Intelligence vs. Wisdom; Physicist vs. Philosopher; Shiny Bicycle vs. Quantum Foam

It occurred to me once that, if monks in a Buddhist monastery were creating Dungeons & Dragons characters, is it possible they would NOT have to ask the Dungeon Master what Wisdom is? God knows that nerds getting down to same in our Western, indentured-servitude, conspicuous-consumption drone matrix ALWAYS ask! They, however, never need to ask what Intelligence is. What follows are my thoughts as to why this is the case.

Check this out and come back.


For those who don’t want to click off — it talks about quantum foam and how — the further down you go (size-wise) the more crazy shit gets.

Many have had the experience or feeling of oscillating between large and small: the sensation that you are suddenly enormous and planet or universe sized — then atom or quark sized, a kind of disorienting weaoh-weaoh-weaoh-weaoh, big-small-big-small.

Having experienced this in meditation, I have decided to investigate it. Here is what I have found.  Once you acclimatize to the sensation, you realize it is not oscillation between big and small, it is actually oscillation between small and nothingness!

Or rather, more accurately, between chaos and void (I say void because, in my estimation, there is no such thing as order — only absence of chaos).

In our lives, there is only the imposition of perceived order (delusion really) upon chaos by a consciousness, which is generally unwilling to embrace the inherently chaotic nature of reality. And so, suffering (as the word is used in Buddhist terms, or in any other terms really) is just the inability or unwillingness of consciousness to accept the true nature of reality. Put another way, it is the pain incurred by wanting things to impossibly be some way other than the way they are or the only way they can possibly be!

“What has this to do with intelligence and wisdom?” the Dungeon Masters asks. I’m getting there.

We must begin with the understanding that we live in a society that values intelligence over wisdom: engineering over poetry for example (catastrophically so, in fact — but this is another discussion). The mathematician/scientist/physicist is held in much higher esteem than the philosopher/poet/priest. This because the first facilitates the twin delusions of quantification as control and egoic alienation from other that fuel consumption driven economic growth, and the latter undermines that paradigm. But this too is another discussion.

Suffice it to say — that, at least in systemic terms, the physicist is revered and the philosopher is diminished. Intelligence is king. Wisdom is sandal-wearing hippy clown.

Enough context then, here we go…

Intelligence is the faculty by which one OUTWARDLY (exoterically) measures, labels, and correlates arbitrarily designated variables in a reality demarcated by consciousness.

Wisdom is the faculty by which one INWARDLY (esoterically) directly experiences a reality un-demarcated by consciousness.

Having defined the terms, let’s put them in context using the experience of meditating and directly experiencing the fundamental chaos characterized by the quantum foam situation we discussed previously.

The scientist — who is intelligent — using measurement, (mathematics) theoretically observes the quantum foam as he constantly pushes to further the edge of how far OUT he can go in the quest to understand the nature of reality.

The philosopher — who is wise — using meditation (the obliteration of constructs such as mathematics), experiences the quantum foam (if you must call it something, sheesh!), as he pushes to further the edge of how far IN he can go.

Certainly, there is a longer conversation to be had here, but this is a start.

And one last point to ponder.

Intelligence has not risen to primacy as our modality of choice merely because it facilitates our ability to manipulate our environment (and certainly, to be manipulated as well). It has allure in that it empowers one to more readily share experiences using mechanisms such as words and numbers with another person or with all other people. Intelligence can be KNOWN, and so recorded and easily conveyed from one conscious entity to another.

The means of sharing the fruits of wisdom are not readily shareable. Approximations of direct inner experience rendered through art, literature, poetry, music are the best one can do. The fruits of wisdom can only, ever be FELT.

In a nutshell then, the spoils of our outer (exoteric) expeditions (endeavours of intelligence) can be more easily conveyed from one person to another. The spoils of our inner (esoteric) expeditions (endeaovours of wisdom), not so much.

Read Andy Crowley, Sole Sorcerer of Sanctuary. (I dare say it is an attempt to render the fruits of endeavours of wisdom)

Rock n’ scroll!

‘Neath Ego’s thin veil, there be Eden.

That thought comes ’round yet again…
What can I do better?
And again…
How can I achieve more?

What can I take up or acquire
That will make me someone admired
Make me someone adored?

This is the nattering of ego
The me, the self, the I
It’s not who one truly is, you see
It’s the fallen, the mistake, the lie

A delusion, a fabrication,
A ramshackle facade of imaginary things
Nation; religion; political affiliation — all the nonsense
‘Neath which the glory of one’s true nature sings

For in reality you are All consciousness
Of which your manufactured identity,
Your ego, is but a part
Using arithmetic and measure it helps you to function
But it has been hijacked by society’s dark art

For in fostering the fiction that ego’s chatter
Is in totality, all that you are
They get workers
and voters, and soldiers
who for nought but baubles and trinkets conspire

In transcending imagined identity
One awakens
In knowing others are likewise afflicted
One is freed

Through meditation
We wither the fruit of Eden
We return home
In ascending beyond creed

Read Andy Crowley, Sole Sorcerer of Sanctuary