Knowledge or Wisdom: What Do I Choose?

knowledge & wisdomIt’s certainly been an interesting few weeks. All sorts of things have been jumping out at me. One of the most interesting ‘thought experiments’ has been about my knowledge versus my wisdom. And how these two might differ when applied to the situations I am encountering.

I’ve had some reminders, by re-reading books, about the way in which I use my life experiences to steer me when presented with new situations. Some of those books are clearly imparting knowledge e.g about the Cathars and Essenes or religious instructions for living a spiritual life. One or two have been about the way in which people have made sense of the life they have been living. Each one I have picked up to revisit has been drawing my attention to the difference between knowledge and wisdom. And whether or not my life might be more spiritual if I apply wisdom, rather than what I have learned in books, to my choices.

It’s an interesting question. The definition of knowledge isĀ ‘facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject‘. This suggests that experience and education both play a part in getting to know something. Wisdom is defined as ‘the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement; the quality of being wise‘. In other words being able to take a wider view, based on more than what I have experienced or been taught. Somewhere in there I have to make judgements. Perhaps I can have all of the knowledge in the world but fail to apply it in a wise way? That has been a helpful point for me to decide how I want to deal with things affecting me now.

I feel that a spiritual approach is based on applying wisdom. Wisdom contained in my feelings and thought. And my ability to set either or both of those on one side in choosing the appropriate course of action. It’s also an intrinsic part of this process that I accept mistakes can happen. That my judgement may need to be refined. Or in other words, that my wisdom will always be expanding.

Day 872 of my blogging challenge