Knowledge vs Wisdom
By Ardriana Cahill.
When Karen Follett offers a spell to open oneself to wisdom in Llewellyn's 2004 Witches' Spell-a-Day Almanac and says..."you can read to gain knowledge, but you have to seek to gain wisdom," I wasn't sure what that meant to me. So the following is my explanation to myself.
On Knowledge vs Wisdom
Knowledge is but the messenger that calls you to wisdom, but it is not wisdom. One can gain knowledge, but one does not seek wisdom - one meets it when one often least expects it and recognizes it as kindred. Knowledge puts us in the way of wisdom, but wisdom is experiential; it is a truth one recognizes in the external world that already resides in the internal one. One cannot *learn* wisdom - one must awaken it. Knowledge gives you the tools but never mistake the tools for the treasure. I find that most religions preach the tools and talk wisdom to death trying to reduce it for swift and easy consumption. Shun this habit. Kahlil Gibran said that height and depth are nearer to each other than the mid ground. Do not be mislead - there are no fast-food outlets for wisdom. Simplicity is best understood as we find the endless connections in complexity. Simplicity cannot be found in one prophet, one book, one religion or one school of study. It is found in all of life by learning from everything - people, books, experiences, pain and pleasure, this age and ages past. My father once said that people can learn from anything, even off of the back of a can of peas.
To seek wisdom outside oneself is to isolate oneself from the divine within and isolate oneself from all those people who have experienced the divine within themselves. It is a very different thing to say you believe the divine in all things and actually experience this to be true. It is a very different thing to say you accept the divine in you while you continue to treat yourself as subservient to divinity.
Western religions impose divinity upon their followers with promises of pleasure and pain. They also demand humility from our subservient, sinful selves. Pride is a sin and we must minimize ourselves in the name of gratitude. We are impure and imperfect and dare not face the gods. We kneel, we prostrate ourselves, we proclaim our unworthiness.
Pagan wisdom would have us stand tall before the gods in recognition that we are vessels of their blessings. We are vessels of their gifts and the gift of life they bestow on us. Pagan wisdom would have us fully experience the greatness that lies within us and asks us to awaken that greatness as a tribute to the gods. Then we may stand proud of our *efforts* to unearth our greater selves, even as we are acutely aware that we do not author the treasure. We acknowledge the material that we mine is their *gift* to us. Even our ability to do this is their gift to us. Thus, we comprehend the full capacity of humanity with gratitude. Where each person struggles to accomplish this, is not knowing just how to unearth our greater selves. I will tell you, it can never be done by petitioning the gods to do the work for you. It is the single reason we were placed on earth, to achieve this ourselves.
Knowledge is intellectual - wisdom is divine. The more you seek knowledge (all knowledge) the more wisdom you will experience. But as my youngest daughter taught me when she was only fourteen, knowledge and wisdom use two completely different organs to communicate to you. One is known, the other felt. The divine speaks to us through the spirit, not the mind. Knowledge is only the doorway to wisdom, unless you are a prophet or a madman. But do not envy their seeming ease of access, they do not live long nor do they live well.
When wisdom is revealed to you - it does not explain itself - it reveals itself full blown, like manna from heaven on a silver platter. It awakens within as an all encompassing flood of warm illumination or like a bolt of lightning that shocks or stuns you. This is why the sages call it enlightenment. Wisdom does not need digesting, deliberating, debating or dissecting by doubt or reason. It breathes within you as calm surety and perfect peace. It is then that you recognize intellectually that this knowledge has always been with you, just waiting for you find it. From head to toe, you have everything you need to become extraordinary.
Being raised within three philosophies, I was born studying comparative religions, Mother a Pagan/Catholic and Father a Buddhist. This flaw in Western versus Eastern philosophy, of imposing divinity upon their followers, requires followers to be trained in how to experience the divine. They teach god as external - outside of humanity, living in some spiritual realm. They teach their followers that to internalize god is the goal of life and that this can only be done through knowledge: scripture (words), law (words), and prayerful petition (words). Many followers fail to achieve this divine goal because knowledge is the language of humans. This failure is evidenced the past 50 years by the slow recession of devotees. Eastern philosophy teaches that the divine resides only in the living - only in life - only in you. Eastern philosophers are born achieving the goal of Western philosophy. While you live, you are the caretaker of the divine within you. Knowledge tells you that your capacity to love is your proof that the soul exists and your soul is proof of the divine exists. However, love is not an intellectual experience; this alone should tell you which vehicle the divine uses to reveal wisdom.
There is wisdom in Nature and knowledge in Scholarship. Nature teaches us what works and what doesn't work. Knowledge teaches us how to use our senses, how to observe nature, how to evaluate it, how to record life lessons, and how others before us did the same. We first learn wisdom in life by experience, (usually painful experience) and then as we grow, we recognize wisdom in life by example. Through knowledge and wisdom, we eliminate fear, which produces understanding. We begin to understand who we are and why we are here. We recognize with generosity, others stumbling while seeking their way, and develop a keen awareness and love for the miracle that is all Life - and that includes oneself.
There is no spell to achieve this. Wisdom is a life long experience. You must seek knowledge to awaken wisdom. The more we know, the more we realize how much we don't know. The wiser we grow, the more wisdom we sense is yet to be discovered. With each step, we grow larger in each other´s sight, we grow larger in the sight of the gods, and it follows, the gods grow larger within us. Experiencing this knowledge, we find true humility and peace from the inside out.
But do the spell anyway, to open that first door.
Copyright © Ardriana Cahill
The Spell by Karen Follett
Unveiled Wisdom Spell
Recently a student of the craft commented that she wanted publishers to produce more books that revealed the deeper wisdom of the craft. After a brief period of pondering, I replied to her that you can read to gain knowledge, but you have to seek to gain wisdom. Words are merely mundane symbols that communicate thoughts. Thoughts, however, are doorways across the matrix of time and dimension, providing the path to the wisdom of the ancients. The wisdom has always been in print. But, it is up to you to seek the wisdom behind the word. During this Full Moon take the opportunity to either begin or further this quest. Choose a passage that either inspires or perplexes you. State these words:
I speak the word,
I read the line,
reveal to me the wisdom divine.
Repeat your chosen passage. Meditate on the physical level of this passage. What do the words say to you? Take the passage to the emotional level. What feelings does the passage stir? Take the passage to the mental level. What other meanings can be derived from the passage? Take the passage to the spiritual level. What messages are you receiving about the passage?
Written by Karen Follett.
From Llewellyn's 2004 Witches' Spell-a-Day Almanac.
Ardriana is a wonderfully wise and long time friend. A life long witch brought up in a family traditon, taught by a mother who was taught by her mother. Her website is full of wisdom and knowledge and is well worth a visit:
I am grateful to Ardriana for allowing me permission to share just some of her wisdom.
Best Wishes and Blessed Be.
Site Contents - Links to all Pages
A Universal Message:
Let there be peace in the world - Where have all the flowers gone?
Wicca & Witchcraft
Wiccan Rede / Charge of the Goddess / Charge of the God / The Three-Fold Law (includes The Law of Power and The Four Powers of the Magus) / The Witches Chant / The Witches Creed / Descent of the Goddess / Drawing Down the Moon / The Great Rite Invocation / Invocation of the Horned God / The 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief / The Witches Rede of Chivalry / A Pledge to Pagan Spirituality
Traditions Part 1 - Alexandrian Wicca / Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) / Ár Ndraíocht Féin (ADF) / Blue Star Wicca / British Traditional (Druidic Witchcraft) / Celtic Wicca / Ceremonial Magic / Chaos Magic / Church and School of Wicca / Circle Sanctuary / Covenant of the Goddess (COG) / Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) / Cyber Wicca / Dianic Wicca / Eclectic Wicca / Feri Wicca /
Traditions Part 2 - Gardnerian Wicca / Georgian Tradition / Henge of Keltria / Hereditary Witchcraft / Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (H.O.G.D.) / Kitchen Witch (Hedge Witch) / Minoan Brotherhood and Minoan Sisterhood Tradition / Nordic Paganism / Pagan Federation / Pectic-Wita / Seax-Wica / Shamanism / Solitary / Strega / Sylvan Tradition / Vodoun or Voodoo / Witches League of Public Awareness (WLPA) /
Other things of interest:
Gods and Goddesses (Greek
Mythology) / Esbats &
Full Moons / Links
to Personal Friends & Resources / Wicca/Witchcraft
Resources / What's a spell? /
Circle Casting and
Sacred Space / Pentagram
- Pentacle / Marks
of a Witch / The Witches
Power / The Witches Hat
esoteric guide to visiting London / Satanism
Unitarian Universalist Association / Numerology: Part 1
/ Part 2 / Part
3 / A
history of the Malleus Maleficarum: includes: Pope
Innocent VIII /
papal Bull /
Malleus Maleficarum /
An extract from the Malleus Maleficarum
/ The letter of approbation
Nider’s Formicarius /
Heinrich Kramer /
/ Montague Summers /
/ The Albigenses
The Hussites / The
/ Shielding (Occult
and Psychic Protection) /
Sabbats and Rituals:
Sabbats in History and Mythology / Samhain (October 31st) / Yule (December 21st) / Imbolc (February 2nd) / Ostara (March 21st) / Beltane (April 30th) / Litha (June 21st) / Lughnasadh (August 1st) / Mabon (September 21st)
Animals in Witchcraft (The Witches Familiar) / Antelope / Bats / Crow / Fox / Frog and Toads / Goat / Honeybee / Kangaroo / Lion / Owl / Phoenix / Rabbits and Hares / Raven / Robin Redbreast / Sheep / Spider / Squirrel / Swans / Wild Boar / Wolf / Serpent / Pig / Stag / Horse / Mouse / Cat
In Worship of Trees - Myths, Lore and the Celtic Tree Calendar. For descriptions and correspondences of the thirteen sacred trees of Wicca/Witchcraft see the following: Birch / Rowan / Ash / Alder / Willow / Hawthorn / Oak / Holly / Hazel / Vine / Ivy / Reed / Elder. Also see: The Willow Tree (Folk Music)
Rocks and Stones:
Articles contributed by Patricia Jean Martin: / Apophyllite / Amber / Amethyst / Aquamarine / Aragonite / Aventurine / Black Tourmaline / Bloodstone / Calcite / Carnelian / Celestite / Citrine / Chrysanthemum Stone / Diamond / Emerald / Fluorite / Garnet / Hematite / Herkimer Diamond / Labradorite / Lapis Lazuli / Malachite / Moonstone / Obsidian / Opal / Pyrite / Quartz (Rock Crystal) / Rose Quartz / Ruby / Selenite / Seraphinite / Silver and Gold / Smoky Quartz / Sodalite / Sunstone / Thunderegg / Tree Agate / Zebra Marble
Articles and Stories about Witchcraft:
Murder by Witchcraft / The Fairy Witch of Clonmel / A Battleship, U-boat, and a Witch / The Troll-Tear (A story for Children) / Goody Hawkins - The Wise Goodwife / The Story of Jack-O-Lantern / The Murder of the Hammersmith Ghost / Josephine Gray (The Infamous Black Widow) / The Two Brothers - Light and Dark
Old Masters of Academia:
(Ancient, Past and Present)
(Departed Pagan Pioneers, Founders and Elders)
Abramelin the Mage / Agrippa / Aidan A. Kelly / Albertus Magnus “Albert the Great” / Aleister Crowley “The Great Beast” / Alex Sanders "the King of the Witches” / Alison Harlow / Amber K / Anna Franklin / Anodea Judith / Anton Szandor LaVey / Arnold Crowther / Arthur Edward Waite / Austin Osman Spare / Biddy Early / Bridget Cleary / Carl Llewellyn Weschcke / Cecil Hugh Williamson / Charles Godfrey Leland / Charles Walton / Christina Oakley Harrington / Damh the Bard (Dave Smith) / Dion Fortune / Dolores Aschroft-Nowicki / Dorothy Morrison / Doreen Valiente / Edward Fitch / Eleanor Ray Bone “Matriarch of British Witchcraft” / Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelly / Dr. Leo Louis Martello / Eliphas Levi / Ernest Thompson Seton / Ernest Westlake and the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry / Fiona Horne / Friedrich von Spee / Francis Barrett / Gerald B. Gardner / Gavin and Yvonne Frost and the School and Church of Wicca / Gwydion Pendderwen / Hans Holzer / Helen Duncan / Herman Slater "Horrible Herman" / Israel Regardie / James "Cunning" Murrell / Janet Farrar & Gavin Bone / Jessie Wicker Bell “Lady Sheba” / John Belham-Payne / John George Hohman / John Gerard / John Gordon Hargrave (the White Fox) / John Michael Greer / John Score / Johannes Junius the Burgomaster of Bamberg / Karl von Eckartshausen / Laurie Cabot "the Official Witch of Salem" / Lewis Spence / Margaret Alice Murray / Margot Adler / Marie Laveau the " Voodoo Queen of New Orleans" / Marion Weinstein / Matthew Hopkins “The Witch-Finder General” / Max Ehrmann and the Desiderata / Monique Wilson the “Queen of the Witches” / Montague Summers / Nicholas Culpeper / Nicholas Remy / M. R. Sellers / Mrs. Grieve "A Modern Herbal" / Oberon and Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart / Old Dorothy Clutterbuck / Old George Pickingill / Paddy Slade / Pamela Colman-Smith / Paracelsus / Patricia Crowther / Patricia Monaghan / Patricia “Trish” Telesco / Philip Emmons Isaac Bonewits / Philip Heselton / Raymond Buckland / Reginald Scot / Robert Cochrane / Robert ‘von Ranke’ Graves and "The White Goddess" /Rudolf Steiner / Rosaleen Norton “The Witch of Kings Cross” / Ross Nichols and The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids / Sabrina - The Ink Witch / Scott Cunningham / Selena Fox / Silver Ravenwolf / Sir Francis Dashwood / Sir James George Frazer / S.L. MacGregor Mathers and the “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” / Starhawk / Stewart Farrar / Sybil Leek / Ted Andrews / The Mather Family - includes: Richard Mather, Increase Mather, Cotton Mather / Thomas Ady / Vera Chapman / Victor Henry Anderson / Vivianne Crowley / Walter Brown Gibson / William Butler Yeats / Zsuzsanna Budapest
Many of the above biographies are brief and far from complete. If you know about any of these individuals and can help with aditional information, please cantact me privately at my email address below. Many thanks for reading :-)
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