You can be knowledgeable but not wise

To live a fulfilled life you need wisdom – not just knowledge

lao tzu tao te ching & knowledge

Do not confused knowledge with wisdom.

You can be knowledgeable but not wise. Being wise, on the other hand, needs not be knowledgeable.

Knowledge can be learnt. It is like a child learning to add. When he is able to answer ‘what is one plus one’ by saying ‘two’, he has acquired some knowledge of addition.

But you can’t learn wisdom. Wisdom is the ability to discern and tell what is right and true, and this can only be acquired through experience, especially mistakes and failures.

How do you respond to the advice ‘If you want to become full, let yourself be empty’? You may think it sounds weird if you see it from the knowledge acquisition perspective alone. You can only relish its profoundness when you live or practice the advice.

Learning of knowledge is straightforward. A five-year-old child can learn to do simple addition in five minutes. Acquisition of wisdom can be fast if you are lucky enough ton see the spark immediately, although most of the time it is a long and trying process.

Most of us are more adept at learning knowledge, not acquisition of wisdom. We are too impatient to let wisdom surface.

To live a fulfilled life, nevertheless, you need wisdom.

So be patience! Let the mystery emerge.

In the pursuit of learning, every day something is acquired.
In the pursuit of Tao, every day something is dropped.
Less and less is done
Until non-action is achieved.
When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.

The world is ruled by letting things take their course.
It cannot be ruled by interfering.

Translated by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English

Thanks to Temari 09 for the picture.

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