[thoughts from   ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara

Wisdom does not come with age.

It is not enough to have lived a long time.

It is not enough to have seen much.

It is not enough to dream.

Wisdom comes from observation.

Wisdom comes from experience.

Wisdom comes from analysis.

Oh, and one more thing:

Wisdom can never be wisdom

unless contained within Compassion.

17 thoughts on “Wisdom

  1. rawgod

    Wouldn’t it be nice if wisdom came with age. I mean, the older one gets, the more one experiences. And the more one experiences, the more one has the opportunity to reflect on that experience. And, generally speaking, the older one gets the more the probability they are retired, with the possibility of having more time to reflect. All of that would be nice. But I think I was about 19 the first time I was told I have “wise eyes,” and maybe 21 the first time a friend told me I was wise beyond my years. I am not saying these things to brag, but because they forced me to consider the meaning and value of wisdom. What was it about my eyes and the things I spoke about that made others think me wise? And did I deserve their kind words. But the more I delved into wisdom, the more confused I became. In the day, it seemed one did have to be old to be wise, and wisdom came whether one deserved it or not. Old thinking was wise thinking. That didn’t necessarily make much sense to me. Most of the old folks I knew at the time rambled on, telling the same stories over and over. (Come to think of it, even I tell the same stories over and over now, but at least I do my best to not tell the same person the same story twice, let alone innumerable times. Is that a sign of wisdom, lol?)
    Be that as it may, my older self can look back at my younger self and see that those people may have been right. I see now that I may have been wise beyond my years, as long as you only consider my age in this incarnation. When you look back at previous incarnations, I (the spiritual “I”) seem to have racked up an incredible number of years of life through the ages. One braincell at least remembers being in an ocean full on nothing but one-celled beings. But while that would be impossible according to Science, and even impossible according to my own belief system, that cell is there right now. Yeah probably I am crazy.
    But I think, now, that I am wise in my insanity.
    But what does wisdom do for a person? I mean, really, we seem to think a wise person is one who has answers about how to live life, one who should give advice to younger people on how to live! I ask you, what in H does an old person like me know about what is going on in a younger perdon’s life? Especially if that younger peson is under ll, the Canadian government says it intends to legalize marijuana this year, and I think I am in favour of that on almost every level. But what the word marijuana means today is not what it meant in my day! The stuff thry’re smoking today is almost as strong as acid was in my day. And yes I dropped acid in my day too. So did a lot of my friends. A lot of my friends from that time are no longer with us today. Some are alive but can’t remember the 60s. I’m one of the lucky ones–I’m alive and I can remember the 60s. Not that many of us can…
    But what would I tell a young person of today, if they came and asked me should they be trying marijuana when it is legal? What could I tell them? I guess I would first ask them why they want to try it, but I never asked why I wanted to try it back in 67. It was there, so I tried it. And liked it. But two years later I stopped smoking it, and have only smoked it once or twice since. Why, because I could see what it was doing to me. It wssn’t harming me, mentally or physically, it wasn’t getting me addicted to anything, but it was helping me escape from my past, and my then-present. It was stopping me from living my life, letting me skip along like Pollyanna without a care in the world. It was basically robbing me of who I thought I was, and definitely robbing me of who I wanted to be. And that was the marijuana of 1967. How much stronger is the marijuana of 2018? Uncountable times stronger, if I think back to what it was like the last time I smoked it.
    So, again, what would I tell a young person today, if they asked… Try it, but be cautious. Know why you are smoking or otherwise ingesting it. Watch what it is doing to you, and for you. And if you notice you are stopping caring about others, if you notice you are stopping caring about yourself, if you notice you are looking to escape from your world as often as you can, STOP IT IMMEDIATELY. Don’t let anything or anyone ruin your life. Don’t be afraid to live. Don’t be afraid to lose. If you are afraid to lose, you will never be a winner. Knowing how to lose is the most important part of knowing how to win. And living is the most important part of being alive. Live! Always live…

    Wow, where did all that come from? I tell you, S’T, you inspire me without even trying. I thought I was going to write a couple sentences , and I write a whole book. I apologize, this space belongs to you. I will try to control how much of your space I use up in the future. But for now, just wow!

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Don’t worry about the space; words are tricky things, can’t always say what needs saying in just a paragraph or two, and look what happens when a presidency is tweeted. Can’t comment much on the drug scene. I’ve never, and I mean never, smoked or otherwise ingested what is known as a drug, including pot or marijuana. Opportunities galore in my days but not my scene. Even when given prescription drugs by a doctor (in the days of doctors before I learned better) I would toss them in the first garbage can I found. Didn’t even do aspirin. When I encountered “the Teachers” they also said that drugs would be my downfall; to avoid all. Interestingly they included surgical interventions in that no-no. Never been drunk, though I still enjoy a glass of wine periodically, and never smoked, though I always enjoyed being in a second hand smoke environment, esp. in the days when “real men” (!) smoked cigars or a pipe. I miss that. I miss that man standing in front of me looking down in my eyes while filling his pipe and lighting it.

      As to what to say to a youngster, I’d tell them why drugs are being legalized: it’s all about money and control. The government thugs get the money before it goes to the gang thugs, bottom line. When you are on drugs you’re a slave of that power. You want to be a slave? Then be a slave. Choice. Always choice. It doesn’t matter what you say to young people. If they feel the need to experience, the feelings will take half the day, the emotions the rest of it, your instructions, none. Then you’ll have a pregnancy or a drug addict and another drudge on minimum wage. Yes, there are exceptions. They are few and that’s why they’re called exceptions.

      One can however stand as an example of what to be, what not to be. Society’s greatest downfall isn’t in lack of education, it’s in lack of example on the part of adults: of parents, teachers, pastors, educators, leaders and certainly in the world of doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, counsellors, academicians, scientists and writers of “self help” or “spiritual” pulp fiction. Demonstrate a “right” way to live, consistently, every day, however inconvenient or personally costly and if someone asks why, be prepared to illustrate with well chosen words, the consequences of right living versus wrong living. ***Never tell someone something that isn’t so true to yourself you wouldn’t be willing to die for it.***

      Then let the inquirer walk away to think about it, or not. Once an act is complete, a “speech” given (verbally or in writing), one can no longer lay claim to either. My teachings, my examples, my interactions, they’re like those power poles I leave standing by the road as I ride through the countryside in a vehicle called life. That one event, that one pole I just passed, I won’t be returning to it; as the wise man observed, you can’t put your foot in the same river twice. One word that describes everything meaningful about all of us: transience. That’s the miracle, as Joanne Selzer remarked, “ephemeral things, like movement, are manifestations of immortality.” That would be why the truly wise do not do attachments.

      1. rawgod

        With you never having been a part of a drug scene, or drunk scene, I have to say you have no real right to comment on it. I mean, you can comment on it all you want, but you cannot know if your information is true or false, real or propaganda, wise or unwise. Some of what you say IS true, but some of it comes straight from the annals of the FBI, DEA, and other lettered sets. On this one I cannot agree with you. It’s kinda like an argument against abortion, you will never know if you are aborting a genius, or other beneficial person, and those who argue that are right, to a point. You also never know if you are aborting a mass murderer, a con man, or the tool who might have ended Trump’s presidency. There are two or more sides to every issue. To did for one side, not knowing any othrr is to die in vain.
        Drugs, including alcohol, nicotine, and even caffeine, are all bad for most people. Those same drugs, well one of them, put me in touch with a part of me I may never have known about had I not used drugs. And I doubt I could ever have reached beyond the veil of death without that one drug, not without actually dying, and then I could never have brought my visions back to this dimension. But I did use drugs, they took me where I wanted to go, and I have never regretted it. Yes, I may be the exception that proves the rule, but it also proves there can be “other” exceptions.
        But, S’T, don’t let me stop you from doing what you are doing, that is not my intent. I just wanted to let you know you ARE spreading untrue propaganda, and that has the potential to create harm.
        On the other hand, my truth has the potential to do harm also. As I said the other day, no one can know all the ramifications of their actions. I know neither one of us is out to harm anyone or anything “intentionally,” but possibilities cannot stop us from doing what we see as positive actions.
        Peace, my friend.

    2. kertsen

      I noticed with interest you say it was ‘ helping you escape from your past and your present’ and that is definitely something humans are always trying to do. Did you have an idea of who you wanted to be and maybe you did not like the vision in your mind? I believe we all have a side of ourselves we do not like , the religious call it sinful nature and even today some practice self flagellation and fasting as a means to attaining purity. Interestingly these practices can lead to very similar effects that drugs cause by upsetting chemical balance in the brain.
      Certainly hallucinogenic drugs are far stronger as you point out but chemists have analysed and in some cases synthesized these substances. The have gone even further and created man made molecules that act as drugs to induce mental effects.
      Mescalin has been in use for thousands of years as Huxley points out in his ‘ Doors of Perception ‘ which he wrote after experimentation.
      You are quite right don’t be afraid to live with all your failings and imperfections and turn a blind eye whenever possible to the failings of others.

      1. rawgod

        Aw, kirtsen, I just wrote you a nice long answer to you comment, but I lost it all when my tablet hiccuped. Man I hate this thing.
        Anyways, I was writing off the cuff as usual, and can never say what I said the same way again, so I am just going to say I had no idea of who I wanted to become, because I just wanted to be me. The hippies’ codeword in the 60s was “Find yourself,” and that is what I was trying to do.The self I was born to be ws already in me, I just had to bring it out, so that was what I set out to do. And who I was I really had no idea. The self I was being at the time was not me, but a creation of my parents and teachers and Sunday school teachers, and even some input from my childhood friends. It took a number of years to make any real headway, and the process has been going on for 40-some years or more, but I think I have been quite successful throwing away the outside teachings, and making the inner me come out. But I will never regret doing it. I am happy with the person I am, and there is no one else I would rather be. Thank you for asking.
        May peace be with you.

      2. kertsen

        Yes many impressions are stamped upon us as we grow but the majority seem quite resilient and learn to make their own way. I’m 75 and retired in a small bungalow on the south coast of England . I stopped work at aged 61 and then began to look at my life seriously , up until then I was caught up in the fast stream having brought up four children ( not very well ) but struggled through and come out the other side still breathing.

      3. Sha'Tara Post author

        Quote: “The self I was being at the time was not me, but a creation of my parents and teachers and Sunday school teachers, and even some input from my childhood friends.” Well said. It is in recognizing this that we change, or as you put it, bring the real self out.

  2. Sha'Tara Post author

    Every issue has an infinite number of sides, so we leave that bag of cats and come down to what works, what doesn’t, by observation and personal experience. Am I “unrightfully” speaking about drugs and alcohol? Here’s my story in a nutshell: I come from a large family. Three of my grandparents died from alcoholism related causes in Brittany, France. My father was an alcoholic and abuser. My mother committed suicide at age 46. Of siblings, four are recovered alcoholics and drug users. Three spent time in psych wards. Two remain both drug addicts and alcoholics. As second oldest I was perfectly placed to observe the effects of drugs and alcohol on my own family. Then I went into street ministry downtown Vancouver, and also did prison work at Agassiz Mountain Prison. I have seen, lived through and experienced personally what horrible things drug abuse does to those I was once close to. I have never seen any good thing result from drug use. There’s a conclusion to be drawn there.
    Repeat: I have never observed any positive side to abuse of either alcohol or drugs but plenty of negative effects. I’ve seen and been involved in the rescue of broken homes, abused women and children, dying prostitutes. What a beautiful world!

    I’ll add this to my “unrightful” commenting on drug use: it was drug use that destroyed the hippie movement towards global peace and understanding. I saw this happening. I was on the periphery and I could have been right in the thick of it. The drugs came for South America and South East Asia via CIA channels and the Pentagon. Well, geez, what a surprise… Few caught on and the same thing is happening today, on a much larger scale. To those who would defend drug use claiming heightened spiritual awareness, I can offer personal observation summed up in two words: utter bullshit. It may have happened for you and that puts you in an infinitesimally rare category. As for me, I go with what works, what doesn’t as a general rule.

    A tree may well produce 5 million seeds and of those, 5 become new trees. Can that be carried over into human behaviour? No. 5 million druggies or alcoholics aren’t going to produce 5 geniuses so that we should encourage more drug use and alcoholism. That is not how it works.

    My strong views on drugs and alcohol have a solid basis in fact. If personal observation and experience is labelled propaganda, then everything is propaganda that isn’t according to another’s opinion. Which is basically where this Internetted Facebooked Tweeted society is at right now. Utterly bamboozled by the deliberate application of mis and dis information, manufactured “news” and manufactured lives.

  3. goroyboy

    Convicted by your last sentence about compassion being a prerequisite for wisdom….To be compassionate without purpose .. can that not possibly lead to pity?

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thank you and I had never thought of it that way. For me being compassionate, or as I prefer to put it, to be an avatar of compassion, is the purpose of my life. I have no other purpose. I don’t do pity, or charity. I do compassion. Pity and charity imply superiority, that demeaning, disempowering, “Here let me help you…” That has never worked. Recipients of truly compassionate acts must feel as if they are doing it themselves; that they owe no one anything for whatever enters into their lives. Compassion doesn’t take credit for its presence. It is because it’s its nature to be thus. I explain that as best I can in some of my “essays.” Probably can be located using “categories”? If I miss the point of your question, please ask again.

      1. goroyboy

        Lovely response. I totally agree with your approach and perhaps strangely I find compassion toward “strangers” is very easy. It’s cut and dry. No agenda. It’s seems more complex and at times, challenging in closer relationships particularly when they are strained… perhaps more is at stake? Is it just me?

      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        I see that you’ve encountered the conundrum of attachments, or “special” relationships. The fully (heavy word, that) compassionate being has no attachments, no special relationships. Because of my “unusual” lifestyle I’ve been able to eliminate all special relationships. As I tell people, the most important person in my life at the moment is the one in front or me. All are strangers, none friends, none relatives, just people. Then, as you say, cut and dry, no agenda.

  4. Phil Huston

    Wisdom is when you are given the gift to see beyond the blues, if only for an instant, and keep that vision next to your heart as much as you can. Scroooge was given the wisdom of compassion. It took a ghost and three angels. Regardless, the gift of the glimpse is a word to the wise. I tell youngsters to listen. Listen listen listen. And knock.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Wise, Phil. If these youngsters hear you; if they listen and knock, they will get answers. All they need do is interpret them to suit their condition.

  5. Woebegone but Hopeful

    Hi Sha’ Tara.
    I have a complex post demanding to get out, so going to brief here, I agree with you all the way.
    ‘Wisdom’ can’t really exist without Compassion. Clinical decisions can, which might sound fine as long as one is one the right side of the decision (hah!)


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