Myths about Wisdom | Who is wise?

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What is Wisdom

It is important to understand the true meaning of wisdom so that it will be easy to pursue it, as an important and indispensable goal of life. Wise people are those who have understood how the world works and how they work within the system of life. In this context Wisdom cannot be separated from enlightenment. People often try to conclude about someone else’s wisdom by observing their outer conduct.

We shall try to debunk the two main misconceptions about wisdom so that one is able to fully appreciate the value of it.

Vocal people are wise

You may find many people fighting for their rights and for the rights of others. They fight against organizations, corporates, governments, with other groups of people or they fight against certain concepts. Such fights for rights may be useful to some degree, but it is important to understand the motives behind such voices otherwise one may falsely conclude such peoples’ voices as the voice of wisdom. People with such type of wisdom may be well-informed but not necessarily be well-intentioned. It is important to understand true motives of people before we instill trust in such elements.

Wisdom never requires the support of the world and wisdom never takes unnecessary responsibility of the world for a so-called higher cause. Wisdom may guide people but it is never interested in creating a following for itself. A man who surrounds himself with people from all walks of life driven by selfish motives cannot be thought off as a wise man. People driven by motives or narratives are trying to feed some aspect of their ego, to feel important and to be recognized by others. 

Wisdom instead, tries to nurture itself in aloofness and wants to be free from the heaviness of ego and self-aggrandizing motives. There may be very few exceptions to this but majorly wise people are mostly non-vocal and non-expressive. Above all people who are enriched by wisdom do not care for any recognition.

Silent people are wise

This is another great misconception. When people see that someone is silent in a group or remains silent as if dumb-struck then they may conclude that this person is very watchful and observant and hence he is a wise man. This sort of conclusion is usually a figment of un-curtailed imagination. A wise man is usually silent because of choice and not because he is incapable of being vocal. Hence it is not advisable to judge the book by its cover.

It is very difficult to judge who is wise and who is not. You many know something about the wisdom of a person only if you have interacted with this person for many years and yet wisdom may hide itself out of its choice. Wisdom is the natural state of the spirit that reflects intelligence in all walks of life and hence concluding about somebody’s wisdom in the course of couple of interactions is a foolish presumption.

Wisdom is understanding Nature

A wise man does not learn from his experiences. Instead he is a person who has analyzed his experiences and realized the uselessness of all worldly experiences. A wise man has realized that the inner instrument of the mind is incapable of intelligence. A wise man is a man who has learnt the value of humility and has realized that at no time can he claim that he has understood everything. He has realized that change is the only constant in life and that he is being manipulated by nature all the time, towards attaining one of nature’s own goals. 

Wisdom is sharing knowledge

A wise man does not hold back knowledge. Whatever he has gained he shares with the ones that deserve it. For example if a wise man learns a skill, he shall not hesitate to teach it to people who are interested in the skill. A wise man knows that sharing knowledge or skills only reinforces the skill or knowledge that he has received. A wise man also has realized that life is cyclic in nature. He has understood that what he has given shall only come back to him, to enrich him in the future.

This enrichment is the value that the wise man seeks all his life without trying to engage or expect any enjoyment for his own personal satisfaction. A wise man finds himself as an important unit of a wide integrated world and does not claim anything to be his.

Wisdom does not expect anything in return

The most striking feature of wise people is that they continuously strive towards adding value to whatever they are doing or to whatever they have gained. Wise people are contributors and seekers. They do not expect anything material in return. They do not try to manipulate things, situations or people to their advantage. They believe in transparency and the power of Truth. Wisdom and Truth require no struts to stand and hence wise people never depend on anything. Whatever they require comes to them at a time they require it most even without their asking.

Wisdom is to know that everything comes to an end

Wise people have understood the philosophy of life. They have understood the way the spirit moves as it connects them to the rest of the world. They also know the movement of Nature. If it is sunny in one part of the world, it is midnight on the other side of the world. In twelve hours’ time the situation of the world receiving sunlight is reversed. Whatever comes will grow or decay and then disappear.

Wise people have learnt from their own life experiences and from the experiences of other people, that life events and people are transient. They have observed the impermanence of worldly processes. They know that what has started shall come to an end. They also know that even the most unexpected thing in the world can start at any time. They have even understood the science behind what causes change.

Wisdom is to understand the value of others

Wise people are known to be the humblest of all beings. They have understood the immensity of creation and have seen the value of things, people and time during the span of their lives. Whatever happens in the world is a teaching. This teaching can come to us from situations and people. We cannot put down or be condescending towards people. It is a wise thing to understand that pure consciousness flows and that it can manifest its power and intensity through any being, however lowly that being may be placed in the social order. For the wise man, the world is one single unit.

Wisdom is accessible only through Self-Knowledge

One needs to be humble to be wise as the starting step. One needs to understand the signals that nature is giving. Every indication that nature gives us is a teaching. Every event in the world is a teaching. One has to learn from the events that surround us. This is the mark of wisdom. Wise people are those who know peace and tranquility, people who have found themselves as an expression of the Self.

The wise are the people who have known the world in its true essence, who have realized it. Unless one has self-knowledge, one can never know the true nature of the world. A truly wise being does not worry about the world or worldly affairs. He is constantly in touch with his Self and ever prepared to leave the world if providence wills so, at the wink of an eye. This is true wisdom.

The Wise man is reserved

The man of wisdom never speaks unless consulted and never cares to share his wisdom with the illusory world because the world does not care for his golden words. A wise man only shares his thoughts with people who care to know the Truth, the Self. The rest of the world is not ready to understand the words of the truly wise.

Happiness in your life shall only become a reality if only you work beyond your mind, under the supervision of an enlightened being.  Working beyond your mind necessarily is to study the mind with an unbiased view through attention and awareness. You need to first accept yourself as you are, without trying to defend yourself from the world, from what the world calls you or what it thinks about you. This is a necessary step towards developing true wisdom.

Follow a Vedic System

Undertaking a Vedic lifestyle is vital step. Although it does not necessarily mean that you should adopt a lifestyle of the first century, it really means that you need to be able to understand and analyze your shortcomings in the brilliant light of Vedic knowledge. You need to associate with the wise men, who radiate light and who are renunciants by their very nature irrespective of what they possess and what they don’t.

You have to become lovers of Truth and continuously sharpen your intelligence by the practice of Dharma, the eternal Vedic Law found mentioned in great scriptures like the Ramayana and Mahabharata. All the solutions of your life are essentially embedded in these great scriptures. The more we practice Vedic law, wisdom shall eventually dawn upon you with all its pristine glory. There is no doubt about this.

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