The Book You Need for a Fresh Perspective on Life

The Book You Need for a Fresh Perspective on Life

Throughout the past couple of months, I’ve been seeing my friends spend their summers in the glorious Northern Hemisphere. From soaking up the sun in Capri and beach days along the Amalfi coast to sunset dinners in Manhattan. I also joined in on the fun this summer travelling around California for the past month of July. Being the bookworm that I am, the long-haul flights to America were a great chance to curl up with a good read. I wanted to share an inspiring book that I read throughout my trip which showed me different perspectives on life, opening my mind up to new ways of thinking spiritually and philosophically. You may have heard of the 90’s hip-hop group, Wu-Tang Clan and their iconic hits, Protect Ya Neck and C.R.E.A.M (Cash Rules Everything Around Me). With a unique mix of artists, one member’s gripping story of survival reveals the rawness in searching for wisdom from the deepest pools of human spirit.

RZA was part of 90’s hip-hop group, Wu-Tang Clan and record producer. His spiritual memoir explores a unique intersection between Eastern philosophy and its application within his musical journey. From growing up in some of the roughest neighbourhoods to worldwide success, RZA’s philosophical reflections on life truly cultivate a sense of our need to put wisdom into practice in order to live a fulfilling life. I have always be open to hearing other perspectives and learning objectively from their wisdom. This was no exception.

You can tell how much value I got out of it from the number to pages I tabbed. 

Take a Chance on Me

I spontaneously picked up this read from the Barnes and Noble store at The Grove in Los Angeles. Not my usual pick of the lottery, but a lady saw me eyeing it’s blurb on the bookshelf and chimed in, ‘that’s a really great, you won’t regret it’. Putting my trust in her words, I swiftly grabbed it without a moment to hesitate.

Cue a 13-hour flight from San Francisco to Auckland. I finished it in one sitting. Not even the latest movies from the in-flight entertainment menu could tempt me. It was compelling. Inspiring. Authentic.

'Wisdom is fluid. It brings flexibility and adaptation. It frees you from slavery to your past and passions.' - RZA

Schooling usually provides knowledge and lots of it too. When we graduate and come out into the ‘real world’, we often find that much of the knowledge we gained in school is irrelevant because we cannot apply it to life. So, the moments where we can apply knowledge to life, we call this wisdom. It is precisely this ability to understand when and how to employ what we have learnt is when we can approach situations with rationality and tranquillity to stay grounded. RZA enlightens us consistently how he was able to live out wisdom in order to process difficult emotions and continue navigating life, to keep the momentum of living, rather than being stuck in a hard place. These modicums are so cleverly peppered throughout the text, enhancing my reading experience. It encouraged me to reflect on whether I have been able to live as if nature has intended for me. Do I resist, fight or deny how events unfold? Or am I able to reflect and reframe my perspectives to maintain an inner sense of calm?

RZA’s experiences also invite us to recognise the beauty of mathematics in the everyday, how the game of chess teaches us to strengthen our mental capacities and draw parallels from lessons in popular anime hits such as Dragon Ball Z. Reading about someone’s experiences which were vastly different to my own opened my mind to just how unique every individual is. The vital lesson I gained is that we must reflect on what we go through, to grow through them and turn the knowledge we have acquired into wisdom.

The Tao of Wu is a text I would highly recommend for those who are open to absorbing wisdom from a deep thinker. Great for a long haul flight or a morning commute to inspire us in cultivating our inner selves.

You can grab a copy of The Tao of Wu by The RZA from your local bookstore or online.

If you would like to show your support, feel free to buy me a coffee! ☕