Is true wisdom less about learning from and more about letting go of experience?
When I am talking about experience here I am not talking about skills learnt and improved upon to enable us to make a living, or talents developed through practice and focus, I am talking about our experiences in how we relate to each other, connect to our own innate knowledge, understand our own intuition and follow it, and how we connect to every living thing around us.
The majority of us live our lives based in linear time, past, present, future and because of this precept we tell ourselves that we become more experienced as we get older. This is fundamentally true when we talk about skills….we can’t learn to read before we have learnt what a letter is, so there is a line of learning that is linear, what we learnt, what we know now, and what we will know if we follow the path. In this way we learn skills and gain knowledge.
And then there is wisdom.
Socrates was considered a wise man because he knew that he did not know anything. The oracle of Delphi, a wise old woman, told Socrates’s friend that there was no one wiser than Socrates
I spent some time with a very wise person this summer just gone. He is 7 years old. He taught me how to be in his world. A world of quiet, of connection, and of a purity of understanding of life well beyond my experience. He taught me how to look beyond behaviour. Walking down a country track with him one day, just enjoying the peace and tranquillity, he said ” I have some weird dreams sometimes”. I was just about to respond, ask more, when I realised he didn’t ask me a question. He made a statement. I would go so far as to say he made a statement to the trees, to the air, to everything around us. My own awareness and connection, my intuition, told me this was not something that needed ‘discussing and fixing’. It was just an acknowledgement to the universe.
Wisdom is listening. Open a different door in your path to wisdom now and again. Accept the invitation to step into somebody elses’ box, instead of forcing your own box around them. Don’t be so concerned that the child is not interested in giving you a hug. He or she is wiser. He is aware that it is you that wants the hug and that is your need not his or hers. He or she is telling you to get over it. If you can be more aware, more connected, more outside your own box of wants, you will be surprised at the ‘conversation’ you can have, and how wonderful that connection will make you feel.
Let go of the experiences that hold you in a box. Be brave enough to acknowledge that what you see in another persons’ behaviour is usually a reflection of something within yourself, and has nothing to do with them at all. Look past behaviour with your other senses, the senses that have been so dulled over time. It is never too late to let go of what we don’t need, it is never too late to change, and it is certainly never too late to be happy in ourselves. Wisdom doesn’t come from the past and is not something to aspire to in the future. Wisdom is in the present, everywhere, we just have to be open to it.