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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.
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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.
Ancient wisdom is fascinating to me. It can teach us as much as it taught our ancestors so long ago. When I find a quote or a poem I feel a connection to, I collect it like a treasure. You know that you are learning something wise, something which is lost in the hurried twenty-first century.
Wayne Dyer has captured the wisdom from sixty great teachers. They come from various backgrounds, cultures and religions, yet their writings hold truth. These are the writings of highly imaginative, productive and perceptive individuals. If you appreciate poetry, quotes, and prose selections which inspire; you will thrive for sixty days as your soul grows in a new garden of awareness.
The words from our ancestral scholars hold keys to our own spiritual advancement. Wayne takes each portion of writing and unfolds the cocoon for us. He sets the butterflies of truth free to circle in our minds as we gaze on their beauty. He puts each piece of wisdom in the context of our lives today and gives a practical application.
These short essays will speak to your heart. Each section begins with a selection and the explanation follows. Wayne Dyer is a natural teacher who so effortlessly draws on his own collected wisdom and the experiences in his life that most fully represent his new lesson. He challenges the reader to make his book a two-month project in which you read one section a day and try to apply the principles you have absorbed.
As you read this great work, you will feel as though you have entered a unity of consciousness with the writers. Their world suddenly becomes yours, their lessons become a gift of enlightenment. Can pain in our lives help us to accent to a higher plane of acceptance? Can someone really make you unhappy without your consent? Can we turn anger over a situation in life into a peaceful and fulfilling solution? What are the six mistakes we all make?
Here you will learn how to stop giving your precious energy to things you don't believe in, how to find a quite place, or how to become more aware of that feeling of peace you so desire. While I don't believe I am God, I do believe God can show his love through us and his son can live in us. The voices I heard through the words of the sixty writers did not conflict with my own beliefs. They reinforced some of the wisdom I knew to be truth and taught me more about who I want to be. I have just taken the first few steps in the long journey into eternity.
If enlightenment means an immersion in and a surrounding of peace, you might just find it by applying the principles in this book.
A Sample Poem included in Wisdom of the Ages:
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
You will also find the works of Pythagoras and Blaise Pascal, Buddha, Lao-tzu, Confucius, Patanjali, Marcus Tullius Cicero, Jesus of Nazareth, Epictetus, Omar Khayyam, St. Francis of Assisi, Jalaluddin Rumi, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Sir Edward Dyer, William Shakespeare, John Donne, John Milton, Kahlil Gibran, John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Blake, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Hentry David Thoreau, Chief Seattle, Oren Lyons, Rudyard Kipling, Robert Frost, Mother Teresa, Lewis Carroll and many, many more wise teachers.
~The Rebecca Review