Thoughts on wisdom

  • Wisdom is happiness. 
  • YOLO is not. Don’t live life fast chasing fun will not lead to happiness. It will feel good, but the thrill is addicting, and mental addiction is the opposite of wisdom. 
  • The goal of wisdom – and the result, is everlasting mental, and spiritual freedom. 
  • To start, think about what makes you happy. Seek to understand that. 
  • But, go deeper than that. Seek to overcome the insecurities that are keeping you from being happy – why do you want what you want? 
  • Got to be confident to do that. So find something to be confident in. 
  • Build a skill. A sport, play an instrument, write or paint, box or wrestle. If you don’t know what to do, get good at lifting weights. 
  • If you do have a hobby and skill you work at, you should still lift weights. 
  • Be positive. 
  • You can always choose your attitude. Choosing to be angry toward others is a deadly sin – meaning it destroys the soul. 
  • The soul is your capacity to be happy. Don’t destroy it. 
  • Also, being positive is just fun. Other people appreciate it. 
  • Develop social skills. Learn to talk to strangers, flirt, speak. Practice. 
  • Social skills aren’t completely necessary to develop wisdom. But you need to have monk-like discipline if you plan to develop wisdom without social skill. These skills help with confidence, pressing others to learn from their wisdom and challenge your own, overcoming insecurities, and finding love. 
  • Social skills, like all skills, develop with repetition. 
  • But not mindless repetition. Old people hit the Elliptical machine all the time and don’t lose weight. People drive every day and remain awful drivers. 
  • Conscious thought needs to go into your reps. You get stronger at the gym by adding weight to the barbell. You become better at skills by thinking about your failures and doing it differently next time. 
  • Social skills, overcoming wants, everything I talk about here, requires work. Most of it is internal, rather than external. 
  • External work can take away from internal work that’s more important. Don’t let it. 
  • Don’t be slothful. 
  • John Milton said, “He who reigns within himself and rules passions, desires, and fears is more than a king.” 
  • Insecurities are fears. Am I good enough for him? Am I good enough for her? Don’t have any of these. 
  • It’s only after you overcome your insecurities that you know the “real you”. 
  • Don’t be arrogant, vain. While it is not weakness in ability, it presents a weakness of the mind, and the spirit. 
  • Be honest in all you do. 
  • That’s why “just act yourself” is poor advice, unless you’re so wise as to understand it means to act uninhibited, with virtue and courage. 
  • Virtue? How’s that fit in? 
  • The first part of John Milton’s speech – passions, desires. Money, fame, women, drugs, rock n roll, status. Power. These are all things we get passionate about, that instill desire. That desire seeks to have power over us. 
  • That desire – that temptation toward passion or things or feelings, in Christian terms, is demonic. The demon tempts. 
  • Christianity is true. 
  • When someone or something has power over us, we aren’t free to live how we want. 
  • Institutions, people, do not have your interest in mind. 
  • They are out to profit, to meet an admissions metric, and to look good for their boss. Mostly, they are out to make themselves look good to others so that they then feel good. 
  • The narcissist, the adolescent, does this. He puts on an external appearance to protect an inner ego. Without the good looks, the money, the status, the narcissist is alone. And the narcissist is not cool with that. 
  • Do not envy what others have. 
  • The wise man is happy alone. He is content with what he has, no matter how much or little. 
  • Material things – promiscuous sex, status, wealth – these are all advertised to us because they feel good. Because they make us feel good, when we are rewarded with these pleasures, it doesn’t make us not want them, it makes us want more. 
  • “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” – Mark 10:25
  • Do not be gluttonous. 
  • When something internal has power over us, we aren’t free to feel how we want. 
  • Our own psychology doesn’t have our interest in mind. I’m interested in happiness. Our own psychology drives us to survive and reproduce, not to be happy. 
  • Intimacy is a great thing. But it can distract from internal wisdom. Don’t let it. Enjoy your relationships, enjoy sex. But don’t be left wanting. 
  • Never want. Never lust. 
  • “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.” – Matthew 7:13
  • Most of us work our whole lives at a corporation so we can retire in a modest home and live like bums – sleeping in, reading, writing, hanging with family, and fishing. You can do that now. 
  • There’s an old fable of an Indian Chief. “Indian Chief “Two Eagles was asked by a white U.S. government official, “You have observed the white man for 90 years.  You’ve seen his wars and his technological advances. You’ve seen his progess, and the damage he’s done.” 

The Chief nodded in agreement.

The official continued, “Considering all these events, in your opinion, where did the white man go wrong?”

The Chief stared at the government official then replied,

“When white man find land, Indians running it, no taxes, no debt, plenty buffalo, plenty beaver, clean water.  Women do all the work, medicine man free, Indian man spend all day hunting and fishing all night having sex.”

Then the Chief leaned back and smiled, “Only white man dumb enough to think he could improve system like that.”

  • That’s how the proverb ends. I propose an addendum. 
  • “Then the white man leaned back and smiled, “Only Indian man dumb enough to think he could maintain a beautiful system like that without having to fight for it.” 
  • You can be happy by yourself, meditating and virtuous, but the system you create that allows for that can come under threat. You can be happy, but if you want more people to experience that happiness, you need to help them. 
  • Material power doesn’t bring freedom. 
  • “Thereupon many statesmen and philosophers came to Alexander with their congratulations, and he expected that Diogenes of Sinope also, who was tarrying in Corinth, would do likewise. But since that philosopher took not the slightest notice of Alexander, and continued to enjoy his leisure in the suburb Craneion, Alexander went in person to see him, and he found him lying in the sun. Diogenes raised himself up a little when he saw so many people coming towards him, and fixed his eyes upon Alexander. And when that monarch addressed him with greetings, and asked if he wanted anything, “Yes,” said Diogenes, “stand a little out of my sun.” It is said that Alexander was so struck by this, and admired so much the haughtiness and grandeur of the man who had nothing but scorn for him, that he said to his followers, who were laughing and jesting about the philosopher as they went away, “But truly, if I were not Alexander, I wish I were Diogenes.” and Diogenes replied “If I wasn’t Diogenes, I would be wishing to be Diogenes too.” – Wikipedia
  • How do you remove the shackles of passion and desire? 
  • Don’t be greedy. Stop wanting things. 
  • How do you stop wanting things? 
  • The stoics said to practice discipline. The stoics were very smart. 
  • “It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.” – Seneca
  • Smart people, talented people, people with everything, have said to be virtuous. 
  • “Recommend virtue to your children; it alone, not money, can make them happy. I speak from experience.” – Beethoven
  • Jesus, Christians, and other religious people have recommended virtue, which is the antithesis of vice. Many Christians were very smart. 
  • “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” – Acts 2:38
  • Most of religion is exactly this. The scripture is a how-to guide on how to be happy. 
  • Being virtuous is hard. It takes practice. Religion gives us a helping hand. 
  • God gives us strength. We ask him for strength. He reminds us when we slip, and he’s there to reward us when we do the right thing. 
  • What’s the right thing? Being virtuous, following his commandments, not giving into vice. 
  • Be like Jesus. 
  • When we want to behave like Jesus, we want to be virtuous. 
  • When we want to be virtuous, we should try to act virtuous – like Jesus. 
  • When we act like Jesus, we do all the things that will keep us happy. 
  • Not just a momentary pleasure, but an unbreakable joy – that no one can take away from you. 
  • It’s everlasting joy. It’s heaven on Earth. And God is with you. 

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