Wisdom of the Ages
reads like a workshop on "What the Masters can Teach You." Author Wayne Dyer offers wisdom taught by the world's "great teachers" (such as Buddha, Jesus, Confucius, Michelangelo, and Emily Dickinson) and then provides an easy-to-digest interpretation for modern readers. The book is formatted into daily, quoted passages (around a page in length) from 60 of these teachers--the "60 Days to Enlightenment" in the book's title. After each quote, Dyer offers his own thoughts on how the "lesson" can be applied to contemporary life. After his essay, the author includes a list of exercises to put the teacher's advice to use. Each passage includes a heading--"Soulcenter" for a quote from Herman Melville's Moby Dick
, or "Communication" for William Blake's poem "A Poison Tree," for example.
While his tone is always reverent, Dyer's interpretations occasionally sound flat and obvious--as if he is dumbing down the language for his audience, rather than elevating readers to a higher consciousness (or at least a higher education). This is a shame, because when Dyer writes with the eloquent and enthusiastic voice that earned him his huge popularity--glimpses of that voice do appear in this book--one sees why so many consider him a "master teacher" in his own right. --Gail Hudson
From Publishers Weekly
Veteran self-help author and speaker Dyer (Manifest Your Destiny, etc.) chooses a new format in which to present his familiar material. Here, he offers essays inspired by 60 quotations from poetry and literature that express "life's greatest lessons." Intended as a daily inspirational, each essay focuses on a topic such as patience, leadership, divinity, prayer, grief, humanity, nonconformity, enthusiasm and forgiveness. The quotes are mostly recognizable, from such luminaries as Emerson, Thoreau, Shelley, Shakespeare, Yeats, Kipling, Melville and Shaw. Within this collection dominated by white men are a few surprises, including words from Chief Seattle, Confucius, Langston Hughes and Dorothy Parker. Each essay contains some biographical information about the source and is followed by suggestions for practicing the principle expressed in the quote and Dyer's discussion, such as "reverence for nature" and "unity consciousness." Dyer's pieces are of uneven quality, sometimes vague and undeveloped, simplistic or lacking the clear compassion and positive view required to offer readers genuine help or encouragement. Although the quotations themselves are inspiring, overall, Dyer's ruminations add little of worth.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.