The Wisdom of Life

Dr. Ira Progoff’s poem, Wisdom of Life, is a profound statement about how the collective wisdom of life can carry us forward. It is a great example of Progoff’s insightful statements about life as shown in his Intensive Journal method of self growth and pioneering work in psychology.

The Wisdom of Life

by Ira Progoff, PhD

Sometimes, we come across something that is short and simple but is profound and eloquent.  Dr. Progoff’s poem, The Wisdom of Life, is one such instance.  I share it with you now.

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by Ira Progoff, PhD

​If I did not believe
That the wisdom of life
Is greater than my own wisdom,
I could not have survived,
But having survived,    
It is more than a faith now,    
A knowledge.    
I know,    
That, great as my wisdom is,    
--Almost as great as my will and my desire--    
Yet the wisdom of life is greater.    
And, as I could not float upon water when I tried to,    
Now I can float upon life    
Without trying.    
In this is my wisdom    
And the wisdom of anyone    
To know that I know not    
How to carry the weight of my existence.    
But the waters of life will carry it for me    
In their wisdom.    
That is the wisdom of life    
From which comes all power    
And the ultimate glory.    
And the greatness of my wisdom lies    
In letting life be wise.

   Written by Dr. Progoff in 1972.