Modern self-help gurus and wisdom of the past
One of the most influential self-help gurus of the twentieth century was Wayne Dyer. I was impressed by his writings and got curious to know more about him. He was a self-made man- he claimed, and confessed he sought spiritual wisdom from many sources, and he even acknowledged them in his later works. He confessed the Shiva Advaita doctrine and teaching of swami Muktananda had influenced him. Nisargatta Maharaj, the Indian guru of non-dualism was his teacher. Besides, the traditional knowledge given by the Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu in his Tao Te Ching deeply influenced him. What’s important to note is that Lao-Tzu appeared five hundred years before Christ and Advaita doctrine was given by Shankaracharya in the sixth century. Rather than dismiss the theories of the past as irrelevant dogmas, Dyer sought the essence, and he also made millions teaching people self-help skills based on the wisdom of the past.
Don Miguel Ruiz is an excellent example of how ancient teachings can profoundly influence us to attain spiritual enlightenment.
Born in Mexico, he pursued a medical degree and became a neurosurgeon, and practised medicine for several years. One day he met with a near-fatal car accident and stunned by the close shave, he sought answers to the mysteries of life. He returned back to his rural Mexican setting and learnt humbly from his mother and other teachers, the wisdom they had gathered for generations. He left medicine, and discovered his own path to awareness. He studied the ancient Mexican Toltec wisdom dated to have originated in 2000 B.C and developed a deeper understanding of the universe, life and the virtual world of the human mind. He then penned his realizations as a book, The Four Agreements that sold over seven million copies and remained in New York Times bestseller list for over seven years.
How to approach the wisdom of the past
It’s said if the man is potent and the woman fertile, their union will give birth to a child. Similarly when the wisdom of the past come together with a sincere student that is ready and receiving, the combination will create a volcanic explosion of wisdom and ecstasy!
The key here is openness to the timeless principles in these teachings; one will find these sayings echo with his/her own inner wisdom.To be continued…