It must have happened to my mentors. They didn’t warn me or pass on their experiences. Likely they thought I was prepared to handle the moment. Who knows?

A young brand executive came to see me just the other day. It was our first encounter and he was determined and animated to step into the world of executive presence. Now presence is presence and the hopeful executive is no different than any spiritual seeker. There is really only one test to know if the acolyte is ready for this type of journey and that is earnestness, as Nisargadatta would say, or determination. Seekers of any ilk are simply speeding rockets asking if there is a target. You can feel their velocity. There is no mental screen only the test within the presence of felt experience. But back to our story.

My job with this beginning and young seeker was to begin to ground him in the difference between the world of knowledge, which had heretofore been his domain, and the new world of wisdom, the place within which presence is preeminent. But how does one start at the beginning? This is much like explaining to the lettered scholar steeped in intellectual construction, the notion of the wetness of water. There is no mental formula other than the felt experience of wetness. The ability to describe flora and fauna is not simply jumping into the water.

Knowledge is the result of thought. Wisdom is the result of channeled presence. Knowledge is looking out of the front window of your car and constructing, from what you see, the necessary moves to make. Wisdom is looking in the rear view mirror harvesting the entirety of who you are as it wants to be transmitted all the while knowing that the car will drive itself. The mind of intellect is found within consciousness itself, that consciousness being the container of felt experience. In wisdom the intellectual mind is the co pilot available for it’s moment if indeed there is one. In knowledge, the mind and it’s constructions are the pilot usually with no regard for anything outside itself. For how would it know how to reach outside itself?

That my friends, in a nutshell, is the first primer for an initiate into the wisdom path. And that is what I transmitted to my new inquirer. I described a world he had likely observed and felt within the great leaders and sages around him. And now like all of us he would likely wildly flail within his intellectual understandings to reach the world of presence and felt experience.

In short I introduced the activity of looking into a rear view mirror, an appendage that likely had never been noticed. Meanwhile asking him to ignore most, if not all, of any accumulated knowledge to that point. And that is just the beginning.

I welcome all of you that are ready to step into the wetness of water and are ready to harvest the transmission from your rear view mirror.