Wisdom is the ephemeral cousin to intelligence. We quantify intelligence; grade it on scales and test ourselves to compare. No one would put a number to wisdom, yet some are more wise than others. There must be a quality that defines it and a gradient from supremely unwise to sagely.

A hallmark of the wise person is that they don’t consider themselves wise; they acknowledge their own ignorance. They tend to be old, yet not all people become wise with age. An intelligent person may know many things, but a wise person can give very deep life advice. They have some core belief but it’s often obscured in their speech. When teaching, they wont express their point directly but will deconstruct opposing views to let the student come to the conclusion on their own.

The difference between wisdom and intelligence is that wisdom is seeing the interrelations of reality in all it’s insane complexity, whereas intelligence is knowing facts about reality. This is why a wise person accepts their own ignorance; when you comprehend the scale of reality you see that you will never get beyond ignorance. Just seeing the universe as complex isn’t enough though, you specifically have to see the place human (or life in general) exist in and how they interrelate. Social interactions are as chaotic and fascinating as storms. Like storms they are unpredictable in an intelligent sort of way, but with wisdom you can have better hunches and guesses. And now we get to why wisdom can’t be quantified: it’s fuzzy, without hard answers, which means you can’t give binary success/fail evaluations to it. Diverse life experience is the most likely way to gain this skill, which may or may not come with age.

I spent a long time not describing myself as having wisdom, purely due to modesty. Part of being properly conscious is self analysis and I’d be lying to claim I don’t have an above average skill in what I described above. I still completely accept my ignorance, I will never have 100% confidence in my beliefs and I will therefore constantly question them. But there’s plenty of people far more ignorant than I.

So I’ll call my words wise.
At least in a relative kinda sense.


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