The sage of old declared: of all the things a person can pursue in life WISDOM is of greatest value. We are taught that: Wisdom is the principle thing, in all your getting get wisdom; in her right hand is to be found long life and her left riches and honour; her paths are peace and her profit greater than silver, greater even than fine gold. She is more precious than jewels; nothing can be compared to her. Therefore, pursue wisdom. These words have stirred my soul for years and after decades I pursuit I can finally say few are the joys more sublime than the pursuit of this Handmaiden of the Soul – a divine romance to be treasured throughout all eternity.
I was first turned onto wisdom by the story of King Solomon. After inheriting the throne from his father, King David, he was overwhelmed by the prospects of rulership and so he prayed and after he prayed he dreamed. He didn’t pray for fame or riches but for the wherewithal to rule wisely and his prayer was pleasing to the Lord; and as the maxim goes, ‘pursue the substance and the shadow will be included,’ so it was for good King Solomon, in pursuing the substance that is wisdom the shadow of fame and riches followed.
Fame and riches are only prized by material minded men and women – the children of this world; but the wise understand that wealth cannot atone for foolishness or selfishness. It cannot buy peace, love, hope, forgiveness, loyalty, friendship, nobility, grace, maturity, trust, character, or salvation. What must it cost us before we learn that an ounce of sense is of greater value than a ton of gold - even several tons? and lest this be not obvious to you remember: a fool and his money are easily parted.
The values and priorities of the post-modern world are mixed up, even toxically so. Alas, our culture is all we have to pass onto our children and they find out, too late, that it is spiritually bankrupt. We teach our children that the ends justify the means and encourage them into the blind pursuit of wealth, power, influence, and fame. The spiritual and moral bankruptcy of our ambitions is ravishing the earth even today, let alone what future generations will have to suffer due to our poverty of true values.
The forward march of civilisation is into the unending quest for higher and ever truer values but the very mixed up nature of the values that guide us at present has us going in endlessly repeating circles of social, environmental, political, and economic chaos and calamity. True it is that many will not enter the Kin-dom except through great tribulation!
Wisdom understands that a person may be happy by accident but they can never stay happy by accident. Your portion of happiness, peace, contentment, joy is almost directly proportional to your quotient of spiritual wisdom and directly upon how effectively you can harmonise your life with the fundamental laws, intelligence, and purposes that shapes and governs reality.
When a nation fails to affirm and overtly promote the pursuit of wisdom as the first goal and primary duty of every citizen it is, by default, covertly and implicitly dedicated to promoting the pursuit of folly, thereby do nations, peoples, and individuals court social, cultural, economic and political disaster.
When are we going to grow up and place the pursuit of wisdom as the number one priority of mortal life?