Original Wisdom

Stories of an Ancient Way of Knowing

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About The Book

• 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.

About The Author

Robert Wolff (d. 2016) was raised by his Dutch parents among the indigenous peoples of Indonesia. A psychologist and educator who lived at times in Suriname and in Southeast Asia, he also taught at the University of Hawaii.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Inner Traditions (August 1, 2001)
  • Length: 208 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780892818662

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Raves and Reviews

“Each chapter in this book contains help, knowledge, and a new perspective. Even though the author is warning us about many dangers we face these days, this book is full of hope, affirmation, and love. I hope you will plunk it down on your kitchen counter or bedside table and read into it for as far as it takes you. That may be to a new and better world.”

– Edward Hallowell, M.D., author of Connect and Human Moments: How to Find Love and Meaning in Your Ev

“Robert Wolff’s moving autobiographical narrative takes us back to an older, wiser human time, when people knew that spirituality was not apart from the naturalness of things. This book demonstrates how the legendary “dream people” were not at all ephemeral, but vulnerably and exquisitely human.”

– Stephen Larsen, author of Fire in the Mind

“It will fill you with hope for a human future more in line with what it means to truly be human. Read it, dream about it, and share it with your friends. This is a message the world must hear.”

– Thom Hartmann, author of The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight

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