A wisdom tradition, whether religious or philosophical, is a belief system and way of life that passed down from generation to generation that has lasting value. It contains the wisdom of its forebearers.
The first wisdom tradition, and the most influential, is Buddhism, which began in the 5th century BCE. Buddhism is the nontheistic religion that was started by Siddhartha Gautama, better known as the Buddha. Today psychology is confirming many of his insights into the human mind.
The second wisdom tradition is Daoism, which began around the 4th century BCE. Daoism, also spelled Taoism, was founded by a movement of those returning to nature. Laozi is the legendary founder. Today Ecopsychology is confirming the human need to be connected to nature.
The third wisdom tradition is Stoicism, which began in the 3rd century. Stoicism is a philosophy that was created by a man named Zeno of Citium. Today Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which was inspired by Stoicism, is confirming many of the Stoics insights.
The fourth wisdom tradition is Existentialism, which is a philosophical movement that began in the 19th century. It takes seriously our struggle to find meaning and purpose in the modern world. This gave rise to Existential psychology and Logotherapy.