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Let’s Cultivate Wisdom and Put Study Into Action

Ilse Orsel / Unsplash

What the world urgently needs now is an age of wisdom. No matter how much information or knowledge we may have, it does not necessarily produce value or bring happiness. The power of wisdom effectively puts that knowledge and information to use, puts it into action.

Second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda once told the following story:

In the Edo period (1600–1868), a certain Japanese scholar went to study Western medicine under Dutch physicians in Nagasaki, the only Japanese port open to the Western world at that time. He copied every word of the lectures into his notebooks, which amounted to an enormous number of words by the time he had completed his studies.

He then prepared to return home, but the ship on which he sailed sank, and his notes were lost. Though the scholar escaped with his life, his notebooks were all destroyed, and not a single word of them remained in his head.

Knowledge must be fully absorbed; you must make it a part of yourself. In that effort, you must develop your wisdom. You cannot attain wisdom without first walking through the door of knowledge. On the other hand, unless you acquire wisdom, you will drown in a flood of knowledge and lose sight of the right direction in life.

Buddhism enables us to tap the fundamental wisdom for correct living from the depths of our lives and to polish and cultivate that wisdom. (Ikeda Sensei, My Dear Friends in America, third edition, pp. 281–82)

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