The Nature of Wisdom
The meaning of Wisdom that guides this School is this: Wisdom is the art and science of spiritual transformation that leads to an awakening to one’s own true nature or ‘essence.’ It also can be thought of as ‘Intelligence’ that comes from within through contact with Spirit, the Divine or Transcendent. This art and science has existed for millennia and is the basis of the great world religions as well as the much more private Mystery Schools that have existed throughout history. This seeking of wisdom then is seen as requiring our participation in a transformational process in which we must be engaged, if we are to understand what Wisdom is. While this transformational process is deeply individual and personal, our goal is to assist those wishing to engage in it and do so in a way that does not involve retreating from “real life” into an enclosed temple, monastery, or other similar setting.
Wisdom-Intelligence: A New Model
In our culture, the term for knowledge or thought is generally equated with “Intelligence.” This view may be much too limited and only furthers confusion. Science tells us that human beings use only a small portion of our brains, which infers that there is the possibility that there could be a way to access a much higher percentage than anything we can imagine. This portion can be regarded as the sum total of all our conditioning from genetics, parents and family, teachers, societal and religious influences, etc. This conditioning limits us greatly, but it operates mostly below our awareness and in an automatic way. What we seek is the means to approach a new way of functioning that is beyond anything we already know. So, first we must ask, really ASK, if it is possible to reach this new way of Being-in-the-World. Our minds are full of knowledge, opinions, beliefs and habits of thinking from the past and which conditions and control us. This can be discovered clearly. And when it is realized, we can then understand that as long as this is true, we are not free to be able to discover new ways of Being-in-the-World.
The Necessity of Quieting the Mind
When we recognize that all our thoughts and stored information are from the past and that they condition us more pervasively than we have realized, we can see what is needed to move beyond that state. We must learn to quiet the mind, that is, that part of the mind that has been monopolizing our interior airwaves for so long. Only then can the “still small voice” from the rest of the mind be heard. Only then will we be able to discover something completely new.
But how do we accomplish this? Must we retire to a cave on a mountainside? This is the difficulty, especially when we realize that the answers that come to mind will inevitably come from, you guessed it, our past conditioning — the very thing that we hope to quiet. So, we now have our first real challenge and our first definition of Intelligence as well: The outcome of a quiet mind is the beginning of Intelligence. It was Jiddu Krishnamurti who said the following and which has become recognized as the essence of his teaching. “Intelligence’ comes into being when the brain discovers its complete limitation and fallibility, when it knows what it is capable of and what it is not.” This is a process in which we can engage and is one of the primary purposes of this School.
The Experience of Intelligence as an Evolutionary Leap
The following is hearsay, though it has been expressed by many who have experienced what it is that we are describing. It is helpful to know that it is hearsay, for to merely believe that it is true is itself an obstacle to begin to be able to have a direct experience of this new way of being to which we refer.
When intelligence is active in us we find certain qualities emerging that can only be described as an evolutionary leap. Here are just a few:
- The ability to use the mind without being controlled or limited by it.
- Open to the Infinite/Transcendent levels of consciousness where there is freedom and the ability to access the new.
- Being in an awakened state of joyful participation.
- Open to real relationship, rather than projecting one’s own needs and wants onto another.
- The ability to assess situations and know what to do or not do for the best outcome of everyone concerned.
- The state of “Unity consciousness” – which is a state beyond duality consciousness.
- Able to participate fully and integrally with those closest to us, our community, and the world.