I’m by no means a wise person – have never considered myself one, and could most definitely not recognize myself as one. Never been much for wisdom. Making sense is more my thing; and of course, I presume, wisdom goes beyond merely making sense.
Eric Clapton use to say that he found wisdom from the solitary bluesmen when he was growing up, him being without a father and all. I can dig that – or at least part of it, the solitary bluesmen part. Unlike Clappers, my beloved father has always been around and is still alive and well. However, my wisdom gurus were not exactly the booze-soaked, broom-dusting, woke-up-this-morning, hellhound-chasing, cotton-pickin’, porch-rockin’ bluesmen. Wisdom for me came more from their devil-child disciples such as Nanker-Phelge, or more currently known as Jagger/Richards.
“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime you just might find, you get what you need.”
I would have appreciated very much to find true wisdom from sources closer around me, like from those who have many, many years ahead of me hence are much more experienced in life and wise from the lessons of its many trials and tribulations. Actually there are no shortage of sources for wisdom around. But the times they have tried to impart their wisdom onto me, I don’t find myself walking away much the wiser. The first thing that struck me about their body of wisdom was that they all seemed clichéd, contrived and some even sounded very much like gobbledygook. If there was any inkling of any wisdom to be had from them it was from what I call deriving wisdom through inversion – I would see the wisdom from not following through what they say or their course of action. And I discovered eventually that by simply not doing what they say or do I’d always be all the better for it.
Now thanks to being aware of fallacious discourses and being able to differentiate between rhetoric and truth, I really am so much the better for not giving their pseudo-wisdom any more than the courtesy of listening despite the experience of it being so mind-numbingly tedious. Oh the yawns I had to clamp my lips down to suppress! I even wondered if stifled yawns would escape through the ears and blow the eardrums out. Come to think of it, that might have been quite an act of grace as I would not have the hearing implement in place to hear them with any further. But I digress.
Of course they must’ve meant well, even those preoccupied with their own narcissistic pride when sharing or imparting their own version of wisdom; but like I said, it all just sounded the same and and very, very lame. It’s as if they’ve made their general conclusions quite early in their lives and have reached the point when they have subconsciously established a system of codes of what’s right, what’s wrong, the do’s, the don’ts, the hows, the whys, as basis by which they make sense of the world. So all they are imparting upon you as ‘wisdom’ is how they have applied, adapted or adhered to these codes throughout their lives, regardless if its relevant to you, your personality or your circumstances. One could almost call it wisdom by numbers – the illusion of wisdom instead of any actual wisdom.
Their quasi/pseudo-wisdoms were full of passive verbs – be patient, be strong, persevere, soldier on, caution, beware, etc.; and they were hardly pro-active with the hows – how to be patient, how to be strong, how to persevere, etc. The whys were based on their own guesswork rather than any deep analytic observation. That is where for me it all falls short. And when they tell you that you should figure it out for your self, its simply disguising the fact that they have not a clue. And you’ll discover that what they are doing is all part of the same system of codes – telling you those inanities is them acting out the coded form of offering wisdom. Giving you examples of their experiences, as unrelated as they maybe, is the coded act of sharing their wisdom from experience. So under their system of codes wisdom is offered, and this would be recognized as the code for showing that they care. It doesn’t matter if it did not alleviate your concerns or queries because according to their code system, for someone who could not obtain the benefits of their contribution, you’re just a hapless dumb schmuck. And if you say that it doesn’t help, that is the sign of someone who is simply an ungrateful so-and-so. Interestingly enough though, even when they admit that they could not offer you any wisdom, they will direct you to those whom they think can, and here you will see that they even have a set image of what a wise person should look like – the white haired, the bearded, the wizened, the bushy browed, the uni-browed, Oprah, etc.
So in the absence of any beacon of wisdom of any real benefit around me, what else if left for a seeker such as I to do but to be left to my own faculties and devices to make sense of whatever comes my way; and somehow, life is all the richer for that methinks.