Life is full of contradictions; hardly any advice stays fresh for very long.
Therefore, although there are people who momentarily might understand the context of our particular life well enough to give solid advice, it is our responsibility to act upon it and make the final decisions. No matter how skilled and experienced consultant, coach or a monk there is, that is the beauty of freedom. We can choose anything from the internal experience to external suffering.
Real wisdom is applicable; it’s time-bound and context dependent. I’ve therefore come to the conclusion that since we alone are knowledgeable enough of our own context, we should take the responsibility of educating ourselves to meet the demands of each new present moment.
Dictionary.com defines education as the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.
We mature with time, so education should be a lifelong process. The premise upon which the acquisition of knowledge lies on, is of course that we have a good sense of the surrounding world, and even truth if you will. Here is where it gets interesting: we do not as a rough generalizations.
Mostly our minds play tricks to our sense of reality all the time, it requires daily practice to see past these illusions as well. There are some schools of thought which do practice this kind of art of clear sight and I am familiar with the Buddhist Vipassana meditation or Insight meditation as it is sometimes called. The goal Vipassana is to see things as they are. There should be other forms of training also available to see the truth, however from the all that I’ve learned about, Vipassana seems to be in its’ purest forms passed on by tradition from 2500 years ago .
Path to wisdom requires both ups and downs, we need the experience and only learning does not change our results necessarily for the better: we need to learn what is truly applicable in what kind of situations and we also need to unlearn habits that do not serve us and others in the best ways in specific contexts.
Life is kind of mix and blend of everything. We must learn and experience many things, just to be able to use our wisdom in a few carefully chosen moments.