The ancients worshipped Wisdom as the creative power of the Universe.
Zarathustra, the ancient Iranian teacher, seems to have been the first to give such a prominent place to Wisdom which he called Mazda.
His followers called themselves Mazdayasni or the worshippers of Wisdom.
The Greeks picked up on the Persian ideas and translated Mazda as Sophia and seemingly Mazda-Yasna as Philo-Sophia or Philosophy.
Greek-speaking Gnostics and Christians also venerated Sophia often in a female form.
However over the centuries the meaning of the word Philosophy has degraded and so in more recent times a new word Theosophy (or Divine Wisdom) was coined by Helena Blavatsky to get back closer to the original meaning.
However here we like to use the term Wisdomist for someone who recognises the supreme importance of the Cosmic Wisdom – the power which creates and sustains the world.
Wisdomism is the worship of wisdom.
Wisdomists believe that wisdom which is embodied in the world is the cause of all productive , constructive or life-supporting activity.
Wisdom is something that resides in the mind – and where a mind is full of wisdom it is called the Good Mind.
Wisdomists strive to develop the Good Mind, the Humane Mind, and consequently to have Good Thoughts, Good Speech and Good Deeds which help build a world which is good to live in.
Wisdomists recognise Natural Law – the principles underlying existence and which explains how everything works. Natural Law points to the way that the world can best be ordered for the flourishing of life.
Wisdomism was founded by Zarathustra – a philosopher who was born in ancient Iran about 3000 years ago. Zarathustra lived in a time of chaos where the villages were continuously plundered by bands of robbers and where people were in thrall to superstition peddled by greedy barons and unscrupuluous priests. Zarathustra developed a philosophical system or ideology which aimed to help people break out of superstitious thinking and see the world as it really is – something created by people by their own actions. The world could be a good world if only people took the right actions – and so learning to do this and doing it is the most important thing. Zarathustra composed a series of songs to expound his ideology which are called the Gathas, the Songs of Zarathustra or the Gospel of Zarathustra. The Gathas are included in a larger scripture known as the Avesta.
Wisdomism was called Mazda-Yasna by the Persians which means the worship (yasna) of wisdom (mazda). Wisdomism was taken up by the Greeks who called it Philo-Sophia or love (philo) of wisdom (sophia). Wisdomism also had a strong influence on the early orthodox christian church. The cathedral in Constantinople which was the chief church of the Eastern Roman Empire was dedicated to Holy Wisdom – Hagia Sophia.
Persian Wisdomists developed lists of runes – what they considered the most important elements underlying existence – secrets that explained how the world worked. Greek-speaking philosophers and gnostics took up much of the persian thinking and developed their own versions. Northern peoples also took up the idea developing their own sets of runes such as the Norse Futhark.
In our day the cause of Wisdom seems on the wane. Few people give Wisdom – an all round and in depth knowledge of life – the importance it deserves. Some pay lip service to it but do not actually do much to develop it in themselves. Some engage on some narrow path – the study of one particular academic subject or the practice of some particular spiritual technique – yet fail to gain real wisdom.
In ancient society a class of people are given the task of developing wisdom in themselves for the practical application to the society they live in. These people are the wizards. Those with a natural aptitude for it are encouraged to develop wisdom in themselves so that they can take on the role of a wizard and be wise guides and leaders of their community.