What is Wisdom?
The very name of our species, Homo Sapiens, means “wise man” but many confuse knowledge with wisdom. Whereas knowledge is about accumulating facts and data, wisdom is about learning from personal experience to see more clearly and to find deeper meaning with life.
As our world is now rapidly changing, many people are feeling increasingly confused and fearful about the chaos and uncertainty this is creating. When people come together to engage with the wisdom of what really matters, we can face just about anything.
“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”
The Wisdom Space Mandala
The word ‘Mandala’ is Sanskrit for “sacred circle” and mandalas are intended to visually represent the universe and totality of existence. They are found across many different cultures and religions and are used to guide people along a path of self-knowledge, helping them to think about their place in the world and their relationships with others. By focusing on different elements of a mandala and moving towards its centre, people are guided through a process of transformation and rebirth.
We developed the Wisdom Space mandala below to help us to understand how we are all just passing through this physical existence and the profound lessons this holds for us. Our mandala lies at the heart of everything we do at The Wisdom Space and provides a focus for all our speakers and events as we develop our own inner wisdom.
The Wisdom Space Mandala draws upon many different wisdom traditions including Christian mysticism, Jewish mystical traditions, Buddhism, Sufism, esoteric teachings and Shamanism. It aims to help us to develop our own inner wisdom through walking around the four directions.
For example: In The Wisdom Space Mandala, we are born in the East, grow up in the South, mature in the West, and turn towards death in the North before entering the sacred void of the liminal space, which is the centre of our being. Author and theologian Fr Richard Rohr describes the liminal space as:
‘…where we are betwixt and between the familiar and the completely unknown. There alone is our old world left behind, while we are not yet sure of the new existence. That’s a good space where genuine newness can begin. Get there often and stay as long as you can by whatever means possible…This is the sacred space where the old world is able to fall apart, and a bigger world is revealed. If we don’t encounter liminal space in our lives, we start idealizing normalcy.’
Walking The Wisdom Space Mandala
Each one of us walks The Wisdom Space mandala in our own unique way and we all travel around the circle many times during our lifetime. From the moment we take our first breath, our life is constantly evolving through many cycles of birth, growth, maturing, death and returning to our centre, the sacred liminal space as we experience significant life changes and events.
Each cycle helps us to develop wisdom through the experiences we encounter which teach us how we can open, embrace, reconcile and release what no longer serves us before a new cycle begins. As we focus on our final journey around the mandala, the wisdom we have accumulated through all the cycles we have experienced helps us to approach our physical death in peace and acceptance.
The visual below shows more of the detail behind The Wisdom Space mandala, including the Steps we need to take at every stage as we step out of old beliefs and behaviours and into the new ones we need to help us along our wisdom journeys.