As we grow older, do we get wiser?
Yep – all of the above.
Probability of wisdom seems to increase with age, and that probability is a long way from unity, and often very context specific.
The Varieties of Wisdom paper is interesting.
It seems clear to me that much of the paper is accurate, yet in a sense shallow.
Certainly it seems clear that wisdom is domain specific, and comes from an openness to learning from the mistakes one makes in living in particular domains.
Being able to learn from mistakes implies that one is open to the possibility of error (not as an absolute, but rather as a probability function or a summation of consequence over time and space within one’s value criteria set).
Certainly the two major classes of wisdom seem to clearly align with my own understanding – that wisdom which comes from subconscious (intuitive) heuristics, and that which comes from conscious level understanding.
It is clear to me that in all of us, the former is vastly greater than the latter, yet most have little conscious awareness of the former, or the systems that give rise to it.
The paper above does not explore the systemic origins of intuition or awareness from a scientific perspective, it simply implies that such may exist; so from that perspective I found it rather shallow, and I acknowledge the complexities involved in trying to explain the systemic underpinnings of awareness – not a simple thing, too many related and interconnected sets of systems and abstract understandings required.
While acknowledging the existence of what he refers to as “Transconceptual apprehension”, I find the description and understanding of it very weak.
It seems clear to me that what is happening during such experiential episodes is a more direct coupling of experience to the intuitive faculties rather than coupling to the model of reality that brain creates and maintains that is our normal experience of being. The experience is certainly in an experiential sense one of vast and immediate knowing, and it seems that such is more impression than reality. It seems clear to me, from my own investigations of the state, that it offers much, but is a long way from “all knowing” and is very weak at seeing its own limitations.
And I certainly acknowledge, at all levels, that our intuitions are much more powerful than conscious level logic, and both have their uses, and both have their power.
To me, Rothberg, Katz and Forman all miss the point.
To me the point is that intuition is a faculty of brain derived from the recall of information stored in a distributed (holographic) fashion. This side effect of “holographic recall” establishes distinction of pattern not previously distinguished. It is at the heart of abstraction and intuition at all levels. It is the driving force of intellectual discovery, and at its most basic level is what we all know as “common sense”.
I know how it works (figured it out in 1974), and that it allows for potentially infinitely recursive abstraction in any domain.
No human can explore any infinity, let alone an infinity of infinities.
It seems clear to me that most distinctions are potentially infinite in depth.
It seems clear to me that the class of possible distinctions is infinite (Wolfram’s work demonstrates that with clarity).
It seems clear that none of us can be completely confident that we are free from error, and in fact history teaches us that in all probability most of what we think we know will actually be demonstrated at some future time to be in error in some essential aspect.
So it pays to not be too confident and hubristic, and simultaneously it also pays us to get on with living life to the best of our limited abilities and knowledge; without getting too hung up on uncertainties – best guesses is all any of us really have in a very real sense.
I don’t know that I agree that contemplatio or jnana are “too deep for words” and it is certainly difficult to find words and conceptual structures to convey the experience. I acknowledge that I have been trying and failing for 40 years, and it does seem possible to me, and it also seems sufficiently difficult to be a work of uninterrupted years, and I don’t yet have the luxury of such freedom from the needs of maintaining body and family.
I question the author’s conclusion that integral methodology provides an optimal approach to research wisdom. A deeper systems approach seems to me to be more powerful as it powerfully explains both the experiential and the objective aspects of the phenomenological; combined of course with the contemplative and experimental approaches.