Over the past many pages of print we’ve embraced Wealth by Stilling, Trusting, Opening and Presencing. We’ve embraced Opportunity through Discernment, Relaxation, Observation and Practicing these principles. We now turn to embracing Wisdom through Cultivation, Listening, Invitation, and Persistence. We begin by looking at what wisdom might be and how it can inform our lives. The archetype is the Sage who urges us to let go of our pretense, masks and illusions.
Wisdom is the journey to find the truth that lies behind every veil. This includes understanding ourselves, each other, the intricacies of the world, our global community, and the universe; seen and unseen, know and unknown, visible and invisible. The perennial question of wisdom is ‘What’s really going on here, what’s the truth, the reality behind the reality? How often do you ask yourself these questions? How inquiring are you into how you’re being conditioned?
In order to ask these questions you cannot be attached to any particular knowing or so called truth. You must be connected to ‘Father Doubt’ as well as ‘Mother Faith.’ The question is always “How many veils are there here between me and the truth?” Inevitably there’s alway another veil which means realizing this life journey of discernment is ongoing and infinite. How willing are you to engage it? Isn’t it easier to wrap yourself in the security blanket of escapism?
Back in the mid eighties I attended the Buddhist/Christian dialogue on meditation in Boulder, Colorado. Aida Roshi, a Zen monk gave a talk on Awareness in which he chided those of us in the audience by saying: You say to me that you understand but I say that you don’t understand. You “overstand.” You’re filled with ‘head’ knowledge and think that it’s understanding. It’s not. It’s nothing but overstanding and you’ll never understand anything as long as you continue to overstand it. Do you understand? He then laughed heartily for a long time and so did we. Huh?
We who are educated in the traditional left brain ways confuse “overstanding”, rational, linear, mechanical thinking with understanding which is transrational, intuitive, non linear and global. When we’re in this rational serial type of thinking we see the trees and miss the forest. We don’t recognize that there are layers of meaning. We seek the letter of the law and forget the spirit of it. We buy the surface illusions while ignoring the depths of reality. We see the form, while overlooking the substance, the essence. We trade short term gains for long term losses.
What is the profound riddle of existence, the knowing behind the knowing, the reality behind appearances, the deeper truths about life? Is it possible that the answers we find depend on the questions we ask and the methods of our investigations? Do we actually see things as they really are or as they appear to be through our filters, opinions, preconceived notions, and limited personal experiences? Where’s the wisdom in this, the value, the benefit, the vision?
What’s needed is a balance of approach. We need knowledge and wisdom. We need the surface and the depths. We need to learn from the earth, nature, soul, spirit, and one another. In this, we can piece together some new ways of living, loving, and enlightening. We begin our short study of Wisdom by Cultivating our inner gardens to see what grows here. We then move to Listening in new ways, Inviting new growth, and Persisting on the journey as it continues . . .