November 2, 2015
By Jocelyn Lee
The differences and relationship between information, knowledge and wisdom are of great personal interest to me because of the work I do. What does a healer, teacher, and mentor share to others? What do I have that you do not, which leads one to ask for guidance? In an never-ending quest of great humility these questions loom in the back of my consciousness consistently so that I can ensure I am providing a service that one may truly want and need.
And so I would like to share my summarized perspectives of what I think are the differences between information, knowledge and wisdom – and what the truths and realities of providing guidance is like.
Information – “Google It.”
As stated, we are well acquainted with the information age. When anyone is asked a question and has no idea what the answer may be it is our mantra to say, “Google it.” This is because majority of the information we are looking for (facts, definitions, locations, prices, contacts, etc.) are available on the internet. Something very accessible for many, many people in the world – who are all contributors to this library. This has really shaped the way we view our own stock of information as we are less likely to give an answer if we are not sure it is verifiable by Google or the internet. And those that ask the questions are more likely to seek the answers themselves than turn to others individually. Information has become more free (of course there is hidden information as well but that’s a different discussion).
Loosely stated, information is then readily available to all and one does not have to be an expert to have access to this data bank. That is why as a teacher, healer and mentor providing guidance it is important to be humble to the answer, “I do not know, let me get back to you” as well as the fact that the person you are guiding may have more information on your own topic than you. Though I work with crystals for healing, I do not have as much information readily available to me as a gemologist would. However, I am also able to have access to the same information a gemologist would, and perhaps do something different with that information.
This leads to the transformation of information into knowledge.
Knowledge – “What do you know?”
To me, when one takes information and puts it to creative use or transforms it – it becomes knowledge. It is the “knowing what to do with it” evolution. So using the crystal healing example: Crystals are piezoelectric (electric charge accumulates in response to applied mechanical stress), this is information. Knowledge would be then taking this information and turning it to something useful, like a piezoelectric transducer (a device that coverts small amounts of energy from kind to another, i.e. light to electrical signals) that would be in ultrasound equipment which aids in the process of pregnancy. This is the beauty of taking information to its next evolutionary phase: knowledge.
Knowledge is power, as we have all heard. We respect experts who have the ability to share their knowledge with us, inspiring us to transform our information to creative pursuits as well. We cannot learn everything in this world in a life time, but we can definitely become very knowledgable in various fields and contribute back into the bank of information for others to build upon, thus benefiting the globe. This is the evolutionary phase the earth is moving through right now, it is no longer surprising to see people using their acquired knowledge to help lift the awareness of others to their own power as well. We can see this in environmental, societal, animal, political, and economical changes inspired by individuals happening across the globe awakening others of their own desire to gain knowledge and not just information.
But sometimes the power we get from knowledge deceives us and others. Especially when we believe we have knowledge that is better or more important than someone else, or that someone else has all the answers because they have knowledge. Having recently attended the Spirit Plant Medicine Conference at UBC, a Peruvian shaman name Jhaimy Alvarez-Acosta shared a very important thought with me. We all have deep knowing, and that as a shaman it is not what he knows that he shares with you, the offering is the facilitation of yourself discovering your own knowledge that is the greatest guidance. For there is not an idea that that has not already been thought of, and there isn’t advice that had not been uttered in the vast universe. Who am I to tell you what you already know, that just has yet to be seen? All I can do is help you take the steps to look, listen and follow the guidance within with love, acceptance, courage and trust. What makes knowledge powerful is when a you discover your own deep vast well of knowledge within you that is always trying to speak and guide you; to follow this with trust.
When you accept that everyone has knowledge that is valuable and that at times you will share the same knowledge with many others you free yourself of the constricting view that you need to know it all or that you think you know it all. This causes separation and not the wholeness that a healer, teacher and mentor offers. All one can effectively do is share the story and journey of the knowledge discovery and the dreams to be built; the story of knowledge acquirement can be the guidance itself.
So then what is wisdom?
Wisdom – “Patience is a Virtue.”
Wisdom to me is the transcendence of knowledge into an understanding that is not defined by space and time. This can only be developed through experience, humility, compassion and acceptance; you may need to experience something multiple times before it becomes wisdom.
Lets use and build upon the crystal example again. Through knowledge it is now an ultrasound machine. To me wisdom would be the consideration of using this scientific tool to share the true magnificence that is the quartz crystal that stems back thousands of years. As this is a timeless understanding that can be recycled back into basic information for the next generation to have as a foundation to give new opportunities for knowledge to stem from this appreciation of the crystal. The essence of such knowledge are the possibilities laying dormant in the crystal that should be brought to light, versus just the developmental expansion of different types of ultrasound.
A more simple example would be knowing when to keep silent and simply listen, to not sway the discovery of another because you see it one way. Again as inspired by shaman Jhaimy, it is not about what you know (and whether the other person is aware of this knowing or not in themselves), it is about how you turn your knowledge into a wise expression that will help guide the other into their own wisdom. Not an easy task to do I can assure you, but it is the wise thing to do.
Wisdom, often associated with growing old, is something one acquires at the end of a life to be passed on to the timeless future. It is the essences of life that we hold dear to us that we know to be true. What better expression can we leave with others than the wisdom we have cultivated with deep reverence for life? This is where I strive to be with my guidance. Though I am young and ripe with vitality I challenge myself to be a great healer, teacher and mentor through nurtured wisdom, as I see this being the best I can offer to all who cross my path.
You have information readily available around you, knowledge deep within you wanting to guide you and help you, wisdom that is taking shape and form – become your own healer, teacher and mentor. I believe in you and am there to help you in this being.”