Beautiful quote: “Wisdom is a way of knowing that goes beyond one’s mind, one’s rational understanding, and embraces the whole of a person: mind, heart, and body. These three centers must all be working, and working in harmony, as the first prerequisite to the Wisdom way of knowing.” Cynthia Bourgeault
Center for Practical Wisdom
“Wisdom was once regarded as a subject worthy of rigorous scholarly inquiry in order to understand its nature and benefits. It is difficult to imagine a subject more central to the highest aspirations of being human. The study of wisdom holds great promise for shedding light on and opening up new insights for human flourishing.
As part of the Center for Practical Wisdom, the website features the latest news and publications on wisdom science, and encourages interdisciplinary discussions about how wisdom can play a role in the professions and in public life.”
Collective Wisdom vs. Collective Intelligence
Tom Atlee in an article that was written a while ago: “I am coming to suspect that it is the fringes that make the difference between collective intelligence and collective wisdom.
Collective intelligence solves problems or resolves conflicts of, by and for a group, an organization, a community or a whole society. It solves those problems and conflicts for the here and now, for people who are interested, aware, and involved.
Collective wisdom, on the other hand, has a bigger challenge. It needs to expand out from the particular problem or conflict, from the here and now, from those interested, aware and involved. It needs to embrace larger contexts, interests, drivers and possibilities. It has to consider the deep needs of people long gone and yet unborn, and to delve into deeper levels of understanding and caring. It ventures into unseen dimensions of life – into background trends, hidden corruptions and connections, psychospiritual influences, scientific microcosms and macrocosms – to realize unexpected consequences, novel resources, and extraordinarily potent answers. Being the Big Picture form of intelligence, wisdom is born out of our capacity to stretch creatively into the unknown and the unacknowledged, into the new angle, the deeper parts of ourselves, the fringe insights and possibilities.”
Characteristics of a Wise Person & a Wise Democracy
In this blog entry Tom Atlee aks the question whether it is presumptuous and misleading when he calls his vision of democracy “wise”. His vision is one of political and governance systems accessing the wisdom, power, and participation of the whole community and the whole of life in service of the whole community and the whole of life. He describes the characteristics of a wise person and looks at what those qualities mean in the context of a community or society.
While there is no easy or simple way to develop wisdom, there are clearly definable pathways for cultivating and strengthening it. The Wisdom Page provides a wealth of advice and guided practices for the nurturance and growth of wisdom.
Since 1995 The Wisdom Page has been connecting those interested in wisdom with a wide range of wisdom-related resources. Over the years the website has expanded in content and grown in popularity.
Amidst ongoing concerns over numerous perceived problems and challenges in the world today—environmental, economic, social, ethical, and technological— it is more important than ever to emphasize the critical relevance of wisdom in constructively facing these challenges. Wisdom is not just about “wise sayings” and philosophical insights of the past; wisdom is “vitally important” for our individual and collective future. Wisdom faces forward. Though numerous technological and economic solutions are offered to address the problems of today, the pursuit and development of wisdom is key to a positive future for humanity.
It Starts With Uncertainty
From a dialogue between Margaret Wheatley and Pema Chodrön touching upon themes like uncertainty, compassion and courage. It was written down in 1999, but its content is becoming more relevant by the day. A long but inspiring and encouraging read!
“In fact, a lot of people do know how to be together, but it’s a skill that hasn’t been considered important or given any status in our society. It’s actually been dismissed as insignificant and soft and fuzzy. So courage is what we need, and the source of that courage is recognizing that the questions, doubts and desires that move in me move in everyone else as well.”