Written by Nathan Vanderpool

These articles reflect the work of initial participants in the Respond Network. Special thanks to: Ben Ang, Kathryn Devany, Soryu Forall, Cheryl Hsu, Rafe Kelly, Steve March, Layman Pascal, Bonnitta Roy, Beena Sharma, Nathan Snyder, Stephanie Sousloff, Zak Stein, Daniel Thorson, and John Vervaeke.

Wisdom is grounded in the direct experience of the body. You can become mindful of that experience, the stories that flow from it. You can learn to play with your own understanding, opening up new worlds of possibility. And you can learn to enter into dialogue with others about all of that. Wisdom develops naturally in the course of living, but the conditions for it can be blocked or unblocked.

Respond’s Theory of Wisdom is not a map to any destination. Instead it outlines a process by which individuals (in community) can uncover a deeper sense of connection to true, good, and beautiful ways of being. What is a more full expression of my/our highest aspirations? Respond to this question, over and over again. Find people you trust to show you how you are off course. Point your life at the process of becoming “more wise” (or at least “less foolish”).

About Respond

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In recent years, many forums and channels have emerged for talking about wisdom. But Respond is not simply another place for people to theorize and debate. As Respond member John Vervaeke has pointed out, “just talking is one of the most dangerous forms of bullshit”.

Respond is a network of expert researchers and practitioners. We develop and employ ecologies of practices (EoP) that support personal and systemic transformation. Participants wrestle in good faith with the problem of cultivating wisdom in a time of planetary crisis, staying close to actual experience and pragmatic solutions.

Our aim is to spread an accessible approach to deepening personal wisdom. We work to shift the re-emerging conversation around wisdom away from mere discussion and into action.

What Is A Theory of Wisdom?

The following articles outline a Theory of wisdom. A theory is not a definition, but rather a set of principles that explain an activity—in this case, the process of becoming “more wise”.

Respond’s theory of wisdom is a compression of the vast and wide-ranging work of our members. It enables you to talk about wisdom in plain language. The theory will also help you see important connections among the specific teachings.

Respond’s theory of wisdom has two basic principles:

<aside> 🧙 Wisdom is a process of harmonizing 👁️ View, ❤️ Care, and 🤲 Action.


<aside> 🧙 Wisdom deepens by 📻 Tuning In to 🪴 Well-being in 🧑‍🤝‍🧑 Relationship.