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Wisdom


DeGaul
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I'm posing this as a general question: What is wisdom? What does it mean to be wise?

 

Self-knowledge. Outside of that, in practical terms what to say and when to say it.

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Wisdom is that thing I seem to recognize in others but never am able to find in myself.

 

mwc

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I claim not wisdom, but here are a few things....

 

Wisdom is knowing which battles to fight.

Wisdom is more likely found in silence or brevity rather than in verbosity.

Like intuition and imagination, wisdom comes before understanding.

Wisdom warms itself with two blankets: thought and emotion.

Among many voices, wisdom is the small one.

Wisdom is knowing the masculine, but keeping to the feminine.

Wisdom often resides in the house of mourning.

Wisdom and foolishness are often detected by hindsight.

Nature brings forth everything in due course, thus nature is wise without mind.

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Wisdom would include the ability to see beyond the superficial appearance of things, beyond a narrow egotistical viewpoint. I connect it with "seeing" - having the right view of impermanence.

 

Being genuine or honest with yourself would be another attribute of wisdom and this comes with self knowledge.

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I'm really working to try and distil down the definition of Wisdom to as simple a concept as I can. So far, from what people are saying here and from definitions I have read elsewhere, wisdom seems to be a sort of understanding......but not understanding in a technical way, like understanding how to put together a the parts of a machine by diagram or something....it seems to be a sort of more general understanding than that. To keep with the mechanical theme, I might be able to learn to build a machine out of parts if someone gave me a diagram, but the machines designer would have a sort of wisdom about the machine....an understanding which gets at the level of function, not just simply parts. I mean, if I were to put the thing together wrong, I'd never know what to do, but a designer could look at the machine and just know what was wrong with it.

 

It seems like wisdom is that deep understanding which is adaptable and active. Does that seem right? Wisdom seem very elusive and kind of hard to put my finger on.

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Wisdom seem very elusive and kind of hard to put my finger on.

Wisdom was the firstborn of Tao. It may long elude you.

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If you want something more specific then turn to the wisest of all: Solomon. Who wanted to chop a stolen baby in half and then let the cries of its mother convince him not to chop it in half after all. That's Wisdom!

 

mwc

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DeGaul perhaps you could take a different approach and narrow down what wisdom is by eliminating what wisdom is not. That is, you could ask what foolishness is. :shrug:

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To put it simply, wisdom is a penetrating grasp of the human condition. To be wise is the ability to apply this grasp situationally.

 

edit: Wouldn't this be better served under the Colosseum or GTI forums?

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Wisdom (to me)...... will reveal to me, the values, morals, decision making, and judgments that eventually apply to the knowledge I have learned about life and it's situations.

 

Knowledge is the recognition of cause and effect - what is good - what is harmful. Its characteristics would be discernment - discernment of right from wrong, helpful from harmful and the truth from delusion.

 

Then would be the calm decision of knowing when to apply the wisdom at the right time, in any situation. I also believe that wisdom (for most) is a learned 'behavior' that comes with age after making many mistakes.

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We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

 

Albert Einstein

 

Perhaps wisdom is more perspective than it is knowledge.

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I'm posing this as a general question: What is wisdom? What does it mean to be wise?

 

Life experience interpreted in a way that causes you to make better decisions and treat others better. Realizing you don't know anything after years of believing you had all the answers.

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I heard an interesting definition of wisdom a while ago--living in such a way that you do not regret your choices. I like it because it makes more sense if you think about it backwards. I mean, at first glance, it suggests that a wise person doesn't make mistakes.

 

To me, though, it means the opposite: the wise person thinks through their decisions enough that their mistakes are useful, or at the very least, they have the confidence that they acted in a way that they were comfortable with--even if the situation didn't end well.

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I'm posing this as a general question: What is wisdom? What does it mean to be wise?

I consider it to be the skillful ability to apply and correctly use knowledge and intelligence. To me, wisdom is more than just being smart or knowing things, and it comes more from experiential learning than academic. It's knowledge lived. That's why the young tend to be foolish and older wise (even though it's not always the case). Older people in general have a better idea how to apply certain concepts after years of experience. I'm sure this is not a complete definition, and it might even be wrong, but that's kind of how I see what "wisdom" means.

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