Wisdom has nothing to do with knowledge

Wisdom has nothing to do with knowledge

by don Miguel Ruiz with Janet Mills

We are born with the right to be happy and to enjoy life. We are not here to suffer; we are here to create and have fun. Whoever wants to suffer is welcome to suffer, but we don’t have to suffer.

Then why do we suffer? Humans choose to suffer because we learned to suffer, because the whole world suffers, and we make the assumption that suffering is normal. Then we create a belief system to support that assumption. Our religions tell us that we came here to suffer, that life is a valley of tears. Suffer today, have patience, and when you die you will have your reward.

Sounds beautiful, but it isn’t true. You live in hell or you live in heaven, but now. Heaven and hell only exist in the level of the mind. You don’t need to wait to die. If you take responsibility for your own life, for your own actions, then your future is in your hands, and you can live in heaven while the body is alive.

The Dream of the Planet carries the story of humanity, the evolution of humans, and suffering is the result of human evolution. Humans suffer because we know: We know what we believe, and we suffer because more than 90% of what we believe isn’t the truth.

We have to make a distinction between knowledge and wisdom because they are not the same.

The main way to use knowledge is to communicate with each other, to agree on what we perceive. Knowledge is the only tool we have to communicate because humans hardly communicate heart to heart. What is important is how we use our knowledge, because we become the slaves of knowledge and we are no longer free.

Wisdom has nothing to do with knowledge; it has to do with freedom.

When you are wise, you are free to use your own mind and run your own life. A healthy mind is free again – the way it was before you were domesticated. When you heal your mind, you are no longer innocent, but wise. You become just like a child again in many ways, except for one big difference: A child is innocent, and that’s why he can fall into suffering and unhappiness.

You don’t need to accumulate knowledge to become wise. Anyone can become wise. Anyone. When you become wise, life becomes easy, because you become who you really are. It’s difficult to try to be what you are not, to try to convince yourself and everyone else that you are what you are not. Trying to be what you are not expends all your energy. Being what you are doesn’t require any effort.

When you become wise, you don’t have to use all those images you created; you don’t have to pretend to be something else.

When you become wise, you accept yourself the way you are, and the complete acceptance of yourself becomes the complete acceptance of everyone else.

You no longer try to change other people or impose your point of view. You respect other people’s beliefs. You accept your body and your own humanity with all the instincts of your body. There is nothing wrong with being an animal. We are animals, and animals always follow their instinct. We are humans, and because we are so intelligent, we learn to repress our instincts; we don’t listen to what comes from the heart. That’s why we go against our own body and try to repress the needs of the body or deny they exist. This is not wise.

When you become wise, you respect your body, you respect your mind, you respect your soul. When you become wise, your life is controlled by your heart, not your head.

You no longer sabotage yourself, your own happiness, or your own love. You no longer carry guilt and blame; you no longer have all those judgments against yourself, and you no longer judge anyone else. From that moment on, all the beliefs that make you unhappy, that push you to struggle in life, that make your life difficult, just vanish.

Surrender all those ideas about being what you are not, and become what you really are. When you surrender to your nature, to what you really are, you no longer suffer. When you surrender to the real you, you surrender to Life, you surrender to God. Suffering is nothing but resistance to Life. The more you resist, the more you suffer. Once you surrender, there is no longer a struggle, there is no resistance, there is no suffering. Being wise, you always go for the easy way, which is to be yourself, whatever you are.

In the end, what we are looking for is to find ourselves, to be ourselves, to live our own life, instead of the life we were programmed to live. But we are never going to find ourselves with our knowledge. It isn’t knowledge that will lead us to ourselves; it is wisdom.


Adapted from The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship. Copyright © 1999 by Miguel Angel Ruiz, M.D. and Janet Mills. Reprinted by Permission of Amber-Allen Publishing, Inc., San Rafael, California.

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