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Institute for Jedi Realist Studies - Knowledge and Wisdom

Knowledge and Wisdom

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I believe these two terms get mixed up very easily by some.  Knowledge is the state or fact of knowing.  Wisdom is the ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; insight.  A good teacher or as this site uses guide, needs to have both to be successful.  For someone to just relay knowledge is just passing on facts.  There is no skill to that at all.  You can just go on the web find an article and then do a write-up on it like you would in school and post it somewhere.  Many people, if it's a really provocative post will be like WOW and so on.  They begin to think that you are very wise and knowledgeable.  I've seen this on many Jedi and non-Jedi related sites along with offline life.  Just because you can pass on a set of facts really doesn't mean anything other then you know how to retain information and then explain that information to someone else.  To be a successful teacher/guide you need to have that knowledge but then apply your wisdom to that knowledge.  Wisdom comes from experiencing life.   That is why you don’t see 14 year olds as teachers in schools or anywhere else.  Yes they might have the knowledge but being able to transform that knowledge takes wisdom.  Combining that knowledge with wisdom though, they are not ready for that part in their life.  You need to experience life to help you gain wisdom.  

When I was a Jr. in High School I was asked to private teach a 5th grade trumpet student.  It was a great experience and I did have a lot of knowledge for my age on the trumpet but I just didn’t have enough life experience to relay or even understand what I needed to do to really help, teach, and guide him.     I am still experiencing life and gaining more wisdom through life experience but I know have a solid base to stand on and can teach, guide, and help my students very successfully.  As the years pass by I will become more adept at it then I am now.  I will have the same knowledge at that time as I do know since my area knowledge wise doesn’t change much but I will have much more wisdom.  

Wisdom is being able to discern what is right and true.  Being able to tell fact from opinion, which can always be a difficult task but the more you experience the easier it becomes.  That is part of a teachers/guide role.  Not to show someone the difference between fact and fiction but is able to teach them how to tell the difference for themselves.  As the saying goes, or at best I can remember “Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today.  Teach a man to fish; and he can feed himself forever”.

Learn to discern between what knowledge is and what wisdom is and you might be surprised what you see in the people around you once you can make that distinction.