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To Know Is Not To Know

Let me start by shaking off the dust off my keyboard.  It's been a while since I have written my last
post. (April)

For months I have been obsessed with the question: Who is the wisest person?  By wisest I don't mean smartest in terms of intellectual ability.  By wisdom I mean someone who is a master at right living through virtue.

Think about it...

There are many people who claim to be wise, but when it comes to virtue they are just children.  Furthermore our society praises specialization over virtue and wisdom.  A doctor is considered wise because he knows the human body.  The actor may be considered wise because he can memorize lines.  A professor is wise because he/she has mastered a particular discipline enough to teach it. Our society even equates wisdom with making money.  So the more the person makes the more wise he/she must be.  Unfortunately all of these miss the mark totally since their focus is only on specialization.  You can be very intelligent and competent but not wise.  Lets take for example Yankees baseball player Alex Rodriguez.  He is a master baseball player, but because he isn't virtuous he cheated.    

To be truly wise is to know how to live life through the acquisition of virtue.

Socrates will help me illustrate my point:

One of the most memorable sections of The Apology of Socrates by Plato involves the oracle at Delphi.
Chairophon (Socrates' friend) stated that the oracle proclaimed that Socrates was the wisest man in the world.  How was this so?  Throughout the course of the dialogue Socrates asked all types of men a series of questions about what they knew.  The common mistake all of them made was that they lied about what they didn't know.  Instead of being humble and admitting their shortcomings they pretended to know.  Socrates instead was able to admit the things that he didn't know. Based on this Socrates was able to deduce that he was the wisest because he knew what he didn't know. 

Socrates believed that one needed to be a lover of truth (philosophy) first.   In order to learn this one must know nothing first by totally clearing the mind.  To become wise one must be pure and innocent first. Socrates believed that everyone could and should become a philosopher.  Why?  Because true philosophy has nothing to do with intellectual ability.  True wisdom is daily virtuous submission to a greater truth.

As Christians we have the greatest of all truths... Jesus.  Maybe the best way to begin our journey towards acquiring wisdom is to submit to Christ through making virtuous choices.  As we draw closer to Him the wiser we become.

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