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How Can We Recoginize True Wisdom
Posted: 10/14/2010 | Personal Development Comments
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I was thinking the other day about what it’s like for someone possessing unusually deep, substantial wisdom and insight to be interviewed by someone who is less informed and less accomplished and doesn’t know it.
For example, I imagine what it must be like for the Dali Lama when he goes on TV and for the sake of the format they want or need quick sound bites. Quick sound bites don’t do justice to such depth, expertise, wisdom and insight. Yet most people know who the Dali Lama is and would most likely bow to his wisdom and depth.
But what about those who aren’t so well known?
I was listening the other day to an interview of someone who I know has great depth and breath of understanding, much more than most people in his field.  He was being interviewed by someone who wasn’t as wise, open and kind. The interviewer would ask a question, listen for an answer and when there was on opening, the interviewer would go off on a monologue of their own. They would often challenge the guest, take the conversation in another direction, try to make themselves an equal and push their ideas forth. This interviewer was taking what was being said, thinking they fully understood the idea or comment, and unknowingly making it smaller than the person being interviewed had intended. When the comment or idea was taken in such a small conceptual way, it had a different impact and meaning. This interviewer really thought that they were on the same level of depth and understanding as the person they were talking with. This interviewer was over- simplifying and codifying what was being said thereby missing the points the guest was making. All the while I noticed the guest remained open, generous and kind. 
How do we know if what we are hearing from someone is really going to help us to grow and nourish us? When listening to someone:

  • Do you feel good about yourself and your possibilities as a human being?
  • Do you feel open and creative when listening?
  • Is there room to be human in what they are saying or is it the idea of perfection causing you to shut down?

How do we know when we are listening to someone who is holding a larger context and perspective? When listening to someone:

  • Does your heart and belly open and relax?
  • Does the person speaking seem to embrace their humanity and imperfections?
  • Does the person speaking seem to have a willingness to be with the unknown and uncertainty?

How do we honor our own depth and substance when we live in times that often seem to encourage exaggeration instead of honesty?
Love to hear back from you about what you think and what is your experience...


Ray       Posted: 10/17/2010 10:22:51 PM

Truly wise people convey a sense of peace and comfort, they are easy to be with.
They listen more than they talk. When they do say something it is usually short, with a lot of meaning. They provide excellent quotes.

mark cherry       Posted: 10/14/2010 11:47:24 PM

hi doc.Jen, One possibility is a persons purity of thought and expression. the wise man has reached a level were simplicity = purity. A level were life''s answers are no longer drawn out & over complicated with words. The interviewer has reached a level of truth in his understanding of life based upon reading books, studding courses and social acceptance. Were the wise man has searched within himself using rigorous honesty, humility and selflessness. The interviewer can''t help himself. He acts accordingly.Believes in his own mind that he is right in doing so. Strokes his own ego by talking over him. Gaining false feelings of empowerment. The wise man, being hole as a person is content and at peace.He understands that his message is for those who are open to hear it.

Alex Vorobej (QuietMentor)       Posted: 4/22/2011 10:43:57 AM

I believe that the concept of wisdom isn''t so much about having the knowledge and ability to understand as it is about communicating what needs to be said at the right time.

Truly wise people often stay quiet until there is a real need to comment. That in itself, is part of what being wise is about..

Observation and listening, with out judgement are important as part of the overal process. The information given, is just that. Information gathered by observation and personal experience.

We are all capable of passing on information. What makes one wise, is knowing when, where, how and to whom it is passed on to.

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