Cultivating A New Wisdom, A Clear Wisdom

The modern world is now confronted with grave problems of conscience, consciousness and culture. At times it seems that humanity the world over stands at a crossroads frozen in fear, confused and unsure of which direction to take, which path to follow leading to a better way forward, a more just way for all.

The social and governmental institutions that have historically been established to protect humankind are, for the most part, failing us...offering people little support and even less positive direction. Those institutions and social programs that are truly altruistic and well-intended are continuously undermined by forces beyond their control. These forces are profit making companies and political entities that are focused on domination rather than service, and greed rather than benevolence. Although our world is clearly filled with people of good will, their voices of compassion and peace are most often drowned out by the turbulent sounds of extremist rage, and fear. Clearly humankind, and our planet as a whole, is in desperate need of a new way going forward, a way of understanding and awareness. Our world desperately needs to follow a path of clear wisdom.

Wisdom is often seen as an attribute of the aged. There is a common assumption that wisdom will come to us naturally over the course of time, as if we may simply mature into a much wiser person -- a person who has now learned all the important lessons necessary to live a more meaningful and beneficial way of life. For some of us, this is true, people can mature into a state of clear wisdom by having directly learned important life lessons which have enlightened them. Direct experience is, in fact, the most effective way of all to learn. But for most of us, we eventually come to understand that true wisdom is not dependent on age or any particular set of life circumstances.

Learned spiritual teachers have shown us that the beauty of true wisdom can be seen in a child. Simultaneously, if we mindfully observe conditions as they are right now in the world, we can clearly see that many of the older people who are running our planet are truly lacking clear wisdom. Thus we can see this paradigm regarding wisdom for what it is, a false assumption, an illusion. And this can teach us something about wisdom that is most important for us all to understand, wisdom can be both innately realized and yet a learned practice. We can actually learn to be wise from the practice of mindfully paying attention to our life experiences. At the same time it’s important to recognize that we all naturally possess an innate wisdom that through the development of skillful means we can learn to access. To learn wisdom and access our own innate wisdom we must first begin with the question, "What is wisdom, and what must I do to attain it?"

The textbook definition of wisdom:

“The ability to know how to use or make right use of knowledge. Wisdom can be realized through spiritual perceptions which offer sane and helpful teachings.”

- Chambers Dictionary

Clear Wisdom is New Wisdom

Clear wisdom is what the Poet Rimbaud described as "New Wisdom". He described the experience of New Wisdom as being when one continually goes forward into the present, always renewing oneself in the now. Each day of life is an opportunity to acquire New Wisdom. Always learning from the past while liberating ourselves from the shackles of what was. With each new day comes the space and possibility to revive, restore and begin anew. New wisdom is clear wisdom and we all possess it innately. It is the stuff of poets and mystics and it is our own direct and unmediated experience of knowing.

The potential for clear wisdom / new wisdom exists in all of us, made accessible through meditation and deep reflection. Through the consistent experience of present moment awareness, clear wisdom enters consciousness through the removal of all fetters such as negative emotions or an overcrowded intellect, from the rut of habits, aversions, hardened opinions and prejudices. From the accumulation of inessential memory details. These are the fetters that prevent us from clear vision, from realizing our innate wisdom from our own clear light mind. Simultaneously, by taking time to reflect on our life experiences with an open mind, we can learn from them and acquire clear wisdom from these valuable life lessons. Meditation practice will help us access our own innate wisdom and develop the reflective qualities we need to gain wisdom from our life experiences. Regular spiritual study in any and all of the great wisdom traditions of the world provides valuable knowledge that will enable us to cultivate the quality of clear or new wisdom in our lives. Many of us are so blessed to live in a time and place when we have so many educational resources at our disposal. Those who don’t will certainly appreciate all we can do to make this world a better place to ease their suffering.

Wisdom is a border-less practice, It does not matter how old or young we are, all we need do is apply ourselves to attain it and enjoy its many benefits in our lives. Our world desperately needs us all to make better, wiser decisions, not only for our own personal well being, but for our entire human family and our planet.

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Sangha Without Borders is currently physically located in London, UK