One's personality is both a composition and reflection, but if I have to choose one of them, I will choose reflection as the "self" is more important to me than "me". One's composition may change, walking across the cultural landscapes and climbing the social ladder but one's self is tied to one's reflections. The fun part is that reflections are not bound to "Time-Space" barriers ( it is not time-space) and respective mental constructs, which have grown so thick over ages, that they had reduced the image of humans to Sisyphus, rolling different sizes of boulders on hills of different heights.… As the name of this Blog indicates, knols are my perspectives on topics of interests, sweet/bitter experiences or just doodling :)
Thursday, December 1, 2011
What really is wisdom?
Experience as wisdom:
Everyone is wise to some extent but degree of wisdom differs among individuals and groups of people. How we determine who is wise? Let’s have a general to special approach to wisdom. It was a tradition in villages and suburban areas where doctors are scarce to consult to an old experience women for troubleshooting in child caring. The same method was used in solving the social problems. For solving disputes the old men were consulted and their decisions were accepted. These old women and men were the source of wisdom for those people. For these people wisdom were equal to experience. These old men and women had experienced these types of problems several times in their lives so their decisions were more practical. They had the knowledge of local vegetations, animals, regions, traditions, cultures and they knew most of the individuals and families and their histories so their solutions and opinions were wiser than others. There is a famous Hazaragi sayings that, “experienced men are more reliable than doctor”.
The same method is practiced in modern days but here despite of the experienced men and women there are experienced professionals. The experienced professionals make firms and provide consultancy to private organizations, businesses and governments. This is also an acceptance of experience as wisdom because the private organizations, businesses and governments have their own professionals but lack the experience of the consultants.
Success as wisdom:
Another aspect of wisdom that is commonly accepted is success. Successful individuals are accepted as wise men. People consult related successful persons for solving their problems. This concept of wisdom is also accepted to most modern people. People take ideals and some approach the successful people in the field they wish to master in order to make their success assured. Here success wipes out the factor of age and experience.
Leadership as wisdom:
Leadership is another factor of wisdom that is commonly accepted. People look to their leaders as wise men. This concept of wisdom is weakened and is going to be more dimming as time is passing. There are several reasons and factors that this concept of wisdom is weakening. The most significant reason is the modern politics. In modern politics the mass media has a vital role in making images of politicians and these politicians rely heavily on their images. Politicians make lies in order to achieve their political objectives. The media helps politicians in their lies both in making image of them and also breaking images of opponents for political benefits. Most of these lies are done under patriotism, nationalism and national security. Even patriotism makes lies more acceptable than truths. Here wisdom means making such lies that overshadow truths in order to achieve a certain objectives. These perceptions of politicians make people rely more on the prejudices and benefits rather than on wisdom.
But these concepts are not equal in all places. The sources of leaderships differ in different cultures and societies. In some cultures and societies still leadership is a source of wisdom. Most of these leaderships come from spiritual and religious leaderships. As religion and knowledge that come from spirituality is considered as absolute knowledge so the representatives of these knowledge is also considered as a source of wisdom. Sometimes, the misuse of the knowledge or due to political participations these leaderships become questionable but the knowledge itself is unshakable and there are always devoted scholars that will provide alternative leaderships. This leadership is believed as a source of wisdom to their followers.
Professionals as wisdom:
Another aspect of the wisdom that is related to modern world is professionalism. Modern men developed beliefs on the professionals and professionalism. The market economy helped it spread to the areas that were expected common to everyone. Though Professionalism is a positive aspect of modern world but it has drawbacks also as modern men specify their wisdom to the specific fields. Personal wisdom is going to be extinct in modern world.
What really is wisdom?
Certainly there are wise men whose wisdom changes the lives of people but these people do not belong to neither of said categories. They are neither experienced old men or women, successful men or women as people consider success and also they are neither professionals nor they are in leadership positions. So keeping this in view, what really is wisdom? I asked the same question from an inspirational lecturer.
He answered me with certainty, “Surely scholars are wise men”
I looked to him in astonishment and again asked, “OK! If the scholars are the wise men so do you think that wisdom is attainable?”
He replied, “Certainly that is true”.
I wasn’t satisfied by his short answers and again asked, “Scholars gain knowledge about facts or created facts. For example a sun rise in east and set down in west is a fact and is attainable. If the wisdom is the knowledge of facts then it is attainable but it is a common experience that the wisdom of people with same status of knowledge is different. Their response and acts in same situations are different and not only different but are of different levels. It seems to me that the wisdom is a matter of personal judgments.”
“I agree with you” He replied while nodding his head in confirmation.
By gaining his approval I added, “Is it not easy to understand the wisdom through accepted historic wise men?”
“That is a good approach” He responded.
“Most historic wise men like, Zarusthra, Gotham Buddha, Socrates, etc were searching for truth so searching for the truth is the criteria for wisdom.” I added more.
“You are on right path” He nodded as sign of approval.
“Though knowledge and experience is the basis of common wisdom that can be acquired and they are also the basis of the personal judgments but more important than all these is attitude and approach that one has. This develops a wisdom that is higher than common wisdom that people are mostly accustomed and that is the real wisdom that we seek and they open new ways for humanity.”
He was still expecting me to continue my opinion as he was listening with full attention so I continued,
“This type of wisdom that comes from search of truth mostly contradicts with established wisdom. The event of the trial of Socrates, the Socrates was blamed of corrupting the youths because he was encouraging the youths to think into facts and their nature to find the truth. So truth was as criteria for wisdom to Socrates”.
“So, do you think that established wisdom is not based on truths, it is why contradictions come out of thinking process?” he asked.
“Though the main reason for contradictions are prejudices and our profits that influence our thought processes in making established wisdoms but the thinking methodologies and approaches are also effects” I replied him.
“So you think that a thought process solely purposed to discover truth produce high level of wisdom that is missing in established wisdom rooted in prejudices?”
“Sure” I replied with zeal.