What is Wisdom and how is it Learned?
We live immersed in a culture which endows rationality with such supremacy that it devalues emotions. As they are devalued, emotions are presented as if they only happen occasionally, as a disturbance in our rational existence. Indeed, most of the time we only recognize those emotions which are extremes, which do not fit in the day to day operation of our culture. This is evident in the way we refer to someone when we say they are “being emotional”.
But we do not see the fundamental emotion that pervades this culture. It is so pervasive that we are blind to it. We are stuck in an emotion of distrust. Distrust leads to a search for certainty and control, which in turn leads to a desire to appropriate everything – blindly oblivious to what this manner of living brings with it. But we are not happy in this. Now and then we catch a glimmer that this is not right, that this manner of living leads to the destruction of not only the spiritual and ethical aspects of our lives, but also the natural world which has given origin to us and which makes possible our very existence as human beings. No wonder we experience anxiety as we catch this glimmer!