Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Old and wise

Today, I wanted to write about intelligence. I have several topics on my list: are we more intelligent than our grandparents? Is intelligence a universal constant? Does intelligence repeat itself in evolutionary history? Another topic is the intelligence of the ctenophore and the octopus. The problem with such blogs is in defining intelligence.

I have written several blogs on awareness and consciousness (ie, conscious, subconscious, unconscious, superconscious). It took me time before I dared to write my blog on The 4 levels of consciousness – an integrated framework. I have also written quite some blogs on beliefs, intelligence, knowledge, and even a few on wisdom. The relationship between these concepts is not always (immediately) clear. Today, I present another diagram differentiating these concepts.

After some reflection, I realised that these concepts have a space & time component.

Moreover, these concepts have a close relationship with a well-known memory aid or mnemonic: How, What, When, Who, and Why.

It also became clear that experience was missing in the sequence knowledge, beliefs, intelligence and wisdom.

Finally, I noticed the (teaching) cycle between the first (Knowledge) and the last (Wisdom).

My diagram puts Beliefs before Intelligence. My grandparents were in the Needs stage of society. My parents advanced to the Wants stage (eg, consumerism). Today, society seems to be in the Beliefs stage. The next stage is either an Awakening or back to the Needs stage, after a period of disruption, chaos and destruction. See my blogs on Awakening and Needs, Wants & Beliefs.

It still puzzles me if today’s society is more intelligent than the previous one(s). Today’s society is (potentially) more knowledgeable and has (potentially) more experience. However, the surge in (false) beliefs discredits intelligence. Intelligence requires an understanding of the Why question. Beliefs are not interested in (answering) the Why question.

The time arrow in my diagram suggests that wisdom comes with age. To some extent, Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) disagreed in his quote: “With age comes wisdom, but sometimes age comes alone.”

Old and Wise (1982) by Alan Parsons Project
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And oh when I’m old and wise
Bitter words mean little to me
Autumn winds will blow right through me

Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.

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