Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wisdom, Awareness & Self Transcendence

     "If wisdom is defined as a combination of 
          • cognitive (an understanding of life & the desire to know the truth), 
          • reflective (the ability & willingness to look at phenomena & events from different perspectives), and 
          • affective (sympathetic & compassionate love for others) personality qualities, 
then truly wise people, such as Jesus Christ or the Buddha, can also be described as the most psychologically developed persons. They are mature; psychologically healthy; autonomous; fully liberated from all outside & inside forces; and are, therefore, the masters of their own fate.
     Because people who grow in wisdom gradually come to accept reality as it is (and not as they would like it to be), including the negative side of their personalities, they are able to learn from their experiences, which allows them to overcome their negative tendencies and to gain inner peace through the de­velopment of equanimity. Hence, they tend to be less affected by external events and internal drives than other people, which results in greater autonomy and control.
     Yet wise individuals are also selfless; that is, they have transcended the egotistical self and feel more part of the ocean instead of an individual wave. How can we explain the paradox that the highest level of self-development requires a quieting of the ego and the transcendence of the self?"
        Ardelt M. "Self-development through selflessness: The paradoxical process of growing wiser." in Wayment HA, Bauer JJ eds. "Decade of behavior." American Psychological Association, Washington, DC, 2008.

     More from Ardelt's chapter:

Amateur Sony Shooter

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