Magenta Star Rise

Magenta Star Rise
Art by Norman E. Masters

Personal Wisdom

Sitting here all week, straining my mind, wondering why it is, after all of these years, I am still not wise?

Oh, I have come to know and understand and appreciate and been ever in search of wisdom; but, it is a concept.

Wisdom implies action.

The conundrum is that in not taking action it seems to be a wise thing to do, since it was my actions that were unwise to begin with.

Yet, it is precisely those unwise acts that gave me this wisdom. All that has gone before, all my mistakes, blunders, misdeeds, improprieties, and good intentions, and occasionally, my joys, have led me to attempt defining now that I have reached a plateau, of which I determine is Wisdom; but now, what do I do with it?

Do I sit up here alone contemplating it, become like Carlos Castenada, write books of my visions, my journey, my less than perfect talents?

I have come to realize there are various forms of wisdom, various approaches or categories.

We think that as we increase our knowledge, advance our learning, that we can make progress in achieving wisdom.

Individually we may; but as a species, history has shown us not to be very wise.

Even so, individuals may come to gather wisdom, but only in the intellect, that is, on a philosophical level.

Proceeding from this aspect we can discern some religious tones, therefore, gleaning some insight into the nature of the minds of humankind, the virtues of wisdom developing from piety, worship, or reverence for something of a Divine nature.

But, it is conceptual at best, man-made, since in our minds we may feel we behave with wisdom, but set forth rules and judgements that tend to exclude rather than be inclusive of other concepts. Wisdom, in this form is limited. Without a broader mind, wisdom cannot ever really be achieved.

Would God, or any God put grace upon us if we do not see clearly, from every possible choice and angle?

Would such a Deity set forth rules and limits to our knowledge?

But, yet, we live within what we believe are the rules from Deity. We all know it is not wise to kill and yet we do. After all, most follow a Deity who sets forth the rule of Thou Shalt Not Kill, and it is a "do as I say, not as I do" kind of rule, since Deity not only kills, but punishes.

Any parent knows that to teach a child right from wrong it is best done by example.

Wisdom has in it some underlying themes that seem to give credence to its fundamental idea. Wisdom implies it is something that cannot be misused or abused. It has no loopholes for this, also implying we cannot corrupt it, for to be wise means to be beyond such corruptions. The conclusion is always to be wise, one must therefore act well; to have wisdom is to use it. Wisdom implies goodness, in most cases, or, the end result must be in making an overall good choice. For in the Wise act we must also choose wisely how to behave in a given situation. We may use certain means to accomplish this; and these are not always good deeds, but the decision may lead us to the best possible outcome.

Is it wisdom, then, to enact upon our instinct of survival? Whether or not it means we must hurt another to do so for the benefit of self and community? We may see war and violence as unwise acts; on the whole they are; but, given the choices of survival, we know it is wise to protect and preserve life even if it means we must kill to do so, those who would kill us.

So, when we speak of wisdom, we also speak of prudence, which is a practical wisdom. What is the best way to accomlish a task, to survive?

The deepest notions of wisdom tell us that the way of life should be just that, a way of life, to be free from pain, from distress of fear, from futile struggles. Yet, the Wise also know this is not reality.

Philosophically, it is suggested that a wise person would be calm, have repose and exist in tranquility with their surroundings, people, flora and fauna... such is Edenic... and, yet, the truly Wise is in Want of Nothing, not simply being without, but not having any wants -- to be at peace with what you already have, what you have gained and accumulated, and what you have discerned from it all.

Such a state is the ideal of Wisdom, and, therefore, not religious, but nonetheless recognizing and living up to what the Soul is.

The soul is not being trapped, as we sometimes think, in these bodies, but, is free because the soul needs a vessel for mobility, for the experiential, for the attaining of knowledge, for the sensations of knowing and feeling.

What we attain to is beauty in all of its connotations, from the visual to the conceptual, to the actual... for in Soul is Beauty, latent in many, seen by a few, understood by even fewer.

Such a vision, which becomes also a quest for beauty, also relies on that other thing wisdom implies, reason.

Using reason, oftentimes in a scientific approach, we can make conclusions. Through a scientific example, from experimen, we attempt to discover proof. Proof implies factual knowledge, therefore factual wisdom... But, we are not all based in factual realities, even though we may live amidst them.

Yet, when I speak here of science, it is of a kind where the laboratory is inside of us; and the highest wisdom is not founded on reason alone. The science of the individual surpasses all other sciences, for we seek to explain the universe and our place within it.

What we call now a pseudo-science, Alchemy, is a science of seeking the inner self, to purify and renew it, over and over until we refine ourselves; and body and soul not just symbiotically enact upon one another but ARE one another as a whole.

So, Wisdom, then, is a search for soul; and the experiential vessel, that is called body, is its vehicle. With this search comes a Divine revelation which, implanted in us, is something called con/science; conscience is what makes us follow natural laws and not those set forth by any power elite, human or otherwise... for the Wise will insist harmony is of the essence; and harmony most often exists as a balancing act, but one that we must strive to accomplish.

In my conclusions, (although I would never conclude resolving that I am wise), in my sitting here contemplating my life, and my follies, I know I am on the right track, even as it seems never the right trek.

However, I have felt that sitting here alone, doing nothing in order to protect myself from making future mistakes, is a withering, instead of a growing towards actual and profound knowledge. After all, it is my folly and my blunders that have gotten me to even consider Wisdom itself -- and knowing that I live with a burdened conscience -- but, a conscience, after all.

Mychael Zagreus
July 18, 2004

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