Through a Jungian Lens

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What is Wisdom?

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An agouti found in Mayan Mexico.

An agouti found in Mayan Mexico.

I am surprised by today. I woke up after a restless night and realised that I really don’t know all that much about life. It is as though somehow more than six decades of being alive have slipped by without doing much more than having me lose body tone, add wrinkles and a few extra pounds.  At one point in life I thought I was actually intelligent. I based that delusion on the fact that I had attended courses, attained certificates and degrees, and got paid accordingly for my supposed wisdom. I placed most of these documents in frames to let others know just how wise and intelligent I was. I definitely was suffering from insecurity and held on tight to the external proofs of my intelligence. It was as if without these proofs, my intelligence would be dismissed. Sad to think that I needed a piece of paper to believe I knew something. Now I know better. The pieces of paper are simply pieces of paper. Holding them doesn’t fill the empty void where there should be wisdom.

I woke up with all certainties vanishing leaving me with nothing but the present moment which I found wasn’t going to sit still very long before it would change and have me again a novice in the new now that I entered. The most intelligent thing I could think of was to stop talking, to breathe, and to simply be. It sounds easy, but it isn’t. I soon found myself creating scenarios of past and near future that never existed nor will come to exist, scenarios that are simply mind games that I use to torture myself. I just couldn’t just let it be and enjoy the moment.

I wonder if I will ever learn this simple lesson? Surely a few degrees and a collection of certificates should suggest that I can learn, shouldn’t they? Perhaps I need to forget what I have studied and experienced and simply just sit here and breathe so that the light bulb of awareness can turn on.

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Written by Robert G. Longpré

March 22, 2014 at 12:16 pm

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