HA – lovely discussion today on an oracle study chat on the topic of wisdom. I’m writing this down, because I realise all this study and work I’m doing for ADF, looking at the virtues, and examining my feelings and thoughts on things really are increasing my self-knowledge. The debate was the idea that knowledge equals wisdom, and that it is a natural part of aging; one acquires wisdom merely by getting older and obtaining knowledge.
I completely, 100% disagree with that position. Historical examples aside, I know too many people who wield knowledge as a club over others, or who willfully refuse to learn a damn thing, even though they sound like encyclopedias. And, they get WORSE as they get older. More willful. More in denial. More entitled. No, the aging process alone does not bring wisdom.
Nor does the simple acquiring of knowledge. I can truthfully now say that my definition I worked up back in April is working for me. Glè mhath!
I’ll use myself as the perfect example of how one can acquire lots of knowledge, but be unable to translate that into wisdom. I’ve studied psychology since I was 12 years old. I’ve read literally hundreds of books on the subject, over the years. I’ve taken numerous classes at University. I understand where my issues are, why they are there, and other people’s suggestions on how to overcome them. I know different schools of thought, and different modalities of treatment. With all this knowledge, however, until recently, I never understood what was meant by ‘living in the past’ and how that was stopping me from healing. In short, I couldn’t take that head knowledge, and apply that in my life as a course of action. I couldn’t transform that knowledge into wisdom. I was missing the key to the locked door. I saw the door, understood it, could describe it in detail, but I couldn’t unlock it and walk through. THIS, this is why I know that knowledge isn’t the same thing as wisdom.
Once I had the key to the door, I was able to walk through it and leave the locked room and the carefully examined door behind. That, is the wisdom part. Knowledge is like examining the locked door. You know it. You look at it from all angles. You understand it, at a deep level. But, until you have the key, put the key in the lock and walk through it, all’s you have is a locked door to perpetually examine forever. You can acquire a limitless number of facts, and stuff your head with it, but in the end, it’s still just a locked door.