Foreword ix Preface xiii Spiritually Independent, Not Spiritually Disinterested xiii Perennial Philosophy: It's Fourfold xiv Passage Meditation: Meaningful Memorization xiv The Five Questions: The Heart of the Spiritual Quest xv Personal Note xvi Acknowledgments xvii What Is Perennial Wisdom? 1 Who Am I? 10 Where Did I Come From? 54 Where Am I Going? 118 How Shall I Live? 176 Why? 258 Sages Cited, Annotated 283 Primary Sources, Annotated 296 Notes 309 Bibliography and Suggestions for Further Reading 310
Rami Shapiro, a renowned teacher of spirituality across faith traditions, is an award-winning storyteller, poet and essayist. He is author of The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness: Preparing to Practice, Recovery-The Sacred Art: The Twelve Steps as Spiritual Practice and The Divine Feminine in Biblical Wisdom Literature: Selections Annotated & Explained (all SkyLight Paths), among other books. Rami Shapiro is available to speak on the following topics: Writing-The Sacred Art: Beyond the Page to Spiritual Practice Stop Playing God: 12 Steps as Spiritual Practice Biblical Wisdom for Post-biblical Times: An Exploration of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Job The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness: Cultivating Compassion in Daily Life Hasidic Wisdom: An Exploration of Hasidic Storytelling, Theology and Contemplative Practice Saints and Sages: Biblical Prophets, Ancient Rabbis and the Building of a Just World Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest, internationally known inspirational speaker and author, is founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
"Even the spiritually independent can use a wise pastor, and Rami Shapiro steps into this role admirably, with his inimitable combination of wit, irony, honesty and luminous mystical understanding. The perfect guide for navigating the deep seas of perennial wisdom!" -Cynthia Bourgeault, author, The Wisdom Way of Knowing, The Meaning of Mary Magdalene, The Wisdom Jesus and The Holy Trinity and the Law of Three "Do not read this book, unless, that is, you want insight into life's biggest questions.... This book is the fruit of the author's own search for meaning and will bear fruit for any reader who approaches it, and life, with sacred sincerity." -Tom Stella, author, Finding God Beyond Religion: A Guide for Skeptics, Agnostics & Unorthodox Believers Inside & Outside the Church "Marvelous ... it will change your life. Sufis say that once the Blush of the Beloved graces you, there is no going back to being a green apple." -Imam Jamal Rahman, author, The Spiritual Gems of Islam: Insights & Practices from the Qur'an, Hadith, Rumi & Muslim Teaching Stories to Enlighten the Heart & Mind "Wise ... I want all my friends to read and savor this book!" -Gordon Peerman, Episcopal priest and psychotherapist; author, Blessed Relief: What Christians Can Learn from Buddhists about Suffering "A deep mine filled with jewels of wisdom, each and every one radiant with light. When seen with our hearts, these jewels blaze the light of truth into the darkness of our limited understanding. A wonder-full offering." -Krishna Das, internationally known chant artist