Wisdom comes from experience. The more we experience, the wiser we become. We experience joy and we become wise. We experience pain and we become wise. We experience wealth and we become wise. We experience poverty and we become wise. There is no path upon which we do not become wiser.
Yet, paradoxically, we are already wise when we are born. We know how to cry when we hurt. We know how to breathe when we need air. Our hearts know how to beat to keep the blood circulating throughout our bodies. Our lungs know how to breathe. We know how to sleep when we are tired. We know how to eat when we are hungry. We know how to release waste that no longer serves us.
Unfortunately, as we grow, many of us are taught by fools, by self-righteous parents, priests, teachers, media, business leaders, government heads, and others, that we are stupid, bad, obnoxious, and unworthy. We are taught that the fools are the only ones to be trusted because they are so much smarter, more virtuous, and more praiseworthy than we. Being dependent and naive, we are afraid and believe what the fools tell us. What we believe becomes our reality. We, too, become fools, exhibiting the stupid, bad, and obnoxious traits that have been modeled for us and that we have been taught we are. Then we try to hide our foolishness, stupidity, and low self-esteem behind grandiose displays of arrogance, bullying, and self-righteous judgment of others. We try to refocus attention away from our own deficiencies and onto all the bad, vicious things others are doing. We self-righteously pretend we know and strut around trying to impress everyone with our knowledge.
Sometimes, we become very good at impressing other fools who believe our stories and grandiose displays, and for a little while, we feel secure. Yet we are always insecure because we are out of integrity with the natural beauty of who we are and of everything that surrounds us. Those who buy into our foolishness are also insecure and need to hide behind a veil of pretense and idolatry to preserve a false face of wisdom and importance. It is what some have called ego.
The wise man knows he knows nothing and seeks only to learn and serve. His advantage over the fool is that he knows that the fool knows nothing and is a fool. The wise man observes the fool’s conduct and is skeptical of the fool’s words. He trusts his own gut and makes his own decisions. That is how he recognizes the fool. And often, to fools, the wise man appears to be the fool.
Wisdom comes from releasing any desire to be perceived as wise. We are wise when we know we are neither wise nor unwise. We simply are.
Wisdom is knowing we don’t know. When we know we don’t know, we know no one else knows either. We no longer have to kowtow to fools (self-righteous media, government officials, military dictators, priests, or teachers) or believe they are wise. We are free to stay in integrity with ourselves and follow our own path, while staying open to new learnings and insights. We are free to create and co-create with others in the image of our Maker.
We are all in this together, blind men and women following blind men and women, trusting a Higher Intelligence and Power we don’t even know exists.
Is this insanity? No. This is the highest of all wisdoms.