Wisdom of the Ages reads like a workshop on “What the Masters can Teach You.” Author Wayne Dyer offers wisdom taught by the world’s “great teachers” (such as Buddha, Jesus, Confucius, Michelangelo, and Emily Dickinson) and then provides an easy-to-digest interpretation for modern readers. The book is formatted into daily, quoted passages (around a page in length) from 60 of these teachers–the “60 Days to Enlightenment” in the book’s title. After each quote, Dyer offers his own thoughts on how the “lesson” can be applied to contemporary life.
After his essay, the author includes a list of exercises to put the teacher’s advice to use. Each passage includes a heading–”Soulcenter” for a quote from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, or “Communication” for William Blake’s poem “A Poison Tree,” for example. While his tone is always reverent, Dyer’s interpretations occasionally sound flat and obvious–as if he is dumbing down the language for his audience, rather than elevating readers to a higher consciousness (or at least a higher education). This is a shame, because when Dyer writes with the eloquent and enthusiastic voice that earned him his huge popularity–glimpses of that voice do appear in this book–one sees why so many consider him a “master teacher” in his own right.