This is a book for people who want to take up the great questions of our time with imagination and courage, to nurture new realities in the spaces we inhabit, and to do so expectantly and with joy.
Happy Spring! I'm beginning this wondrous season of new life by reading Krista Tippett's intelligent, reflective, small "s"spiritual book, Becoming Wise.
Krista is a Peabody Award-winning broadcaster, New York Times best-selling author and the recipient of the US National Humanities Medal for "thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence". She is the host of the US National Public Radio program and blog, On Being, (one of my favourite places to go on a rainy Saturday afternoon with a hot cup of tea), and a wise woman in her own right.
I love this book. I'm reading it with two friends and we're discussing it chapter-by-chapter using the equally thoughtful study guide. I commend both to you.
Here are some quotes from the Introduction to the book:
Change has always happened in the margins, across human history, and it's happening there now. Seismic shifts in common life, as in geophysical reality, begin in spaces and cracks.
The interesting and challenging thing about this moment is that we know the old forms aren't working. But we can't yet see what the new forms will be.
History always repeats itself until we honestly and searchingly know ourselves.
Our spiritual lives are where we reckon head-on with the mystery of ourselves, and the mystery of each other.
We create transformative, resilient new realities by becoming transformed, resilient people.
Our spiritual traditions have carried virtues across time. They are not the stuff of saints and heroes, but tools for the art of living. They are pieces of intelligence about human behaviour that neuroscience is now exploring with new words and images: what we practice, we become.
Listening is about being present, not just about being quiet ...
The world right now needs the most vivid, transformative universe of words that you and I can muster. And we can begin immediately to start having the conversations we want to be hearing, and telling the story of our time anew.
I hear the word love surfacing as a longing for our public life everywhere I turn.
I have yet to meet a wise person who doesn't know how to find some joy even in the midst of what is hard, and to smile and laugh easily, including at oneself... (Humour) is one of those virtues that soften us for all the others.
I define hope as distinct from optimism or idealism. It has nothing to do with wishing. It references reality at every turn and reveres truth ... Hope, like every virtue, is a choice that becomes a habit that becomes spiritual muscle memory. It's a renewable resource for moving through life as it is, not as we wish it to be.
What has gone wrong becomes an opening to more of yourself and part of your gift to the world. This is the beginning of wisdom.
If this is the Introduction to Becoming Wise, you can imagine what the rest of the book offers to an open, reflective and hopeful mind. Enjoy!