Knowledge vs. Wisdom: Connecting to the Higher Self
“Many people mistake knowledge for wisdom because they are intimately related, and this is unfortunate because they are quite different in an important way. Knowledge is the accumulation of facts and information. Wisdom is the synthesis of knowledge and experiences into insights that deepen one’s understanding of relationships and the meaning of life. In other words, knowledge is a tool, and wisdom is the craft in which the tool is used.” - Philoscifi
I've been having this topic come back to me in different situations and people. Sometimes we can get so lost in our minds because we know what we know, but can't truly understand something until what we know meets the experience of what is. With awareness and a keen sense to continue learning and growing, we slowly evolve from knowing to understanding, from knowledge to wisdom.
These are some ideas that could help when embarking on this journey of understanding:
"Actions speak louder than words"
I can imagine that we all have times when we talk to someone and recognize that what they are saying is very much disconnected with what they are doing. We might even catch ourselves in times where what we say is out of tune with what we do. The idea is to "practice what you preach". And it's not an easy practice, but we start with this awareness - no judgement, we're all here learning.
Sometimes I finding myself teaching a yoga class and think, 'wow, I should really listen to myself', or I forget to ask for no straws when I know and preach how detrimental it is to the environment. We all slip and catch ourselves at times - that's the process, to learn from observing ourselves. However, if I did find myself thinking this all the time, or find myself talking the talk but never walking the walk, that is where the heavy disconnect comes. Sometimes we meet people who have the knowledge of a deep spiritual practice, or environmental awareness, or preach one love, but the energy they emit or the things they do just don't comply. Rather than teaching philosophy, you live it. This idea goes back to the discourse of the difference between knowledge and wisdom. The practice is to let your actions speak for you.
"Never allow knowledge to stand in the way of truth"
This is so relevant to us in many ways; as humans we are conditioned to view things the way we do because we think we have prior knowledge about it. We let these ideas already make up a slight feeling toward something, or filter things, people, experiences - which limits us from seeing what truly and simply is. By letting this idea go, "you see things as they are, rather than seeing them as you are told they are". I also see it as 'never allow the mind to stand in the way of the soul'. We go through this sometimes, no? Our mind (thoughts and emotions) keeps telling us and tugging us in a certain direction, but our gut (our intuition) know that it's just not right? "Never allow knowledge to stand in the way of truth". This is a great idea to bring our awareness to in reaching to connect with our higher self.
"Stay present with what is. Don't seek to conform what you know to what is/isn't there"
This idea is kind of like the one above, but going a little further. I have a dear friend who indulged in many spiritual teachings as a young boy in middle/high school- reading books of ideas, of spiritual laws, etc. But when you have too much knowledge with too little experience, it can get hard to understand, or it can even get a little dark and heavy. When learning, take the time and space to balance your knowledge with your experience. You don't have to seek to apply it to everything - just have the awareness of it, but go with the flow of what is and keep learning.
"Keep your mind open and flexible to learn and to grow"
Wisdom is the ability to use your experience, and we all have unique experiences. Learn, learn, learn. If you can acknowledge that there is a teaching in every situation, or notice the reflections and projections of yourself in others, that is the ultimate. Regardless, keep yourself open to continue learning and to accepting growth.
This was a load of a post - thanks for reading! As always, here's to the process! We are all right where we need to be - I hope this read was a nice little seed planted within your path to wherever it is you are headed.
Much love and many blessings~
photo by @phosphene_visuals