Original Wisdom: a book review

Categories: Book Reviews, Enlightenment

Original Wisdom

Stories of an Ancient Way of Knowing

By Robert Wolff

Inner Traditions (August 1, 2001)

Although Robert Wolff published Original Wisdom: Stories of an Ancient Way of Knowing twenty years ago, it’s a wonderful book. I recently read it for a second time.

Deep in the mountains of the jungle of Malaysia live the aboriginal people called the Sng’oi. Their way of living can teach us a way of life that could help us survive.

It is this way of life that psychologist Robert Wolff shares with us in Original Wisdom.

Original Wisdom Book Cover

Earning trust

Robert Wolff stayed with the Sng’oi peoples — learning their language, sharing their food, and sleeping in their huts. The Sng’oi are pre-agricultural and semi-nomadic.  He found that they live entirely in the present with a sense of joy and wonder. They respect all species and trust time to heal and reveal the way for each day. They also trust their intuition.

Eventually the Sng’oi peoples trusted Wolff enough to train him in their ways. They wanted him to find his own path. Wolff describes how he was able to trust a process that gave him entry into the depths of a way of living he did not know existed.

Through this book, we can see how far society has come from relying upon our intuition and trust in the universe.

I recommend this book if you want to find hope in a way of living that is attainable for all of us – one village at a time.

I long for a reconnection to all living beings and a respect for all species.

Take care,



P.S. Robert Wolff passed in 2016. I did find a 2007 interview he did about his experience with this way of life trusting in each other and the universe. Find it on Future Primitive.






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