The audacity. A Wisdom Blog. Wisdom is a vast concept with unfathomable vectors. As I contemplate the direction I will take, what comes to mind is the end result. A collection of writings, short pieces that one day find their resting place in the form of a digitalized “Memoir From Antproof Case.” The musings are intended for those who seek not necessarily answers, but direction.
Wisdom wisdom where shall we find it?
“how I said can I be glad and sad: but a man goes from one foot to the other: wisdom wisdom: to be glad and sat at once is also unity and death: wisdom wisdom: a peachblossom blooms on a particular tree on a particular day: unity cannot do anything in particular: A.R. Ammons, "Guide"
Being this the first instalment of a wisdom series, I suggest we begin with the big question that will set the objective and guide us along this long and winding road. Where shall wisdom be found?
As we load up our gear and prepare to head out in search of that Spiritual Grail, let’s reflect on why we would take on the challenge.
In my case, a personal need to gain the insight and courage to manage the challenges of aging and the grief caused by the loss of cherished family members and friends. Positively and importantly, to leave behind a modest legacy in the form of a literary Baedeker.
Many years ago, I had the great fortune of finding my most important and influential mentor and guide in Professor Harold Bloom. Recently deceased, Professor Bloom taught the Humanities at Yale University for more than five decades. A polarizing but considerate soul, he wrote over 25 books , collaborated on many more and next to his hero Dr. Samuel Johnson, is considered to be one of the world’s most preeminent literary critics and Shakespearean scholars. He was influential in not only suggesting “what” one should read (“The Western Canon”) but “how” one should read (a book by a similar title).
Deep reading is becoming a lost art. Sadly, wisdom lies in the deep recesses of the Great Works and the Great Minds. The excavation and contemplation process necessary to mine the wisdom ore are arduous and ongoing. There are no short cuts. Professor Bloom wrote that he had three criteria for what I go reading: aesthetic splendor, intellectual power and wisdom.
As Ammons reminds us in the fifth and sixth stanzas of his poem “Guide,” wisdom embodies the unification of contradictory states. To be simultaneously happy and sad, hungry and satiated, unfulfilled and satisfied, loving and indifferent, becoming and being.
Circling back to the poem’s opening stanza we begin our wisdom search with these cautionary words:
“you cannot come to unity and remain material: in that perception is no perceiver: when you arrive you have gone too far:"
Bill Sodomsky, Regional Sales Manager