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Wisdom of the Ages: 60 Days to Enlightenment Hardcover – October 7, 1998
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Mass Market Paperback
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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.
Top customer reviews
The author picks 60 well-known wise historical figures, presents a poem or excerpt from their work, briefly describes their major accomplishments, interprets their message, character, trait, or contribution in 3 or 4 pages, and then shows us how we can apply those gifts and messages in our lives.
I enjoy all of Wayne's books, but this is his best to date. I usually take my time and savor his books, but this time I just could not put the book down.
This is not only a self-help book that we can use to emulate the character and traits of great people, but also a collection of interesting short biographical and historical sketches of brilliant people whose thoughts and ideas shape the thinking of our brightest leaders.
Read this book! You'll be glad you did.
Aside the crappy feeling of pages, this book is a great book that has a lot to offer people who are trying to improve their life. Dyer doesn't tell you what to think and repeatedly states that this is written from his point of view which I can respect. He simply explains the different passages from these great minds and does so in a way where it opens your eyes (if you let it) to see things from a different point of view. Doesn't mean you have to agree but it helps you look further than where you may have settled on somethings before. I'm half way done with the book and can't wait to finish. (PS I have never finished a book from front to back in my life, I'm 26, and I hate reading)
I love the book and when I'm done I'll probably read it a few more times before putting it on a shelf.
While the subtitle to this book "60 days to Enlightenment" might be a tad over-stated, reading and putting Wayne's thoughts and suggestions into practice is definitely a very good start in that direction. I can attest that this book and two others of Wayne's have been significant factors in changing at least a few lives that I know of - dramatically for the better. Keep up your wonderful work Wayne.