There exists varied definitions of what, or who a Wise man is. I can probably make a large list of all the qualities expected in such a person. Practically speaking, none of use are saints. None of us are born as monks. And not all the monks are wise, surely!
It takes several years of meditation, and hard work to become a wise monk. Does that leave us, the non-monks, at a disadvantage of never seeing ourselves become a better, and wiser versions of ourselves?
What Does It Take To Become Wise? What’s The First Thing That’s Required For Wisdom?
This is something that was stumbled upon when watching ‘2012’ in 2009 - the John Cusack movie, based on the myth of the Mayan Calendar. There’s a scene much later in the movie, where a monk is teaching an apprentice the lost value of a vessel being overfilled, or is overfilled.
It struck me odd that at the time when watching the monk scene, that a completely unrelated question had popped up in my head - What if the Vessel was empty, but not empty?
The question itself seemed odd. Odd enough to make a note of it.
So, I wrote it down in a notebook. Only to have that question rediscovered now, and thus this article. This one question / thought is what I’ve stuck with the entire day, today.
Somethings I found asking myself today, while revisiting that question I wrote down 5 years back, were - What does it take for one to become wise, and what is wisdom ? Is it accepting responsibility? Meditation? Decision making, reasoning, and analytical skills? Common sense? Perpetual happiness in face of Life?
Now at first the questions following my original five year old question seemed quite disconnecting at first. I mean, How are both chains of thought related?
Not wanting to end up with, and spend my entire day writing down more questions for my future years, I decided I’d start answering the newer ones first.
We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts, we make our world. - Buddha
So What Does It Take For One To Become Wise?
Factly speaking - I could agree that it does take all of those things mentioned above, and more. However, agreeing to the fact still leaves the initial question open - What does it take for one to become wise? Or rather What is the first thing that is required for Wisdom?
Thus began my search, to answer a 5 year old question… Following the newer chain of thought I’d a hint of the answer. I needed to work on it further.
Becoming An Empty Vessel, That’s Not Really Empty!
Empty vessels make most noise - It’s an idiom . Which, if you’re not aware, means that stupid people talk too much, and mostly out of their behinds. While I do know people like that, I refrain from judging them. But the idiom still stands, and is used widely today.
However, Not all empty vessels, are truly empty. They only seem so.
Here’s my reasoning:
Consider yourself, and your mind - the vessel, to be filled with whatever thoughts, stresses, and anxieties you may. Now become stupid! Empty yourself of everything. Start making some empty vessel noise! No not literally. Figuratively speaking, start making some noise.
Empty yourself. Then make some noise!
I usually do an exercise where I talk to myself, or write stuff to myself. This drains me of everything, leaving me empty - in a sense. Easier said than done, but doable.
Once you’re empty, then replace all that empty space within you, with patience. Fill yourself with patience.
“A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, And it is his glory to overlook a transgression” - Bible.
Fill Yourself With Patience
One thing I’ve found to be common across all the different types of information from all the different media platforms we use today (right from the quotes, and teaching of Plato, to varied new age anime), is that patience is the most important virtue for birthing wisdom within one’s self.
Professor Patient, y'all!
It requires copious amounts of practice. At first it’s difficult as hell to wait on anything, and everything. To wait before you make a call. To wait.
There are about 34,10,00,000 results for “how to become patient” on Google. I’m sure that one of them would appeal to, and work for you.
While you’re doing all that waiting, you keep finding yourself asking the same question - What’re you waiting for?
That question is the key to wisdom. The day you find the answer to that question, is the day you become a wise monk, but not. Unless you want to become a monk, then this point is moot.
The answer to the question: What’re you waiting for? - is the same for everyone, it’s the same for all of us. That’s how I see it.
What Is Patience, Within Wisdom? Have I Found The Answer To What I’m Waiting On / For?
I'll wait... for nothing.
I may have. There’s no way to confirm it. But by reading works by scholars from varied domains, what I can safely conclude is that whatever I’ve read ’til date, points to my answer.
I think the word patient, or the term having patience / have patience where wisdom is concerned, is completely different from the textbook definition of patience.
The patience in wisdom, is essentially to give up waiting altogether. What I mean is, that you’re enough. That you’ve enough. That you’ve done enough. If there is no more, and if there is no need for more then there’s no reason to wait for anything, or anyone.
You don't need to wait, if you desire nothing. You are everything, and have everything.
So, Have I become wise then? Hell no!
I need some fish.