Today we look at how moving from knowledge to wisdom serves our positive evolution. We also explore the Christmas story and how it points us in this direction.
What is the difference between knowledge and wisdom? For me, knowledge is awareness. It’s learning the facts. I wasn’t born with a conscious awareness of mathematics or quantum physics but through the experiences of living life, I have come to have knowledge of them.
Wisdom, on the other hand, is something we gain over time as we apply knowledge. If I sit on my knowledge of mathematics or quantum physics or whatever and never use it, then it just sits in my head and I never embody it. As I begin to apply knowledge in my life, I get feedback on both its truth and that intangible something about how the knowledge is best applied. Over time, the more I apply knowledge and invoke this feedback loop, the more I grow in wisdom.
Here’s a quick example – I often write here about how everything is one, all is interconnected. I also write about our consciousness and how it is evolving, that evolution taking us to a place of realizing our oneness. We can read about this evolutionary path from many spiritual teachers, but reading it only gives us knowledge. It’s only when we apply this knowledge that we move to wisdom.
As I write these words, we are on the cusp of Christmas. People are scurrying around making their last-minute preparations to celebrate the holiday. For many there will be food shared, gifts exchanged and love expressed. Why have we developed this tradition?
Christmas is, of course, the time we celebrate the birth of Jesus. We all know the story of Joseph and Mary and their trek to Bethlehem. We know that Mary was a virgin giving birth to a baby. We know the Joseph and Mary couldn’t find room at the inn, so they sought refuge in a stable for the night when Jesus was born. We know that at the moment of his birth a bright star appeared above him guiding three wise men to the manger bearing gifts. These and many other “facts of the story”, we celebrate as having occurred on December 25.
For devout Christians, the celebration of Christmas is about paying homage to the moment “our Savior” first appeared on earth. For historians and scientists, much has been written the question the validity of “the facts” of the story. Anyone who wishes to look at “the facts” rationally, could easily see that the story of the birth of Jesus and our celebration on December 25 has both its roots in pagan stories prior to the life of Jesus and that the details were most likely co-opted by early Christians to bring the story of Jesus to a wider pagan audience.
Yet my point here is not to get stuck on the debate as to whether the story behind Christmas is literally “true”. What I want us to do is to move beyond this debate and transcend the story to consider how it’s creation and duration through time might offer us the greater meaning. After all, why would humans craft such a story back in the days before Jesus and then attach that story to Jesus and continue to use this story to create a celebration for humanity for thousands of years? A lot has been written in an attempt to answer that question, but here’s a short summary of my belief as to one reason why this story and our annual celebration has had such a lasting power for humanity.
Throughout the universe, everything is embedded with spirit, with consciousness. Through time and the evolutionary process, that consciousness has evolved to a level of self-awareness in humanity. Every day planet Earth is gifted with the birth of a new expression of that spirit. Every human being coming forth into this physical plane is embedded with the light of consciousness, that Christ consciousness. Every time this occurs it’s another miracle. Something in early man recognized it and celebrated it. Something in us today is still called to this celebration. This celebration is serving and guiding us in the next steps of our path.
As this birth of self aware Christ consciousness appeared in Jesus, a bright light appeared above him. Throughout our evolution, even before the birth of Jesus, “light” represented the power and goodness of Spirit. Many believe that the light shining above him marked Jesus’ special nature. If that is truth for you and it serves you, that’s fine with me – I’m really not trying to change a belief that works for you. But for me, the bright light of the star above Jesus is pointing to something more. It is there to remind us that we are all embedded with this divinity, that the moment of birth of each of us is a moment when that light comes forth. That is why the story has had such a lasting power from before the time of Jesus and continues to this day – it’s everyone’s story.
But is this is true, then what are we going to do with that knowledge? It’s only by applying knowledge that we move to wisdom. The light above Jesus guided the three wise men to him bearing gifts. Is it a coincidence that it was “light” – the power and goodness of Spirit – that served as an ancient form of MapQuest directing “the wise men” toward its newest expression? Ah, but as we often say, “there are no coincidences”. Simply stated, the wise men “acted” on the facts. They saw the infusion of the light of the consciousness of spirit within their fellow being and moved towards this new expression to bring gifts and celebrate its existence. And, the “wise men” are still pointing us to the light of Spirit today, calling us to act upon our knowledge….to move us towards the wisdom they embodied.
So on this Christmas, I call on all of us to join in this movement from knowledge to wisdom. Each of us on our own life’s path have learned our own “facts” about Christmas. Each of us may carry our own intellectual understanding about the consciousness embedded in every human and the fact that we are all interrelated. But these are just the facts ma’am.
This Christmas as you share in the joy of celebration with friends and family, as you both give and receive gifts, may all of this experience ignite within you wisdom. May you look upon and truly experience everyone as the miracle expression of that divine consciousness. Look deeper, beyond the past and the history of your story with that person, and truly experience that essence of that special light that shines within them. And as you move from “knowing” that we are all one to truly living in that place of wisdom where you act and embody oneness in all of your affairs, you and I will evolve to that place where we are all called – where there is forever peace on earth and goodwill towards all humanity.
May everyday be Christmas. Merry Christmas!
Check out all of Mark Gilbert’s books—available at Amazon. Click here to visit his Author Page. This includes his recent one Our Spiritual Rights and Responsibilities. In this book, he offers what he suggests are the 5 basic rights we all possess by virtue of our being these spiritual beings on planet Earth — and our 2 responsibilities we all hold in relation to one another! Check it out!