The Source

The Source

With men of understanding,
wisdom counts for everything.
Baltasar Gracian

Where does wisdom come from? Is universal wisdom useful across the board or does it matter who the person is who is imparting that wisdom? I guess there is some controversy where this is concerned. A well-known martial artist, brought this very issue up concerning my third book, Warrior Wisdom: The Warrior’s Path, this week. He felt that some of the people who I  quoted were not quality people and therefore should not have been quoted in my book.

Knowledge of the world is only to be
acquired in the world and not in a closet.
Lord Chesterfield

Any experience can be transformed
into something of value.
Vash Young

This begs the question, is wisdom wisdom no matter where it comes from or does the person, who has an insightful thought, also have to have to good reputation and a flawless character in order for that wisdom to be authenticated as true wisdom? Can a wino on a street corner have an insightful thought, and if he does should we discard it because of his shortcomings in life? This was the debate that my friend and I had concerning my third book…and we agreed to disagree and he refused to endorse my book because of this outlook.

A man may learn wisdom even from a foe.

His last statement on the matter was that he didn’t think that “readers would be ready for Bohdi Sanders takes the words of sages and scoundrels and explains them in a way that might be useful.” We left it at that. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t purposely quote scumbags and give them credit for being wise men of strong character. No way! But at the same time, there are no perfect people. Being a history teacher, I could delve into the lives of our most beloved men, men who we consider top drawer, and find serious faults in their lives.

Arrogance diminishes wisdom.
Arabian Proverb

For example, the Apostle Paul had many Christians put to death before his conversion to Christianity. King David, who is accepted as the author of the Book of Psalms, arranged for the death of a man because he was infatuated with that man’s wife. I could cite example after example of dishonorable acts of men whom most of us have respect for, and whose writings we enjoy as words of wisdom. Do their actions take away from their words of wisdom or are their writings teaching us what they have learned from their mistakes?

It is quite possible to be a good man
without anyone realizing it.
Marcus Aurelius

I believe that the warrior should use wisdom wherever he finds it. Wisdom can come from various and unpredictable sources. Whether it is a five year old child or a wino on a street corner, anyone can have a profound and insightful thought. If we simply waited for that wisdom to come from someone with no faults, we would have a long wait. Instead of judging the person who imparts that insightful thought, wouldn’t it be better to judge the content of the thought itself? I think so…

Instead of searching for the faults of others, examine
yourself for personal faults that need to be corrected.
Sai Baba

True wisdom is universal. Should we discard an enlightened thought simply because we are not impressed with the person who is used to communicate that thought to us? To the warrior, the purpose of wisdom is to improve his life and his character. Even if that wisdom comes from  a five years old child, he is not too proud to take what is said and meditate on it and apply it to his life. The warrior is an independent spirit who thinks for himself and is not influenced by political correctness or the mind games that many people play.

What I must do is all that concerns me,
not what the people think.

Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.

Our currency all comes from government sanctioned mints and has value no matter whose pocket it happens to be in at any given moment. In the same way, universal wisdom all comes from One Source and is useful in guiding the warrior on the warrior’s path. It does not matter who the carrier of that wisdom may be, universal wisdom does not lose its value. The warrior knows this and uses his spirit as a guide to the truthfulness and validity of the thoughts of others. He uses what he finds useful and discards what strikes him as “not quite right.” I am concerned with what is being said, not who said it.

Test everything.
Hold on to the good.
The Apostle Paul

A precious stone does not lose its value
simply because it has been dropped in a cesspool.
Japanese Proverb

Warrior Wisdom

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