WISDOM FOR ALL TIMES, WISDOM FOR OUR TIMES
This is a bimonthly newsletter promoting wisdom within our culture.
This newsletter is presented by Geoff Woods, Certified Life Coach and Founder of
The Institute of Wisdom and Courage.
With this, my second newsletter, I want to thank everyone who read my first newsletter and, also, those who responded to it. Remember within these newsletters, weÕll be discussing the nature of wisdom and what is involved in obtaining, maintaining and maturing in wisdom, as well as its benefits. WeÕll also discuss why the pursuit of wisdom is no longer popular within our culture today. Lastly, IÕll share from my personal journey in finding and applying wisdom in my life and experiencing its benefits.
In continuing our discussion about the nature of wisdom, I am revisiting an excerpt from The Book of Wisdom that I used in my initial newsletter. Included are both the excerpt from last time and a new excerpt so that weÕll have a broader context in which to think about SolomonÕs discussion of the nature of wisdom, its importance, and how one might discover and utilize it.
The Nature of Wisdom
There is in her a spirit that is intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, mobile, clear, unpolluted, distinct, invulnerable, loving the good, keen, irresistible, beneficent, humane, steadfast, sure, free from anxiety, all-powerful, overseeing all, and penetrating through all spirits that are intelligent, pure, and altogether subtle. For wisdom is more mobile than any motion; because of her pureness she pervades and penetrates all things.
For she is a breath of the power of God, and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty; therefore nothing defiled gains entrance into her. For she is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of his goodness. Although she is but one, she can do all things, and while remaining in herself, she renews all things; in every generation she passes into holy souls and makes them friends of God, and prophets; for God loves nothing so much as the person who lives with wisdom. She is more beautiful than the sun, and excels every constellation of the stars. Compared with the light she is found to be superior, for it is succeeded by the night, but against wisdom evil does not prevail.
Book of Wisdom 7:22-30
In the last newsletter, I asked my readers to think about which characteristics of wisdom listed in the excerpt resonated with them. LetÕs now take a closer look at the first four characteristics of wisdom found in this passage. King Solomon describes wisdom as ŌÉ intelligent, holy, unique, and manifoldÉĶ What does it mean to be intelligent, holy, unique, and manifold? To get the discussion going, letÕs look at some words and concepts that describe these four characteristics.
Intelligence isnÕt limited to merely being smart or possessing the knowledge of many subjects; itÕs more robust than this. It entails having sharp reasoning skills, and the ability to make sound judgments and to see and make fine distinctions.
Holiness isnÕt about being oddly religious or superior, but about being set apart from popular culture for a specific purpose. The specific purpose is to not act out of human instinct, but to act out of principles based upon what is true, good, and honest. Holiness also refers to that which is sacred and moral.
Unique is having no like or equal. It is also likened to being set apart from the rest or having the ability to stand on its own. Uniqueness suggests being different, but not for the sole purpose of being different.
Manifold means numerous, extensive, complete, as well as different forms, or designated for many reasons. Manifold, for me, is hard to define, but its various definitions are best summarized into the statement the Ōmanifold wisdom of GodĶ.
As IÕve been considering King SolomonÕs thoughts IÕve discovered that he does something quite curious in this passage. He describes wisdom in the feminine, as if to say wisdom is attractive. He also describes wisdom as spirit, which means she is alive and brings life to those who grab hold of her. If Solomon describes wisdom in these terms, what is attractive about being intelligent, holy, unique, and manifold? And how do these four characteristics come alive in human beings and their relationships?
As I read and ponder these passages on wisdom, I find there is an attraction and desire for wisdom and what it can bring in my life that hasnÕt been previously within me. Do you find the same happening to you?
Please take some time to ponder these questions, and let me know your insights. I look forward to reading them, and I also look forward to taking this journey of finding and applying wisdom in our lives together.
In the spirit of continuing an in depth discussion on the characteristics of wisdom, the May newsletter will be devoted to discussing the following four characteristics of wisdom: subtle, mobile, clear, and unpolluted.
Ways to Communicate With Me
You can e-mail me at email@example.com.
You can visit my web site at www.wisdomcourage.com.
Services Offered at The Institute of Wisdom and Courage
I offer one on one life coaching on gaining wisdom and courage.
I offer public speaking on reconciliation of broken relationships, especially with parents.
I conduct a workshop entitled Gaining Wisdom: The Healing Power of Life.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Founder of The Institute of Wisdom and Courage and Certified Life Coach