WHAT, THEN, IS WISDOM?
If there is ever to be a Global Wisdom Culture, then human beings must “wise up.”
So, what then is wisdom, and how may people develop and attain it? That is the fundamental quest of philosophy, which literally means “the love of wisdom”; yet it is quite evident that in the perennial contest between Wisdom and Folly, foolishness and human fallibility still prevail over enlightenment.
But what is enlightenment, and how may it be achieved? Presumably, luminaries like Confucius, Plato, Socrates, Moses, Jesus, Lao-tsu and the Buddha are classic examples of illumined beings, exemplars and teachers of wisdom—among many other saints and sages, women as well as men, throughout the ages.
Proponents and developers of a Global Wisdom Culture must then proclaim the primacy of wisdom seeking as the intention and mission of such a culture. The ultimate aim of education in such a culture will be the fullest development of human beings, not merely in the acquisition of knowledge and the mastery of skills, but in the realization of the highest values for themselves and others—which is the essence of wisdom (in the view of Nicholas Maxwell, a prominent British philosopher of science).
To be enlightened is to comprehend what is best for all and to bring it into being—to realize and manifest it in the world. To be wise then is to know what is of highest value, to know how to attain it, and to do so.
(April Fool's Day)