Book Focus: Learning about Wisdom

S  l  o  w  l  y, I am finishing the books on my list and bringing new ones to center focus — some for leisure, some for study/growth.  In a flash, I finished Michael Scott’s The Magician after my daughter bought it and read it first (this is the book after The Alchemist), and my daughter finished the next in the series, The Sorceress, so I have that lovely-looking purple book to read now, a nice television substitute.  (Of course, we don’t have a t.v., but it’s nice to feel like we don’t need one, which we don’t.)*  I’m still reading The Reluctant Saint (a biography of St. Francis), but I only read a couple of pages at a time.  Eventually I will finish it in one fell swoop.  I don’t want the end of his life, riddled with physical maladies, to linger any longer than necessary, but the stories of his devotion and sincerity are truly inspiring.

But the gem of a book we are reading for our Women’s Spirituality Group is Cynthia Bourgeault’s The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming an Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart.  I’ve only read through Chapter 2, and already I’ve encountered ideas, terminologies, and topics that resonate deeply with me as True and/or are completely new to me.  Bourgeault readily attributes others in her writing, and if I read a fourth of those she mentions, I have enough reading for the rest of the year.  But it will be enlightening reading.  Sufis, mystics, ancient texts, contemporary Wisdom teachers, poets.

Bourgeault delves into the difference between mysticism and Wisdom, the importance of different religious traditions.  She attributes Lynn Bauman, friend and peer, with popularizing Jesus as “a moshel meshalim, a master of Wisdom, teaching a science of transformation that was both ancient and timeless.”  I guess I hadn’t read enough about Sufism to consider that it may likely be the bridge between Christianity and Islam, but I do know I love Rumi’s poetry.  Apparently, Ibn al-‘Arabi is another Sufi poet of acclaim.  Of course there is more in the book, and I look forward to reading it and to exploring it  further in our book study.  After receiving the book in the mail, I was skeptical.  This little book for $17?  Buy it new or used or borrow from a friend or library, if you are so lucky; I recommend it so far.  I look forward to finishing it this month and letting her “show (us) how to use the teachings of Wisdom to transform (our lives).”

I’ll be sure to check back and let you know what I think in the end.  Links to above books are in the sidebar to the left.

* Thanks for tolerating my apparent delight in parenthetical asides these days.  I find it a nice way to speak from a different perspective.  (Though it does kind of feel like a lady gossiping, doesn’t it?)  Maybe I should add a re-read of Anne of Green Gables to my list.  🙂

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