Re: Is there a path to wisdom?
In the summer of 48 my older brother told me that if I wanted to play high school football I had to ‘get ready’. In his terms, ‘getting ready’ meant running to get in condition for the rigors of football practice.
In the spring of 09 I want to begin the quest for wisdom. How do I ‘get ready’ for becoming wise?
Starting with the definition of wisdom as “seeing life whole” seems to be as good a place to begin as I can think of. How do I get ready to see life whole?
It seems to me that to see life whole I must learn a great deal more than I already have learned but I must start with where I presently am. I am convinced that learning new stuff requires three aspects (a position facing a particular direction) of mind; mentally I must have curiosity, caring, and an orderly mind.
I claim that curiosity and caring are necessary conditions for understanding. Understanding is a far step beyond knowing. I will not examine a matter for the purpose of understanding it unless I am curious about it. I must care enough about the matter to do the intellectual work necessary to understand.
Understanding is a step beyond knowing and is seldom required or measured by schooling. Understanding is generally of disinterested knowledge, i.e. disinterested knowledge is an intrinsic (due to the nature of the self) value. Disinterested knowledge is not a means but an end. It is knowledge I seek because I desire to know it. I mean the term ‘disinterested knowledge’ as similar to ‘pure research’, as compared to ‘applied research’. Pure research seeks to know truth unconnected to any specific application.
Understanding is often difficult and time consuming and the justification is not extrinsic (outside cause) but intrinsic.
Questions for consideration:
Is caring necessary for understanding? I think so.
What is ‘understanding’?
Is curiosity necessary for knowing? I think so.
Is curiosity necessary for understanding? I think so.
Is a knowledge of history required to ‘see life whole’? Absolutely!!
Is difficulty our duty? I think so.