Thursday, September 11, 2014

Is Wisdom a thing? or an attitude?

Wisdom is not something one can possess forever without the possibility of losing it. No one can say that ‘I am wise’ in the sense of having comprehended and possessed wisdom. Being wise is at least as much a character trait as possessing a sharp mind and having vast experience. Being wise is being humble, ‘denying our knowledge’ in the sense of leaving behind our knowledge constantly and listening to instruction, being ready to change. It is more about having an attentive relationship with wisdom than having wisdom herself. In other words, it is accepting and being open to the incomprehensibility of wisdom.

If this reconstruction of Proverbs’ thought-world is correct, then ‘hiddenness’ in it is not so much about being invisible but about human inability to see and comprehend wisdom fully. This inability can be caused by false (i.e., proud) thinking and by human limitations, not being able to comprehend and possess wisdom in its fullness. As a consequence, Proverbs is not so much about human autonomy as about being attentive, listening humbly, and constantly being willing to change and leave behind one’s own ‘precious’ wisdom.—Toward an Interpretation of the Book of Proverbs, page 238

<idle musing>
And for that very reason, Wisdom is so difficult. It means that our pet theories and ways of looking at things might just have to be modified--or worse yet, jettisoned entirely. Perish the thought!

My precious views wrong? Impossible! God would never do that to me! Or, should it be "my god would never do that to me"--note the lower case god. My god, not the God...Lord deliver us from our pride!
</idle musing>

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