How Wisdom Comes
WE have found that wisdom cannot come from any human source. Universities cannot teach it; technical, theological schools, or schools of law cannot impart it. The majority of people in our favored land are failures. Only about three percent of the men who go into business for themselves succeed. Seventy-five percent of marriages are failures. Only a few who have had the privilege of college and university educations make a real success of life. This fact bothered me. I wondered why it was. Then this new unveiling of the Word came, and I saw that the difficulty lay in this: they had education, they had training, they had opportunity, but they did not know how to use the knowledge they had, or how to take advantage of the opportunity when it came, or how to fit themselves into life so they would win.
Teachers of psychoanalysis have done much to awaken thought, but they have not arrived at the real solution. Our psychologists have done able work, but, in a large measure, it has been theoretical, and has lacked the one thing that could put men over.
It is not enough to have a large fund of knowledge; we must know how to utilize it.
A manufacturer may have millions of dollars worth of goods stored in his warehouses, but unless someone has the wisdom to know how to dispose of it, it will bankrupt the manufacturer.
We have men and women who have stored up vast amounts of knowledge, just as that man has stored up his merchandise. Unless you learn how to use that stored-up knowledge, no matter what it may be worth, unless there is someone who can teach you to utilize it, you will die a failure. We have multitudes of people who are unable to support themselves. What is the matter? It is not a lack of knowledge, but a lack of wisdom. We are going to call wisdom the ability to make latent, accumulated knowledge worthwhile.
Since I became exercised over this problem of knowing how to use ability, talents, and acquired knowledge, I have been asking myself this question: from what source is this ability to acquire and utilize abilities? Mr. Carnegie came here as an immigrant, but he was able to give to the world hundreds of millions of dollars. John D. Rockefeller started in poverty, and the whole world knows of his achievements. Why did he achieve, why did he win? He had wisdom. He was able to think through on his problems. While others acted emotionally, he acted wisely.
From where did that wisdom or ability to use men, circumstances and knowledge come? It is in the spirit of man. Man is a spirit being. He is in God's class. He is in Satan's class. Satan is a spirit, as God and man are spirits. Man's spirit only can contact God. He cannot contact God through his senses or his intellect.
Wisdom is a product of the spirit of man.
We have shown you in previous chapters of this book that there are two kinds of wisdom: one emanates primarily and basically from God, the other belongs to the god of this world, Satan. Do not forget that Satan can also contact man's spirit. Wisdom, or the ability to use knowledge, must come from God or from Satan. The spirit is the parent of love, hatred, joy, hope, faith, fear and courage. Wisdom does not come from reasoning; love does not come from reasoning; joy does not come from reasoning, nor does hope. Neither does faith or courage. They are utterly independent of the reasoning faculties. They are often superior to reason.
As we go further into the study of the spirit of man, we see that all real poetry is the child of man's spirit. He will write poetry beyond reason, beyond anything which he has ever learned or anything with which he is associated. It will come bursting into his mind until it has gained the mastery. The same is true of art. A great painting is not the work of reason, but it is the work of the spirit of man. The architect sees his vision and dream. The great novelist is taken captive by his spirit. Inventions and creations of man are born of the spirit. That brings us to this problem: how can we utilize this unseen, untouched force which is the very center of our being?