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.
Welcome once again to WISDOM FOR ALL TIMES, WISDOM FOR OUR TIMES. It is my hope that you enjoy reading and interacting with the ideas expressed in this my fifth newsletter.
In my last newsletter I raised the concept of a foundational wisdom principle (FWP), and I shared mine with you. Before we return to discussing four more characteristics of wisdom, I want to elaborate on this issue a little more. I find in my foundational wisdom principle a proof about humans and their nature. If you remember my FWP states that humans have a difficult time differentiating between good and evil, where evil may be seen as that which is bad or destructive. And that humans have difficulty making these kinds of important distinctions is a great source of unhappiness for humans. I now want to share with you another wisdom principle that is based upon my FWP, and it is that true and greater happiness can be experienced in developing the four fruits of wisdom, which are self-control, sound judgment, reconciled relationships, and courage.
Here are the two principles written together. Humans have a difficult time differentiating between good and evil, where evil may be seen as that which is bad or destructive. And that humans have difficulty making these kinds of important distinctions is a great source of unhappiness for humans. True and greater happiness can be experienced in developing the four fruits of wisdom, which are self-control, sound judgment, reconciled relationships, and courage. In putting these two wisdom principles together, do you see a connection or relationship between the two? If so, IÕd be interested to know what your thoughts are on these two principles.
I also want to encourage you to develop a foundational wisdom principle of your own and search for wisdom principles based upon your FWP. This is a way of building oneÕs life upon a solid foundation, a way of building oneÕs life upon rock instead of sand, knowing that rock stands firm under all circumstances.
Now, letÕs return to looking at four more characteristics of wisdom. Below is the same text that has been in my other newsletters, and letÕs take a close look at loving the good, invulnerable, distinct, and keen. I encourage you to quickly reread the text to reacquaint yourself with this passage from the Book of Wisdom.
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
The first of the four wisdom characteristics considered here is loving the good and it is heavy with meaning. The two words love and good can take volumes to describe, but letÕs keep it simple. The definition of love that I gravitate towards is having the right attitude, and good infers decency, rightness, and justice. If I put the two together, loving the good means to have the right attitude towards what is decent and just. I donÕt believe IÕve quite described the essence of loving the good yet, since love also means a desire or longing for someone or something. Adding to the previous ideas to describe the significance of loving the good, it means thereÕs a desire or longing for it, and a search for it, and also an excitement to find and live out that which is good.
The second characteristic is invulnerable, which expresses the capacity of not being wounded or damaged. Every human being is wounded or damaged by someone or some experience; it is impossible to live life without this happening. However, when a person bases his or her life on wisdom principles then the person develops the capacity to become much less vulnerable then if he or she had not searched, developed and lived by wisdom principles. They are a source of great strength, courage, and sound judgment, and give humans a strong foundation in which to accurately and correctly deal with their wounds, and show a path to moving beyond the impact of the wounds.
The third characteristic is distinct, which means not identical or the same. This is an extremely important aspect of wisdom. The ability to distinguish differences between things such as ideas, actions, cultures or even gender is so important, especially for human happiness. Without making distinctions, there is an apathy and a dullness to life since nothing in life is special or meaningful when everything is the same or nearly the same. Failing to make distinctions ruins the human spirit because it extinguishes the impetus for people to ask about, seek for, and to find wisdom, true happiness, and wise love.
The fourth and final characteristic for this newsletter is keen. Keenness is the possession of great insight, and great insight can be used advantageously in human relationships. Keen insight can be extremely helpful and a great instrument for that which is good. A person with keen insight has the ability to sift through ideas and then make keen distinctions that lead to the revealing of what is true and the unveiling of what is false. Knowing human nature and having keenness into what makes humans truly happy is a great quality to possess and will help enable one to establish, maintain, and nurture great human relationships.
Loving the good, invulnerable, distinct, and keen are the latest four characteristics of wisdom out of twelve we have discussed thus far. I hope you take the time to reflect on these four characteristics, and if you are moved, please share with me any of your thoughts and/or reflections about these four or about any other subject you find interesting in this newsletter. I hope this newsletter finds you well and encourages you to search for wisdom and to do acts of courage.
My next newsletter will be available early next year, and will discuss the following wisdom characteristics: irresistible, beneficent, humane, and steadfast.
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I look forward to hearing from you.
Founder of The Institute of Wisdom and Courage and Certified Life Coach