Polishing Wisdom


TRACKING COMPASSION IN AN UNRAVLED WORLD

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wisdom

           If wisdom could be eaten or anchored or purchased and owned, then there would be little trouble, with it. But not only is wisdom hard to come by, it is also hard to transmit. That would be a wise culture’s main task. But if history serves us well, pursuit of wisdom is rare even in times and in places of peace, which themselves are rare and impermanent. The norm is that other quests of the heart and head rush to the fore and the resulting melee—sometimes called ‘life as we know it’—often swamps those who pursue wisdom and the notion of wisdom itself.

            So what might wisdom even be? What does the word wisdom mean? We have and use many words as synonyms (we think) of wisdom. Knowledge, knowing, insight, clarity, brilliance, grasping. . .  Through this, the understanding of wisdom is damaged. Why so? Because wisdom is the godhead of all the others, which are diluted by concept, opinion, experience, agenda and ordinary passions, all of which fall under the category of wanting. Wisdom is free of wanting. It is realization of the essence or nature of things. It is the basis of compassion, which is the activity of enlightenment.

            The layers of wisdom in this story run the gamut from the conventional to the ultimate and even tilt into the manifestation of the nominal. Enjoy the digging. 

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