So for a short recap on this series. I started this to take a closer look at the special qualities of these subjects. I wanted to celebrate their differences and apply what I learn to a magickal life. You can check out the first post on Knowledge here. Now, we move on to Wisdom.
This is really one of my favorite subjects. I feel it is most often mistaken for our other subjects knowledge and intelligence, but when you look closely at it you get a true sense of how important a trait it is.
Defined Wisdom is knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action.
I like this definition because of how eloquently it is summed up. Wisdom is knowledge of what is true or right. So we can gather that if we do not seek the truth behind what we know then we are not seeking wisdom. This is interesting to me because it is implying that wisdom is bigger than just what the individual believes is true. Who decides what is true? In my mind there are individual truths that I may believe in but for something to be universally true it must be seen as true by the collective. Two things dictate truth to me. Our Gods and society decides what is true and right and what is not.
There are certain things we know that are wrong and right, true and untrue. Many of these truths we come equipped with at birth. Maybe it is because it is the ways things have been done for so long that they are a very part of humanity now enshrined in our DNA or through reincarnation and truths we have learned over many life times. Even if that is true I think it is possible that the Lord and Lady have had their hand in it over the years slyly nudging humanity towards acting true and right. As far as the truths which we do not retain through birth they are taught through the communities of which we all find ourselves a part of. Those townships, organizations, groups, clubs, neo-tribes, associations, colonies and societies teach us the collective truths.
Now the definition further unfolds and adds coupled with just judgement as to action. So not only do we have true knowledge but to be wise we must understand how to rightly use that knowledge in action. To me it is a charge. A charge that to be wise I must take that which I know and act justly and rightly. It is a good affirmation that we should strive to use our knowledge towards a goal which is most beneficial.
So how do we learn wisdom? I think Confucius said it well.
By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. – Confucius
We can reflect on others actions and gather what we can from our contact with deity. We can imitate the Wise, which although it seems like a juvenile form of wisdom, it would make people look wise. Finally there is experience. I agree with the wise sage that it can be bitter but at the same time there is so much to be gained by gathering wisdom through experience.
Never does nature say one thing and wisdom another. – Juvenal
So now that we have working understanding of Wisdom, how can we use it in our magickal lives?
The wise are able to discern their true interests from those of the ego mind. They are usually regarded as kind, content in themselves. They tend not to aspire to greater material wealth or fame. They have learnt what is important. – Peter Russell
We must strive to take the knowledge that we have and use it to better ourselves and those around us. We must also work to be wiser and use knowledge within our code of ethics. During spellwork take a moment to stop and think about how your spell will effect all the things that are connected to it. Really explore how it fits into your own code of ethics. Always challenge yourself to apply wisdom when trying to affect change.
I think it is important that we view wisdom as non polar. Is wisdom only about making a decision based on your knowledge for the good of all, or is it more about recognizing the difference and knowing what is good and bad about your knowledge set. If someone only concerns themselves with what is good and does not explore what is bad about what they know, then do they truly understand their knowledge in whole? When exploring knowledge take note of both the good and the bad. Only then do I think we can make the best choices as to how to act on our knowledge base.
How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding. For its profit is better than the profit of silver, and its gain than fine gold. She is more precious than jewels; and nothing you desire compares with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who hold her fast. NAS, Proverbs 3:13-18
What the Tarot says about Wisdom: A Single card pull from the Tarot
The Queen of Swords – She reminds me that the path to wisdom is often hard. My experiences will require me to be tough in my will. She also reminds me that in order to experience life and gain its wisdom I must act. I cannot remain comfortable in my current state too long, but must push forward to understand more. All things precious come at a price just as the most beautiful of roses can have equally as sharp thorns.