Wisdom 2    

Quotes for
the Journey:


The clearest sign of
wisdom is continued cheerfulness.

Michel de Montaigne


When people are on the point of drowning, all they care for is their lives.  But as soon as they get ashore, they ask, "Where is my umbrella?"  Wisdom, in life, consists in not asking for the umbrella.        -John Wu


If wisdom were offered me with the proviso that I should keep it shut and refrain from declaring it, I should refuse.  There's no delight in owning anything unshared.        -Seneca

Only the wise person draws from life, and from every stage of it, its true savour, because only he or she feels the beauty, the dignity, and the value of life.  The flowers of youth may fade, but the summer, the autumn, and even the winter of human existence, have their majestic grandeur, which the wise person recognizes and glorifies.        -Amiel

The foolish reject what they see, not what they think; the wise reject what they think, not what they see. . . . Observe things as they are and don't pay attention to other people.       -Huang-Po

Wise people are able to give themselves gracefully to seemingly contradictory experiences, because they know that they belong to different seasons of life, all of which are necessary to the whole.  Spring and winter, growth and decay, creativity and fallowness, health and sickness, power and impotence, and life and death all belong within the economy of being.       -Sam Keen
It is far easier to be wise for others than to be so for oneself.       -Duc de la Rochefoucauld

There is a wise being living inside of you. It is your intuitive self.  Focus your awareness into a deep place in your body, a place where your "gut feelings" reside.  You can communicate with it by silently talking to it, making requests, or asking questions.  Then relax, don't think too hard with your mind, and be open to receiving answers.  They are usually very simple and relate to the present moment, not the past or the future, and they feel right.       -Shakti Gawain
Until we stop ourselves or, more often, have been stopped, we hope to put certain of life's events "behind us" and get on with our living.  After we stop we see that certain of life's issues will be with us for as long as we live.  We will pass through them again and again, each time with a new story, each time with a greater understanding, until they become indistinguishable from our blessings and our wisdom.  It's the way life teaches us to live.       -Rachel Naomi Remen
All discoveries in art and science result from an accumulation of errors.       -Marshall McLuhan
At twenty-two, I thought I knew everything.  Now, at sixty-seven, I find I haven't tasted a drop from the sea of knowledge.  The more I learn, the more I find out how little I know.       -John Copage
Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom.  One can find it, live it, be fortified by it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.       -Hermann Hesse
The poor long for riches and the rich for heaven, but the wise long for a state of tranquility.        -Swami Rama

Wisdom is knowing what to do next; virtue is doing it.        -David Starr Jordan
The differences in human life depend, for the most part, not on what people do, but upon the meaning and purpose of their acts.  All are born, all die, all lose their loved ones, nearly all marry and nearly all work, but the significance of these acts may vary enormously.  The same physical act may be in one situation vulgar and in another holy.  The same work may be elevating or degrading.  The major question is not "What act do I perform?" but "In what frame do I put it?"  Wisdom about life consists in taking the inevitable ventures which are the very stuff of common existence, and glorifying them.        -Elton Trueblood
Advice is like snow; the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind.       -Samuel Taylor Coleridge
We should never be ashamed to own we have been in the wrong, which is but saying in other words, that we are wiser today than we were yesterday.       -Jonathan Swift
There are many ways to seek wisdom.  There is travel, there are masters, there is service.  There is staring into the eyes of children and elders and lovers and strangers.  There is sitting silently in one spot and there is being swept along in life's turbulent current.  Life itself will grant you wisdom in ways you may neither understand nor choose.
   It is up to you to be open to all these sources of wisdom and to embrace them with your whole heart.       -Kent Nerburn
Those who have the largest hearts have the soundest understandings; and they are the truest philosophers who can forget themselves.       -William Hazlitt
There is no greater mistake in the world than the looking upon every sort of nonsense as the want of sense.
-Leigh Hunt
The first key to wisdom is this--constant and frequent questioning . . . for by doubting we are led to question and by questioning we arrive at the truth.        -Peter Abelard

Dare to be wise: begin! Those who postpone the hour of living rightly are like the rustic who waits for the river to run out before he crosses, yet on it glides, and will glide forever.       -Horace
Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone.  The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials.      -Lin Yutang
I call that mind free which is not passively framed by outward circumstances, which is not swept away by the torrent of events, which is not the creature of accidental impulse, but which bends events to its own improvement, and acts from an inward spring, from immutable principles which it has deliberately espoused.        -William Ellery Channing
To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live, according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust.        -Henry David Thoreau

A mature person is one who does not think only in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and in all things, and who walks humbly and deals charitably with the circumstances of life, knowing that in this world no one is all knowing and therefore all of us need both love and charity.       -Eleanor Roosevelt


The highest wisdom is kindness.         -The Gemara
Wisdom is not to be obtained from textbooks, but must be coined out of human experience in the flame of life.
-Morris Raphael Cohen

Wisdom 2    

We see then how far the monuments of wit and learning are more durable than the monuments of power, or of the hands.  For have not the verses of Homer continued twenty-five hundred years, or more, without the loss of a syllable or letter; during which time infinite palaces, temples, castles, cities have been decayed and demolished?
-Francis Bacon
You must learn day by day, year by year, to broaden your horizon.  The more things you love, the more you are interested in, the more you enjoy, the more you are indignant about-- the more you have left when anything happens.       -Ethel Barrymore
Who is wise?  Those who learn from everyone.        -Benjamin Franklin
Wisdom is not finally tested by the schools, Wisdom cannot be pass'd from one having it to another not having it, Wisdom is of the soul, is not susceptible of proof, is its own proof.        -Walt Whitman
Abundance of knowledge does not teach a person to be wise.       -Heraclitus
A wise person will make more opportunities than he or she finds.       -Francis Bacon
The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.       -William James
The seat of knowledge is in the head; of wisdom, in the heart.  We are sure to judge wrong if we do not feel right.        -William Hazlitt

There is no happiness where there is no wisdom.       -Sophocles
The wise stand out, because they see themselves as part of the Whole.  They shine, because they don't want to impress.  They achieve great things, because they don't look for recognition.  Their wisdom is contained in what they are, not their opinions.  They refuse to argue, so no-one argues with them.       -Lao Tzu
Wisdom outweighs any wealth.       -Sophocles
Wisdom sends us back to our childhood.         -Pascal
We can be knowledgeable with other people's knowledge, but we cannot be wise with other people's wisdom.
-Michel de Montaigne
If I'm wise, I won't worry about growing old, for I know that there's a time for everything.  I won't worry about whether someone likes me or not, for I know that all things can't be.  I won't worry about the things that I don't have, for not having them diminishes me not one bit.  I won't worry about the future and regret the past, for I know that only the present moment truly matters, for it's all that we can live.  If I'm wise, I will keep my eyes open and notice things that other people pass by or dismiss as trivial.  I will stop and smell the flowers and marvel at the snow and ice.  I will give of myself as much as I can, knowing that in giving comes our true growth.  I will be grateful for each new day of life that I receive, for I know that each day is a gift, and it's up to me to make something of that gift.       -tom walsh

Preconceived notions are the locks on the door to wisdom.        -Merry Browne
Time ripens all things.  No one is born wise.       -Cervantes
The poor long for riches and the rich for heaven, but the wise long for a state of tranquility.        -Swami Rama

Wisdom comes most easily to those who have the courage to embrace life without judgment and are willing to not know, sometimes for a long time.  It requires us to be more fully and simply alive than we have been taught to be.  It may require us to suffer.  But ultimately we will be more than we were when we began.  There is the seed of a greater wholeness in everyone.       -Rachel Naomi Remen

Wisdom is oftentimes nearer when we stoop than when we soar.       -William Wordsworth
I was walking along the river and I saw a little old man.  No teeth--really what we would call dirty, because we're clean--you know, it's all relative-- drinking a bottle of cheap wine, eating a piece of cheese, with a big grin on his face.  I almost passed him by.  He said, "Good morning, son."  Anyone who calls me "son" is my buddy.  So I sat down and we started rapping.  We shared the wine, we shared the cheese, and we also shared philosophy.  I said to this man "You know, you look so happy and contented and centered and peaceful.  Do you have a secret to life?"  He said, without a moment's hesitation, "Indeed,  do."
   I said, "Would you share it with me?"
   "Of course, son."  He said, "If you want to live happy all of your life, always keep your mind full and your bowels empty."  Now, there's wisdom!  Nobody asked him to a brain bank!  They should have!       -Leo Buscaglia
Be happy.  It's one way of being wise.       -Colette
Give me wisdom over book knowledge any day.  I've spent many years in college--twelve years as a student and twelve teaching, and I can say without hesitation that I would prefer the company of an unschooled wise man or woman to that of a person who knows much, but feels little.  The two aren't mutually exclusive, of course--many educated people are also wise, and many unschooled people are also unfeeling.  But it seems that the more knowledge we have, the more we tend to look at ourselves as knowing what we need to know, and that couldn't be any further from the truth.

What I need when I talk to people is feedback about my life, about me.  If I'm to advance as a human being and become better (which to me means becoming more useful to my fellow human beings), then I need feedback that helps me to see what I'm doing right and what I'm doing wrong.  I need a wise person to tell me that this person's course of action is ineffective because he or she isn't taking something important into consideration, to tell me that my words were too harsh or too soft for a situation, to tell me that what somebody did to me wasn't at all as I perceived it, but something different entirely.

Most of all, though, I appreciate the examples of the wise--the lives they live and the way they tend to be content with just what they have.  They tend to be much more accepting and understanding, for they see where people are coming from inside--they're able to see past the facades and the attention-getting and know what a person is about.

Wisdom is a quality that I strive after, and I would rather have a pound of wisdom than a ton of knowledge.  It's too late, though--I already have a ton of knowledge, and I'm trying my best to purify it, to take what I need to live a useful life from it and leave the rest behind, so that I may grow in wisdom and thus grow in usefulness to my fellow human beings.  it takes a great deal of maple sap to make maple syrup, and what's not necessary or vital is evaporated as the sap is boiled down.  It's a mistake to think that all of our knowledge is necessary--we need to let some of it evaporate as we search for the wisdom that will most help ourselves and others.

-Tom Walsh

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Wisdom 2    

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