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The Link Between Knowledge and Virtue

Posted By: Randy GageJune 12, 2011

In a post last week, we looked at how most people follow blind impulses of their dominant thoughts, while people on the path of enlightenment proactively choose the thoughts they give precedence to.

The sage and the victim begin with the same DNA.   When the victim makes a conscious choice to abandon his foolish thoughts and chooses to adopt wise one, he becomes a sage.  You do this by practicing virtue.

Socrates saw this essential oneness of virtue and knowledge.   Learning is part of developing wisdom, but it isn’t enough.  We all know highly educated people who are clueless.  It is only the choosing of wise thoughts, and then the doing of wise deeds, which lead to true wisdom.

Foolishness and wisdom, ignorance and enlightenment are not just the result of thoughts.  They are thought itself.   So cause and effect, effort and results are determined by your thoughts.  There can be no more compelling reason to become a critical thinker – and think about what you think about.

-RG

16 comments on “The Link Between Knowledge and Virtue”

  1. I used to fully agree. But now I am not so sure anymore as I know believe everything to be absolutly perfect. That is a thought that took me a while to accept but I have seen enough evidence to know it to be true. EVERYTHING is perfect. But in our human arrogance we believe we can oversee the reasoning of everything. And we can't. So even if we choose a thought or take an action which in human terms is 'wrong' is will be 'right' in spiritual terms.
    Right and wrong are human values and our spirituality goes way beyond human.

  2. I have a brilliant friend who teaches critical thinking to teachers, of all people! If teachers need critical thinking skills, how can we hope to have an enlightened populace??
    No wonder A+B does not equal C.

    1. Public schooling doesn't encourage critical thinking. Just because someone can memorize something doesn't make them smart.

      I know plenty of "educated" people who don't have any common sense. There was a cool youtube video from the class valedictorian.

      Basically she said how school/college doesn't prepare us to be critical thinkers but rather mindless workbots.

  3. "To know and not to do is not to know." Not sure who said this, but that is true for most people. We know that smoking is not good, but people smoke. Why is it so hard to apply what we think? As soon as we think, the universe makes it possible. Are we so scared of being prosperous, smart, healthy and rich?

    Thanks Randy ... good topic.

  4. Возможность выбирать свои мысли, а потом и действия, даёт другие результаты. И соответственно это дверь в другую жизнь - это замечательно!
    Спасибо Рэнди!

  5. Hi Randy,

    I feel too many people are overwhelmed by their thoughts. It's like the Trungpa quote: "Thoughts are VIPs."

    Taking a step back to realize who you really are allows you to take your thoughts and feelings in stride, allowing you to choose wiser thoughts.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Ryan

  6. Randy.. This is one of the most profound statements I've witnessed you make in a while, though you are clearly enlightened. The 'cause and effect' of our thoughts is also something we must be accountable for since we create our reality. "How we view life is how it shows up", or in this case, how we THINK about it.

    This is also consistent with what Wattles says in SOGR, i.e. "There is a thinking substance from which all things are made that permeates, penetrates and fills the inter-spaces of the Universe, etc.."

    And as you've said before, in order for us to change our beliefs and reality, we MUST allow ourselves the luxury of critical thinking, since it is our thoughts that will determine the outcome!

  7. Knowledge without virtue is dead.
    Faith without action is dead.
    Our think our strongest virtue can be realized in temperance. Temperance is self-control, and the absence of self-control is the taproot of most of our problems. In Galatians 5:22-23, he wrote, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." In this age of advanced technology, we have learned to control everything but ourselves. If we take the time to trace the source of most major problems, we will find the lack of temperance and the lack of self-control. Our habits, born of our free will, lead us to paradise or the gates of hell.

  8. Well I believe I have made it to the first step of conciseness, buy simply becoming aware of my thoughts, and questioning my beliefs. What a crazy realization that I am a sum of my thoughts and they manifest my reality.

  9. We all have inherited knowledge, virtue and vice. We experience them as we also experience affection, anger, curiosity, desire, disappointment, fear, happiness, wonder, etc. The many emotions that make us human and nothing more. This is a wonderful life in which we can absorb all its wonder and greet these conditions like we greet the rising of the sun.

  10. My relationships have been all about lack since childhood.Even to men.My marriage was a complete catastrofe,and so on.Some days ago I took the first step to change this.I was madly,crazy strange in love(it use to be like this always) in a man at my work.And I saw ALL the patterns from 20 years ago, he even started to act like all my ex(who never even became boyfriends,because of the lack)I decided to change it,I decided to take away my "love".I decided that we are only collegues,nothing else.I wrote him a letter where I explained it clearly(I also wrote it to myself!)And from that time,my life has changed forever.I also made a forgiveness-session,both on me and to forgive him for acting like every man I ever loved.It is so amazing!Everything was gone and so were years of suffering.Now we can talk,free and normal, and I feel that I am a grown up woman,not that small 14 year old girl I have always been in love affairs.I have been acting on some thoughts I had for a very long time.Good God.And there are more to work on!Thank you Randy

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  • 16 comments on “The Link Between Knowledge and Virtue”

    1. I used to fully agree. But now I am not so sure anymore as I know believe everything to be absolutly perfect. That is a thought that took me a while to accept but I have seen enough evidence to know it to be true. EVERYTHING is perfect. But in our human arrogance we believe we can oversee the reasoning of everything. And we can't. So even if we choose a thought or take an action which in human terms is 'wrong' is will be 'right' in spiritual terms.
      Right and wrong are human values and our spirituality goes way beyond human.

    2. I have a brilliant friend who teaches critical thinking to teachers, of all people! If teachers need critical thinking skills, how can we hope to have an enlightened populace??
      No wonder A+B does not equal C.

      1. Public schooling doesn't encourage critical thinking. Just because someone can memorize something doesn't make them smart.

        I know plenty of "educated" people who don't have any common sense. There was a cool youtube video from the class valedictorian.

        Basically she said how school/college doesn't prepare us to be critical thinkers but rather mindless workbots.

    3. "To know and not to do is not to know." Not sure who said this, but that is true for most people. We know that smoking is not good, but people smoke. Why is it so hard to apply what we think? As soon as we think, the universe makes it possible. Are we so scared of being prosperous, smart, healthy and rich?

      Thanks Randy ... good topic.

    4. Возможность выбирать свои мысли, а потом и действия, даёт другие результаты. И соответственно это дверь в другую жизнь - это замечательно!
      Спасибо Рэнди!

    5. Hi Randy,

      I feel too many people are overwhelmed by their thoughts. It's like the Trungpa quote: "Thoughts are VIPs."

      Taking a step back to realize who you really are allows you to take your thoughts and feelings in stride, allowing you to choose wiser thoughts.

      Thanks for sharing!

      Ryan

    6. Randy.. This is one of the most profound statements I've witnessed you make in a while, though you are clearly enlightened. The 'cause and effect' of our thoughts is also something we must be accountable for since we create our reality. "How we view life is how it shows up", or in this case, how we THINK about it.

      This is also consistent with what Wattles says in SOGR, i.e. "There is a thinking substance from which all things are made that permeates, penetrates and fills the inter-spaces of the Universe, etc.."

      And as you've said before, in order for us to change our beliefs and reality, we MUST allow ourselves the luxury of critical thinking, since it is our thoughts that will determine the outcome!

    7. Knowledge without virtue is dead.
      Faith without action is dead.
      Our think our strongest virtue can be realized in temperance. Temperance is self-control, and the absence of self-control is the taproot of most of our problems. In Galatians 5:22-23, he wrote, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." In this age of advanced technology, we have learned to control everything but ourselves. If we take the time to trace the source of most major problems, we will find the lack of temperance and the lack of self-control. Our habits, born of our free will, lead us to paradise or the gates of hell.

    8. Well I believe I have made it to the first step of conciseness, buy simply becoming aware of my thoughts, and questioning my beliefs. What a crazy realization that I am a sum of my thoughts and they manifest my reality.

    9. We all have inherited knowledge, virtue and vice. We experience them as we also experience affection, anger, curiosity, desire, disappointment, fear, happiness, wonder, etc. The many emotions that make us human and nothing more. This is a wonderful life in which we can absorb all its wonder and greet these conditions like we greet the rising of the sun.

    10. My relationships have been all about lack since childhood.Even to men.My marriage was a complete catastrofe,and so on.Some days ago I took the first step to change this.I was madly,crazy strange in love(it use to be like this always) in a man at my work.And I saw ALL the patterns from 20 years ago, he even started to act like all my ex(who never even became boyfriends,because of the lack)I decided to change it,I decided to take away my "love".I decided that we are only collegues,nothing else.I wrote him a letter where I explained it clearly(I also wrote it to myself!)And from that time,my life has changed forever.I also made a forgiveness-session,both on me and to forgive him for acting like every man I ever loved.It is so amazing!Everything was gone and so were years of suffering.Now we can talk,free and normal, and I feel that I am a grown up woman,not that small 14 year old girl I have always been in love affairs.I have been acting on some thoughts I had for a very long time.Good God.And there are more to work on!Thank you Randy

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