Photo: Field of gold © Kenza Saadi, 2017

Looking for wisdom

Wisdom the forgotten element as the world commiserates for itself.

What is wisdom? Where is it?

It is in me. It is in you.

Wisdom is simple, just like beauty. Defining it may be a tad complicated, and may need many words and nuances, just like beauty. Wisdom is not a thing but rather it is in many things. Again, just like beauty.

Wisdom is in sensitivity. It is in the listening of the other, of the self. It is in the behavior filled with respect. It is in acting without making waves, without shame and with grace. Always with grace.

‘The worst among sages visits princes, and the best among princes visits sages,’ says an old Sufi proverb. So yes, power is to bow to wisdom, just like our ego and short term preoccupations should.

Contrary to belief, wisdom does not come with learning, because that would be replicating the ideas of others. Wisdom is simply being oneself. Others inspire, yes, but wisdom is a state.

Wisdom is not knowledge. Knowledge in many ways is noise. It is created by the world around us. It is what some call jñana in Sanskrit. It is the truth, or what Sufis call Tasawaf that spiritual mix of knowledge and devotion. It can lead us to wisdom, yes. But wisdom is silence. It is not the opposite of noise, but unlike noise it cannot be created (have you ever tried to create silence?) Wisdom simply is and has always been in the background, pure and unfettered.

Wisdom is being who you are truly. It is not being a reflection of the other. Haven’t you noticed? Love makes you behave like the one you love, and so does hate. Just look at the rise in divisiveness as so many wrap themselves in the flag of their illusive identity…

So be yourself if you want to be wise. We all seem like puppets led by current events. It may explain why there is so much misunderstanding. Supposedly we all want peace, and yet look at the world.

Wisdom, in sum, is the ability to see things are they are. It is to recognize the unreal. Wisdom is having our feet on the ground. It is being “us” fully, it is the “me” and the “other,” it is the drop in the ocean. Wisdom is being kind and radiating love from the inside. It is not being removed from the world; rather, it is being fully alive without any contradictions and seeing every moment as one, because yes, we are the doer, the seeker, the thinker, the mother, the one and all. We are not separate entities.

Many think their arms are too small to hold the world by the waist. It is not, as Hafez once told us. Just hold it gently, and make sure you do not tear its thin veil.