The Wisdom to Know the Difference

“Spirit is not logic. Knowledge is not Wisdom. Spirit is Feeling, logic is thought. Knowledge is learned, Wisdom is Knowing…Wisdom is the fruit of time, because it is based on knowledge and experience. Knowledge alone does not bring Wisdom. You need Experience also to bring Wisdom from…Knowledge. Knowledge by itself is a cold, dangerous thing…Follow your Path to the Water, the Source of Life sustaining, Thirst Quenching Water. Gather your Water upstream from others, so you are gathering Pure, unpolluted Water. Others may try to show you where to go for Water…’The pure Water is over here’…’The pure Water is there’…Each one of us needs to find our own Spring, our own well,our own Source of pure Water….unpolluted, with no additives….” ~ Doug

This is a combination of a couple of Reflections by my Spiritual Mentor, Doug. I combined them for today because in light of the political climate today being all muddied and mucked up I wanted to try to be a voice of reason like he was.

I’ll bet some of you are scratching your head right now wondering what the heck Doug meant with these riddle sounding Reflections. I know I was. Let’s try breaking this down a bit to get a better understanding, starting with defining a few words

  1. Logic is reasonable judgment, or common sense. Logic is also thought which is the process of using your mind to consider something. We use our thought processes to come to a reasonable judgement.  
  2. Spirit has a couple of meanings, but the one I will focus on today refers to the emotional state, temperament, mood or any strong feeling. It also applies to the atmosphere, or ambiance of a room, place or situation and the effect that it has on people.
  3. Feeling is physical sensation that you experience. It can also be an intuitive understanding of something. If we touch something hot, we feel it with our hands. When we love someone, we feel it in our hearts.
  4. Knowledge is understanding gained through learning, usually thru books. Knowledge is learned. If you have learned something you have extensive information or understanding.
  5. Wisdom is the application of knowledge acquired over time. Just because we have knowledge or an understanding of how something works, doesn’t necessarily mean we are wise. Wisdom doesn’t come from books. One example is being a counselor. They may read about and write papers on events in human life like domestic violence and addiction but until they’ve lived those situations, they are not necessarily wise to what it’s like to live it.

Putting it all together, Spirit is a Feeling. It’s not Logical because our experience tells us that there’s nothing logical – no common sense – when it comes to our feelings and emotions.

Knowledge is not Wisdom because Wisdom is gained from experience. Wisdom is Knowing because as we acquire more Knowledge we can apply it to our life. As we continue to acquire more Knowledge we gain Wisdom. Each day we are alive, we learn something new, and with each learning experience, good or bad, we gain more Knowledge and Wisdom.

Francis Bacone wrote, “Ipsa scientia potestas est” which translates to “Knowledge itself is power”. This means that Knowledge is the most powerful tool to achieve or do anything. Information, or having Knowledge, sustains a society just as water sustains life. Knowledge is the most powerful tool to achieve or do anything.

I remember as a teenager I used to hear that my Elders were wise. I wondered how I could become wise like they were when I got older. I have to chuckle a bit because at one time I thought, “I have a good degree and I had decent grades in school. I should be pretty smart.” Come to find out I wasn’t totally correct on that. While I have knowledge in many areas of life, I still don’t know all there is to know. As I gain knowledge, I become a bit wiser.

As I watch the media today in all its forms, I still find myself amazed at what I see and hear. Between statements made by politicians, news reporters and the entertainment industry, I can see why our country has become so divided. Part of it has to do with us being human beings who have free will. We have the choice to go, say, do and believe – or none of the above – whatever and whenever we want. With that in mind, humans, by and large, are fairly easily manipulated and fickle creatures.

Let’s look at it like this. Since the dawn of time, humans have promoted their goods and services. “No, don’t buy that stuff, mines better” or “My services are better than that person”. Normally we weigh the the pros and cons of a product or service based on how well it worked and if it actually performed like it claimed to. Sometimes we get suggestions and advice from our family and friends.

We see this in politics but now we not only get suggestions and weigh the pros and cons, we also get information and even misinformation from the media, internet and social media. On top of that the entertainment industry is putting in their 2 cents. All of this combined has brought us to the boiling point this past year.

As our technology has advanced, we are inundated with information 24hrs a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year – including nights, weekends and holidays. This information comes from the internet, social media and 24hr news networks. Plus with most media outlets taking sides in politics, well, you have a real pressure cooker ready to explode.

In recent months, if not years, something more concerning has happened. People are beaten, intimidated or bullied to think one way or another. Intimidation can come from anyone including politicians, reporters or the entertainment industry. Social media is filled with intimidation from other people. Plain old, everyday, ordinary people in life call you names and they shout you down if you don’t go along with what they say. It’s easy to have the guts to be a cyberbully sitting in front of a computer screen.

In today’s political climate, one can see what I’m talking about by looking at different media outlets. It makes no difference if it’s tv, print, social media or the internet. There are sharp contrasts between left and right media outlets. One side focuses on one narrative while the other side focuses on another. Each side calls you names if you don’t believe what they say, however, one side calls you a bigot and every ”ist” name in the dictionary. Plus the entertainment industry adds their opinions about what you should think too. Some musicians even create music with hateful rhetoric.

There’s one thing you don’t see anymore – substantive discussion and debate. No one says anymore, “This is why I believe this…”. People would rather shout each other down, call each other all the “ist” names in the dictionary, or bully and beat each other up until they get their opponents to give in or submit to their viewpoint.

If you don’t believe me, then try this easy and safe experiment. I’m sure most of you read, watch or listen to the news from certain outlets only, for whatever reason. And of course that’s your prerogative. I want you to go to another outlet and read, watch or listen to what they report. For example, if you watch MSNBC, turn the channel to Fox News. If you read the New York Times then read Huffington Post. You get the idea.

If you choose to do this, the first thing you’ll notice is different, perhaps even conflicting, reports on virtually everything. You’ll get one side of the story from one source and a totally different story from another source. If there’s one important lesson I’ve learned thru the years it is that there’s one side of the truth, another side of the truth and somewhere in between the two sides is the truth. What we as a society need to do is decipher truth from fiction, unbiased from biased information and real news from fake news. Then discuss in a respectful way our thoughts.

A final, yet crazy thought. What if much of our divisiveness is caused by someone else causing it? What if Group A people is angry at Group B people because of others within Group A?

Doug said it best, “Gather your Water upstream from others, so you are gathering Pure, unpolluted Water. Others may try to show you where to go for Water….”The pure Water is over here.”…..”The pure Water is there”….Each one of us needs to find our own Spring,our own well,our own Source of pure Water….unpolluted, with no additives….”

Now that you know this, you have gained a little more Knowledge and Wisdom today.

Thought for the day: Don’t allow others to tell you that they’re information is right. Do the research for yourself. Seek out the truth in the sea of lies and misinformation.

***Please be sure to read more of my posts


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About Bella’s Thoughts. This is a project that I began in my mind a number of years ago when I began reading some daily meditations. I had my own thoughts on many occasions and attempted to journal many times without success. It began to take shape when I took on another project for a Spiritual Advisor and dear friend who past away. To learn more about me read my very first blog post. For more daily reflections go to...

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