The Importance of Being Spiritually Wilde
Vaishali portraitWhen most people hear the name Oscar Wilde they are reminded of his unparalleled literary brilliance. What most people do not know is that Oscar Wilde was as ahead of his time spiritually, as he was intellectually.  Oscar was, and still remains, the definition of what it means to be Spiritually Wilde.

The Importance of Being Spiritually Wilde
by Vaishali

When most people hear the name Oscar Wilde they are reminded of his unparalleled literary brilliance.  The novel The Picture of Dorian Grey may come to mind, or perhaps one of Wilde’s timeless, classic plays such as The Importance of Being Earnest, A Woman of No Importance, Lady Windermere's Fan, or An Ideal Husband.

Maybe you are a fan of poetry, and you best remember Wilde for his dazzling artistic poems. Or you may know him from his wit, which is still frequently quoted today.  It is easy to see why Oscar Wilde holds such an exalted place in 21st century literature. What most people do not know is that Oscar Wilde was as ahead of his time Spiritually, as he was intellectually.  Oscar was, and still remains, the definition of what it means to be Spiritually Wilde! “I have the simplest of tastes, I am always satisfied with the best.” “Popularity is one insult I have never suffered.”  “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” -Oscar Wilde

Oscar was born in Ireland, Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde on October 16, 1854. His entire life he had a habit of lying about his age - a predilection he adopted from his Mother, who established the tradition of shaving two years off her confessed chronology.

Oscar’s father was a famous eye surgeon, and his mother a poet and writer from Dublin high society. As a young man, Wilde traveled to England to attend Oxford University, where he graduated with honors.

“There is nothing like youth. The middle aged are mortgaged to life. The old are in life’s lumber room.  But youth is the Lord of life.  Youth has a kingdom waiting for it.  Everyone is born a king and most people die in exile, like most kings.  To win back my youth... there is nothing I would not do, except take exercise, get up early, or be a useful member of the community.” – Oscar Wilde

Oscar broke the mold when it came to imaginative aptitude. He was the embodiment of inventive outrageousness.  For Oscar Wilde, ingenious and profound statements, quotes and insights came as easily and frequently as breathing comes to the rest of us.  What Oscar modeled for us is that if you do not know what creativity is... do not limit it!  Oscar had the amazing, self-taught ability to speed-read both sides of a page simultaneously.

For Wilde, reading a book appeared like he was merely paging through it. He not only read with an astonishingly high level of speed, but he also retained information with a photographic accuracy. Wouldn’t that come in handy when it comes to reading the small print on those rental car contracts. “Most people are other people.  Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” “We teach people how to remember, we never teach them how to grow.”  “Life is much too important a thing ever to talk seriously about  it” -Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde spoke fluent English, German, French, Greek and Latin. He contributed to an 1800’s movement that influenced a resurrection of the ancient Greek word aesthetes; it was in part due to Oscar’s writings on this topic that we enjoy a resurgence of it today. Oscar felt that one of the fastest ways to transform the mind was to surround oneself with beauty. Wilde was a profound advocate for making and experiencing life as an art form.  He was the one who encouraged the young beauty Lillie Langtry to pursue a career in the theater, thereby establishing a means of financial independence for herself.

“The history of woman is the history of the worst form of tyranny, of the weak over the strong. It is the only tyranny that lasts.”
“I have put only my talent into my works. I have put all my genius into my life.”  

“Americans know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”  
“I have only my genius to declare” -Oscar Wilde

The historical details of Oscar’s life pale in comparison to the passion with which he lived.  Where Oscar shined with the glorious light of a thousand suns, was in how he lived his life, and in his remarkable wit and clever nature.  Most people have no idea that he was a deeply loving, caring and compassionate man. During the Victorian Age, the prejudice between social classes was great, but widely accepted socially.

The degree to which the Victorian Age embraced this unfair yet socially approved mindset can be seen in the tragedy of the Titanic. As the Titanic was sinking, the first class passengers were given priority access to the lifeboats.  Second class passengers were offered what remained after the first class had secured their preferred position on a lifeboat.  Although some passengers from the steerage section did survive, many more were locked downstairs, until the wealthy and privileged could be safely removed from the doomed vessel.

Imagine the lawsuits today, if a cruise liner or airline evacuated people during an emergency according to who had the most money or cultural pedigree.  (Are you ready to rethink spending those frequent flier miles for that upgrade?)

“The English have a miraculous power to change wine into water.”

“To disagree with three quarters of the British public on all points is one of the first elements of sanity.”

“Extraordinary thing about the lower classes in England - they are always losing their relations. They are extremely fortunate in that respect.”

“Work is the curse of the drinking class.”  -Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde embodied a great Christ-like Spirituality. He refused to treat the people who worked for him as second-class citizens. He not only paid top dollar, he also insisted that the people who worked for him had access to the same food and beverages that his family enjoyed. If Oscar opened a bottle of expensive wine for his evening meal, he made sure another was opened for the people who worked for him. On holidays, those in his employ would join him and his family for the holiday meal, complete with gifts. To Oscar, everyone deserved to be treated with equal respect and dignity. This was absolutely unheard of in his time, especially for a man of his elevated social standing. When Wilde and his family went into the country on vacation, he took the people who worked for him as well, making sure they all enjoyed the same recreational benefits that his family enjoyed.  A young orphaned woman who came to work for Oscar and Constance Wilde acted as a nanny to their two young boys. When the boys no longer needed a nanny, Oscar and his wife offered to adopt the young woman and send her to the college of her choice.
“Most people live for love and admiration.  But it is by love and admiration that we should live.”
“Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.”-Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde is also considered to be the most tragic figure of the Victorian Age.  As a result of his infamous trial he was found guilty of a charge, at the time referred to as gross indecency.  In present day terms, he was found guilty of having a sexually based relationship with another man.  In Oscar Wilde’s time this charge came with severe consequences.  The British Government seized all his assets and intellectual properties. He lost the rights to his own writings, and would never again be paid a penny for any of his resplendent literary works.  The stamp of “unfit parent” came simultaneously with the conviction of gross indecency. His two young children were legally restricted from seeing him again. As a result of the social stigma attached to her husband’s legal fate, his wife had to take the children, change their last name, and move to another part of Europe. Oscar himself bore the permanent mark of social pariah and outcast until his death on Nov. 1, 1900 at the age of 46.  Oscar Wilde, one of the most brilliant, creative, loving, and generous souls to ever grace the planet, died homeless and penniless in a dilapidated hotel in Paris.
“Each man kills the thing he loves.”
“Do not be afraid of the past.  If people tell you that it is irrevocable, do not believe them. The past, the present, and the future are but one moment in the sight of God.”
“Why is it that one runs to ones ruin? Why has destruction such a fascination?”  
“Nothing is good in moderation. You cannot know good in anything till you have torn the heart out of it by excess.”
“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”
“A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal if it is absolutely fatal.”
“There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. That is all.”
-Oscar Wilde

When Oscar lost his trial, his friends knew that the police would descend upon his home and confiscate everything of value.  It was a time of great chaos, replete with uncontrolled looting and pilfering.  Original copies of Wilde’s books and possessions turned up decades later all over the globe as a result of this pandemonium. Fortunately for us diehard Oscar Wilde fans, a friend of Oscar’s got to the house before the others. Robert Ross managed to save some documents from Oscar’s desk and library before many great treasures would either disappear or be scattered to the winds of time.  In the surviving papers was a thank you letter to Oscar, from a family unknown to him.

Wilde, it seems, was having lunch at one of his favorite restaurants.  He overheard a banker dinning near by, talking about an overdue mortgage, and how unlucky it was for this family that was about to lose their ancestral home. Oscar found out how much the debt was and paid it anonymously. Through the banker, the family determined who it was, and sent Oscar a letter expressing their gratitude. Descriptive of his values is another story of Wilde. While walking with a friend one evening, they were held up at knifepoint. When Oscar realized the man robbing them had little or no clothes on under his shabby cloak, Oscar not only gave the man all his money, he took off his own cloak and lovingly wrapped it around the thief! It takes a Wilde Spiritual devotion of unconditional love to show up on the planet Earth, as a force of Love that cannot be robbed, because Oscar Wilde would give you what you needed, and Bless you in the process.

“The false and the true are merely forms of intellectual existence.”

“I can resist anything but temptation.”

“Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.” -Oscar Wilde

Oscar’s last days were spent in a rundown hotel in Paris. (Definitely no Hilton Honors points at this place.) The owner of the hotel gave Oscar the room to die in.  It is suspected that the hotel owner could not read, and therefore had no recognition of Wilde as a brilliant writer. The hotel owner knew Oscar as a local homeless man.  However he considered Oscar a Saint, because he saw him love and share whatever he had with the all the other homeless people. Even in his last moments Oscar is Wildely Spiritual.   As he was dying, Oscar showed up as a force of Love, wit, wisdom and humor, in a whole life tragedy that would leave most people angry and bitter.

“No man is rich enough to buy back his past.”

“I did not know it was such a pain to die: I though that life had taken all the agonies to itself.”

“I cannot even afford to die. I am dying beyond my means.”
And finally, Oscar Wilde’s last words, “The wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. Either the wallpaper goes or I do.”

Long live the miraculous force of Divine Love, we know as Oscar Wilde!

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” – Oscar Wilde

About Vaishali:
As on Oprah & Friends XM, Vaishali is the author of Wisdom Rising (Purple Haze Press 2008) and You Are What You Love (Purple Haze Press 2006). She is also national health & wellness speaker, radio host on KTLK 1150am 11-noon Sundays (greater Los Angeles) and KEST (San Francisco). Vaishali  is a certified practitioner of Chinese Medicine and East Indian Ayurveda medicine. Vaishali  is a faculty member of The Omega institute and The Kripalu Center. Her articles have been published in over a hundred publications worldwide. Visit or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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