I have a conference call today, the third (or maybe fourth?) in a month, as my colleagues and I do our best to prepare for the event we are offering at the end of this month. It is the first of its kind for us – similar in a way but not matching all the “Wisdom Schools” we have presented over the past five years. This one is called “Wisdom Group Leadership Training” and is defined as practical training in skillful “post-holding,” including ’embodying the wealth of wisdom’s vision’ and developing group skills for greater integration.
This work seeks to recover the deep and meaningful, mystical and unitive tradition in Western Christianity that seems to have been buried in the structure of one of the largest organizations in the world over the past several centuries. People often ask for a definition of “Wisdom work” and we are hard-pressed to offer a simple explanation. It is more easily known as a felt sense, a rightness, a recognition of God’s presence that leads to a way of life directed by a desire to live more deeply into God within ourselves and community. We often speak of “post-holders” rather than leaders because no one is seen as “higher” or “lower” but rather responsible during a certain time or situation in a role of service to the whole. The work of Wisdom spans the breadth of Christian denominations and speaks sometimes to those who have abandoned traditional church practice as well.
I speak of this now because of the first lectionary text for today from the Book of Wisdom, (7:22-8:1) that uses 37 words and phrases to describe Wisdom. I will not repeat them all here but the list begins with Wisdom being “intelligent, holy, unique” as well as “manifold, subtle and agile.” What I will offer as conclusion is indicative to me of the recognition that the spirit of Wisdom is caught, not taught and may be more about our quality of being than the practices we offer when we gather for this event.
And she, who is one, can do all things, and renews everything while herself perduring; and passing into holy souls from age to age, she produces friends of God and prophets. For there is nought God loves, be it not one who dwells with Wisdom. For she is fairer than the sun and surpasses every constellation of the stars. Compared to light, she takes precedence; for that, indeed, night supplants, but wickedness prevails not over Wisdom.