Wisdom and Knowledge

I asked the question, “What could be wisdom?” last post. Indeed, it is quite elusive. FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com mentioned common sense, and how her parents and grandparents have them.

So, old people come to mind when wisdom is mentioned?
Then, is wisdom simply old age?

Though, that still does not answer what wisdom is. Old age is also not it because there are many unwise old people. It’s just that they are more likely to be wiser than their young counterpart.

I find in eastern culture (not the eastern culture now), the people have more emphasis to wisdom due to the influence of Buddhism and Taoism. There were a bunch of people who were in search of being enlightened. Just look at the existing methodologies and techniques — meditation, yoga, reciting mantra, zazen, physical isolation, etc. The ones who become enlightened thus become masters and seem to have answers to everything in life. But some of them get there in a day. Some of them take several decades. Some died before.

Now, let me quote FB’s one sentence, “Wisdom is also common sense worked in with logic/rationality. Wisdom seems to be this part of us that works along side our rational mind.”

So wisdom is not so much information. Nor a skill that could be learned through discipline. But as said when I talked about eastern culture, wisdom seems to somehow needs invoking. Yet, it cannot be taught. What is it?

I can offer no definite answer either :P It seems to be the knowing of the known and unknown. Thus, it’s our full being that knows that we know what knowledge we know (logical mind) and ALSO knows that which is indescribable through the logical mind.

Wisdom then becomes the knowing, the understanding, the realization of our full being.

Thus, if knowledge, learned through intelligence of the logical mind, are puzzle pieces, wisdom is the one to put them together for the “optimal” result in life.

Taking that further, I would even say that if knowledge is the car, the wisdom is the driver. Thus, given 500 horsepower of knowledge, there needs to be a driver who can handle a 500 HP car. When a driver, who is only capable of driving 100-200 HP (normal) car, drives 500 HP of knowledge, we WILL have tragedy. That is definite.

Let me give another example, if you give the famous katana Mursame to a child to wield, it is with certainty that he’s going to lose a limp or two if not kill himself. So someone with great swordsmanship should wield it. But also, if fallen in the wrong hands, many people could be killed.

What about someone with a ton of wisdom but almost no knowledge? I don’t know, can we still call this person wise?

Jokes aside… Too much knowledge, not enough wisdom. I observe that is the state of affair our world is in.

A balanced person, a balanced world is when wisdom and knowledge are in proportion.

Wisdom being the knowing of our full being. When we accept and embrace our full being (if you let yourself into what it means), perhaps you can find wisdom there.

I think until then, we have to live in a world driven by knowledge, or rather, people who are drunk on knowledge that will continue to be more and more chaotic until we become wiser. In this sense, for future as humanity as a whole, economy and politics become “small problems” until we resolve this. This making philosophy more important than ever.

If knowledge is power and with power, comes responsibility, what does that tell us now?

The responsibility is not just how we are going to use the power (knowledge). More importantly, the responsibility is also knowing when to use the power and when NOT to use the power.

Of course, drunk people would not listen to this kind of crap.

Originally posted 2009-11-05 00:37:24. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

2 Responses

  1. For me, wisdom is a mix of three things:

    Common Sense learned from Hands-On Experience, driven by Logic/Rationality to develop and acknowledge that learned Common Sense.

    Knowledge learned from Books and Experience.

    A deep understanding and reflection of “Self”, which includes personality, attitudes and morals.

    This is the hardest for most, and some people may never achieve it, if they do not have the Common Sense to understand that they need to know who they are to develop an inkling of wisdom.

    P.S. any chance you could work in some code where if we accidentally forget to answer the question, our text doesn’t get erased?

    I wrote a HUGE LONG answer and then I forgot to type in the answer, which made me lose everything.

  2. Kin says:

    Oh no, sorry about the answer thing. I disabled it all together because I am using other anti SPAM mechanism now.

    One tip that usually works in that scenario is, if you hadn’t tried, is to hit “Back” in browser to get to the last page and your text in the answer box could still be there. Though, it seems to be dependent on a combination of how the webpage is rendered and your browser.

    Awww, now I wonder what that HUGE LONG answer could be :) But the small short answer now is quite elaborate and on the point.

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