December 15     

Today's quotation:

We do not receive wisdom-- we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can make for us, which no one can spare us, for our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world.

Marcel Proust

Today's Meditation:

I'm always amazed at just how many wise words that I read, only to go out and commit very unwise actions on a fairly regular basis.  My attempts to develop my own knowledge from the gathered knowledge of other people is only somewhat successful-- sometimes I simply do something quite silly even after being exposed to possible actions that would have been much wiser.

And I don't say this to criticize myself, but simply to act as an observer of my own actions.  I've come to find that Marcel is right-- I do have to discover, or perhaps uncover, wisdom for myself.  I think that the readings that I do help me to build a base from which I'm able to recognize and accept my wisdom much more readily and quickly, but the bottom line is that I do uncover my wisdom in the process of my journey through the wilderness, in the trials that I face, and in the obstacles that I overcome.

I find that as time goes on, I'm also much more in tune with Marcel's last line, that my perspective of the world is a result, or a reflection of, the wisdom that's built up inside me.  My wisdom helps me to refrain from judging, to see the beautiful even in what seems not to be beautiful, to feel the love and sincerity from sources that seem to have none.  My wisdom allows me balance, equanimity, from which I'm able to experience the world in richer and fuller ways.

We must not be discouraged if building our wisdom is a slower process than we feel it should be.  I can build knowledge simply by reading, but my wisdom is deeper and it must be built more slowly and carefully through experience.

Questions to consider:

In which ways do you tend to grow in wisdom?

Why is it tempting to feel that we can "receive" wisdom?

How would you describe the "point of view from which you regard the world"?

For further thought:

Wisdom is not to be obtained from textbooks, but must be coined out of human experience in the flame of life.

Morris Raphael Cohen

more thoughts and ideas on wisdom



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