August 30th, 2010

mission blue butterfly

Wisdom -


I am reading Stephen S. Hall's book Wisdom, from Philosophy to Neuroscience.   

He says there are "Eight Neural Pillars of Wisdom."

They are:

1. Emotional regulation – the art of coping

2. Knowing what’s important – the neural mechanism of establishing value and making a judgment

3. Moral reasoning – the biology of judging right from wrong

4. Compassion – the biology of loving-kindness and empathy

5. Humility – the gift of perspective

6. Altruism – social justice, fairness and the wisdom of punishment

7. Patience – temptation, delayed gratification and the biology of learning to wait for larger rewards

8. Dealing with uncertainty – change, “meta-wisdom,” and the vulcanization of the human brain.

Meditation is one way to change our brain, to increase the reach of these pillars of wisdom.

Matthieu Ricard, an expert and scientifically studied master of meditation,  points out that meditation is a form of cognitive exertion as demanding as weight lifting or long-distance running. He is surprised we don’t give our minds a proper workout.

“It seems odd that we have this incredible brain and yet spend so little time cultivating it.”

Contemplating his words, I feel shifting in the stones in the pillars of my mind.  

Meditation time, perhaps?
oregon, willamette, 1 proxy falls

Balance -


In Stephen S. Hall's book Wisdom, he points out that narcissistic CEO's may have contributed to the financial panic.   This shift to the narcissistic CEO began with Lee Iacocca and his autobiography.  

Before that, CEO's were not public figures.  I see that shift to a narcissistic head as why the salaries of CEO's are now so out of proportion to earnings of a company. 

Contrast the buffoons in the news lately, and their exorbitant salaries and bonuses that they somehow think they earn, to Gandhi.


“Has an ocean drop an individuality of its own as apart from the ocean?”

"Interdependence is and ought to be as much the idea of man as self-sufficiency. Man is a social being. Without inter-relation with society he cannot realize his oneness with the universe or suppress his egotism. … Dependence on society teaches him the lesson of humanity.”

That is lost when one person sets themselves above others, above all that supports.  It is like a quarterback saying he won the game on his own.  

Mohandas Gandhi: Nations are sustained neither by wealth nor by armies, but by righteousness alone. It is the duty of man to bear this truth in mind and practice altruism, which is the highest form of morality.