“A wise old owl sat on an oak; The more he saw the less he spoke; The less he spoke the more he heard; Why aren’t we more like this wise old bird?” ~Charles M Schulz
I’m often reminded of the simplistic days of youth. Usually these notions pop into my mind, spurned by witnessing present day events. Some events allow for the total recall of old memories, old lessons learned and feelings that I once absorbed. In the bold sphere of knowledge, I recall peace and wisdom imparted by the natural world.
Ancient wisdom–in a way–is much more advanced than our own contemporary knowledge that we place so highly on a pedestal. We have technological advances that seem to dwarf the achievements of yesterday, but this so called progress paves over the once undeniable truths that were naturally known so long ago. We live among oceans of knowledge, but we’ve yet to drink even a drop of wisdom.
I can vividly remember the field that spanned for a mile in front of my home at age 7. I could see across this rolling field until the forest blocked the horizon. I would sit straddling my bike, just staring. It was a peaceful sensation, full of truth and solace.
I would watch the birds mostly, often with binoculars. They would swoop and play for hours it seemed. Some days after a rain I could see them pulling worms from the ground and tearing them in two. One particular day I watched curiously a fat red-breasted robin plucking his beak into the ground. He froze for a moment then took off in a hurry. Almost instantly a falcon had caught him in its talons and smashed him into the ground.
I sat and watched the falcon peck and eat the bird alive right there. He had no remorse in his eyes, only flesh and tufts of feathers stuck to his beak. I realized at that moment how the natural world is not always a pretty sight to witness. This is the natural way.
In this witnessing, I also learn that gaining true knowledge is brought forth through first hand experience; a natural way. Though a gross sight to witness, the experience taught me a valuable lesson about the world around me. I imagine that this was just the same as the natural way of learning that the ancient people practiced. Lessons were learned through experiencing the real world, one on one.
We should all strive to combine ancient wisdom and ancient concepts of learning with contemporary knowledge. So many of us are hidden from the world, learning half-truths from the television and the Internet. The teachers of the natural world are becoming extinct. People are less inclined to experience life with touch and sight; with heart and soul. Many would rather have all the answers given to them on a paper napkin.
As we travel through the sphere of knowledge, we should always dare to experience the truths ourselves and weigh them on our own scale of understanding. We should never simply take something given to us as complete truth, we should wish to experience truth completely. In this sphere, we should never mistake knowledge for wisdom.
41 thoughts on “Birds of Wisdom”
I’ve been reminded of these same things lately…Did you read my poem last week?
To be 15 again? Yes I read it. very nice 🙂
I enjoyed your post, and noticed while replying, that you use a mayan motif. Machimon.wordpress.com uses The hero twins, Xbalanque and Hunahpu, from the Popul Vuh as its banner. Cheers
Thank you.. Yes i saw the banner.. Mine is from the Madrid Codex
Many people should read this today. I fear that too often people take truth to mean whatever is told to them on tv. This was so refreshing to read. You have a very pleasant style of writing, very precise even with such a big theme.
Thank you! 😉
Very thought provoking post that will have me pondering while I drift to my slumbers.
Happy you enjoyed it 🙂
It’s a beautiful morning here and this is a beautiful way to start my day. Thank you!
Thank you! My pleasure..
Love this post. I never learn more than my daily walks amid the 300 acres around me. Solitude, observance, listening, savoring details—there is no greater teacher. My 4 year old grandson now joins me. Nothing brings greater joy than when he says, “Can we go for a walk?” So I become the facilitator answering his multitude of questions. He is learning to observe, to note the details nature teaches. Away from Internet and TV. What greater thing can there be than a little boy, a dog, a grandma, and a cornfield—real living, real learning.
Thanks for visiting and following my blog. I am honored.
Indeed, wisdom is within nature and free to all…
LOVE & Peace
knowthesphere.Thank you mother nature for always guiding my path. Birds always play and enjoy their environment, they sing on the trees and call out to each other when they sight food. They do not eat alone. Humans rarely stop to play and sing, we always whine and complain and force things down other people’s throats. We want to accumulate more and more even in situations where we could share. I loved your Blog.
Very true and thank you! Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂
I enjoyed reading this post. I remember that quote from elementary school. I agree with your post and I always tell my younger siblings the same thing. Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see. Unfortunately, the younger generations have not been trained to see beyond what is…to see the true meaning of what this point in time, a situation, an experience truly means. Everything cannot be taken at face value. Good post. 🙂
Thank you. and very true what you say. You should read my post “Face Value” also.. Best wishes 🙂
Powerful! Reminds me on how may ancient cultures see animals as bringers of intuitive messages. Many ethnic dances and even kung fu was designed by mimicking animals.
Very true! Best wishes 🙂
Love the way you illustrate the point you want to make with such clear personal anecdotes and recollections and what you say here is so valid. So satisfying to read.
Love the way you weave thought and personal anecdote and agree so totally with your point here. So satisfying to read. Still stunned too at your apparent infinite depths of inspiration.
Thank you! I find that more of a connection can be made when sharing intimate experience. Best wishes!
Very cool post! And thanks for the follow!
Hmmmm…I sense the need to back away from the deafening noise of all the information flowing around me creates…stillness. Thanks for making mention of it!
My pleasure and You’re not alone sir.. We all need to from time to time 🙂
That’s one smart bird!!
Thanks for this thoughtful post. 😎 Happy Earth Day!
I like the idea of learning through first hand experience too! But sad to say, even in my country it is hard to learn the natural way. We don’t have loss what we used to have. Everything we do now feels “robotic”. If you ask a child where does milk come from, i think certainly they would say “From the fridge!”. The world is becoming like this an there is no wonder why there are not much famous inventor or scientist in our era like albert elstein! I hope that more people will read this and come to a realization.
Very true.. What’s worse is most people have no clue where their water comes from.. other than out of the faucet.. I wonder what would happen if it were to not turn on one day…
I couldn’t agree more, and it is sad that through technology people are losing their humanity and their connection to one another. I miss the days when people would go to books to learn and look up something, instead of saying “Google it.” Very thoughtful and insightful post.
Well said. We need more simple old-time wisdom in this modern world.
So much truth and insight. Very well done.
Thanks for following. I read many of your posts and enjoyed them. You write very well. I have bookmarked your site and will check in. Not sure about beginning to follow blogs, but if I start doing that, yours will be included.
On the topic of truth, I am reminded of an Simon’s and Garfunkel’s “Cathy’s Song,” with the last line “the only truth I know is you.” I feel sincerity, trust and love in those who are dear to me – that’s as close as I have gotten to an answer.
This sentence: We have technological advances that seem to dwarf the achievements of yesterday,….I am so there with you on this!
I have enjoyed immensely reading your blog. As a writer I know you will understand if I am absent from making comments for a couple of months. I have two books I’m writing and the push is on to get them finished…so with only 24 hours in the day, I am going to continue to read and like, but my comments will be limited to replies for those who comment on my blog…thanks for the grace.
Indeed sir. Good luck on the books. I’m almost finished with one, but I am also working on two and am feeling the push. Its amazing how much “time” we can’t seem to find some days. 🙂
Oh, how wonderful to read you celebrating the knowledge that we gain from the ancients and from the natural world. This is the type of knowledge that forms a sound foundation for building up wisdom. I join you in regretting how so much of today’s society just depends on electronically broadcast sound bites for all their “knowledge”.
A great reminder, thank you for sharing. This same balance of traditional ways and modern methods is one I experience every day as a martial arts instructor. Prospective students come in full of things they have seen, read, and heard about, yet have never experienced first hand. The challenge becomes getting them to empty their cup so they may learn while not erasing those goals they have for training. It is, indeed, a curious journey we undertake when teaching an ancient art so in tune with inner self and its relationship to the macrocosm, and then applying those lessons in today’s media-rich UFC-driven martial arts culture.
Well said – thank-you!