Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Forget whether wisdom is male or female, is it a sad or a happy virtue?

If you read that someone left an event "sadder and wiser" does that ring true for you? Would you be more likely to say they left "happier and wiser"?
Wisdom is sometimes celebrated as the female attribute of the Godhead in the Hebrew scriptures but until a slightly silly exchange of emails between colleagues today I had never really thought about whether wisdom was sad or happy. If you become wise would you imagine that you were happy, or would wisdom come at the price of sadness?
My sense is that wisdom is of the Spirit, it is inspiration and not an ontological state. Wisdom is not achieved once and for all. For me at least it is experienced and glimpsed fleetingly, a momentary state, because I am wise at one moment does not mean that I won't be delusional the next. Fleeting or not I tend to feel that wisdom should be a joyous, happy virtue, after all wisdom is about insight. Perhaps it is understanding and comprehension that bring sadness; seeing the world as it truly is and feeling a certain depression as a result.
Perhaps laughter is one way to wisdom.
So are you happy or sad? Are you sadly or happily wise?


janetlees said...

Maybe sader and wiser are not incompatible becasue they are attributes of two different things. If wiser is an attribute of wisdom (along with all those other jolly things you mentionmed) maybe saddness is a possible attribute of clairyt or discernment. Thus one can be sade and wise becasue it's not just wisdom one has gained but other things like clarity or discernment. And then again with my 'all-abilities' hat on I'd not like us to ring fence wisdom only for the happy. Mental Health problems can manifest themselves in sadness but that does not mean that people with mental health issues cannot be wise or know wisdom. As dark and light are both alike to God (Psalm 139) are happiness and sadness??

janetlees said...

Sorry about spelling! I'm wise after the posting and sad that my clarity was obscure by these alphabetical innaccuracies. lovexxx