Wisdom Seekers Worldwide
That ‘Wisdom Seekers Worldwide’ be a society or non-profit organisation, eventually a charity, ideally with local subsidiaries (WSW – UK; WSW – USA; WSW – Brighton; WSW – Sydney, etc.).
Thinking big, the rationale for the creation of WSW, in terms similar to ‘Extinction Rebellion’ for example, would be to attract the widest range of people, especially young people, who would support its main aims (see below). WSW might realistically seek to become an umbrella organisation for other organisations with similar aims in more restricted fields. (Mental health charities, Medecins-Sans-Frontiers, Peace Organisations, Inter-Faith Groups and Humanitarian organisations, as well as eco-warriors and Greening Campaigners, all come to mind.)
Two quotes set the scene.
“We will learn to live together, cooperate with one another, and recognize the dignity of others, or we will perish.”
Barack Obama in A Promised Land. (Viking; London, 2020)
“We are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are.”
Thomas Merton The Asian Journal of Thomas Merton (New Directions; New York, 1973)
The aims of Wisdom Seekers Worldwide:
To promote a holistic, all-inclusive world view, according to which people and nature are wholly and seamlessly inter-dependent.
To raise awareness of destructive interplay of global trends (to be specified, but including eco-destruction, climate change, population migration, and more).
To formulate the core problem as a form of naivety, ignorance and immaturity, the solution to which involves individual and collective growth in terms of wisdom.
To identify and support existing wisdom seekers.
To encourage people to identify themselves as wisdom seekers.
To promulgate the idea that growing in wisdom accrues benefits to the individual, to those in their families and communities, and further afield; so that becoming a ‘Wisdom-seeker’ is the obvious, mature and responsible thing to do, also to teach and encourage in others, thus to put at the heart of education.
To reflect the findings of the Galileo Commission, 90 scientists who authoritatively report that consciousness is no longer thought to be produced solely by the human brain; rather, the universe contains a ‘field of consciousness’, with brains acting as receivers, processors and transmitters of information to include emotional sensations and intuitive wisdom, as well as factual knowledge.
To reflect also the findings of developmental psychology that people as individuals can continue to grow in a meaningful and satisfying way in recognisable stages throughout life; that adults are on the same journey as those they are raising and educating; and that growth is an interactive process between people.
To note, too, that adversity is better faced than avoided, because people grow most often through suffering, and through sharing meaningfully in the suffering of others, learning to accommodate losses and threats of loss with increasing equanimity.
To assert that time-honoured methods of growing in wisdom, so-called ‘wisdom practices’, are reliably fruitful, given dedication, patience, perseverance, and the encouragement of other wisdom-seekers.
To further assert that such practices are supported by the findings of contemporary neuroscience, and have been found to be effective by calming left-brain activity, thereby allowing right-brain functions greater influence.
To describe a range of wisdom practices, including:
- Meditation (mindfulness, stilling, silent prayer);
- Reflective practice (contemplation);
- Study of wisdom material (including material to be published by WSW; also scripture, literature, poetry, philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, etc.);
- Engaging meaningfully with nature;
- Performing regular acts of service, kindness, compassion, generosity, and/or forgiveness;
To influence public opinion, lobby and otherwise influence suitable target political entities and individuals, corporations, military powers, religious organisations, as well as focusing on schools and universities.
To stress that, while worldly success and financial gain are acceptable aims and ambitions, they can prove divisive and destructive unless moderated by prioritising wisdom values, including those of kindness, generosity, compassion, courage, honesty, humour, humility, gratitude, tolerance, patience, perseverance, joyfulness, freedom, hope, beauty and love. These are among the prized the attributes striven for by wisdom seekers.
To maintain, exemplify and recommend attitudes of peacefulness, of non-violence and respect for all (including those who appear different in terms of gender, race, religious and/or political belief system etc., and especially those deemed responsible for the destructive events at the heart of the world population’s present predicament).
[Note: angry resentment and resistance only fosters indifference or, worse, stronger opposition, and so is wasteful of both time and precious energy; much better is to identify, befriend and work with those who can be influenced, showing them the wisdom of co-operation.]
To build up the organisation through broad-brush publicity, including setting up a website, and canvassing for membership.
To raise funds to further these multiple aims.To promote a holistic, all-inclusive world view, according to which people and nature are wholly and seamlessly inter-dependent
Evidence and arguments favouring the establishing of WSW can be found in Larry Culliford’s books ‘Seeking Wisdom‘ (University of Buckingham Press, 2017) and the expanded version, ‘The Big Book of Wisdom: What is it? Why do we need it? And how to get it‘ (Hero Books, 2020) which works as a kind of ‘Wisdom Seeker’s Handbook’.
This proposal is intended for discussion at this early stage (August 2021). Please share this link with as many of your contacts you think might appreciate it. What happens next depends on those who feel genuinely moved to respond.
Some entrepreneurial flair will be required, and a significant initial investment of time and money, to start WSW on its way, requiring a small working group or committee to set up an office (or virtual office), talk to and maybe hire people with experience of working with large humanitarian charities, design and set up the WSW website, communications and fundraising arms, plan for becoming a charity, and maybe going for a big, well-publicised launch, perhaps a world-wide launch in several cities across the globe on the same day.
Another initiative could be to establish ‘World Wisdom Day‘ once a year.
The whole thing has to be huge enough to capture people’s imaginations, to speak somehow directly to their hearts and minds, to their inner selves, their souls… To speak to something they intuitively know to be missing, in their own lives and throughout the struggling world.
This could be the right time!