As a little girl growing up I always assumed to ‘be wise’ was something that you had to go out and get, research, to listen to somebody more wiser than me. It started in school, we learnt about wise people, we listened to what wisdom they had to say, we sourced them, we quoted them and learnt their words parrot fashion. This misunderstanding carried on for me in adult life, I was an avid reader, wanting to learn more from others, attended courses, listened to their words and copied and pasted it into my own life, it became my wisdom, my knowledge – I became a copy and pasted person. The problem with this, it was never enough, I always thought there was something more to learn, I never felt I knew enough and I am guessing that this feeling was trying to tell me something. The feeling was alerting me to the innocent misunderstanding on where Wisdom is to be found and that the wisdom I was seeking wasn’t out there.
You see, there is a place where wisdom resides. It is always there, it’s fresh, it’s new, it’s relevant to the moment, unique to you. It’s always available to YOU, as it was to those wise people who I studied at school. Wisdom doesn’t discriminate – it works the same for us all. This intelligence, this knowing is there when we have a quiet mind – it’s in the gap between thought, it’s in the space ‘where we don’t know something’ and have the courage to hang out in this space of not knowing, where we don’t contaminate it with our tired, same thinking. Wisdom doesn’t live in where we ‘think we know something’, there is no space for it there. It’s too noisy, we cannot hear it.
To me Wisdom is universal intelligence, it is there for the taking, to be downloaded by us at any moment. This was mind-blowing to me, it was so new. I really hadn’t realized that I could also have access to this intelligence, without hearing it from somebody elses mouth before. WoW
We don’t need to travel to India or climb Mount Everest or attend course after course. You just need to go and look in the mirror. What is looking back at you is the most perfectly formed system for channeling universal wisdom. YOU. It has always been there, running through you, we just didn’t know it.
I would encourage you to do 2 things in particular to reconnect with this wisdom:
Hang out in a quieter mind more often. How? Don’t take your thinking so seriously, all thought is actually neutral. We cannot control what thoughts pop into our head, but they are all neutral they have no power on their own. So spend less time engaging in them, giving them your attention. When you realize that you don’t have to act on every thought that pops into your head – your mind will quieten. A quiet mind is your default setting, that is until you engage in your thinking.
Reflect more. If you have a dilemma or problem which you would normally use your personal mind (your filing system of what you already know) to think yourself to a solution. Stop doing this. Instead state an intention on what you would like to see and then let this problem go. Don’t think about it anymore. An intention might be something like “What am I not seeing now? What do I need to know in relation to this problem?”. It’s a little bit like when you have forgotten something and it’s on the tip of your tongue and you keep trying to find it. It never comes – until the moment you stop trying. Notice that when you start to do this, an answer often will pop into your head when you least expect it
This has changed my life, just trusting that I have access to this wisdom, the same as anybody else in this planet, including all the wisest people in history. It allows me to be original, it stops me looking in the wrong places for the answers and it allows me to be ok to hang out in the space of ‘not knowing’ as that’s where the answers are hidden. And that goes for even when you are in front of somebody and normally you try and fill the space with old, stale thinking. Don’t! That space is infinitely wise – trust it more.
Next time you look in the mirror – Know and trust that you are looking at the wisest person you know.
So simple. Takes practise, like anything in life, but worth it in the end. First step is the knowledge then wisdom will follow. Thank you for sharing the knowledge.
Thank you Lou for your comment.
Really interesting! I look forward to more articles like this.
Thank you Frankie, they will be coming soon.
Wisdom is life experience in its concentrated form. That’s why you can’t teach it. That’s why it lies within yourself.
It is wise to say “Hang out in a quieter mind more often” but it needs a lot of life experience to understand why this is wise advice. A 17-year old will not understand it.
Wisdom grows with bad experiences in life, not with the good ones. Embrace your bad experiences as they increase your wisdom.
Thank you for your reply and yes I agree, it’s a valid point you make. Though what I was pointing to more was a universal wisdom, an impersonal intelligence. A wisdom/knowing that is there before Thought or Experience. This wisdom is before the contamination of our thinking. It is a formless energy which I believe we are born with, the capacity to connect with it. We just forget. When we experience things, good or bad, pure wisdom cannot help but get filtered through our thinking, then this is something else. This is personal wisdom, the one that you speak about. Thank you for reading and taking the time to reply, I really appreciate it.
I had the pleasure of a wise woman helping me to teach myself to let go of thoughts and quiten my mind. It’s so much harder then I want it to be. I will keep at it and hope the wisdom I crave will be closer at hand.
Thank you for the article and can not wait to read more.
Thank you for your reply. The image which came to me when reading your response was – imagine you had your hands wrapped around the throat of an neutral bystander, shouting at him to leave you alone. His only crime was that he passed in front of you 😉 You only need to ‘let go’ if you have grabbed him in the first place.
All thought is Neutral, only you have the power to give it life.