Knowledge or Wisdom

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Jul 17, 2018 12:51
One of my favorite novels is Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. In the novel, there’s a scene that Siddhartha, the main character, says something profound. This seems very interesting and worth considering, so I want to share it with you. In case you don’t know, Siddhartha is the original name of the beginner of Buddhism.


Siddhartha and Gowinda, his soul mate, happen to hear there is a man called Gautama who is said to have attained nirvana in the middle of their training journey. They visit him and listen to his preach. They’re really impressed by him, and Gowinda decides to follow him. However, Siddhartha refuses, which upsets Gowinda. After that, Siddhartha encounters Gautama taking a walk and tells him the situation. He asks why Siddhartha doesn’t follow him, and Siddhartha replies this way: You can tell people knowledge, but you can’t tell people wisdom.


I think this is the perfect phrasing, and this is what we tend to overlook. Knowledge is actually totally different from wisdom. So to speak, wisdom is what you know with all the senses, or something you can’t verbalize. Even if you try to tell people your wisdom, what you can tell is only knowledge, which lost fundamental elements in the process of verbalization. Basically, you have to gain your own wisdom yourself like Siddhartha did.


Once you drop by bookstores, you will see many books that say like this: You’ll make it by doing this way. Interestingly, the fact is that nine people in ten fail despite reading books that say readers will make it nine out of ten times. There seem to be many factors, but one of them is that knowledge is one thing, and wisdom is another thing. Conversely, if you gain your own wisdom, you will get anywhere.



Thank you for reading my entry.