The Role that Time plays in Knowledge and Wisdom

Do you know the difference between Wisdom and Knowledge? You can spend your entire life trying to gain more knowledge and you will become a very intelligent and thoughtful person. However, no amount of time spent can make one wise. Wisdom is not found in journals, textbooks and the local library. Wisdom does not necessarily come with age. Our greatest prophets did not have degrees and most of them were recognized as wise men at a very early age. Jesus and Buddha were both in their 30’s when they started their ministries. As we begin the New Year, here is a bit of wisdom that I picked up from a book called “The Path of Love” by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. I think this passage from his book has a great deal of relevance for our current economic situation.

“Unless there is more than enough, man will always be exploited by man; it is not a question of communism or socialism or capitalism. Unless there is more than enough, man will be exploited. So create more than enough, be creative, use all possibilities to create more: that is the first thing. And the second thing: live in the present, don’t think of the morrow. Listen to Jesus; he says: Look at the lilies in the field. They spin not, they weave not, they labor not, they don’t think of the morrow – yet they are beautiful. Even Solomon arrayed in his whole glory, was not so beautiful. Live in the present. The future creates greed, greed creates hoarding, hoarding creates poverty.”

There are two points of wisdom here that are very clear. 1. Create. 2. Live in the present. The third point is more subtle but it is there. The third point is share. If we create but we hoard, if we create but we worry we will not have enough for ourselves, we create a greedy society. I dare say that since the 1970’s, the culture of America has become imbued with an ethic of greed and materialism. Many assume that it is capitalism itself that is evil or wrong. As Bhagwan notes, it is neither capitalism nor socialism that is wrong, it is a system of poverty and exploitation that is wrong. Capitalism affords us the best means of creating more for all. However, capitalism alone does not insure that everyone will have enough. There must be a spiritual component to our efforts that allows for charity and generosity.

As we start this New Year, I hope we can all think more about creating abundance and sharing that abundance with others. What can you create this year that you can share with others? What can you do to live more in the present and worry less about tomorrow? What does it mean for you to be generous and charitable to others? How can we all worry about having less stuff and sharing more with others?

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. bgalbreath
    Jan 05, 2012 @ 12:18:43

    For me, the answer is to define for myself what is “enough” for me, and then not compare myself all that much with others. One person is rich if he sees himself as having enough, and another is poor if he is plagued by thoughts of what he lacks. The second person may have a hundred times more money than the first.

    It bothers me that so much of our politics today is rooted in envy, obsessing about what others have and comparing it to our own. But I suppose that's easy for me to say since I have money in the bank and am not living from paycheck to paycheck and hounded by debt collectors. Although I say I avoid making comparisons, it happens nevertheless. The Wall Street Journal had a little calculator a couple of months ago titled “What percent are you?” You put in your income and they give you a percentage. I live with my girlfriend, and our combined income puts us at the 87th percentile of US residents. I read yesterday that a majority of the people in the world who are in the top 1% of income live in the US. What does it take to be in that top world-wide percentile? $38,000, which is only slightly above our “poverty level” for a family of 4.

    So maybe I'm not so serene and above it all, just smug and complacent. It's easy to be satisfied with what you have when you have a lot.

    Reply

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