Read The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World (Large Print 16pt) by Wade Davis Free Online
Book Title: The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World (Large Print 16pt)|
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The author of the book: Wade Davis
Date of issue: May 1st 2013
ISBN 13: 9781459664821
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 578 KB
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The Wayfinders is a passionate exploration of several modern-day traditional cultures - ancient people practicing ways of life which have barely changed over thousands of years, often passed down without written language and rich in social, spiritual and environmental significance.
The book details epic pilgrimages and exceptional feats of human ingenuity rivaling the most advanced technological capabilities of modern times and far exceeding any religious feats of the "developed" world. Perhaps most fascinating is the author's explanations of the various cultural worldviews and how steeped in coexistence and harmony they are - entire ways of life beautifully revolving around rite and respect for the surrounding environment and the elements necessary for the survival of mankind.
Such cultures are being lost at a rate which exceeds that of global biodiversity loss - a tragedy that must be stopped in order to preserve alternative paradigms for mankind's meaning. Within each distinct culture exists a unique philosophy on how to live and for what to live; as these cultures die, so too do our collective abilities to learn from and emulate them. Given the immense wisdom and sustainable essence of ancient cultures inspired by survival, Davis argues that it is critical we both protect and learn from them; especially given the undeniable destructiveness of the dominant Western capitalistic culture. Perhaps we need to adopt a new paradigm before our economic and philosophical systems of competition and wealth accumulation have devoured what's left of our cultural and natural systems.
All in all, The Wayfinders is a poetic, insightful and important read for anyone interested in ancient cultures, especially those who doubt the importance of preserving them. I highly recommend it.
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Read information about the authorEdmund Wade Davis has been described as "a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet, and passionate defender of all of life's diversity."
An ethnographer, writer, photographer, and filmmaker, he holds degrees in anthropology and biology and received his Ph.D. in ethnobotany, all from Harvard University. Mostly through the Harvard Botanical Museum, he spent more than three years in the Amazon and Andes as a plant explorer, living among 15 indigenous groups in eight Latin American nations while making some 6,000 botanical collections. His work later took him to Haiti to investigate folk preparations implicated in the creation of zombies, an assignment that led to his writing Passage of Darkness (1988) and The Serpent and the Rainbow (1986), an international best seller that appeared in ten languages and was later released by Universal as a motion picture.
His other books include Penan: Voice for the Borneo Rain Forest (1990), Shadows in the Sun (1993), Nomads of the Dawn (1995), The Clouded Leopard (1998), Rainforest (1998), Light at the Edge of the World (2001), The Lost Amazon (2004), Grand Canyon (2008), Book of Peoples of the World (ed. 2008), and One River (1996), which was nominated for the 1997 Governor General's Literary Award for Nonfiction. Into the Silence, an epic history of World War I and the early British efforts to summit Everest, was published in October, 2011. Sheets of Distant Rain will follow.
Davis is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2002 Lowell Thomas Medal (The Explorers Club) and the 2002 Lannan Foundation prize for literary nonfiction. In 2004 he was made an honorary member of the Explorers Club, one of just 20 in the hundred-year history of the club. In recent years his work has taken him to East Africa, Borneo, Nepal, Peru, Polynesia, Tibet, Mali, Benin, Togo, New Guinea, Vanuatu, and the high Arctic of Nunavut and Greenland.
A native of British Columbia, Davis, a licensed river guide, has worked as park ranger and forestry engineer and conducted ethnographic fieldwork among several indigenous societies of northern Canada. He has published 150 scientific and popular articles on subjects ranging from Haitian vodoun and Amazonian myth and religion to the global biodiversity crisis, the traditional use of psychotropic drugs, and the ethnobotany of South American Indians.
Davis has written for National Geographic, Newsweek, Premiere, Outside, Omni, Harpers, Fortune, Men's Journal, Condé Nast Traveler, Natural History, Utne Reader, National Geographic Traveler, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Globe and Mail, and several other international publications.
His photographs have been featured in a number of exhibits and have been widely published, appearing in some 20 books and more than 80 magazines, journals, and newspapers. His research has been the subject of more than 700 media reports and interviews in Europe, North and South America, and the Far East, and has inspired numerous documentary films as well as three episodes of the television series The X Files.
A professional speaker for nearly 20 years, Davis has lectured at the National Geographic Society, American Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, and California Academy of Sciences, as well as many other museums and some 200 universities, including Harvard, MIT, Oxford, Yale, and Stanford. He has spoken at the Aspen Institute, Bohemian Grove, Young President’s Organization, and TED Conference. His corporate clients have included Microsoft, Shell, Hallmark, Bank of Nova Scotia, MacKenzie Financials, Healthcare Association of Southern California, National Science Teachers Association, and many others.
An honorary research associate of the Institute of Economic Botany of the New York Botanical Garden, he is a fellow of the Linnean Society, the Explorers Club, and the Royal Geographical Society.
(Source: National Geographic)