Profiles of Wisdom?
Two of the key questions
which have occupied The Wisdom Page during the past 14 years are: What
is wisdom? and How can we develop it? Ancient spiritual traditions
can help us answer both questions if we delve deeply enough into their
practices. So can insights from personal growth psychology. But perhaps
we can learn most from the study of wise people People who deal
with life situations exceptionally well. People who not only espouse the
highest values, but live them. People whose concerns extend far beyond
Much of the academic
research on wisdom has involved studies of exceptional people. Scholars
have looked at the specifics of their attitudes, ways of being, and life
histories and have drawn conclusions about what wisdom is and how these
people became wise. Some of us appreciate scholarly analyses, but others
would rather consider the raw data for themselves, get their own insights
from it, and draw their own conclusions. Hopefully, this new PROFILES
OF WISDOM section of The Wisdom Page which focuses primarily
on the life stories themselves will meet that need.
OF WISDOM has three subsections. The first of these is: WISDOM
PORTRAITS OF WELL-KNOWN 20TH CENTURY FIGURES. Historian Walter
Moss has a long-term book project in mind, a book tentatively titled Portraits
of Modern Wisdom. Walter will be writing some of the essays for this
book himself, and here you will find the first of his portraits, "The
Wisdom of Carl and Paula Sandburg." Walter is also encouraging others
who are familiar with the life story of some well-known 20th century wise
person to write a portrait of that person to be posted here on The Wisdom
Page and if the book comes together as hoped, possibly make it
into the book. Check out Walter's Portraits
of Modern Wisdom: An Introduction, and if interested, email him at
(FYI, see my review of his 2008 book An Age of Progress? at http://www.wisdompage.com/MossReview.html)
The second subsection,
PORTRAITS OF PRE-MODERN WISDOM, will be devoted
to prominent people in the pre-modern era and their relationship with
wisdom. If you have studied the life of such a person and have insights
to share, please write me (Cop Macdonald) at email@example.com.
See, for example, Alan Nordstrom's "Shakespeare's Take on Human Wisdom."
For the third subsection, PROFILES
OF OTHER WISE PEOPLE, I am looking for text, audio, or video
contributions not of well-known people in this case, but personal
stories concerning some wise person you have known and whose wisdom has
impressed you. If interested in contributing to this third category, email
me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For starters I have put up a profile of Alice Burkhardt, one of the wisest
people I have ever known.