Quote and a Question: Knowledge & Wisdom
The difference between knowledge and wisdom has been differentiated time and again. We know the former to be an intellectual understanding of something, while the latter is an embodiment of understanding in our hearts and souls rather than just our heads that translates over and into how we live our lives. When our knowledge has grown and matured into an embodied wisdom, it tends to speak for itself in our day-to-day existence without needing words for its proclamation like that of the knowledge we carry. But our efforts to cross the bridge from knowledge to wisdom can leave us feeling like that which we know to be true is just beyond our fingertips in actual experience- we know what we need or what will bring us greater contentment, but often, we have to relearn those things again and again, falling short of living what we know.
And yet, more often than not, it is precisely life that facilitates that crossing more than any teaching- relearning again and again, until, finally- perhaps in hindsight- we notice a shift in knowledge as a very alive wisdom in our days. One such timeless lesson, more easily understood than embodied, is that the journey we’re on is our only real destination. We all know this, so much so that it’s cliché in character, but is still a daily learning for most of us. After all, doesn’t our irritation with clichés come largely from them being so much more easily understood than applied at least as much as it does from their overuse? At best, if integrated as wisdom, the lesson still requires our remembering. Such is given to us in the words of David Whyte- words that are the closest thing to a living breathing experience of wisdom as you read-
“Human beings do not find their essence through fulfilment or eventual arrival but by staying close to the way they like to travel, to the way they hold the conversation between the ground on which they stand and the horizon to which they go. We are, in effect, always close, always close to the ultimate secret: that we are more real in our simple wish to find a way than any destination we could reach; the step between not understanding that and understanding that is as close as we get to happiness.” – David Whyte from Close in his series of essays on everyday words in Consolations
And so, with the proverbial crossing from knowledge to wisdom that can only ever bring us close to the other side as we learn and relearn, and forget and remember that we need not get there to be there, how might you give yourself more permission to be enough as you are today- enough in your wish to find your way?