Do You Know Her?

In honor of this past Mothers’ Day, I’d like to tell you about a mother who completes my feminine trinity (the other two being the Virgin Mary and Mother Nature).

The Greeks call her Sophia. She was born before God created the universe. Imagine a child who grew up in the beginning of God’s creation - she experienced it happening. The story of her birth is written in Proverbs 8:22-31.

This woman’s name is Wisdom. We can know the virgin Mary through Jesus and Bible stories. We can know Mother Nature by romping about outside and experiencing all she offers throughout this wide and wonderful and wicked world. But how can we know wisdom?

All ages and cultures have celebrated and revered wisdom. Throughout history we have had wisdom teachers such as Jesus, Buddha and Native American Shamans. Some cultures believe wisdom is the first and highest gift from the Holy Spirit. Others believe we have the ability to forgo the ego and come to wisdom through meditation.

Still others believe wisdom comes to us through the circle of life: “The east gave peace and light, the south gave warmth, the west gave rain and the north with its cold and mighty wind gave strength and endurance.” (Black Elk, Holy man of the Oglala, Sioux)

Marcel Proust (the French essayist) said, “We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover [her] for ourselves.” I know you know wise mothers and mentors and entrepreneurs and athletes and children, but how can we know wisdom herself?

I like the idea that author and professor of Old Testament, Bill Brown has. He says we can know her through wonder. “It is emotional of both the heart and the mind; wonder is radical amazement.”

Speaking of amazing, it is not judgement, but wonder - as in curiosity - that can unite us. Imagine, something so innate and seemingly mundane as curiosity has such powerful potential!

Rachel Carson, marine biologist and author, said, “wonder is the virtue that ensures our continued evolution.” And Albert Einstein actually believed he had no special talent, “I am only curious,” he said.

There are those who pretend they have wisdom and even convince us they are wise. They are wrapped up in the ego. Wisdom is not intuition or a gut feeling. Wisdom is not found in facts and data. Wisdom is not being the judger of truth and knowledge. Wisdom comes in how we speak our truth and use our knowledge. Wisdom does not make anyone better than anyone else.

Wisdom comes through wonder and listening and being open to the possibilities of the other way - the one we are not so familiar with. Wisdom through wonder can make our communities better by building hope, trust and friendships.

I usually ask my clients what they are passionate about. Maybe I should be asking them what they are curious about, too! We all have wisdom within us. We have to tap in to it by going deeper in to who we are.