Knowledge versus Wisdom

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  • #1
Iacchus32
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Knowledge is the form (external). Wisdom is the essence (internal).

What point is knowledge? if it doesn't exist to serve wisdom?

Which is more important? The (external) facts? Or, the (internal) experience which leads to the facts?

Is it only knowledge that we seek? (physical evidence). Or, do we seek "context" (and the essence within).

Can life be sustained outside of context? outside of a form designed to suit it? which has not been corrupted or breeched?

What point is a dead corpse? without a spirit or essence to move it?

What point is a dead (physical) universe? without a Divine Essence to set it in motion?

What is an (external) effect without a (internal) cause?

What point is knowledge? if it doesn't exist to serve wisdom? ...
 

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  • #2
wuliheron
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Knowledge is the form (external). Wisdom is the essence (internal).

What point is knowledge? if it doesn't exist to serve wisdom?

Which is more important? The (external) facts? Or, the (internal) experience which leads to the facts?

When I say, "I feel fine." It is not external knowledge. Knowledge can be external and internal. Nor is wisdom necessarilly just an internal affair either. At times wisdom can seem to involve our minds and bodies in inseperable harmony. A musician who does not play spontaneously involving mind, body, and "soul" equally looses the wisdom of their art.

As for which is more important, it is like asking which is more important, "up" or "down"? Without knowledge there can be no wisdom and vice versa. They are two aspects of a single whole which is greater than the sum of its parts.

Is it only knowledge that we seek? (physical evidence). Or, do we seek "context" (and the essence within).

Can life be sustained outside of context? outside of a form designed to suit it? which has not been corrupted or breeched?

What point is a dead corpse? without a spirit or essence to move it?

What point is a dead (physical) universe? without a Divine Essence to set it in motion?

What is an (external) effect without a (internal) cause?

What point is knowledge? if it doesn't exist to serve wisdom? ...

There is no point, no point at all. That is precisely why knowledge and wisdom are inseperable. Existence itself provides the ultimate context that contains all others.
 
  • #3
Kerrie
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Iacchus32
this logic rhymes perfectly with my belief

i think the two balance one another out - knowledge and wisdom that is...
 
  • #4
Iacchus32
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When I say, "I feel fine."
Yet when you speak of how you feel, you're speaking of an "internal experience" (motive?) which, in part, determines how you're going to react "physically" to your external surroundings (i.e., if you "go" with the feeling).

Whereas people are less likely going to understand how you feel, as opposed to the "physical evidence" of your actions.
 
  • #5
LURCH
Science Advisor
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I agree with J Oswald Sanders:

"Wisdom is more than knowledge, which is the accumulation of facts... it is the right application of knowledge in moral and spritual matters."
 
  • #6
wuliheron
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Yet when you speak of how you feel, you're speaking of an "internal experience" (motive?) which, in part, determines how you're going to react "physically" to your external surroundings (i.e., if you "go" with the feeling).

Whereas people are less likely going to understand how you feel, as opposed to the "physical evidence" of your actions.

No, when I say, "I feel fine" it is more than just an expression of my internal feelings, it is an expression of the continuum of my experience, or "context", which includes my emotional state, my physical state, etc. The temptation is to think of ourselves as ending at the surface of our skin, but without air to breath, water to drink, people to socialize with, etc. we would literally die.

The soviet union once ran an experiment in an orphanage for infants. In an attempt to be more efficient the heads of the orphanage told the workers to never comfort or play with or even pick up a baby unless absolutely necessary, just deal with their physical needs of food, cleanliness, etc. The babies died by the thousands as a result until they realized the problem.

B. F. Skinner made this same mistake. He placed his own daughter inside a soundproof glass box with rubber gloves mounted in the side. Unlike the Soviet experiment, he would play with her using the gloves and what not. His rationale was that he did not wish to contaminate her with his own behavioral problems (GIGO, garbage in, garbage out) as the original behavorism asserted was how humans function. As a result, she spent years in therapy despite having loving and attentive parents.

Deception is something people are particularly good at. In the case of these examples of dying and psychologically injured babies, obviously people had deceived themselves into forgetting or denying the importance of the context or continuum of their own human experience as well as that of the babies. Abstractions are truly wonderful things, but only within the proper context. When they become habitual we deceive ourselves and loose touch with the reality of our entire experience, the end of wisdom.

I use these particular examples to show just how stupid people can be in this regard no matter how intelligent they might otherwise be. The fact that babies need to be held, hugged, cuddled, and loved is something virtually everyone in the world could have told them. It is a wisdom we all possess even if we never experienced that much of such things ourselves.
 
  • #7
Iacchus32
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No, when I say, "I feel fine" it is more than just an expression of my internal feelings, it is an expression of the continuum of my experience, or "context", which includes my emotional state, my physical state, etc. The temptation is to think of ourselves as ending at the surface of our skin, but without air to breath, water to drink, people to socialize with, etc. we would literally die.
Except that nobody else is going to understand "who" is experiencing "what" unless "you" (in the physical sense) are sending off "strong vibes." It's still a part of our own personal experience, which others may or may not be able to perceive (from the outside).
 
  • #8
wuliheron
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Except that nobody else is going to understand "who" is experiencing "what" unless "you" (in the physical sense) are sending off "strong vibes." It's still a part of our own personal experience, which others may or may not be able to perceive (from the outside).

Knowing

Without taking a step outdoors
You know the whole world;
Without taking a peep out the window
You know the color of the sky.
The more you abstract your experiences,
The less you know.
The sage wanders without abstractions,
Sees without having to look,
Accomplishes without acting.

You under estimate what you can know. Sometimes I find myself having to tell people the same thing over and over again using simple plain words that speak directly to the point. I jump up and down for emphasis, run in circles screaming and shouting, and they still don't get it. Knowing is not so much the issue as unlearning how to ignore what is as plain as the nose on your face. That's why they call it wisdom and not "the system".
 
  • #9
Iacchus32
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I jump up and down for emphasis, run in circles screaming and shouting, and they still don't get it. Knowing is not so much the issue as unlearning how to ignore what is as plain as the nose on your face. That's why they call it wisdom and not "the system".
That sounds like a panic attack to me! Isn't that the first thing they tell you not to do when you can't see the forest from the trees?

Actually I tend to rely on antics myself when I find myself explaining things over and over again. And you're right, they still don't get it.
 
  • #10
Mentat
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I agree entirely with the premise, that knowledge and wisdom are seperate, and that knowledge needs wisdom. However, I only say this because wisdom is applied knowledge, and knowledge does you no good if you don't apply it.

Here's a helpful illustration - in understanding the relationship between knowledge, understanding, and wisdom:

A man is on a rail-road track. There is a train heading in his direction, fast approaching.

Knowledge tells him: The train is on the track; I am on the track; the train is headed towards me. And that is the extent of knowledge.

Understanding tells him: The train will eventually hit me (this being based on what "knowledge" told him). And that is the extent of understanding.

Wisdom tells him: I have to get off of the rail-road track, in order to avoid getting hit (thus applying the knowledge/understanding, that he has aquired).
 
  • #11
wuliheron
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Then my pet mouse and the paranoid must be the wisest of us all.

Naaahhhh. Wisdom as most people recognize it does have certain hallmarks though, creativity being one of them. I prefer Lao Tzu's description of the wise and enlightened:

Enlightenment

The enlightened possess understanding
So profound they can not be comprehended.
Because they cannot be comprehended
I can only describe their appearance:
Hesitant as one crossing thin ice,
Undecided as one surrounded by hazards,
Modest as one who is a guest,
Unbounded as melting ice,
Authentic as unshaped wood,
Empty as a valley,
Ambiguous as muddy water.
Who stills the water that the mud may settle,
Who stops in order to continue traveling,
Who desires to be empty,
In order to be reborn and live anew.

 
  • #12
Mentat
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Originally posted by wuliheron
Then my pet mouse and the paranoid must be the wisest of us all.

If your ego doesn't allow you to accept that your mouse may be wiser than you, so be it. To apply knowledge = wisdom.
 
  • #13
wuliheron
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If your ego doesn't allow you to accept that your mouse may be wiser than you, so be it. To apply knowledge = wisdom.

Ahhhhh, then my computer is the wisest of us all!

Naaahhh, if wisdom were merely applied knowledge it would not be so difficult to cultivate and people wouldn't debate its meaning so much. As it is, there are incredibly knowledgable people out there who apply it towards destructive purposes, even in the case of Ted Kazinsky against applied knowledge.
 
  • #14
Iacchus32
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Originally posted by wuliheron

Enlightenment

The enlightened possess understanding
So profound they can not be comprehended.
Because they cannot be comprehended
I can only describe their appearance:
Hesitant as one crossing thin ice,
Undecided as one surrounded by hazards,
Modest as one who is a guest,
Unbounded as melting ice,
Authentic as unshaped wood,
Empty as a valley,
Ambiguous as muddy water.
Who stills the water that the mud may settle,
Who stops in order to continue traveling,
Who desires to be empty,
In order to be reborn and live anew.

Are you sure this is not the "uncertainty principle?" It kind of sounds like me, as I'm a bit tentative and shy in my "worldly dealings" with people. I find it difficult to explain things to people and will often refrain from doing so. While I rarely speak about those things which touch me the most. And about all I can sense is "No comprender!"
 
  • #15
Iacchus32
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Originally posted by Mentat
If your ego doesn't allow you to accept that your mouse may be wiser than you, so be it. To apply knowledge = wisdom.
"He who is least amongst you is the greatest" ...

Originally posted by Mentat

Knowledge tells him: The train is on the track; I am on the track; the train is headed towards me. And that is the extent of knowledge.

Understanding tells him: The train will eventually hit me (this being based on what "knowledge" told him). And that is the extent of understanding.

Wisdom tells him: I have to get off of the rail-road track, in order to avoid getting hit (thus applying the knowledge/understanding, that he has aquired).
Doesn't this sounds like the cat with three names? The first being the name his master calls him, for example lets say "Ralph"; the second being his scientific name, i.e., Felis catus?; and the third being the name that nobody knows but the cat himself? Or, would this just be another name for the "cat's meow?"

It also brings to mind the three legs of a triangle, where the first represents the fall (from knowledge), the second represents the base or foundation (our earthly existence), and the third represents that which is truly transcendent, and thereby completing the form; which, by the way, is portayed by the Greek letter delta and means the fourth.

Hence is it possible that this is what the Greek letter delta and the number four portray? The essence which gives rise to the form? And also note that if you spelled it like "fourm" (i.e., four + m) it would still sound the same.
 
  • #16
wuliheron
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Are you sure this is not the "uncertainty principle?" It kind of sounds like me, as I'm a bit tentative and shy in my "worldly dealings" with people. I find it difficult to explain things to people and will often refrain from doing so. While I rarely speak about those things which touch me the most. And about all I can sense is "No comprender!"

That's exactly what it is, just the original prehistoric version written a bit more coherently by civilized scholars about 2,500 years ago. When the theory of Quantum Mechanics first made its way to Asia, scientists there quickly made significant fundamental contributions to the theory despite the fact their western counterparts had a head start on them. When asked how they did this they just said, "Well, this is obvious!" Like Quantum Mechanics and Relativity, their language and world view are holistic and contain many relationships more linear logical ones like english.

This is actually how I first became interested in Asian thought. I had already studied western philosophy, but when I came across Asian philosophy it read like a cheap self-help book. "Yeah! Yeah! I get it now!" Then the moment you put the book down you can't remember what seemed so meaningful. Being as stubborn as I am, I couldn't let it just go at that.

The real distinction between the two I would describe as attitudinal and that is why it is so difficult to grasp for many westerners who are used to logical behavorial focuses. This attitudinal focus also means that being really intelligent and knowledgable can be a serious handicap when attempting to comprehend Asian thought. What it requires more of is emotional acceptance. Thus, the more knowledgable and intelligent but unaccepting we are the more easy it is for us to deny things twelve ways to sunday. This particular text is from the Tao Te Ching which is designed to encourage the reader to argue with the book precisely for the purpose of finding such acceptance in ourselves.

Wisdom from this point of view therefore requires acceptance.
 
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  • #17
Iacchus32
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There is something very contrived about western culture and I've spent the majority of my adult life trying to "buck the trend" (with modest success). While most people that don't know me (I have very few friends by the way) will say, "Oh he's not very friendly, he's too standoffish." But that's just it, people will attach labels to things--and to me--and then associate some kind of phony sentimentalism to it, and it bugs me, because it detracts from my ability to perceive and I can't see clearly.

On the other hand I have had the opportuntiy to work with Asians and, while I'm not saying they're all like this, they do tend to come across as genuine, sincere, open and friendly. But this can be a problem too, in that I'm so used to bucking the trend (phony sentimentalism), that I feel rigid, inflexible and unmoving, and I still don't fit in. So in this way I feel like I'm stuck between two worlds?
 
  • #18
wuliheron
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You get what you fear the most, you become what you hate the most. Again, the trick is to find acceptance.

To paraphrase R. W. Emerson, "Virtue is its own reward, to have a friend you must first be a friend." Friends see each other for all of who and what they are. If my friend drinks too much, they remain my friend but I may keep encouraging them to at least cut down on their drinking.

The opposite is true for enemies. Enemies tend to see only what they hate and dislike about each other. Even what they otherwise might admire in each other, they see in the worst light possible. Thus wars erupt over apparent trivialities.

As I've often told people, I came to acceptance kicking and screaming, dragging my feet the entire way. My name, Wu Li, I got from a famous book called, "The Dancing Wu Li Masters". It's a book about modern physics and Asian thought. The physics was easy for me, but the philosophy drove me nuts.

One thing I did get from the book is that in many ways we are all our own worst enemy. Nobody knows you like you do, and nobody can retard your growth as a human being like you can. Therefore you need to find ways of getting around this difficulty. What I did was offer to buy any book my friends wanted on the subject of self-help.

One of the books I bought this way is "Giant Steps" put out by the Option Institute. They're an off the wall nuttier than a fruitcake New Age group in the US. Despite this, they managed to penetrate my carefully cultivated skepticism and drive home the overwhelming importance of attitude, not intellectually, but in the way that really counts. :0)
 
  • #19
Mentat
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Originally posted by wuliheron
Ahhhhh, then my computer is the wisest of us all!

Naaahhh, if wisdom were merely applied knowledge it would not be so difficult to cultivate and people wouldn't debate its meaning so much. As it is, there are incredibly knowledgable people out there who apply it towards destructive purposes, even in the case of Ted Kazinsky against applied knowledge.

Who says that wisdom is difficult to cultivate. I think that you are confusing "widom" with "enlightenment" (the latter of which is very difficult to cultivate, btw).

SIDE NOTE: If a person applies knowledge in a desctructive manner, then it is "destructive widom". It seems very simple, and yet you seem to think that evil and wisdom are mutually exclusive.
 
  • #20
Iacchus32
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Originally posted by wuliheron
You get what you fear the most, you become what you hate the most. Again, the trick is to find acceptance.
I actually don't have so much trouble accepting myself, and I'm actually quite happy to be alone, it's just that the whole thing seems to get contrasted between the two cultures.

Originally posted by wuliheron
My name, Wu Li, I got from a famous book called, "The Dancing Wu Li Masters". It's a book about modern physics and Asian thought. The physics was easy for me, but the philosophy drove me nuts.
Oh, I thought wuliheron was some kind of "hairy bird?"
 
  • #21
wuliheron
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LOL, Heron is my daughter's name. Where she was born Great Blue Herons are common. By chance she also has my tall, thin, and long legged build. What a skinny baby she was! :0)
 
  • #22
wuliheron
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Who says that wisdom is difficult to cultivate. I think that you are confusing "widom" with "enlightenment" (the latter of which is very difficult to cultivate, btw).

SIDE NOTE: If a person applies knowledge in a desctructive manner, then it is "destructive widom". It seems very simple, and yet you seem to think that evil and wisdom are mutually exclusive.

What you are describing is just applied knowledge. Here is the dictionary definition of wisdom:

The ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; insight.
Common sense; good judgment: “It is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things” (Henry David Thoreau).

The sum of learning through the ages; knowledge: “In those homely sayings was couched the collective wisdom of generations” (Maya Angelou).
Wise teachings of the ancient sages.
A wise outlook, plan, or course of action.

As usual, Mentat, you are spouting rhetorical nonesense in defiance of what anyone else says. Redefining words to suit your own personal beliefs, and arguing against thousands of years of deliberation on the subject. If you weren't so serious I'd think you were a clown.
 
  • #23
newton1
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ic and eq

this is the kind of question of intelligence quotient(iq)
and emotion quotient(eq), which is more important...
if our eq is week....
then we can have a good concentrate to learn something
then the iq will not come
but if we no iq....
we dun know how can make our eq better
i think both of two is important
 
  • #24
wuliheron
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No, its more pointedly a question of flexibility, openness, and inclusiveness from a personal standpoint. Whether EQ or IQ is more valuable just depends upon the individual and their present situation. Both can change, grow, and adapt in leaps and bounds as the context changes. Our flexibility therefore increases when our entire worldview originates from a more flexible and less clearly defined source.
 
  • #25
Mentat
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Originally posted by wuliheron
What you are describing is just applied knowledge. Here is the dictionary definition of wisdom:



As usual, Mentat, you are spouting rhetorical nonesense in defiance of what anyone else says. Redefining words to suit your own personal beliefs, and arguing against thousands of years of deliberation on the subject. If you weren't so serious I'd think you were a clown.

Well, I didn't make up the definition of wisdom, that I was using before. It was told to me by a person that I considered not only very wise, but very enlightened.

You should notice, as is typical of such contraversial definitions, that for every definition of wisdom - that you have posted - there is a synonym of wisdom that better fits that definition.

And BTW, please keep your personal opinion of me (and others, for that matter) out of your posts. It is not only irrelevant, but insulting - and in most cases, wrong.
 
  • #26
Iacchus32
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Originally posted by Mentat
Well, I didn't make up the definition of wisdom, that I was using before. It was told to me by a person that I considered not only very wise, but very enlightened.
It's what you do with knowledge that determines whether you're wise, or foolish. So in this respect I would suggest wisdom falls in more along the lines of enlightenment (as both of are deemed "spiritual qualities"). And besides being defined as "the ability to discern inner qualities and relationships," as well as "insight," the dictionary defines wisdom as "good judgment."

So this may be the problem, in that you can have "good judgment" and "bad judgment," and people will mistake judgment for wisdom.

While here it's possible for someone to claim they have "judged wisely," when in fact it's a big cover up to disguise the fact that they didn't. In which case we only have wisdom (hopefully) to discern its "inner quality."
 
  • #27
wuliheron
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So this may be the problem, in that you can have "good judgment" and "bad judgment," and people will mistake judgment for wisdom.

Exactly, two people can have the exact same knowledge and come to completely different conclusions and applications for that knowledge. The opposite end of spectrum for wisdom is foolishness. Yet sometimes the most apparently foolish and ignorant among us can be the wisest. From an asian and shamanistic viewpoint, an accepting attitude is what makes the difference.
 
  • #28
Iacchus32
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Originally posted by wuliheron

From an asian and shamanistic viewpoint, an accepting attitude is what makes the difference.
Except how do you do this without becoming gullible, or "contrived." This is pretty much my predicament, except I am to some degree (slowly but surely) becoming more accepting towards people. Whereas I think as you get older it doesn't matter so much.

Originally posted by wuliheron

Yet sometimes the most apparently foolish and ignorant among us can be the wisest.
"Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth."
 
  • #29
Iacchus32
2,313
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Originally posted by wuliheron
From an asian and shamanistic viewpoint, an accepting attitude is what makes the difference.
That's another thing, if you're brought up in a culture where the door has never been "slammed shut," chances are you're not going to have any experience of what that means.

On the other hand, if you were brought up in the west, where you're apt to experience "barriers" all around you, chances are you're going to experience a sense of what Alan Watts has put so succinctly, "alienation."
 
  • #30
wuliheron
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From an asian and shamanistic viewpoint, an accepting attitude is what makes the difference.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Except how do you do this without becoming gullible, or "contrived." This is pretty much my predicament, except I am to some degree (slowly but surely) becoming more accepting towards people. Whereas I think as you get older it doesn't matter so much.

You could say the same thing about behavior, how do you choose behaviors that won't make you a patsy. You can go round and round with such arguments ad infinitum. The simple truth is people come up with all kinds of negative speculations about everything imaginable that they have never tried or experienced in their life. My six year old son is the pickiest eater imaginable, for example, and its difficult to get him to even taste anything.

Most Asians meditate as a way to cultivate inner peace, balance, and acceptance. One asian compared it once to falling asleep. Westerners often try to discipline their behavior and make themselves fall asleep. Asians try to just allow themselves to fall asleep. That's what meditation is about, just clearing all those preprogramed behaviors and perspectives out of our mind so we ourselves can take charge instead of compulsively relying on habitual thoughts and behaviors. Especially suspicious and negative thoughts and behaviors that can become counterproductive.

That's another thing, if you're brought up in a culture where the door has never been "slammed shut," chances are you're not going to have any experience of what that means.

On the other hand, if you were brought up in the west, where you're apt to experience "barriers" all around you, chances are you're going to experience a sense of what Alan Watts has put so succinctly, "alienation."

Yeah, the culture doesn't support an accepting attitude in many respects. Asians are known for being inscrutable in part just because they often prefer to avoid getting involved with angry and irrational people fired up about what they consider to be silly and pointless arguments unless they see a possible productive way to do so.

An american karate champion was once in Japan for a tornament and happened to be riding the bullet train. A drunk and beligerent man was slowing making his way towards him, harassing people as he came. The karate champ decided he would put a stop to this guy's nonsense when he came up to his seat. Instead, an old man in the seat in front of him offered the drunk another drink and he sat down with him.

After a while the old man looked at the drunk and asked him what was bothering him. Breaking down in tears the man said his wife and children had just been killed that morning in a car wreak. With that revelation the karate champ realized he had not learned the number lesson of the Dojo, how to avoid fighting and just how important it is to avoid fighting.

Even in western cultures, such wisdom as the old man displayed is valued. You don't need to read a lot of books about asian and shamanistic cultures or go to any lecture seminars or anything like that in order to cultivate wisdom. All you need do is cultivate an accepting attitude, but that includes acceptance of who you are as an individual first and foremost and accepting the society you live in as well. Most people who make this attempt seem to take about three years to fully make the adjustment and find their own unique center.
 
  • #31
Mentat
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Wu Li, I've just realized that the incompatibility of our definitions of wisdom results from the fact that you seem to think there is such a thing as "evil". You seem to think that one form of action is definitely "wrong", and another form is "right". While I think so as well, that doesn't mean that it's true, and so this concept doesn't show up in my definition of wisdom. IMO, wisdom should exist even in societies that know nothing of "right" and "wrong".
 
  • #32
Iacchus32
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Right and wrong are only "relative" to the situation. This indeed is where "wisdom" applies. In which case you can take something in the literal sense (as many Christians take the Bible) or, you can inquire within, and observe its "inner-quality."
 
  • #33
wuliheron
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Wu Li, I've just realized that the incompatibility of our definitions of wisdom results from the fact that you seem to think there is such a thing as "evil". You seem to think that one form of action is definitely "wrong", and another form is "right". While I think so as well, that doesn't mean that it's true, and so this concept doesn't show up in my definition of wisdom. IMO, wisdom should exist even in societies that know nothing of "right" and "wrong".

Sorry, but you're wrong. I don't believe in anything like "evil". For me, evil refers to something absolute, innate or irredemable. I do believe there are serial killers and whatnot and to some extent they may even be predisposed to such behavior, but that doesn't make what they do "evil", just extremely bad. No doubt with the right environment and perhaps even medical attention such people could be helped.

Actually, I'm an amoral Philosophical Taoist. To a great extent concepts like good and bad are relativistic for me as Iaccus points out. However, I must point out they are relative to how we each see them as individuals, not in some abstract theoretical way. For the vast majority of humanity the idea of someone blowing up the entire world is bad, so sometimes I'll refer to such things in straightforward ways. Most people with moralities and ideas about normalcy don't understand such a viewpoint, so I don't go into the details much and just put it out that its merely my opinion.

This same relativism applies to everything for me. Free will vs determinism, good and bad, beautiful and ugly, and even the irrational and rational. That's just the way paradoxes are, they lend themselves to whatever interpretation we care to make.

Additionally, there really are no societies that don't know right from wrong. Many like the !Kung have no words for certain concepts like guilt, but they understand the concepts nonetheless. They just don't need the word and may even find its use counterproductive. Sometimes implicite rules are better than explicite ones for achieving goals.
 
  • #34
Mentat
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Originally posted by wuliheron
Sorry, but you're wrong. I don't believe in anything like "evil". For me, evil refers to something absolute, innate or irredemable. I do believe there are serial killers and whatnot and to some extent they may even be predisposed to such behavior, but that doesn't make what they do "evil", just extremely bad. No doubt with the right environment and perhaps even medical attention such people could be helped.

Actually, I'm an amoral Philosophical Taoist. To a great extent concepts like good and bad are relativistic for me as Iaccus points out. However, I must point out they are relative to how we each see them as individuals, not in some abstract theoretical way. For the vast majority of humanity the idea of someone blowing up the entire world is bad, so sometimes I'll refer to such things in straightforward ways. Most people with moralities and ideas about normalcy don't understand such a viewpoint, so I don't go into the details much and just put it out that its merely my opinion.

This same relativism applies to everything for me. Free will vs determinism, good and bad, beautiful and ugly, and even the irrational and rational. That's just the way paradoxes are, they lend themselves to whatever interpretation we care to make.

Additionally, there really are no societies that don't know right from wrong. Many like the !Kung have no words for certain concepts like guilt, but they understand the concepts nonetheless. They just don't need the word and may even find its use counterproductive. Sometimes implicite rules are better than explicite ones for achieving goals.

While you may say that you don't believe in the distinction between good and evil, the opposite is evident in your perception of wisdom. You see, I was saying that wisdom is the application of knowledge and understanding. You disagreed, and said...

As it is, there are incredibly knowledgable people out there who apply it towards destructive purposes, even in the case of Ted Kazinsky against applied knowledge.

... thus showing that you didn't think him to be wise, because he was destructive. Why can wisdom not be involved in things that are destructive, unless - of course - there is something *wrong* with being destructive.:wink:
 
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Interjection: Wuli is refering that he is against the absolutist idea of right or wrong. That something is always wrong, independent of who is judging. So while being destructive is wrong to him, he does not claim that it is simply inherently a wrong act. At least, that's how I read it.

Hmm... so maybe wisdom itself is relative to who is judging it? You may find someone unwise, but someone else may disagree?
 

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