Knowledge, Wisdom, and Insight

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Knowledge is really about facts and ideas that we acquire through study, research, investigation, observation, or experience.

Wisdom is the ability to discern and judge which aspects of that knowledge are true, right, lasting, and applicable to your life. It’s the ability to apply that knowledge to the greater scheme of life. It’s also deeper; knowing the meaning or reason; about knowing why something is, and what it means to your life.

Insight is the deepest level of knowing and the most meaningful to your life. Insight is a deeper and clearer perception of life, of knowledge, of wisdom. It’s grasping the underlying nature of knowledge, and the essence of wisdom. Insight is a truer understanding of your life and the bigger picture of how things intertwine.

In a nutshell: If knowledge is information, wisdom is the understanding and application of that knowledge and insight is the awareness of the underlying essence of a truth. Sadly we can gain a lifetime of knowledge, yet never see the wisdom in it. We can be wise, but still miss the deeper meaning.

Knowledge is knowing how to manage your money, budgeting, spending, saving.
Wisdom is understanding how money impacts the quality of your life and your future.
Insight is realizing that money is simply a tool to be used, that it has no inherent meaning beyond its usefulness.

Knowledge is learning how to paint and using that skill to cultivate a livelihood.
Wisdom is expressing your passion through painting and understanding that art is a form of communication that touches the lives of others.
Insight is perceiving that all things can be art and that creating your art contributes to the understanding and the expression of the essence of the world around you.

Knowledge is knowing which things, practices, people, and pleasures make you happy.
Wisdom is knowing that while those things may bring you pleasure, happiness is not derived from things or situations or people. It’s understanding that happiness comes from within, and that it’s a temporary state of mind.

Insight is knowing that happiness is not the purpose of life, that it’s not the marker of the quality of life—it’s merely one of the many fleeting states of mind in the spectrum of full emotions. Those emotions don’t make up our lives; they are merely experiences.

Knowledge, wisdom and insight all are valuable and all have a place in our lives. The difficulty lies in the fact that many of us are unclear as to their differences, often perceiving the terms and their application to be interchangeable. Being clear and consciously aware of how our minds are engaged may be important to getting the most out of all three. While acquiring and applying information is valuable in and of itself, we also need to distill and judge that information, and ultimately find the deeper meaning and relevance to the whole of our lives. Perhaps the truest form of knowing is in acquiring all three, and understanding how they each enhance the quality and experience of life. Taken from an article by Royale Scuderi,

Ever read something that was stunning in its clarity? Did every word seem like it was written for you? Did the message alter your way of seeing things? For the better? The words above did just that. The writer is Royale Scuderi who specializes in cultivating human potential for happiness, health and fulfillment. I am grateful to have come in contact with her thoughts. They truly widened my perspective and sharpened it at the same time.

I am strong, because I’ve been weak.
I am beautiful, because I know my flaws.
I am a lover, because I’ve been a fighter.
I am fearless, because I’ve been afraid.
I am wise, because I’ve been foolish.
And I can laugh, because I’ve known sadness.