Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.acadun.com
7th November 2013
What does wisdom mean?
For the majority, wisdom means an excess of knowledge, because the dictionary describes wisdom as experience, knowledge and good judgement. Wisdom is also used ironically to suggest bad judgement. Similarly, knowledge also means experience, good or bad judgement. Man also considers any form of ancient spiritual and scriptural knowledge as wisdom. Quantitatively and qualitatively wisdom and knowledge are, however, not synonymous.
The inherent characteristic of understanding is a quality of intellect in life. This quality enabled man to understand a sound as a letter, different sounds as different letters, different letters as a word, and different words as sentences. After this, man understood reason and logic, which formed beliefs. These intellectual understandings amalgamated as knowledge. The completion of this journey outwards to his mind, from his true nature inside, started from sound to end as knowledge. This is man’s illusory destination in the world.
Life, as it continued to sophisticate, increased the intellect in understanding, reason and logic. This increase enabled man to understand, at life’s own speed, that knowledge, which is beliefs, sentences, words, word and letters are an auditory illusion of certain sounds. This understanding starts the journey back from the destination knowledge to the starting point sound. The completion of this journey back from the mind outside to his true nature inside reveals sound as wisdom in the form of words and sentences. This is man’s real destination in life.
Wisdom is the realisation that man is not the doer. If man were the doer, he would know the precise moment of completion of an action, and also the precise moment of completion of every part of the action. But no man knows those moments with certainty. The entire action, therefore, happens to man when it is meant to happen. Man comes to know an action only after it is completed. Therefore, in the English dictionary, there is an absence of a word that describes that actions actually happen to him. The word ‘doer’ is therefore a misnomer.
Similarly, wisdom is the realisation that man is not the speaker. If man were the speaker, he would know the precise moment when he will speak and the precise word that he will speak, before he actually speaks it. But man neither knows the precise moment when he will speak nor the precise word that he will speak. He comes to know when he speaks and what he speaks only after he has spoken and never before he actually speaks. Speech, therefore, happens to man when it is meant to happen. Thus, in the English dictionary, there is an absence of a word that describes that speech happens to man. The word ‘speaker’ is therefore a misnomer.
Likewise, wisdom is the realisation that man is not the thinker. If man were the thinker, he would know the precise moment when he will think and the precise thought that he will think, before he actually thinks it. But man neither knows the precise moment when he will think nor the precise thought that he will think. He comes to know when he thinks and what he thinks only after he has thought and never before he actually thinks it. Thoughts, therefore, happen to man when they are meant to happen. Thus, in the English dictionary, there is an absence of a word that describes that thoughts happen to man. The word ‘thinker’ is therefore a misnomer.
Dutch translator’s note:
Sound evolves to knowledge. Understanding brings man back to sound, which then has become wisdom. The journey outwards and back again within can be short or long. The beauty of life is, that live itself takes care of the completion of the journey towards wisdom. Reading this article of dr. Shankar, is the way live prepares man for the understanding that experiences, knowledge and good judgment are illusory. Life is merciful and reveals it’s wisdom to everyone in its own way and in its own speed.
Paula, the Netherlands