The Question: Are You Smart or Wise?

in philosophy •  last year

The answer is I hope so but time will tell.

After seeing an interesting post, by @hr1, I thought I'd offer my own opinion on the subject (although I don't consider myself an expert).
But, first I'd just like to mention something that I couldn't help but notice. Since I've been on Steemit, I've had no problem connecting with people sharing everything from geo-politics to adorable puppy pics. But apparently I look at the inner workings of human nature very differently than most.


I also want to mention that in no way do I see my viewpoint on intelligence versus wisdom at odds with, or challenging either @hr1's post, or the original article. I felt that both authors approach the topic subjectively, allowing for different opinions.
To compare them, both use the different ways that wisdom and intelligence function. I took the exact opposite approach. (As I said, I have my own take on the inner workings of human nature;)

The way I see things, the difference between smart and wise is all to do with the source of that knowledge.
I think how smart you are is determined by your ability to learn. It expresses the successful manipulation and understanding of knowledge acquired during the course of your lifetime.
Western Culture and the push towards technological evolution is a demonstrable example of what I would call cultural intelligence.


Mankind has become smarter and smarter, constantly pushing boundaries and altering our physical circumstances to create comfort, convenience and entertainment. (Nothing wrong with that. I love comfort, convenience and entertainment:) But the innovations brought about by human intelligence can often be plagued with unintended consequences.

Wisdom, on the other hand, involves a certain acceptance and understanding of the laws of the Universe and exists in harmony with Nature.
Wisdom can have very little to do with learning and a great deal to do with instinct. Instinct encompasses a huge body of knowledge that we all have access to at birth. Not only does it tell us to cry when we're hungry, it knows how to pump blood and digest food and a million and one other complex processes medical science is still trying to understand. The body isn't a machine. It operates instinctively.


Thing is, the more we've learned and the smarter we've become, the less we've needed to rely on our instincts. So we established a separate will from our primal, archetypical being. This is an essential step in the process of mankind's evolution. It's also how and why we became cut off from an inestimable wealth of knowledge.

In our previous state instinctual impulses are controlling behavior. That changes as learning enables us to make our own choices. It's only after that level has been achieved, that it becomes possible to gain access to our instincts while maintaining control and discrimination, and at that point that they become the source of true wisdom.

The underlying truth here is that currently instinct and intelligence represent the two sides of our beings. We are dualistic and need to nurture our totality. The true goal of expansion should be to bring about an interconnected state between instinct and intelligence. Wisdom is that state of interconnectedness.

Whereas being smart relies on a body of knowledge acquired during the course of a lifetime, our instincts are like DNA, containing the collective memory of all creation.

Together we could have the power to move mountains.


And the wisdom that knows that the mountain is perfect right where it is .

Thanks to @hr1 for suggesting such an interesting topic. It's a subject well worth exploring.

And thanks so much for reading my post:)

All pictures provided by the amazing, magical

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For psychology, intelligence is simply the ability of an individual to solve problems, if we consider the above mentioned if, it has to do with learning, the acquisition of tools to cope with the demands of the environment


I'm afraid I don't understand your point. Are you saying my definition: "successful understanding and manipulation" of what you've learned is inaccurate?
I'm not quite following you


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