One man’s incredible story shows that we all have the ability to live a full and mindful life.
In The Jeweled Highway, Ralph White teaches us how to live by sharing the example of his adventurous life. One of the originators of the New York Open Center, a beacon of holistic living in arguably the world’s greatest metropolis, White colorfully details his physical and spiritual journeys toward greater consciousness and, in the process, offers guidance on how to live both a full and mindful life.
From the stories of his early days in Wales and England all the way through to his adventures in post-Communist Eastern Europe, White’s voice endears him to his audience. One can’t help but imagine listening to him lecture in person, or perhaps having him over for tea in front of the fireplace: his stories are that good, that rich with specifics, and history, and heart.
Of particular note are White’s experiences traveling to South America in the 1970s. His journey encapsulates many of the stereotypes of the decade’s “longhairs,” but there is an earnestness in the details that makes it clear White’s travels were not solely about hedonism—though he, with honesty, does not gloss over the pleasures of the era.
White eventually finds an outlet for his intellectual and spiritual energies by working to establish centers of holistic learning and wisdom around the globe. From Scotland to New York, British Columbia to Hawaii, these centers offer space where people can come to greater openness and sanity by learning from teachers working within spiritual and holistic communities. White’s deep, soulful appreciation for these places is obvious. So, too, is his clear view that they exist apart from him—that they have become what they are, not just because of his work, but because of what they stand for in today’s world.
It is this spirit of dedication and love that is most instructive about White’s memoir. Most people will not live out even a fraction of a fraction of his adventures. But we all have the capacity to work toward gaining wisdom, and to living a life that, as White instructs, showcases exactly who it is that we are.
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