Our host - Rod Serling

Picture a man, whose penchant for pedantic exercises are somewhat famous, or infamous as the case may be. He would have you believe that this thing called life is all about perspective, and any troubles are purely coincidence or by your own design. What he hasn’t realized, until now, is that there may be a thing called fate which takes you on a trip across a multitude of options and choices, none of which perhaps make a difference, and leads eventually to a place we like to call (At the sign post up ahead) The Wisdom Zone!

The Wisdom Zone

Thank you Mr. Serling, for that sterling introduction. I recently had a birthday on 10212011, which is almost palindromic, and has a mathematical symmetry I like.  I am now nearing a half century as a living being and use this near palindromic year of near 50 for me to reflect on what has been and what will be in the ways of wisdom. About 20 years ago I wrote a piece I called ‘Wisdom and I’ and I’d like to share it here:

“Forgive me wisdom. Your gentle breeze has caressed my brow and touched my lips, beckoning me with a whisper like invisible wings floating in the air around me. I heed not your presence sometimes and cause myself harm, but you chastise me not. I beg forgiveness anyway as a reminder of your bountiful presence. You Offer so much and I can do nothing but spoil the golden moments you guide me to. You serve from a well deeper than the farthest reaches of the universe; sometimes a drop or perhaps a cup, always knowing how much is necessary. I deserve not such a selfless benefactor. Like a scarecrow on a windy hill I stand deaf and blind to the path of reason. Guide me wisdom. I listen like never before. Empty yourself and live in me. Is that not your true desire?”

There is a certain youthful plea for guidance that resonates in those words. Like so many of us before 30, wisdom seemed more of a commodity that was something Earned. Now that I am near 50, I realize it is really something Discerned. What is the difference between Earning and Discerning? I think it’s the realization that that fate plays a more significant role in life regarding the awareness of mortality. At 30 I could easily double my age to 60 and say, yes I can live and Earn my wisdom. At 50 I will no longer be able double my age to 100, and must Discern my wisdom. Well, this is a pedantic viewpoint perhaps, but one I believe that sees wisdom not as a possession to keep or give away, but as a process that is part of being.

Wisdom's path

Wisdom is not the same as being smart, and wisdom requires reflection. It’s the realization that life is not  just a span of years in counting, but the realization that everything ends. It’s not about righteousness, judgement and viewpoint, but about openness, forgiveness, and expression. A collection of stones can be tossed about or well aligned, and the choice is always for each person to decide what to embrace. This brings me full circle to the question of coincidence vs. fate? What, if anything does this have to do with wisdom? I guess for me it means randomness vs. order. Sometimes there is even order in randomness if there is wisdom to see it. I am an equal opportunity fellow with a penchant for pedantic ways, as Mr. Serling introduced me, but I am a philosopher and a person too. Does your life have order (fate) or is it chaos (randomness)?

Fractal spiral

What is meaningful at your age and in your life? I am not making a case for any way of life here, and everyone lives according to their own way. It’s just a point of departure for thought and if wisdom does teach in discerning ways then life’s path and choices can be by fate or left to random chance, but wisdom’s great presence is always to guide us in what to do next. The past cannot be changed, so make the most of today and tomorrow because once they arrive they will never come again. Be who you want to be and never let any person or entity treat you as less than that! That’s wisdom for the ages. Mr. Serling has a final monologue to offer: