Elvis Presley Was An Eccentric Spiritual Reader

It turns out that Elvis Presley’s reading list was quite eccentric, with titles pertaining to spiritual readings, Taoism, esoteric philosophies, and learning about the different values in different cultures. When Elvis died in his Graceland bathroom thirty years ago today, he is said to have been reading a book about the Holy Shroud of Turin – normally identified as A Scientific Search For The Face Of Jesus (1972) by Frank O. Adams, which argues that the Turin Shroud really is Our Lord’s Shroud. It has since become eagerly sought after by Elvis fans. Less impressive is the other book he was allegedly reading – Sex and Psychic Energy. Hmm, we better move quickly along.

These titles represent some of the books mentioned in his 1989 book If I Can Dream: Elvis’ Own Story (now out of print). We cannot be sure that Elvis Presley read all of these books, but they concerned subjects he was deeply interested in and felt were important to his daily life.

Elvis Presley’s Reading List

The Impersonal Life [written anonymously] is described as Elvis’ favorite book next to the Bible and the one whose “teaching, practice, and discipline transformed his life.” 

Elvis Presley's Esoteric/Spiritual Reading List
Elvis Presley’s Esoteric/Spiritual Reading List

Aquarian Gospel of Jesus The Christ by Levi H. Dowling

Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda

Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind by Richard Maurice Bucke

Esoteric Healing by Alice A. Bailey

First and Last Freedom by Jiddu Krishnamurti

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The Huna Code in Religions by Max Freedom Long

On Elvis’s bedside table in 1960 was The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and How to Live 365 Days a Year by Dr. John A. Schindler. He often read medical texts and was so well-versed in The Physician’s Desk Reference that he more than held his own when talking to medical professionals about prescription drugs.

Elvis Presley’s Book Collection

The king also had an eclectic taste. Elvis Presley’s reading list purchases in 1963 include the following unique collection: Antique Guns, Eyewitness History of World War II, First 100 Days of the Kennedy Administration, Guns, Joke Dictionary, Jokes for the John, World Atlas, Our Fifty States, East of Eden, Strange People, and

The Impersonal Life by Anonymous

The Infinite Way by Joel S. Goldsmith

Isis Unveiled (2 Volume Set) by H.P. Blavatsky

Leaves of Morya’s Garden, Book 1: The Call 1924 by Agni Yoga Society 

Leaves of Morya’s Garden, Book 2: Illumination 1925 by Agni Yoga Society 

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Elvis Presley's Esoteric/Spiritual Reading List
Elvis Presley’s Esoteric/Spiritual Reading List

Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East (6-Volume Set) by Baird T. Spalding

The Masters and the Path by C. W. Leadbeater

Meetings With Remarkable Men: All And Everything, 2nd Series by G.I. Gurdjieff

The Mystical Christ by Manly Palmer Hall 

Elvis Presley's Esoteric/Spiritual Reading List
Elvis Presley’s Esoteric/Spiritual Reading List

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

Sacred Science of Numbers by Corinne Heline

The following lists a few other books Elvis was interested in, but all of them are out of print:

Cheiro’s Book of Numbers by Cheiro

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The Gospel According to Thomas by Raghavan Iyer

New Mansions for New Men by Dane Rudyar

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9 thoughts on “Elvis Presley Was An Eccentric Spiritual Reader

  1. Jacqueline Gorospe

    In the 60s and 70s drugs were given liberally by doctors. Doctors didn’t know about lactose intolerance and wheat allergy and other conditions. Eating all that white bread and bacon didn’t help him. He needed a nutritionist and better doctor.

  2. Kary

    Do u blame the man with his schedule ? No one else today could have made it. And 45 years later he’s more popular than ever But hard core drug addict? Walk a mile in his shoes.

  3. Anonymous

    These new age account teachings have hat he seemed to enjoy seem to always lead to a dead end. It is the eternal carrot on the stick they these books from Blavatsky and Alice Bailey and others teach

  4. He sure did 40 ish:) If you get the chance to visit graceland: https://britonthemove.com/visit-graceland/ you’ll see the guns and all kinds of other stuff he collected – cars, police badges, TV’s, cameras – all kinds of odd stuff. When you visit graceland there is an entertainment complex on the other side. It’s essentially a museum. It will take you hours to get through the collection on display but it’s facinating:) Nikki

  5. I knew about his gun collection (I’ve seen it..) but never knew he was an avid reader. And, I did not know he read medical books and knew about percribed medicines. This makes me wonder how in the world he ended up in such a mess with the perscription meds if he knew so much. Nikki

    1. Titus

      He studied it to get drugs to get high. 13 different drugs were in his system when he died. Sonny and Red West wrote a book about it right before Elvis died saying he used cocaine as well. He was a hard-core drug addict plain and simple. I love Elvis but truth is truth.

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