Wisdom Traditions

I just listened again to a podcast interview on the Tim Ferriss show with Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the recently deceased Jewish leader from the UK.

Many of you, my readers, might be offended if you listened to Tim Ferriss often. But he interviews people of high achievement of whom almost all have a solid core set of personal integrity. Ferriss is known as the author of The Four-Hour Work Week, The Four-Hour Body, The Four-Hour Chef, Tools of the Titans, and Tribe of Mentors.

Sacks described offering prayers at the site of the 9/11 attack in New York City along with many other religious leaders including Christians of different traditions and Muslims. He was moved by the experience such that in a subsequent book he wrote (and I paraphrase a bit) all religions are a source of truth—subsequently changed to all religions are a source of wisdom.

Those words resonated with me, since I have since my mid-teens read the wisdom literature of many traditions. Heck, in my family reading the works of Roman Catholics was heretical. St. John of the Cross was one of my favorites. <sigh>

Sacks unfortunately passed away last year only a few months after the interview was released. The interview was a great introduction to me, and I have purchased his last book, Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times. I can’t think of better reading and reflections than that book right now.

I don’t think I’ll convert to Judaism by reading his works any more than converting to Taoism by reading the Tao Te Ching (another great and ancient wisdom book).

The book is currently on a UPS truck somewhere. I’ll let you know more when I read it.

My thought of the day despite all this rambling is that we can find sources of wisdom that can be applied to our lives immediately upon learning them simply by opening our eyes and minds and searching. Don’t shut off sources because of ethnicity, gender, geography, era. Start by listening to that podcast and let your heart listen to humbleness, sensitivity, and strength.

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