American writer, historian, and philosopher Will Durant describes wisdom in his own intelligent and eloquent way.
Read the following excerpt of ‘What is Wisdom?’ by Durant:
“What is wisdom? I feel like a droplet of spray which proudly poised for a moment on the crest of a wave, undertakes to analyze the sea.
Ideally, wisdom is total perspective — seeing an object, event, or idea in all its pertinent relationships. Spinoza defined wisdom as seeing things sub specie eternitatis, in view of eternity; I suggest defining it as seeing things sub specie totius, in view of the whole.
Obviously we can only approach such total perspective; to possess it would be to be God. The first lesson of philosophy is that philosophy is the study of any part of experience in the light of our whole experience; the second lesson is that the philosopher is a very small part in a very large whole. Just as philosopher means not a “possessor” but a “lover” of wisdom, so we can only seek wisdom devotedly, like a lover fated, as on Keats’ Grecian urn, never to possess, but only to desire. Perhaps it is more blessed to desire than to possess.
Shall we have examples? Rain falls; you mourn that your tennis games must be postponed; you are not a philosopher. But you console yourself with the thought, “How grateful the parched earth will be for the rain!” You have seen the event in a larger perspective, and you are beginning to approach wisdom.”
Please read the rest of this fascinating article here.
Let me also turn your attention to a few recommended books authored by Will Durant, which will give you a good grounding in the history of philosophy and the great thinkers: