Virtues, Vices, Wisdoms
If you practice universal love with everything around you, you are a rare and wonderful human being. If you are like the other 99% of us, then you will be a dynamic mix of good and bad qualities.
Your positive is expressed through your virtues, which are your character strengths. Your negative qualities are expressed through your character weaknesses. These are your vices. How your character develops is always up to you. The more you choose the virtues, the more you will experience well-being.
The word virtue comes from the Latin virtus meaning courage, excellence, and goodness. There are many virtues and opposing vices.
If you have read through the adjacent list carefully and thoughtfully you may well have displayed the virtues of patience and concentration!
Think of your own experiences - realise the vital importance of honesty - with yourself (honesty is the baseline virtue).
Look at the human world with reference to virtues and vices.
As you journey through life your use of your vices and virtues will be almost continuous. Your awareness of them through reflection on your actions will determine how, and to what extent, you grow. See the virtues as your psychological spine - upright and strong rather than fragile and twisted.
Wisdom is timeless truth or “truth in its inmost reality” (Thomas Merton)
There are many wisdoms.
Here are a few:
The Search for Truth
A lifelong search based on the virtue of honesty.
Action - Reflection
Action and reflection on that action are of equal importance.
A Sense of Awe and Wonder
At our natural surroundings from micro to macro.
At ourselves and our immense possibilities.
Heroes and Heroines
The importance of humans, past and present, who inspire.
Awareness of the heroic within ourselves.
Singular - Universal
Awareness of our larger unconscious, as well as our conscious, self.
These next wisdoms are taken from experiences in wild Nature:
Uncertainty -Everything in Nature is dynamic.
“Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers.” (Erich Fromm)
Energy - the lifeblood of all Nature.
Implies effort, hard work and skills throughout life.
Balance - everything in Nature is incredibly balanced.
“What we need is a life of balance” (Sri Chinmoy)
Beauty - See your life as a search for beauty: in your surroundings, in your relationships and in your thoughts and actions.
“Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.” (Confucius)
Unity - beneath our separate uniqueness lies unity or ‘oneness’ with Nature.
“What is without us, is within us
What is within us, is without us.” (The Upanishads)
A final wisdom…