The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

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Every so often, people share pieces of wisdom with us.

They resemble advice or everyday wisdom. Everyone has heard their share of them as well as shared many of them. “Let go”, “Tomorrow is another day”, “Forget it”, “Happiness is a choice”, “Failures are lessons in progress” or “Never break your promises” is just a small set of them.

People who share them care.

However, they are also throw-away sentences that are supposed to instruct as to how to get rid of the problem at hand. The person who shares them most often doesn’t have a clear idea of how to handle the situation at hand and uses a ready-made solution a wise person would be able to understand.

Both the person receiving the solution as well as the person sharing them usually will be emotionally attached to a problem. The person sharing his piece of wisdom may feel helpless as to how to help the other. And the person receiving the advice may find themselves to be helpless to deal with the situation they are in. The advice then seems to be the miracle solution to the respective problems.

It’s not always clear if the shared wisdom is supported by experience or not. But if it is, then the experience is personal and can’t easily be explained. It has transformed itself into a solution the person learned to use for herself. And thus, it is a solution that works for that person based on her experience, her understanding of the rules of life, and how she relates to others, herself, and life.

For someone else to become able to apply such a piece of wisdom, they must translate it into their own experience. Whatever it is that kept them emotionally connected with the problem needs to become translatable into such wisdom. They need to find their own solution to it. One that fits their experience, their way of looking at life, themselves, and others. One that works well with the other elements of wisdom they use to lead their life.

Instead, what often happens, is that they are transformed into a discipline or form of obligation one must live up to. The path to it then becomes a cognitive path, one to which the solution needs to be reached via thinking. It’s a path that can’t easily be reached as the meaning of such wisdom only becomes accessible once experienced.




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