An Encyclopedia Contains No Wisdom

June 15, 2015

I often meet people who hear discoveries about life and instantly compare them to teachers, religions or philosophies they are familiar with. They are like an encyclopedia of theories, and everything can be referenced in the library of their memory.

They will say things like “that sounds like Zen” or “that’s what Eckhart Tolle is saying” as if they’re waiting for a school teacher to acknowledge them and say “good Johnny, that is correct”. This is the path to good grades and approval, but not to wisdom.

Wisdom comes directly from your experience of life.

The problem with constantly referencing other people’s theories is that you are missing the chance to form your own. You are forever seeking, forever searching for the one theory that will explain life in a way that satisfies you. There are benefits though.

One benefit to using other people’s theories is you don’t have to stand behind your own, you can simply say “Osho said this” or “this is what Landmark Education teaches”. Having your own theory that’s not backed up by a book or someone famous is like walking out on a limb. It’s scary and uncertain.

Do you know the difference between a concept you understand intellectually and a realization? The first is the way we were taught to in school. It allows us to summarize and give a presentation. It can be useful in a job, but it’s useless in self realization. We will never truly understand or embody any knowledge that comes from outside of us.

In contrast, a realization arises organically from you living life. It’s an “a-ha” moment, and it often shows up in a way that you’ve never seen before. It might sound like what someone else said, but it’s totally organic to you.

When people attempt to explain other people’s theories, they are boring, and we quickly lose interest. On the other hand, when someone shares the story of their realizations it’s captivating. This is the choice we have every time we speak about life, we can summarize the wisdom of others or share the stories of our own realizations.

Copy and paste or create from scratch.

Come from others or come from yourself.


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