A quest is a search for something. To search you’re actively trying and looking for something. To have wisdom is to have a quality of experience and good judgement. Siddhartha went on a quest. He went physically and mentally on a journey. What he was trying to find was enlightenment. He was searching for that specific thing and quality.
If I was to walking or running in the grass and I stepped in an ant pile I would get bit. I’d become in pain and enraged at the ants. I would have experienced that and now after it I have good judgment to not step in ant piles and watch where I’m going. I wasn’t looking for that wisdom or experience. I wasn’t actively searching but through nature and reality I gained and obtained it.
You don’t physically or mentally need to go on a quest to obtain general wisdom. In Siddhartha’s overall journey he met the lovely Kamala and they fell in love. He wasn’t looking for it but he did find and obtain wisdom of love. Although Siddhartha went on a physical journey to get to her he didn’t go on a quest for her, neither did Kamala, she stayed right where she was.
In his journey he realized being with Kamala wasn’t where he belonged so he left. It is narrated as, “And for the most part she had sensed this the last time they were together, and amidst the pain of her loss she was glad she had drawn him so intimately close to her heart, that she once more felt so entirely possessed and penetrated by him.”
Kamala knew it was the last time time she’d see him or be intimately close. There she had acknowledged that; she obtain the knowledge of pain. Without moving of going on a journey or searching for this experience, it came to her. She gained wisdom of why it was okay to let him go and wisdom about love. Kamala appreciated their times and her feelings of penetration by Siddartha.
People might not actively know they have accomplished a sense of wisdom. Unlike Siddhartha most people just gradually gain it and don’t consciously realized it. Grandmothers and grandfathers gain wisdom over time and it’s obvious. Humans gain wisdom of relationships and decision making. People might be actively looking for happiness and through that they find it but nobody actively searches for pain, abandonment, or hardships. Those things happen through nature and when we do come out it then we start to strive. We strive with our new good judgment and experience and even pass it on to people by helping them by the best of our abilities.
Humans cannot always and every time undergo a quest to find wisdom but we can and do find wisdom without searching. Sometimes this just might be the most powerful kind.