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.
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October 07, 1998
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Excerpt from Wisdom of the Ages by Wayne W. Dyer
A Greek philosopher and mathematician, Pythagoras was especially interested in the study of mathematics in relation to weights and measures and to musical theory.
All man's miseries derive from not being
able to sit quietly in a room alone.
Blaise Pascal was a French philosopher, scientist, mathematician, and writer, whose treatises contributed to the fields of hydraulics and pure geometry.
This is the one time in this collection of great contributors that I have elected to highlight two writers on the same subject. I selected two men whose lives were separated by over two millennia, both of whom in their own times were considered the most knowledgeable in the rational fields of mathematics and science.
Pythagoras, whose writings influenced the thought of Plato and Aristotle, was a major contributor to the development of both mathematics and Western rational philosophy. Blaise Pascal, a famous French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher who lived twenty-two centuries after Pythagoras, is considered one of the original scientific minds. He is responsible for inventing the syringe, the hydraulic press, and the first digital calculator. Pascal's Law of Pressure is still taught in science classes around the world today.
Keeping in mind the left-brained scientific leanings of these two scientists, reread their two quotes. Pascal: "All man's miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone." Pythagoras: "Learn to be silent. Let your quiet mind listen and absorb." They both speak to the importance of silence and the value of meditation in your life, whether you are an accountant or an avatar. They send us a valuable message about a way of being *in life that is not popularly encouraged 'in our culture: that there is tremendous value *in creating alone time *in your life that is spent in silence. If you want to shed your miseries, learn to sit silently in a room alone and meditate.
It has been estimated that the average person has sixty thousand separate thoughts each and every day. The problem with this is that we have the same sixty thousand thoughts today that we had yesterday, and we'll repeat them again tomorrow. Our minds are filled with the same chatter day in and day out. Learning to be quiet and meditate involves figuring out a way to enter the spaces between your thoughts; or the gap, as I call it. In this silent empty space between your thoughts, you can find a sense of total peace' in a realm that is ordinarily unknowable. Here, any illusion of your separateness is shattered. However, if you have sixty thousand separate thoughts in a day, there is literally no time available to enter the space between your thoughts, because there is no space!