Readings on Wisdom

Readings on Wisdom

Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens. Jimi Hendrix

Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk. Doug Larson

Knowledge is not wisdom. But wisdom is knowledge in action. I have lived most of my years immersed in the culture of book. I command a lot of facts. I comprehend a lot of concepts. That does not make me wise or even intelligent. It just indicates what I have memorized. But when I activate those facts and concepts to find the greatest, grandest version of myself, and then use them to work toward that vision, I begin the process of wisdom. the most essential question to ask myself is not “what do I think about this?” but rather “how do I feel about this?” In such simplicity is greatness made possible for an individual, a society and a human family. Richard Wagamese

There are many ways to seek wisdom. There is travel, there are masters, there is service. There is staring into the eyes of children and elders and lovers and strangers. There is sitting silently in one spot and there is being swept along in life’s turbulent current. Life itself will grant you wisdom in ways you may neither understand nor choose. Kent Nerburn

We watch our technologies becoming more intelligent, and speculate imaginatively about their potential to become conscious. All the while, we have it in us to become wise. Wisdom leavens intelligence, and ennobles consciousness, and advances evolution itself. Krista Tippett

The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult; the day he forgives himself, he becomes wise. Alden Nowlan

There is a wise being living inside of you. It is your intuitive self. Focus your awareness into a deep place in your body, a place where your “gut feelings” reside. You can communicate with it by silently talking to it, making requests, or asking questions. Then relax, don’t think too hard with your mind, and be open to receiving answers. They are usually very simple and relate to the present moment, not the past or the future, and they feel right. Shakti Gawain

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

All of us have to learn how to invent our lives, make them up, imagine them. We need to be taught these skills; we need guides to show us how. If we don’t, our lives get made up for us by other people. Ursula K. Le Guin

Wisdom is a state of the total being, in which capacities for knowledge and for love, for survival and for death, for imagination, inspiration, intuition, for all the fabulous functioning of this human being who we are, come into a center with their forces, come into an experience of meaning that can voice itself as wise action. M.C. Richards

Wisdom is a state of well-being and it’s not static, it’s a continual process of evolution, a natural process of continual growth and integration. It’s not an end goal, it’s a journey, and true integrity is being fully available to participate in that journey. Integrity is the birthplace of possibility and the birthplace of our fullest potential.  is the ultimate state of integration. A connectedness and a relatedness between all aspects of our lives, both internally and externally; a meeting place where we can define our autonomy and yet at the same time stand vulnerable in the uncertainty that surrounds us, trusting in our inner knowing and responding intuitively and organically to our daily life experiences. Jenny Florence

Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials. Lin Yutang

This road of darkness lies to the West, according to Native American myth, and each of us must travel it at some point in our lives. The western road is one of trials, ordeals, disasters and abrupt life changes — yet a road to be honored, nevertheless, as the road on which wisdom is gained. Terri Wilding

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool. William ShakespeareAs You Like It

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom. Aristotle

The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom. Isaac Asimov

Longer Texts

A short piece on the wisdom of letting go.

From On Being, an essay on the wisdom of our emotions.

At the on-line School of Life, an exploration of wisdom

From Brain Pickings, a list of learnings.


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