Wisdom in the Age of Information

Real wisdom does not come from information. There is too much information out there and it is a real “jungle” – the information jungle. With modern devices such as smart phones, the Internet, TV, and the media, we are constantly connected with information.

For real wisdom, we need to “connect by disconnecting”. We disconnect from these modern devices and get connected again with ourselves, to feel things, to connect with life, and to connect with another human being.

The speaker was narrating a story when he was 18 years old. He went to Tikal in Guatemala in search of an ancient pyramid in the 60s. This pyramid was in a dense rain-forest and for days he was shrouded from the sun. When he finally found the pyramid, he climbed it to reach the peak. From this top of the pyramid, he went above the tree-line. He could see vast distances and the horizon. It gives you perspective and an overview of the dense rain-forest. It gave him wisdom and meaning of life. We are connected with nature that is infinite and there is nothing between him and nature from this vantage point.

For the same reason, we should disconnect from the jungle of the city, the jungle we live in. We have to get out and get some perspectives in life. You cannot get wisdom from sage, professors, books and the media. You must rise out of the information jungle. Find a quiet place such as temples, churches, cathedrals, monasteries, some sanctuaries. From this solitude, quietness, and serenity you can be peaceful and from this environment gain wisdom and perspectives of lives.

Wisdom comes from silence and you need not get information to be wise. From this silence, you get silence within. Listen to your life, listen to your body. That is real, what it meant to be alive. This is self-realisation and not told to us from books, media and other people.

Have a retreat. Have nothing to do all day. Be in your own home for some peace. Stay where you are and wisdom comes to you.

There is so much information out there. We think too much and see too little. Between you and the infinite, there is too much stuff and obscurations in between. You need to disconnect to connect. You need to connect with yourself and feel it. Talk to the person who is with you and leave modern devices aside. Get out there, see and experience life. Find quiet moments and from this find meaning of life from this solitude.

Heard from a talk given by Ajahn Brahm on 30 December 2014 at the Singapore Conference Hall of the same title of this post.

As we end 2014, wishing all a Happy, Peaceful and Wise Moments in 2015!

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