May 1     

Today's quotation:

Wise people are able to give themselves gracefully to seemingly contradictory experiences, because they know that they belong to different seasons of life, all of which are necessary to the whole.  Spring and winter, growth and decay, creativity and fallowness, health and sickness, power and impotence, and life and death all belong within the economy of being.

Sam Keen

Today's Meditation:

If we seek wisdom instead of information, we risk being left behind by others who have been seduced into believing that information is the most important aspect of our lives.  Those who seek wisdom, though, learn very quickly not just that knowing a lot of information is empty knowledge, but that learning from wise people helps us to navigate the world in peace and calm and balance, rather than constantly facing frustration and even anger as the world around us changes and shifts and evolves, making information obsolete.  Wisdom, though, cannot grow obsolete.

Learning to be wise helps us to face life head-on without fear or nervousness because the wise person knows that life can't be controlled.  Yes, we try to control it, and to a certain extent we're able to do so-- we even build walls to keep the ocean's waves at bay-- but most of what we see as "control" is merely illusion.  And that's how it should be-- the wise person recognizes that life goes on, and it will go on on its own terms, not on ours.  It follows its cycles, and it would do us good to follow those cycles, also.

I love blueberries, but I learned something when I read in Thoreau's Walden about letting things happen in their season.  In the summer, I enjoy blueberries, but I tend not to eat the imported ones in the winter because of that reading.  Now I have them only when they're in season here, and they taste so much better because of the many months that I don't eat them.  When I was in college and when I was a young teacher, I was able to relate to my students on a different level.  Now that I'm older, though, my relationship to them has changed, as has my role-- now it's much more appropriate for me to see myself as a mentor rather than a peer, and trying to keep that old relationship would make me completely ineffective.

By growing wise (something I'm still working on, and will be until the day I die), I give myself the chance to experience life rather than trying to control it; to go with the flow rather than stopping it; to experience the cycles of life and see just how I fit in with them.  Let's seek wisdom instead of information so that we can live richer lives and then pass that wisdom on to others who also wish to live richly and deeply.

Questions to consider:

What's the difference between knowing a lot of information and being wise?

Why do our cultures seem to value information so much while not valuing the processes necessary to gain wisdom?

Why might we be more cheerful if we grow wiser?

For further thought:

The clearest sign of wisdom is continued cheerfulness.

Michel de Montaigne

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