Here’s where I’ll list the books, movies and other things I devour in the course of my exploration.

Please note that I don’t necessarily agree with or even like all of these. But I’ve read them or watched them and thought about what they said. Some may seem totally unrelated to the question of spiritual belief, but all have in some way contributed to my thinking on the topic.

If you want to know what I thought of these books, I sometimes review them on Goodreads. Or you can see my current “to read” list, also on Goodreads.

Suggestions welcome: if there’s something you think I should read or watch, please suggest it in the comments below.

Jump to: Reading List, Books I’ve Read, Movies, Online, Etc

Books I’ve read

WhenGodisGone SilenceofAnimals BuddhismWithoutBeliefs BecomingAnimal Holloway StandingInTheLight Straw Dogs HowToBeAnAgnostic ReligionForAtheists JesusForTheNon ChristianAtheist FallofLight StorytellingAnimal LittleBig Heretics PeaceIsEveryStep ScienceDelusion 1q84 spooked RandisPrize FourElements paganism Drawing Down The Moon The-Spell-of-the-Sensuous-9780679776390 ghostblum ElementsofPantheism insidescientology gift-lewis-hyde-hardcover-cover-art 9780374532796 eatinganimals lureofedge onscience albert-speer-his-battle-with-truth-978033034697905 thefaith talkdirty idontbelieveinatheists americanfascists onhumanism landscapesdesire 1814

Reading List (books I plan on reading)

AnimateEarth SacredDepths TaoofPhysics Confessions spirituality-for-skeptic-thoughtful-love-life-robert-c-solomon-paperback-cover-art supersense Triumph of the Moon Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles The Immortalization Commission The Holographic Universe Animism Fear

Movies and documentaries I’ve watched















OBOD paranormalia



6 thoughts on “Research

  1. Recently I read Bruce Hood’s “Supersense: Why we believe in the unbelievable”. As I read it, I grew depressed by how little I believe in (and Hood lays bare all kinds of magical thinking you didn’t realize your brain is up to as it takes fanciful shortcuts in the course of interpreting the world). When I finished the book, I was pretty bummed out about the lack of magic in my life. But then I remembered that just a few weeks earlier, I had been excited to discover that I had slept in the middle of a painting that I love by an artist that I admire. Of course I didn’t literally sleep in the middle of a bunch of pigment on a canvas. And of course the pigment on canvas isn’t really a cabin. Even the real cabin that the painting depicts is just a bunch of dead trees piled up. Absolutely rationally speaking, it shouldn’t mean anything.
    Yet when I realized that I had rested my head below the window that you see at the center of the painting (bunk beds have since been built along the far wall) and set my drink bottle on the window sill (all just strokes of paint!), and thought that JEH MacDonald had been in that same space, painting that very space, it struck a mushy sentimental nerve. It’s the same kind of magical thinking that causes people to pay ridiculous sums for objects celebrities have touched, or avoid buying a house where a murder has occurred. It’s the kind of magical thinking that Hood uses to introduce his book. And my brain went there. And I was relieved to find that I can still experience magic.

    So I recommend “Supersense”. As well there are some links to neuroscience lectures for young adults on Hood’s website that are very good.

    I also strongly recommend the novels of Robertson Davies. The Deptford Trilogy is probably a good place to start, followed by the Cornish Trilogy.

    “If he hopes to make an atheist of me, this is where he went wrong; I knew a metaphor when I heard one, and I liked metaphor better than reason. I have known many atheists since Sam, and they all fall down on metaphor.” – Robertson Davies, Fifth Business, p54.

    I’m still an atheist, but I like metaphors, symbols, and mythology quite a bit, and adore the idea of a “stranger and more splendid world than the one you know” (Davies, The Manticore) even if it only exists in my imagination.

  2. I can recommend the novel “36 Arguments for the Existence of God” by Rebecca Goldstein. It looks at the urge to believe (or to act as though one believes) from several angles, including orthodox religion and academia, and the 36 arguments are like a true-life-meta-appendix to the story. (She is Steve Pinker’s partner)

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