Wisdom begins as experience and knowledge. From birth, we learn constantly, from our family, our surroundings and the world at large. We take in everything, attempting to understand, to categorize, and to make sense of life.
Later we go to church and school and are exposed to organized teaching. Here we also attempt to understand, as we continue the training of our minds to think, perceive and relate in certain approved manners. Eventually, we graduate from school, and enter the world, ready to lead adult lives, informed by what we have learned from the cradle, the pulpit, the schoolroom and from many, many people.
But this knowledge and training we have spent so much time and energy consuming is not wisdom. It is the raw material, the data, the concepts and beliefs, the experiences that we have consumed over the course of our lives. But if it is not digested, then it cannot become greater or more useful.
By reflecting on our knowledge and experience, we learn more deeply, so that the information we carry becomes more spirit filled. When we digest our food, it becomes nutrients, energy and waste; so too our raw knowledge and experience, when digested, becomes memories, patterns of behavior, belief, information, and, if we are lucky, wisdom. Reflection leads to digestion and the opportunity to turn our lives into living, breathing spirit, the spirit that leads and guides us in our lives. So wisdom is the knowing, the nourishment that results from our gradual digestion of experience and knowledge.