdeburg, Flowing Light of the Godhead
  34. Bonaventure, The Soul’s Journey Into God; The Tree of Life; Etc.
  35. Hadewijch,The Complete Works
  36. Fakhruddin Iraqi, Divine Flashes
  37. Jacopone da Todi, The Lauds
  38. Ramon Lull, Romancing God: Contemplating the Beloved
  39. Angela of Foligno, Complete Works
  40. Marguerite Porete, The Mirror of Simple Souls
  41. Nizam Ad-Din Awliya, Morals for the Heart
  42. Gertrude of Helfta, The Herald of Divine Love
  43. Meister Eckhart, Selected Writings
  44. Anonymous, Zohar: The Book of Enlightenment
  45. Margaret Ebner, Major Works
  46. Richard Rolle, The Fire of Love and the Mending of Life
  47. Gregory Palamas, The Triads
  48. Johannes Tauler, Sermons
  49. Henry Suso, The Exemplar, with Two German Sermons
  50. John Ruusbroec, The Spiritual Espousals and Other Works
  51. Birgitta of Sweden, Life and Selected Writings
  52. Anonymous, Theologia Germanica
  53. Rulman Merswin, Mystical Writings
  54. Hafiz, New Nightingale, New Rose
  55. Catherine of Siena, The Dialogue
  56. Ibn’Abbad of Ronda, Letters on the Sufi Path
  57. Anonymous, The Cloud of Unknowing
  58. Walter Hilton, The Scale of Perfection
  59. Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love
  60. Jean Gerson, Early Works
  61. Margery Kempe, The Book of Margery Kempe
  62. Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ
  63. Nicholas of Cusa, Selected Spiritual Writings
  64. Dennis the Carthusian, Spiritual Writings
  65. Nil Sorsky, The Complete Writings
  66. Catherine of Genoa, Purgation and Purgatory; the Spiritual Dialogue
  67. Ignatius of Loyola, Spiritual Exercises
  68. Teresa of Avila, The Interior Castle
  69. Luis de Leon, The Names of Christ
  70. John of the Cross, Selected Writings
  71. Hayim Vital, Book of Visions
  72. Maria Maddelena de’ Pazzi, Selected Revelations
  73. Johann Arndt, True Christianity
  74. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life
  75. Isaiah Horowitz, The Generations of Adam
  76. Jacob Boehme, The Way to Christ
  77. John Donne, Selections from Divine Poems, Sermons, etc.
  78. Pierre de Bérulle, Selected Writings
  79. Jane de Chantal, Letters of Spiritual Direction
  80. George Herbert, The Country Parson; the Temple
  81. Augustine Baker, Holy Wisdom
  82. Marie of the Incarnation, Selected Writings
  83. Angelus Silesius, The Cherubinic Wanderer
  84. Brother Lawrence, Practice of the Presence of God
  85. Thomas Traherne, Centuries
  86. George Fox, The Journal of George Fox
  87. Abraham Miguel Cardozo, Selected Writings
  88. Madame Guyon, Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ
  89. Jean Pierre de Caussade, Abandonment to Divine Providence
  90. William Law, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life; the Spirit of Love
  91. Alphonsus de Liguori, Selected Writings
  92. Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain, A Handbook of Spiritual Counsel
  93. Nahman of Bratslav, The Tales
  94. Yizhak Isaac Safrin, Book of Secrets
  95. Coventry Patmore, The Rod, The Root and the Flower
  96. Elijah Benamozegh, Israel and Humanity
  97. Anonymous, The Pilgrim’s Tale (The Way of a Pilgrim)
  98. Thérèse of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul
  99. Abraham Isaac Kook, The Lights of Penitence, and Other Works
  100. Rufus Jones, Essential Writings
  101. Hazrat Inayat Khan, The Inner Life
  102. Evelyn Underhill, The Letters
  103. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Hymn of the Universe
  104. Simone Weil, Waiting for God
  105. Dag Hammarskjöld, Markings
  106. Adrienne Von Speyr, Light and Images: Elements of Contemplation
  107. Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation
  108. Karl Rahner, Spiritual Writings
  109. Hans Urs Von Balthasar, Love Alone is Credible
  110. Matta El-Maskeen, The Communion of Love
  111. George A. Maloney, The Breath of the Mystic

My Original Mystical Booklist

Note from Carl: I began this list in 2007, and added to it here and there over the years. Eventually it seemed large and unwieldy, and so I created shorter, more focussed booklists, like the ones you can find here, here, and here. But this is my original attempt to put together a useful bibliography for Christian and world mysticism. So enjoy!

Christian Mysticism: Twenty-Five Essential Books

World Mysticism: Twenty-Five Essential Books

Writings of the Mystics: Anthologies

Writings of the Mystics: General

Writings of the Mystics: the English Mystics

Writings of the Mystics: the Spanish Mystics

Writings of the Mystics: the German/Rhineland Mystics

Writings of the Mystics: Eastern Orthodox Mystics

Writings of the Mystics: Protestant Mystics

Writings of the Mystics: Gnostic and/or Heterodox

Books on Christian Mysticism and Contemplative Spirituality (Kindle Editions)

Books About Mysticism: Written for General (Non-Scholarly) Readers

Books About Mysticism: Surveys and Histories of Mysticism

Books About Mysticism: Concerning Specific Mystics
See below for books about Julian of Norwich, Thomas Merton, or Evelyn Underhill

Books About Mysticism: The “Traditions of Christian Spirituality” Series

Books About Mysticism: Academic and Scholarly Works

Books About Mysticism: Contemporary Guidebooks for Aspiring Mystics

Books About Mysticism: Denunciations of Mysticism

Books About Mysticism: Reference

Special Topics in Mysticism: Julian of Norwich

Special Topics in Mysticism: Evelyn Underhill

Special Topics in Mysticism: Thomas Merton

Special Topics in Mysticism: The Song of Songs

Special Topics in Mysticism: Deification

Special Topics in Mysticism: Benedictine and Cistercian Spirituality

Special Topics in Mysticism: Carthusian Spirituality

Special Topics in Mysticism: Centering Prayer and Christian Meditation

Special Topics in Mysticism: Eucharistic Devotion and Popular Piety

Special Topics in Mysticism: The Anamchara (Soul Friend) and Spiritual Direction

Special Topics in Mysticism: The New Monasticism

World Mysticism: General Titles and Anthologies

World Mysticism: Sufism and Islamic Spirituality

World Mysticism: Kabbalah and Jewish Spirituality

World Mysticism: Buddhism

World Mysticism: Vedanta and Hindu Spirituality

World Mysticism: Miscellaneous Eastern Spirituality

World Mysticism: Classical and Ancient Pagan Mysticism

World Mysticism: Indigenous and Shamanic Spirituality

World Mysticism: Neopagan and Goddess Spirituality

World Mysticism: Interfaith Spirituality (Christian and Non-Christian)

World Mysticism: Post-Sectarian and Integral Spirituality

Miscellaneous: Literary Works Relevant to the Study of Mysticism

Miscellaneous: Spiritual books that are not necessarily “mystical” (but I like them anyway)

Miscellaneous: Music

Miscellaneous: Movies

Miscellaneous: Spoken Audio

Miscellaneous: Software

February 5, 1977

The Aspiring Mystic

Here is an excerpt from my book The Aspiring Mystic: Practical Steps for Spiritual Seekers (2000), which unfortunately is out of print, although used copies are fairly easy to find. This passage describes my own initiation into an embodied, luminous encounter with the Divine, after which “spirituality” for me would always be a lived reality, not just an abstract idea.

The highlight of the weekend was the Saturday night communion service. With all one hundred or so of the participants present, we’d have a long, comfortable, folk-style service, with plenty of singing as we stood arm in arm, swaying to the music. Although I had participated in such acoustic-guitar-driven worship services before, this one seemed different, from the start. As we sang, and eventually shared the bread and wine of Holy Communion, it seemed to me as if the entire room began to glow. Not a physical glowing, as if someone had turned on additional lights, but a radiance, a presence—words fail to describe. Slowly, but suddenly and obviously, things were different. Only words associated with light seem to capture the experience. Luminous, resplendent, glowing.

It’s as if everything—the walls of the room, the various people within it, the bread and the wine being passed from hand to hand—shimmered with a light that I could still perceive even when I closed my eyes. Call it energy, perhaps. It wasn’t just as if there were a nonphysical light, it felt as if a new kind of love or joy had become manifest for the first time ever. I felt loved like I never had before. It seemed to me as if every person in the room became radiant with a visibly miraculous glow. Once I noticed it, I felt simply carried along by this serenity and joy that I had never felt before. It wasn’t ecstasy, for I didn’t feel like I left my body; nor was it a vision, for physically things appeared just as they always had. It had nothing to do with drugs; indeed when at a later date I experimented with LSD or cocaine or magic mushrooms, those substances always seemed pale and physically jarring in comparison to the loveliness I had known that night in Massanetta. Nor was it any kind of psychological breakdown—it had no ill effect on me physically or emotionally, other than to leave me with a sense of serenity and a feeling of connection to the God whom we were worshipping that evening.

This supernatural energy was so gut-level real to me, and so far beyond anything I might have imagined or tried to concoct, that I thought something objectively miraculous had happened in the room, some sort of profound moment in which God chose to reveal himself. By “objective,” I mean I thought everyone must have experienced what I did. Honestly. It never occurred to me that this might have been just a subjective experience! But I soon discovered to my surprise—and somewhat dismay—that others hadn’t felt or seen anything at all unusual that evening. After the service ended, I said to two or three people, “Wasn’t that amazing?” to which they replied with a totally noncommittal “Uh-huh.” Soon I realized that, for some reason, I had been given a unique gift.

It happened at church camp, but this wasn’t about church. I’ve been to plenty of church-sponsored events both before and since, and never did the windows of eternity open like they did that evening. No, it was something far deeper, far more profound, than mere religion.

— from The Aspiring Mystic: Practical Steps
for Spiritual Seekers
by Carl McColman

February 5, 1977

The Aspiring Mystic

Here is an excerpt from my book The Aspiring Mystic: Practical Steps for Spiritual Seekers (2000). This passage describes my own initiation into an embodied, luminous encounter with the Divine, after which “spirituality” for me would always be a lived reality, not just an abstract idea.

The highlight of the weekend was the Saturday night communion service. With all one hundred or so of the participants present, we’d have a long, comfortable, folk-style service, with plenty of singing as we stood arm in arm, swaying to the music. Although I had participated in such acoustic-guitar-driven worship services before, this one seemed different, from the start. As we sang, and eventually shared the bread and wine of Holy Communion, it seemed to me as if the entire room began to glow. Not a physical glowing, as if someone had turned on additional lights, but a radiance, a presence—words fail to describe. Slowly, but suddenly and obviously, things were different. Only words associated with light seem to capture the experience. Luminous, resplendent, glowing.

It’s as if everything—the walls of the room, the various people within it, the bread and the wine being passed from hand to hand—shimmered with a light that I could still perceive even when I closed my eyes. Call it energy, perhaps. It wasn’t just as if there were a nonphysical light, it felt as if a new kind of love or joy had become manifest for the first time ever. I felt loved like I never had before.It seemed to me as if every person in the room became radiant with a visibly miraculous glow. Once I noticed it, I felt simply carried along by this serenity and joy that I had never felt before. It wasn’t ecstasy, for I didn’t feel like I left my body; nor was it a vision, for physically things appeared just as they always had. It had nothing to do with drugs; indeed when at a later date I experimented with LSD or cocaine or magic mushrooms, those substances always seemed pale and physically jarring in comparison to the loveliness I had known that night in Massanetta. Nor was it any kind of psychological breakdown—it had no ill effect on me physically or emotionally, other than to leave me with a sense of serenity and a feeling of connection to the God whom we were worshipping that evening.

This supernatural energy was so gut-level real to me, and so far beyond anything I might have imagined or tried to concoct, that I thought something objectively miraculous had happened in the room, some sort of profound moment in which God chose to reveal himself. By “objective,” I mean I thought everyone must have experienced what I did. Honestly. It never occurred to me that this might have been just a subjective experience! But I soon discovered to my surprise—and somewhat dismay—that others hadn’t felt or seen anything at all unusual that evening. After the service ended, I said to two or three people, “Wasn’t that amazing?” to which they replied with a totally noncommittal “Uh-huh.” Soon I realized that, for some reason, I had been given a unique gift.

It happened at church camp, but this wasn’t about church. I’ve been to plenty of church-sponsored events both before and since, and never did the windows of eternity open like they did that evening. No, it was something far deeper, far more profound, than mere religion.

— from The Aspiring Mystic: Practical Steps
for Spiritual Seekers
by Carl McColman