The Buddha called the faculty of wisdom, the fifth and final Spiritual Faculty, the crowning virtue among all the requisites of enlightenment, as it illuminates the meaning of karma (the weaving of causes and effects in our interdependent world) and the characteristics of phenomena—naggingly incomplete, impermanent and without self. Wisdom also includes establishing intentions of good will and harmlessness in all actions of body, speech and mind.
True wisdom is to directly see and understand for ourselves, rather than “blind belief.” We are invited to investigate deeply—to keep an open mind, listening to other (even contradictory) points of view, being mindful of our own bigotry; to carefully examine, not ignore, facts that contradict our beliefs; to be mindful of our prejudices and partisanship; to take time forming opinions and beliefs; and be ready to change our beliefs when contradictory evidence is presented. The path of believing what our narrow circle believes is easy. The Buddhist path of wisdom requires courage, patience, flexibility and intelligence and opens to a wider landscape.
When events such as those in Ferguson, Missouri of this past week occur, do you recognize the opportunity to develop wisdom? How do you understand such seismic events? What is your process in forming a view and acting? Wisdom is to be cultivated in ALL areas of life, uncompromised, with full integrity, even if it means countering past mental and emotional habits and opinions. Do you feel invited to look deeply, to contemplate interdependence and to act with wise intention?
How wonderful that we have opportunities to awaken together! Shall we?