Waking up is wisdom

To be wise is to be awake. Waking up and wisdom are the same thing. Grasping that makes me more effective at gaining the thing they both are. No one can give me wisdom, I have to earn my own by paying attention. No one can wake me up, that's my job. I didn't start waking up until I shook off external authority and surrendered to my own wisdom, what's right for me.

Wisdom's view

Years ago, wisdom gave me a koan: “Time is not what you think it is.” Then another: “Death is never a bad thing.” With those as a starting point, wisdom guided me to a life anchored in five dimensions. Wisdom aka wakefulness aka depth is the fifth.

The big picture is frozen, that's the nature of it: this moment is always this moment. The world is exactly like this every time I live this moment. So the news is not really news, it's this way every time. But it's news to me; memories all die with the body. Wisdom doesn't die: with every bit of waking up I'm more awake for good.

Death is neutral, a reset: my life starts over. If I got no wiser by living, I live the same life again. If I woke up even a little, I'm a more awake person; that changes how I live. Being wiser, I engage the world more deeply, so I keep waking up. Wiser or not, my choices & actions are self-perpetuating. I keep waking up or I don't; my choice.

Thinking keeps me from waking up

To wake up I set aside my inner life and devote my attention to the world, the ordinary world. I have to be right here to wake up; that's what waking up is. Wisdom demands I keep my attention right here and stay neutral, neither seduced nor repulsed by the world; likes & dislikes both keep me from being here. Addiction's just a like that's stronger than I am.

I wake up by accepting the overwhelming task of fixing everything that's wrong with my life. I make that work the core of my life. I have to do that work right now; there isn't any other time. Once I accept the task, there's no time off. That's what I do.

Changing the world

The first koan wisdom gave me was “I am the world.” I needed a few years with the other two before it began to make sense. All I can know of the world is what my senses grasp directly. Everything else is just hearsay, mental figments. If I wake up and engage the world deeply, I change myself; that changes my experience. Only wisdom can change the world.