Written by Laurent Grenier

What is wisdom? But first, what arerepparttar conditions that render it desirable, if not necessary, and what is its essential purpose?

Life is a desire to live, and better still a desire to live happily. As we strive to satisfy this desire, we encounter obstacles that complicate or frustrate our efforts. This complication or frustration amounts to suffering because it stands inrepparttar 139713 way of satisfaction.

Wisdom is designed to help us cope with this suffering. It is an adaptive product of reason inrepparttar 139714 face of tough circumstances. Thanks to it, happiness is conceivable and achievable in spite of everything. It is thereforerepparttar 139715 supreme good.

Actually, religion is a good that many rank equally high, since it servesrepparttar 139716 same purpose as wisdom, if differently. The difference lies inrepparttar 139717 way religion and wisdom portray suffering and definerepparttar 139718 meaning of life.

Fromrepparttar 139719 perspective of religion, suffering betrays a state of worldly imperfection that is in contradiction withrepparttar 139720 human desire for perfect happiness. Consequently, life here below – where humans are doomed to suffer – is absurd in itself. Or rather, life is meaningful strictly in terms of means to a heavenly end inrepparttar 139721 great beyond: A life of virtue preparesrepparttar 139722 way for an afterlife of bliss. The religious believe this in accordance withrepparttar 139723 teachings of an inspired spiritual leader, who claims to knowrepparttar 139724 transcendental nature ofrepparttar 139725 hereafter.

While personally I cast a skeptical eye on these teachings, I keep my mind open. They are highly suspicious, butrepparttar 139726 transcendental nature of their object puts them beyondrepparttar 139727 reach of any discredit based on conclusive evidence.

Anyway, as I see it, wisdom is independent of religion, though it can complementrepparttar 139728 latter. According to it, life in itself has meaning, despite its imperfection that people can learn to accept. Better still, they can learn to value this imperfection as they realize that perfection, contrary to popular belief, is not infinitely desirable.

Indeed, perfect happiness leaves something to be desired. By definition, it excludes suffering and hence all forms of complication or frustration. It supposes that circumstances are absolutely favorable – that is, not tough in any way. Therefore, no effort is necessary while every dream is possible. At first glance, this sounds likerepparttar 139729 most wonderful situation imaginable, and yet taking another look at it will dispel this illusion.


Written by Laurent Grenier

Since wisdom isrepparttar art of coping with suffering, it starts with a willingness to tackle it head-on:

a) Such isrepparttar 139712 harshness of our condition that we suffer, sometimes greatly or worse, insuperably.

b) Such isrepparttar 139713 richness of our nature that we can learn to live happily, or at least serenely, withinrepparttar 139714 limits of this condition. This entails us either pursuing goals that are not only desirable or honorable, but also attainable, or resigning ourselves torepparttar 139715 inevitable.

Admittedly, a great many suffer whose suffering is allrepparttar 139716 more problematic as their wisdom is still largely inrepparttar 139717 making. I remember my own past as a young unhappy and suicidal man who composed dark poems. My negative attitude compounded my difficult situation, and I lackedrepparttar 139718 awareness of my ability to improve both. Today, I feel deeply connected with those who live inrepparttar 139719 limbo of gloom. Even if my words only reach one of them, they will not have been written in vain. I have recently come across some dark poetry, reminiscent of mine in my young days. The author – Melyssa G. Sprott – is a young talented woman whose youth has been poisoned by abuse and other hardships. Her suffering and her talent have inspired me to feature some of her work and respond to it. Note that my responding to it in a positive manner testifies to my being help-minded, but note also that my responses are written in a spirit of humbleness. I don't claim to provide a remedy; I just try my best to give some useful insights.

* * *

The following excerpts are from one of Melyssa's collection of poems, entitled "Descent intorepparttar 139720 Dark." They reveal her aching soul withrepparttar 139721 moving simplicity of a woman crying for her overwhelming grief.


When I was six, my father had me convinced I wasn't worthrepparttar 139722 air I breathed,repparttar 139723 food I'd cost, or other things I'd need. When I was six, my father didn't want children or wantrepparttar 139724 wife he kept, so we were forced to suffer for my father's regrets.

"Remember to tell him you love him or you'll die," Mother sings her twisted lullaby. "Wish for mercy, pray for death, awaitrepparttar 139725 day he ceases breath. He'll wake you up at three inrepparttar 139726 morning to beat you senseless without warning. It doesn't matter how still you lie," Mother sings her twisted lullaby.

I want to bleed forever, bleed out my sorrow. I can't even bearrepparttar 139727 thought of tomorrow. I want this nightmare to end. I'll close my eyes torepparttar 139728 world. I've been begging for death since I was a little girl.


How could all this damage come from such trusted lips?

You throw words like stones. My heart is breaking glass.

The key you held isrepparttar 139729 knife you twist.


Nowhere to hide inrepparttar 139730 dark ofrepparttar 139731 night. Sometimesrepparttar 139732 only comfort we find is in our own pain…. They'll never understandrepparttar 139733 calm of relinquishing all control.

Suffering takes less courage than it takes to be content.

I didn't chooserepparttar 139734 less traveled path of love, joy, and luck. I choserepparttar 139735 other path, and now I am stuck.

I'm a prisoner ofrepparttar 139736 dark in my eyes.

* * *

Let us take stock of a few harsh facts that are part and parcel of life, not only Melyssa's or mine, but everyone's.

a) The human potential for greatness – great learning and nobility, and great accomplishments – is matched only byrepparttar 139737 human potential forrepparttar 139738 reverse. Yes, humans can be and sometimes are monstrously poor-spirited, narrow-minded, and black-hearted, among other despicable traits. These traits may involve genetic or environmental factors that predispose to them, but ultimately they arerepparttar 139739 fault ofrepparttar 139740 individuals who give free rein to them. The unfortunate thing is, these individuals are a source of suffering not only to themselves but also to those who are at their mercy. Among their victims are children, women, and elderly or disabled people. Actually, evenrepparttar 139741 strongest of men can suffer as a result of falling prey to them. Yet,repparttar 139742 others are more vulnerable – especially children who often makerepparttar 139743 dreadful mistake of blaming themselves forrepparttar 139744 abuse or neglect to which they are subjected.

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