Original Wisdom: Stories of an Ancient Way of Knowing

Front Cover
Inner Traditions/Bear, Aug 1, 2001 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 208 pages
32 Reviews
• Explores the lifestyle of indigenous peoples of the world who exist in complete harmony with the natural world and with each other.

• Reveals a model of a society built on trust, patience, and joy rather than anxiety, hurry, and acquisition.

• Shows how we can reconnect with the ancient intuitive awareness of the world's original people.

Deep in the mountainous jungle of Malaysia the aboriginal Sng'oi exist on the edge of extinction, though their way of living may ultimately be the kind of existence that will allow us all to survive. The Sng'oi--pre-industrial, pre-agricultural, semi-nomadic--live without cars or cell phones, without clocks or schedules in a lush green place where worry and hurry, competition and suspicion are not known. Yet these indigenous people--as do many other aboriginal groups--possess an acute and uncanny sense of the energies, emotions, and intentions of their place and the living beings who populate it, and trustingly follow this intuition, using it to make decisions about their actions each day.

Psychologist Robert Wolff lived with the Sng'oi, learned their language, shared their food, slept in their huts, and came to love and admire these people who respect silence, trust time to reveal and heal, and live entirely in the present with a sense of joy. Even more, he came to recognize the depth of our alienation from these basic qualities of life. Much more than a document of a disappearing people, Original Wisdom: Stories of an Ancient Way of Knowing holds a mirror to our own existence, allowing us to see how far we have wandered from the ways of the intuitive and trusting Sng'oi, and challenges us, in our fragmented world, to rediscover this humanity within ourselves.

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Review: Original Wisdom: Stories of an Ancient Way of Knowing

User Review  - Jonathan - Goodreads

some very good and thoughtful recollections of a simpler life; a few truly poetic insights included. but also veers towards naive primitivism occasionally, which irritates me. Read full review

Review: Original Wisdom: Stories of an Ancient Way of Knowing

User Review  - Richard Reese - Goodreads

Original Wisdom is an unforgettable book. Like all humans, author Robert Wolff was born a wild animal, ready to enjoy a pleasant life, romping around in a tropical wilderness. He grew up in Sumatra ... Read full review

About the author (2001)

Robert Wolff was raised among the indigenous peoples of Indonesia. A psychologist and educator who has lived in Suriname, Southeast Asia, and Europe, he has taught at the University of Hawaii and currently lives on the Big Island.

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