Part of my work involves conducting classes and seminars which are very interactive; anything but dry and boring lectures. One series of these classes is called "Re-Creating You", and focuses on self-awareness, self-enlightment, and self-improvement. At the beginning of the session, I caution those present to be sure they are ready to do the work to be presented, because they will never look at themselves, the people in their lives, and life itself in the same way again. Why?
There is a formula which I believe in, and which I see demonstrated every day of my life. That formula is: Interest leads to education; education leads to knowledge; knowledge leads to awareness; awareness leads to understanding, and understanding alters our perception and (hopefully) our behavior forever. What does all this have to do with wisdom? Let's examine the formula. You have the right to choose those things in your life which interest you. I really don't give a hoot how computers are made, so I'm not going to take my time and my energy to learn about the intricacies of computers because it simply doesn't interest me.
On the other hand, I am very interested in what makes people tick; why we all view ourselves as we do, and why we treat others as we do. Because this subject is of interest to me, I learn all that I can, from all possible sources and viewpoints, on those elements which dictate human thought patterns and behaviors. Because it interests me, I pay close attention to what I learn. What is happening? Education is taking place.
With this education comes knowledge. A word of caution here. All the knowledge ever written in all the books which exist will lie dormant in those books if we don't have the gumption to use what we learn. So many of us put up a good front, go to classes and seminars, watch educational TV and expose ourselves to new developments in the things that interest us, but IT ALL STOPS THERE. We have heard new things which could change our lives for the better, but we put it aside with "that's nice, but it's not for me". We have picked up a little education, but no real knowledge. True knowledge shows itself when we are able to apply what we have learned to ourselves, and to the things which interest us and affect our lives.
Why don't we turn our new information into real knowledge? Because it will force us to examine our old belief systems, and our old behaviors. It will turn our focus inward, with greater attention to our own spirit. It will take our ignorance away. Once real knowledge takes over, your awareness grows because you see things in a different light. That gets uncomfortable and, sometimes, downright painful. Knowledge challenges you. Are you going to continue with the old belief that you now know is wrong, or are you going to stick your mental toe out and try a new approach?
With our knowledge firmly in hand, we begin to examine situations. The more we examine, the more we learn and the more aware of alternates, options and surrounding influences we become. If we allow ourselves to become aware of all aspects of a thing, WE WILL UNDERSTAND IT. Be careful. That's dangerous. With understanding, we are once again forced to make a choice. When you truly understand a thing you must decide whether to accept it as it is; to change it; to eliminate it, or to ignore it. The exercise of this choice should be based in wisdom which reflects your knowledge, and your understanding of the effects your choice will have on others.
In my view, true wisdom allows you to make decisions and choices based on all your learning, knowledge, understanding and experience. Those decisions and choices are made in a calm, rational, unbiased and unemotional manner, with full awareness of the consequences and ramifications which will result. You should try this — it's tough. It's much easier to re-act impulsively to a situation than to gather all the facts, weigh the information, and act with restraint and wisdom.
A scholarly definition of wisdom comes from Dr. June Bletzer in her
wonderful book "The International Encyclopedic Psychic Dictionary".
It reads: "WISDOM - Strength; there is a strength that comes from knowing.
The application of knowledge and awareness happens first. The practice
of awareness turns it into knowledge. The correct and timely use of knowledge
turns it into wisdom for that person. This wisdom is then imprinted upon
the Soul-Mind permanently. If it is a proper application of a personality
trait, one will have that personality trait forever. Whatever the situation
was that was handled correctly will not occur again as it is now wisdom,
and does not have to be re-experienced. Wisdom is the correct expression
of the potential of the human seed and, once learned, will not have to
be handled again. To quote from Don Juan 'a man of knowledge is one who
has followed truthfully the hardships of learning; who has without rushing
or without faltering gone as far as he can in unraveling the secrets of
personal power.'" Consider those words carefully. Do you live your life
from a place of wisdom, or do you hurtle from one crises to another on
an emotional roller coaster. You have made that choice. Only YOU can change
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