When we mention wisdom we notice a flicker across the expressions that confront us, a flicker in the face that heralds a cross between disbelief and boredom, and you can almost hear, ‘Oh not that old chestnut again?’
So for a start what is wisdom? You might consider it to be the right use of knowledge, which implies that something along the way has been taught. But I’m sure you are aware that wisdom cannot be taught. It is a nebulous attribute of consciousness and certainly there are those who have never been to school could be said to be wise having, so it seems, all the right answers.
For the rest of us it appears that after a while we begin to appreciate failure as being an important learning tool! I know throughout my life I have learnt through, I guess, my passion for renovating antiques and putting right the failures of age and other people’s mistakes and that being able to cover my own errors has been a very useful gift.
I suppose it also confirms a certain secretive nature, preferring to work behind the scenes than out front of stage, in fact I have been rightfully and delightfully accused of being not a king, but a king maker! I don’t mind that title at all, having been called a lot of other things as well.
So is wisdom having at your finger tips the old wives tales, many of which in our modern society have proved to be nonsense, or is it common sense which would be good if everyone could express it, but then again is it something magical, not to say mystical which we look for in Gurus, Masters and Prophets, who are supposed to manifest when feted by their followers.
Sages of old were supposed to posses it and when you read something as beautiful as the poems of Rumi there is an inherent wisdom that percolates through the verses, the words and in between the words, if you look and listen with vision as you read the words aloud.
We were told by our teacher that to plant sage in our garden would bring the energy of wisdom into our homes and our consciousness. Something I have to say I would not be without in my herb garden. It does however need renewing by heel cuttings on a regular basis if the soil is not in perfect balance for the sage itself, as here in the dust of Spain.
Such a clever ruse of J. K. Rowling to use owls as the messengers since the icon of Athena/Minerva goddess of wisdom was the owl from whom she was supposed to receive messages of wisdom from the gods, and since then the owl has been associated with wisdom, ‘The Wise Old Owl’ even in Christopher Robin, Now we are Six and of course the Tao of Pooh etc.
I’ve collected them for years and of course when you have one or two, folks imagine you want them all the time and we can have them in every room in the house now, bless them. Many animals are said never to forget and it is amazing how our domestic pets remember, but are never too keen on change.
The nearest I got to owls in real life was in my student days back in the 60’s when I had the chance to care for a young Kestrel hawk, another bird of prey, that had fallen from its nest with, I have to say, kind permission of my landlady, until it could fly and fend for itself.
Elephants on the other hand, the wanderers of the wilderness have amazing memories and exhibit the same family affections and grief at loss as we do. Well, not so surprising when you consider how many common genes we share with the root of all us mammals.
It makes you wonder though why certain societies still tend to shoot anything that moves when we share so much. Where honestly is the wisdom in that?
Is killing such a desperate need in the human race? Or is it just a need to show our superiority? As if we needed to! Better to show our similarity, wouldn’t you say?
Needless to say we now have enough elephants to guard every door in the house! Superstitious? Never! Good fun though and a great talking point especially of their origins.
With so much information and disinformation available to us through the social media of the Internet our task of sorting true from false in this age of discernment becomes that much harder the more attention we pay to what is available on line, when there are too many willing to spin a different edge to a story for sheer devilment, not to mention being hacked personally or at work.
There is however a saving grace with Grace being the operative word since through the Grace which is with us continuously, if we care to recognise it, we have the inner inherent wisdom to call upon in any situation which is presented to us to guide us forward on our journey.
With Love, from which all else flows, Hanukah & the Angel