The naked trees stand tall, silhouetted against a pale pink January sky. I watch a few stray clouds move slowly across the sky. Unhurried, so graceful. It’s quite beautiful. Watching all this with wonder, the mind quietens, the chatter dies down, and there is a feeling of peace. This feeling of peace or happiness that we often seek in the world outside lies within us, waiting to be discovered. We can do so by understanding ourselves clearly and in depth, and this opens the door to wisdom. We can then be nourished from the inside as well, and be in charge of our own well-being.
The Human Wisdom Project was born from a tragedy. A children’s hospital got bombed accidentally in a war zone. I was deeply moved and felt we human beings could do better; we must do better. I felt if we could just connect with our own innate wisdom, which comes from a deeper self-understanding, many problems which begin in our thinking could be avoided and more easily solved. These include mental health problems, relationship conflict, addiction, violence, divisions in society, low self-esteem, and war. This understanding is simple, but the impact on our lives and on the world, can be profound. I think if we can share this with every child and adult, we could change the future of humanity.
Let me illustrate this with an example. Stress affects 80% of us and can damage our long-term health. At present we treat the symptoms, but not the root cause. Our mind assumes that our stress comes from what is happening outside us. If we go deeper it becomes apparent that one cause of stress is just the difference between how things are and how we want them to be, and this disturbance creates a reaction we call stress. How we want things to be comes from our unconscious conditioning influences, which we become automatically attached to. It follows that if we can accept things as they are, our stress can dissolve – for example, if we can accept another person’s opinion as being different rather than wrong; or accept the fact that we are going to die one day; or that our looks are going to fade with time. Our different conditioning influences also explain why one person can be really stressed by a situation, and the other person is unaffected.
By seeing clearly that stress is a reaction from our thinking to an external event, it follows that if we can change our reaction, our stress can end. By learning from this process, we can also use this wisdom to avoid repeating the same stress-reaction the next time we come across the same trigger. How can we change our reactions? To do that we have to understand where our reactions come from and that requires us to begin a journey inwards, to look and learn about ourselves, which opens the door to our own inner wisdom.
The Human Wisdom Project is designed to make it easy for everyone to discover this wisdom for themselves. We have built the HumanWisdom app as a step-by-step guide to help you deal with the problem right now, and then go on a journey to understand yourself and how your mind works. On this journey you will discover that deep down we are the same human being and all our minds function in similar ways. From this understanding comes compassion for those that we perceive as different to ourselves. As a result of understanding ourselves we can understand others better – and that can help strengthen all our relationships.
I have been having conversations with young people of all ages for four years, and have made an amazing discovery. They already have this innate wisdom within them, and it is relatively simple to draw it out of them, by sitting down with them as another human being, asking questions and exploring them. This wisdom can help them be excellent human beings, who are emotionally intelligent, in charge of their own well-being, and who live with compassion for themselves and others. It can also boost their resilience, communication and relationship skills. Imagine how their lives, and the world, could change if we could bring the learning of this wisdom into education. Young people I meet tell me this is very relevant to their lives, and they wish it was part of their education. The beauty of this approach is that it is not based on any book or ideology, just looking and learning about ourselves. Education, after all, is all about learning.
Dr. Manoj Krishna left a busy career as a spine surgeon to set up the Human Wisdom Project and write the book Understanding Me, Understanding You. A second book, Stress Free is due out soon.
Follow Dr. Manoj Krishna on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/humanwisdom/
Manoj Krishna, Founder, Human Wisdom Project.