Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
T S Eliot
(Thank you Jim)
Lately I have been concerned with some topics that often make me crawl a little bit, or a lot. The main heading on the banner that flaps above my head is the word "importance." What is important and what is not and how do we know which is which.
I look around my home and I see stacks of books, too many books. I bought the books because I considered them important. They are books about things that I consider important, or used to. I think back over the years and realize I have spent many hours in obligatory reading, too many hours. Now I have a stack of books I will donate to the library, not because they aren't important but because I will never get to them. There are some books that will never leave me until the moment I step out of the dark forest.
Then there is the time wasted doing nothing. I don't mean recreation and relaxation, sports, dinner parties, having drinks and laughs with the boys. I mean hours spent shamelessly doing nothing, Maybe years.
The really terrible part of those wastes is the heart breaking sense of loss one eventually feels. Opportunities we didn't take advantage of, mistakes we made that were never corrected, people we should have remembered but forgot about, can grip us like a biting, relentless winter wind until we know how to get past them.
What do you do when all your obligations are no more? Maybe your life was filled with a lot of happiness and so you have some great memories. It is tempting to sit and contemplate the good old days. But to me that's as bad as obligatory reading, not bad to dip into now and then but not to spend the years of one's life in the past. Memories are good if they are good ones, but they are of the past, not of the present or the future. And there are still a lot more good memories to make.
You may have accumulated a lot of knowledge along the way, but you are never too young to ask yourself how much wisdom you have really won for yourself. To know things is good, to understand them is even better, but to really see how all things fit in the overall cosmic scheme of things, to have a universal awareness, to be enlightened, is best. Every step in that direction is a joyful one. a vital one.
True wisdom is far above information and knowledge. I have a lot of information, some knowledge, a spoonful of wisdom, but I am humbled in the realization of what it is possible for me to experience. I am in a dark forest of ignorance and fear, but I know the light is there and once I step into it information, knowledge, ignorance and fear will disappear, leaving the clear, still waters of wisdom as my preparation for enlightenment.
Dana Bate - Vagabond Journeys
Never Give Up