Monthly Archives: March 2020



Corona might cure

What ails ye…

Why–a gentl’ swig,


Could leadja to

Davy Jones’ Locker!

And expel ye ol’

Virus, dead in its

Belch: tracks;

Insight-driven knowledge vs. wisdom

What’s the difference?

Insight-driven knowledge comes about when information acquires meaning for us. 🙂

Such knowledge is wisdom, manifest in a form which we can represent however we so choose!

Wisdom is the unintended byproduct of using our reason courageously. It comes to the self-actualizing person who commits to what Maslow called “expressive behavior”. Such behavior for Maslow was unmotivated and unconscious: acted out purely for itself.

On the other side of expressive behavior is “coping behavior”. Coping behavior is motivated and conscious, acted out only to fulfill some “deficit need” (i.e., D-need). D-needs can only be temporarily gratified.

The wise, self-actualizing person engages in coping behavior only as a mortal, flawed agent. Such a person only behaves as such in the service of their greater expressive behavior.

What are your favorite expressive behaviors?

Insight and wisdom

In yesterday’s post, I discussed wisdom’s relation to curiosity and knowledge. How does insight factor in?

Psychologically, insight is the process and outcome of crystallized, meaningful realization.

With no insight, could we have wisdom?

Let’s adopt the data scientific view of wisdom following from knowledge, where knowledge is meaningful information. Here, we have stumbled upon meaning!

Meaning is part-and-parcel of both knowledge and insight. Specifically: an insight occurs to me after exhausting my efforts trying to solve a problem. Insight presents itself as an answer worth testing at the least; at the most, it bolsters my resolve with conviction and energy.

Insight is achieved after information has been placed in its proper, solution-focused context. After ensuring that it is genuine (because the insight works for our specific purpose), we may say that it has given us knowledge.

Given the above, we know that insight is a necessary step toward attaining wisdom. Logically–therefore–clarifying the distinction between insight-driven knowledge and wisdom becomes the next, salient task.

Curiosity vs. Adam’s apple

In positive psychology, curiosity is one of 24 “character strengths”. Curiosity is here considered a strength within the higher virtue of wisdom. Being curious, a data scientist might argue, leads one to knowledge: and knowledge is the penultimate step leading to wisdom.

In the Biblical story of Adam and Eve, Adam bites the forbidden apple. This leads to his estrangement by God from the Garden of Eden. The apple contains knowledge, but was Adam wise to bite into it?

It seems difficult to argue that Adam was wise in biting the apple. One may say that he was curious–hungry for knowledge–but that failing to heed God’s warning against eating the fruit was patently foolish. Thus, while wisdom (“Sophia” in Latin) is an admirable goal of human striving, one must be mindful of the means employed to attain it.

From Frankl, to Maslow, to Heidegger…

Frankl’s “paradoxical intention” can be paraphrased as follows: let the fulfillment of second-order desires (e.g., accruing wealth) follow only from meaningful living.

This is consistent with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which places self-actualization atop a pyramid of lower-level “deficiency needs” (D-needs). It also follows from his Theory Z–once people achieve a sufficient level of economic security, this theory goes, humans will search for more in life.

What will human persons seek? Specifically, what do human persons aim for (paradoxically or not) once they self-actualize?

Human persons will self-transcend.

Maslow viewed self-actualization and peak experiencing as overlapping more often than not. “B-values”–i.e., Being-values–partially comprise the peak experience.

Environment-transcendence is one out of 14 total B-values. Self-actualization partially involves resistance to enculturation, as well as independence from one’s environment.

While typing and reading about Being and the environment, we could propose the following construct: “being-with-nature”. Being-with-nature follows linguistically from Heidegger’s “being-with-others”, or mitsein in German.

Do we save the natural environment by transcending it or being with it? Is such transcendence not also a being-with? A hierarchical relation is still a relation. Once we add the horizontal, egalitarian level to this, we need to either separate environment-transcendence from being-with-nature or fuse them in some novel way.

Accommodating hierarchy and “heterarchy” as proposed above leads us to a holarchic approach. The holarchic approach fuses these perspectives or approaches.

Thus–holarchically-speaking–we may speak of being-with-natural environment-transcendence!

Of course, before transcending the environment, one should transcend oneself. Maslow wrote that the acceptance of self, of others and nature is a self-actualizing characteristic. Perhaps his order here was deliberate?