"Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom." (Proverbs 18:1)
The King James Version of the Holy Bible was published around 400 years ago in 1611. It remains the bestselling book of all time. Its poetic cadence and rich density of meaning have inspired countless individuals and societies to pursue both God and their own literary arts.
I'm going to elucidate the above verse as recorded in the King James Version and explain just what I think it means for the spiritual seeker.
With reference to other versions, the first verse of the eighteenth chapter of Proverbs is nearly always translated in the negative. And I'm not trying to be argumentative but I see the verse as positive, especially with the overarching attitudes of secular humanism, scientific materialism and scientific reductionism that we see in the world today--all three of which say that the physical world is all there is.
You've probably heard the phrase "God-shaped hole" at some point in your life. It's referring to the fact that, because of sin, everyone has an internal void that only God can fill. When Solomon--the author of (most of) the Proverbs----talks about someone "having separated himself", he opens with the words through desire. If someone doesn't believe in God or angels or anything supernatural, then they're not going to have any desire for any of that stuff. They're fine with whatever they see and have no need for anything else spiritual or...higher. God can work with the person who's humble enough to admit they don't know everything. Jesus says "seek and ye shall find" (Luke 11:9). In the book of Jeremiah (29:13), God says "and ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart".
In the Proverbs verse, the man has separated himself. This means that he sees the inherent hypocrisy and futility of the system of the world and has distanced--separated--himself from its influence. This takes guts. Think of the lone student walking through his high school halls, the jeers of the jocks and the cool kids following behind him. He cares less and less for it everyday. He's the one that Jesus goes after. He's the one who will change the world. He's the one, as Solomon says, will seek and intermeddle with all wisdom. And that's where the other translations of the Bible view this as a negative thing (the Hebrew word translated "intermeddleth" connotes obstinacy, after all).
In the spiritual domain, things are black or white. We are not a self-possessed, self-contained entity. We either have Jesus and as John says, "[have] life" (1 John), or not. I, for one, am very guarded about where I get my "wisdom". As John says elsewhere in his letter, "every spirit that does not confess Jesus (1 John 4:3 my translation) is not of God." Again, I don't want to be argumentative but I would like to make a case for receiving spiritual wisdom from God alone and not from any other source that leads away from Jesus.
The other wisdom, the practical, pragmatic and hard-won type stuff. The things that you read about in biographies and personal testimonies and hear about in songs, these bits of wisdom are highly valuable and worth listening to. If they help you serve God better and see things in a different light, then by all means intermeddle!