Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

What is beyond Needs, Wants & Beliefs?

As I’ve stated before, there are three collective development stages in life, Needs, Wants & Beliefs, and one individual development stage, which I refer to as an Awakening. What collective development stage, if any, might be beyond Needs, Wants & Beliefs?

To a large extent, beliefs are perceived certainties. In my blogs, I refer to beliefs as known unknowns (my 2015 blog). In other words: we know that we do not know but we believe it anyway. Feel free to consider your own examples.

Once you let go of your beliefs, you will lose your certainties. Doubt will then rule your universe. Nothing is black or white anymore. Some – if not many – facts and all opinions will become subjective truths. Also see my related blogs of 2019, 2020-05, 2020-07, 2020-12, and 2021.

A recent Scientific American article, What God, Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness Have in Common by John Horgan, mentions an interesting perspective and quote by Voltaire (1694-1778), a French writer, historian, and philosopher: “Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is an absurd one.

In 1641, the French philosopher, mathematician and scientist René Descartes (1596-1650) wrote the Meditations on First Philosophy, in which he stated: Dubium sapientiae initium. This translates as: Doubt is the origin of wisdom.

Could Doubt ever become a collective development stage in life? I doubt (sic!) that.

Actually, it’s hard to live with doubt. It consumes lots of energy and time. Both are scarce resources. Hence, people prefer certainty over doubt. A 2009 Psychology Today article confirms this:

“A sense of uncertainty about the future generates a strong threat or ‘alert’ response in your limbic system. Your brain detects something is wrong, and your ability to focus on other issues diminishes. Your brain doesn’t like uncertainty – it’s like a type of pain, something to be avoided. Certainty on the other hand feels rewarding, and we tend to steer toward it, even when it might be better for us to remain uncertain.”

Quote from the 2009 Psychology Today article: A Hunger for Certainty.

In 2019, I wrote my blog: The 3 roads to Wisdom, including this (updated) diagram. I think, feel and believe that Doubt is a prerequisite on these 3 roads to Wisdom. Actually, Wisdom might be the 4th and final collective development stage beyond Needs, Wants & Beliefs.

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.” Bertrand Russell, quoted in the book A Word a Day (source: Quote Investigator)

Wisdom (1970) by Bob Marley (1945-1981)
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

The lips of the righteous teach many
But fools die for want of wisdom
The rich man wealth is in his city;
Do you hear, do you hear, can you understa-and?!
Destruction of the poor, is poverty;
Destruction of the soul, is vanity
The righteous’ wealth is in his Holy Pla-ace
Do you hear?
Those who have eyes, to see will see!
The rich man wealth is in his city;
Do you hear, do you believe, do you understand?!
Destruction of the poor is poverty
Destruction of the soul is vanity
Well hear me children!
The righteous’ wealth is in his Holy Pla-ace!

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


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