Becoming awake on the road to becoming wise

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Just put down Krista Tippett’s Becoming Wise and I don’t think I will ever be the same again.

It will live long into my memory, with its impact almost impossible to tie down in words and sentences. The book brings together the wide arc of the world’s wisdoms in beautifully crafted language that is often so exquisitely poetic that it almost hurts.

This book is more than an inquiry into the mystery and art of living – it’s a tour de force and opens up new frontiers that create a new space and consciousness in our mind’s eye that is so important in these times of uncertainty that makes it an imperative to excavate. But the excavation will take time to work into the memory that this book leaves.

You know when you have come across something seminal when a book gives you the language and thinking that makes a gigantic breakthrough away from an old way of thinking.

Krista Tippett captures the wisdom of so many things … like our interconnectedness: “The question of what it means to be human is now inextricable from the question of who we are to each other.” I am spell-bound by the idea of the question of who we are to each other, importantly bringing a profound new language to the idea of compassion that is indeed life-saving and life-giving.

Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living is such a joy to read, an unparalleled pleasure and constantly surprises.

You know when you have come across something seminal when a book gives you the language and thinking that makes a gigantic breakthrough away from an old way of thinking. I will never see diversity in the same way again and most certainly will find it impossible to ever use the word tolerance in helping people to understand the necessity of understanding otherness.

Krista writes, “The virtue of tolerance told us to keep observations of moral or spiritual imagination to ourselves, to check them at the doors of our places of vocation and learning. We held them close and starved them of the oxygen of living questions as well as answers, communally, in a corrective interplay with each other.”

What these lines do is to ventilate and oxygenate the questions and takes ideas and notions to an expansive view which is breathtaking. Here, as elsewhere, Krista asserts the simple truth that words so often fall far short of what they are meant to do.

Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living is such a joy to read, an unparalleled pleasure and constantly surprises. Krista Tippett creates new frontiers of meaning between what we once held as true and what she reveals to us of her understanding that creates a new space around how we re-see.

You see this again and again through out these pages: “Our spiritual lives are where we reckon head-on with the mystery of ourselves, and the mystery of each other.” I just love these juxtapositions and the multilayeredness and how she takes complexity into a territory of unequalled simplicity. Perhaps it is understanding this mystery of the shared human condition that we can begin to appreciate otherness.

What is awe-inspiring is that she never strips an idea of its complexity but unerringly finds new pathways of getting a new angle or perspective but all awhile retains the very essence of its simplicity.

This review does no justice to a piece of work that deserves as wider an audience as possible. Dare I say, our very lives depend on it. It helps us hugely to become awake on this road to becoming wise.

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