Richard Rohr on Wisdom as Pure Presence

Wisdom is bright and does not grow dim . . . and is found by those who look for her.   — Wisdom 6:13

Wisdom is not the gathering of more facts and information, as if that would eventually coalesce into truth. Wisdom is a new, different way of seeing and knowing the “ten thousand things”. I suggest that wisdom is precisely the freedom to be truly present to what is right in front of you. Presence is wisdom! People who are fully present know how to see fully, rightly, and truthfully.

Presence is the one thing necessary for wisdom, and in many ways, it is the hardest thing of all. Just try to keep (1) your heart space open, (2) your mind without division or resistance, and (3) your body not somewhere else—and all at the same time! Most religions just decided it was easier to believe doctrines and obey often arbitrary laws than the truly converting work of being present. Those who can be present will know what they need to know, and in a wisdom way.

Adapted from The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See, pp. 59-60

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Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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