The definition of wisdom, like true wisdom itself, is very simple. But like most simple things, the modern mind struggles to understand it because of the very fact that it is so simple.
There is a basic progression to the acquisition of wisdom. Every human being has the capacity or potential to be as wise as Buddha, Yoda, Socrates, Bagger, G, Morphius, Patrick or Soc, Cyril, Silent Flautist, whoever your wise sage might be. You have the potential to be as wise as they are. Note I say potential because it is up to you whether or not you are going to cultivate that wisdom.
“Information experienced becomes knowledge,
knowledge put into action becomes wisdom.”
First comes the acquisition of information. When you want to learn about something what do you do? You start as an information seeker. You acquire as much information on a particular topic as you can. You do research. Let us take a case in point. You want to learn about wisdom so you get on the web and you search for the definition of wisdom. You find this page. Right now you are acquiring information on wisdom.
You are incredibly fortunate to be alive in this age. Why? Well what age are we in? The Information Age. No. We switched to the Value Age ten years ago. Now we are rapidly moving through the Appreciation and Service Age, as things are speeding up. Never before has it been so easy to acquire valuable information on so many varied ideas, topics, things, cultures etc. The general standard of world information literacy is higher than it has ever been before.
So that is the first step towards wisdom, the acquisition of information. Information is the theoretical stretching of the mind. Until you have information you cannot decide which information best suites you. At the information stage you are still engaging the intellect. The true definition of wisdom goes beyond the intellect.
The next step is turning that information into knowledge by experiencing it. This is where most of the younger generations come short. Our world has put a massive amount of value on information only. The result is thousands of young idealistic intellectuals hitting the market place with little street or corporate savvy. They can quote reams of theories and ideas, but they have not learnt how to practically apply these theories. That is where the University of Life kicks in.
The greatest adventure into enchanted learning is actually experiencing what you have learnt. It is through this process that one is able to discern what information works and what information is outmoded or outdated. You learn to become your own personal information manager. It is through the practical experiencing of information that we have the Ah Ha moments in life. It is here that we begin to turn information into knowledge. However you are still using the intellect. The ah ha is a glimpse from silent knowing, the storehouse of all wisdom.
The full definition of wisdom, is to be on the hunt to learn, integrate and take action on knowledge acquired continuously. That means the journey and adventure never ends. Unfortunately most women and men get a little bit of knowledge and then just drop it. They have an Ah Ha moment and then think “that’s it.” And what tends to happen is they soon forget that Ah Ha and carry on using the information they have learnt, instead of the lesson experienced.
As Winston Churchill once said:
Man very often stumbles over the truth.
But most of the time he dusts himself off and keeps going.
Lets take a rather extreme example. If you are told that you should not put your hand in the fire because it will burn you. There is the information. Now if you go and put your hand in the fire or see someone put their hand in the fire and get burnt that is an experience. It starts to become knowledge. However for it to become wisdom you have to put that knowledge into action. It would be foolish to fear fire. But respecting fire for its attributes and using fire for cooking and warmth is wisdom.
And so at the end of this simple little process we have Wisdom. The best definition of wisdom that I can give you is summed up in the following statement:
“It’s when you know that you know that you know.”
Something becomes wisdom when you have fully integrated it into your consciousness. That means that you do not have to think about it any more, you just know it and act on it. There are no doubts, there is no second guessing. There is no stopping and hesitating and weighing up of options because you know exactly what is required for the given situation. And you never assume you know because you know that you know that you know. To do this requires persistence and practice, continual practice. It goes beyond the intellect. It becomes silent knowing, it is wisdom.
The wonderful thing about finding wisdom is that there are so many pathways, highways and byways. We all wonder along until we find the one that just rings true for us. Are you looking for a fantastic pathway to wander along with some great parables retold with just the right amount of humour? Find some enchanted learning gems at www.light-up-your-life.com.
The Adventure Learning Wise-Gals and Guys
A little exercise for your own definition of wisdom
So now you know what wisdom is. Why not take the initiative and practice it. Choose something you want to learn about. Get the information you require, experience it and let it become knowledge. And once you have experienced it do the best you can to take action on the lessons you have learnt. Turn it into informed and integrated action. You could start with mental floss in enchanted learning or any of the information offered in the simple life.