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Defining Wisdom

PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:42 pm
by Sabina
I think "wisdom" is one of those things that are very difficult to define. There is a dictionary definition, of course, and this is it:

[size=150]wisdom[/size] [wiz-duhm]
1. the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.
2. scholarly knowledge or learning: the wisdom of the schools.
3. wise sayings or teachings; precepts.
4. a wise act or saying.

Synonyms for "wisdom"
insight, common sense, acumen, astuteness, balance, brains, caution, circumspection, clear thinking, comprehension, discernment, discrimination, enlightenment, erudition, experience, foresight, good judgment, horse sense, information, intelligence, judgment, judiciousness, knowledge, learning, pansophy, penetration, perspicacity, poise, practicality, prudence, reason, sagacity, sageness, sanity, sapience, savoir faire, shrewdness, solidity, sophistication, stability, understanding

Just from the variety of synonyms and their individual meanings it is clear to see that wisdom can mean a lot of things.

What does it mean for you?


Re: Defining Wisdom

PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:14 pm
by mirjana
For me wisdom is the manifestation of Mind and Heart united in the beauty of expression, balanced as finding in the Golden Ratio.

Re: Defining Wisdom

PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 4:36 am
by Kris
When I encounter a conflict or problem and know I need to walk in wisdom, I think of these words in James. I try to ask myself if my reaction or planned solution is in alignment with these words….. I am rarely successful but working on it.

But wisdom….. is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. James 3:17


I also love this Proverb. I like the way the writer gives wisdom a female persona.

Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.

7 Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

8 Esteem her, and she will exalt you;
embrace her, and she will honor you.

9 She will set a garland of grace on your head
and present you with a crown of splendor."

Proverbs 3:6-9

Re: Defining Wisdom

PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 5:26 am
by GenerousGeorge
I like this quote by Angela Monet....."Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music."

For me....."Conventional wisdom" is often not wisdom. Maybe wisdom is not what we are thinking, perhaps it is our perspective. The capacity to be honest with yourself, be free of ego, not too attached to conventional wisdom and be open to synergystic possibilities at the macro level..... that is the first step in acquiring real wisdom for me.

I'm working on the first step. ;)

Re: Defining Wisdom

PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:31 am
by mirjana
Hi GG,

Welcome =0)
I agree that conventional wisdom is mostly not that. I also love this quote by Angela Monet. But I mostly love what you mentioned, " to be open to synergistic possibilities. "It is like allowing to hear the music even if you can not and then you can dance and dance...or you can even make music like Beethoven did. Open heart is free of ego and I think that with open heart we are able to dance even if we can not hear.

To develop capacity to be honest with yourself is not only a first step, but life lasting inspiration that makes every dance possible. Beautifully said GG.

Kris, you made a very nice choice from The Bible. My favourite is:
[color=#600083]Esteem her, and she will exalt you;
embrace her, and she will honor you. [/color]


Re: Defining Wisdom

PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:23 pm
by Sabina
Hi GenerousGeorge and welcome to Deep Spirits!

That quote by Angela Monet is one of my favorites and I find comfort in it at times - if you know what I mean... :) In fact I once tried to find out more about her, I thought I might like some of the other things she said as well, but it seems she is something of a mystery. Running a search for Angela Monet on Google I mainly found out that other people wondered about her as well.
Working on the first step is wonderful.
What if there is only one step?


"Be good to her and she'll be good to you."
It's a quote from "Simple Men", a movie by Hal Hartley.
Your quotations reminded me of it. If everyone were to approach everything with that attitude, and not only wisdom, it would be a perfect world. Just do your best, in any situation, towards anyone.


Re: Defining Wisdom

PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:05 pm
by Ryan
To me, wisdom is the reaction, way of being, action, or what have you, that yields the ideal result(s) for everyone involved.

Re: Defining Wisdom

PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 6:07 pm
by GenerousGeorge
Thanks to everyone for the warm hearted welcome! Sabina, the "journey" of that "first step" may very well be the only step.

Many of us seem to miss/overlook a simple, single important message or principle because we are ovewhelmed by all the peripheral, miscellaneous and often "Red Herring" tainted flood of other input. Kind of like......."Aside from that Mrs Lincoln, how was the play?"

I will work on my Bio, however here is link to my bio on "Linkedin" for those interested.

Re: Defining Wisdom

PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:31 pm
by GenerousGeorge
Thinking about this subject it occurred to me that an important part of acquiring wisdom is the real understanding and acceptance that....."We don't know what we don't know."

So the being "open" part you all refer to synergy and experience part is very much related to that. For me the challenge is to be open, but not fool myself into believing certain things that I must take entirely on faith. (Formal Religion) for example. Some people tell me ..... "George, you are too rational, everything has to make sense to you." They don't understand me very well.

If there is a God/Higher Power "Whatever" it would be very disappointed if we did not mix AND COMPARE or rationality and instincts to come up with a view of the world that makes sense. I categorically will not accept......"We cannot understand it, we are only human, so it must be "MAGIC/GODDIDIT WHATEVER".

I'm not saying everything has to be scientifically proven, but if I embrace some new understanding, then it has to pass my instinctive this is "right" or "wrong" test as well as my being willing to be completely honest with myself about whatever the issue is. NO EASY TASK.


Re: Defining Wisdom

PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:40 pm
by Sabina

I think you brought up a very important aspect, possibly worthy of a topic all for itself, and that is Instinct.

You wrote " has to pass my instinctive this is "right" or "wrong" test..."
I can relate to that, probably a lot of people (here) can, but what would (or could) be interesting to explore is where this comes from. The instinctive right and instinctive wrong are not the same as just right and wrong, as those are, for the most part, defined by society.

Then again, how much is that what we call instinctive right/wrong intertwined with society's right/wrong?