Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

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In Search of Wisdom

April 5th, 2004 · No Comments

[via Atanu] Foundations Magazine writes:

What is this elusive quality called wisdom? How do we get it? First, let’s begin by taking a look at the four levels of thinking.

The first level is datasimple facts and figures. Next we have information. Information is data that’s been collected and organized. It is a reference tool. Something we turn to when trying to create something else.

The third level is knowledge. This is information that we have digested and now understand. Organized as knowledge, the information we have collected is given a context.

The fourth and final level is wisdom. Today, wisdom has become for many, indistinguishable from knowledge. But they are two different things. Often, what we find touted as wisdom is simply opinion. Knowledge is not wisdom. There is a big difference. Wisdom is the proper use of knowledge. To be more precise, wisdom is knowledge that has been applied in a way that takes into account all its pertinent relationships and that is consistent with universal laws.

Knowledge alone does not result in clear vision, a proper perspective, meaning, and the right behavior. But when this transformation does occur, we call it wisdom. How do we get wisdom? How do we develop it and make it a part of our lives?

Fundamentally, it is important to understand that wisdom is grounded in reality in two ways. To connect with reality and develop wisdom, we need to learn to be aware. Aware of ourselves and aware of those around us. We can learn from other people’s success and we can learn from their mistakes. From early on, we have all been told that we should learn from other people’s mistakes. Yet we see people in trouble all the time, but we forget to learn from their mistakes. Every person you come into contact with, good or bad, is for you, a lesson in living if you will only be aware. You need to define where they are off or what they are doing right and then determine what that means for you. Everything that you observe is a chance for you to figure out what it means and what you are supposed to do about it. When you see a problem in life, yours or someone else’s, something is wrong. What it is you are seeing? Figure it out. It is important that you know.

Second, if you know something works and you don’t do it, that’s being disconnected from reality. We Human Beings are the only living things that can decide to disconnect ourselves from reality. We are inclined to do what we want and not what we know we should do. We can, and often do, choose to live according to what is unreasonable; what makes no sense. We can do things in the same old way and justify doing it. But, we are only kidding ourselves. Living with reality takes an effort on our part. But, it is essential that we do the things that we know must be done and stop doing those things we know we shouldn’t be doing.

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