Seeking Wisdom

SEEKING WISDOM - A Spiritual Manifesto

Larry Culliford

Foreword by Sir Anthony Seldon

University of Buckingham Press - 30 March 2018

ISBN 9781908684981 pb 123 pages RRP £7.99

A skilled physician and psychiatrist has turned his gifted attention to the ailments of society. “Where is humanity heading, towards misery and destruction or a far more glorious future?” “How can we – as individuals – make a difference?” These are among the most timely questions addressed by this boldly reasoned Spiritual Manifesto. 

Part 1 (Rationale) examines the human predicament in terms of both intellectual understanding, and spiritual experiences that are both deeply personal and universal. Progress towards wisdom and maturity occurs in recognizable stages involving not despair but growth in the face of inevitable misfortune, threats and losses as life proceeds. Healthy grieving allows emotional pain to be healed through a reliable natural process, comparable to the healing of wounds. 

Part 2 (Commentary) follows, offering incisive and coherent remarks on ‘Politics’, ‘Leadership’, ‘Religion’, Education’, ‘Health, Mental Health and Social Care’, ‘Capitalism – Economics, Banking and Business’, and 'Art', highlighting especially a correctable imbalance between rational, left-brain dominated, ‘worldly’ attitudes and ambitions, and intuitive, right-brain derived, ‘spiritual’ values.

Part 3 (Seeking Wisdom) continues seamlessly, revealing a simple, constructive way forward, recommending personal Spiritual Development Plans (SDP’s) that reduce the destructive power of the false ‘everyday ego’, and increase the highly beneficial influence of the true ‘spiritual self’. Wisdom, compassion and love are thus restored to primacy above more worldly, self-orientated, materialistic aims and attachments like power, fame and possessions. In this way, generation by generation, society itself will evolve.

Whenever one individual commits to Seeking Wisdom, the future for all is improved.

Endorsements for 'Seeking Wisdom'

Culliford's manifesto reminds us that the promotion of human flourishing should be the goal of a just society.  It is an urgent work for an anxious time. 

James G. R. Cronin, Vice President for Teaching & Learning, Centre For The Integration of Research, University College Cork, Ireland.

 Wonderful work! Insightful, to the point and in elegant prose, Dr. Culliford’s ‘manifesto’ describes a program of spiritual development and maturity that can illumine a path for a varied range of human beings who can take action on his prescriptions. I marvel that this psychiatrist-sage’s dissemination of his life’s studies and experiences is now so encouraging and accessible.

Jonathan Montaldo, former Director, The Thomas Merton Center, Bellarmine University, Louisville, Kentucky, and author of A Year with Thomas Merton.

In cultures riven by opposition politics, Larry Culliford guides us to a common ground, the humanity we share. He follows the wisdom of Thomas Merton who said we must change the world by first understanding and changing our self. This is a concise and lucid study of the stages of development towards maturity, spiritual and human.


Brother Paul Quenon o.c.s.o. poet, writer and monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky, U.S.A.

Larry Culliford offers a clear and useful guide for those seeking personal growth and wisdom in public life. Seeking Wisdom is a gateway into the inner world and an invitation for further discussion and exploration in the outer world.

Fiona Gardner author of Precious Thoughts and The Only Mind Worth Having 

It is welcome to have a modern reflection of how people today might find wisdom. With his experience as a psychiatrist and his ability to embrace the Christian and other spiritual traditions, Larry Culliford examines how people mature and how healthy maturity leads to wisdom. This skilful author shows himself as a wise teacher whose wisdom needs to be heard.

Dominic Walker OGS, former Bishop of Monmouth

In our time of disorientation and disconnection from our roots, Larry Culliford gives us the benefit of his wise and compassionate insights into the life journey we all share and helpful signposts along the path to genuine responsibility and spiritual maturity. This gem of a book engages readers in an open and accessible way with the essentials of life and the challenges of living, growing, healing and ultimately surrendering all our attachments. Larry invites us to be drawn into a seamless connection to the whole, which is a critical message at every level.

David Lorimer, Programme Director, Scientific and Medical Network.

Books on spirituality tend to focus on deepening the inner life of an individual and their personal search for wisdom. Refreshingly, this book focuses on how a wisdom approach can help individuals manage their outer life and so engage more effectively and purposefully with challenging and complex aspects of human life and society.

 The Revd Canon Rebecca Swyer, Director for Apostolic Life, Diocese of Chichester, UK.

An urgently important book about a spirituality that transcends the personal search. Suffering is an important step in growing towards maturity, in becoming more and more compassionate and loving. As Larry Culliford points out, not only a spiritual practice is needed but also a re-integration of  our “spiritual self”, which is more than an ego-bound identity.

Monika Renz, Head of the Psycho-oncology Department at St Gallen Hospital, Switzerland, and author of Dying: A Transition. 

Larry... presents what I would call a matrix; that is, an approach that considers reality from the standpoint of an integration or unifying of all of the various factors in the drama of human life at the present... I see him sketching out in concrete terms the meaning for our actual lives of the matrix itself. How he does it so succinctly and in such a short compass is rather a marvel. Readers of this book will enjoy seeing the whole panorama of this project and I recommend that they engage with it.

Jean McPhail (Sister Gayatriprana), MB ChB, PhD. author of A Spiral Life. 

Larry Culliford's call to each one of us to rediscover and nurture our own inner wisdom is just what is needed in these uncertain and challenging times. Whilst seeing clearly the not so pleasant realities of today's world, it offers hope and encouragement that is firmly grounded in research, experience and a balanced perspective.  It is through experiencing our spiritual identity and value that we, as individuals, can find the peace of mind and happiness we seek.  And only then can the human family as a whole reunite in its vision for a world of truth and harmony. Seeking Wisdom is beautifully written - clear, succinct and with an understanding that is broad as well as deep.  

Sister Jayanti, European Director, Brahma Kumaris.

Larry Culliford weaves together a compelling personal narrative about and an insightful psychological evaluation of the times in which we find ourselves, which invites the reader into a deeper appreciation for the intersection of spirituality and science. Culliford provides an array of engaging and interesting insights that will spur reflection and dialogue for all those open to seeking wisdom.”

Daniel P. Horan, OFM, Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology and Spirituality, Catholic Theological Union (Chicago, USA)

Culliford's gift is in opening up a big picture, placing his readers within it and showing how we as individuals can change the world.

Canon John Twisleton.