Regarding Wisdom: Posted To RWER Blog 06/29/2018

DT:  What is at issue is not knowledge but what is necessary for one to acquire and share it, i.e. language complex but uncomplicated enough to express it and motivation sufficiently other-directed to be willing to. Without that, sure, humans may remain or degenerate into animal predators and prey, but they still have the same brains now as they did in the 19th and 20th century. All that is different is that we now know rather more about how they work, which sadly is being more widely used to mislead other people than to follow the ancient advice to “know thyself”.

So ignorant or self-serving people in UK and US governments deny the economic unity of the world?

G K Chesterton, in a little book (Orthodoxy) it might take you – as it took me – decades to comprehend, gave a couple of comprehensive answers in respect of this and changes in social relations:

Ch.4 . “Strike a glass, and it will not endure an instant; simply do not strike it, and it will endure a thousand years. … happiness depended on NOT DOING SOMETHING which you could at any moment do and which, very often, it was not obvious why you should not do”. [Hence subsidiarity: only globalise insofar as one needs to].

Ch.7. “We are not altering the real to suit the ideal. We are altering the ideal: it is easier”. [From a brief comparison of evolution, progress and reform].

JB:  Dave, we are speaking to different audiences. I deal mostly with Master’s in Engineering & Business, often from poor nations or poor families in wealthy nations. My students are more from Asia that the West. Their daily lives are about measurements & job performance. Chesterton would make no sense to most, nor would they want to try. While I don’t wish to emphasize their closeness to Trump, he seems to be a materialist whose mental depth goes to insuring his ego is dominant if possible in every social encounter. Not so my students.
That said, I also was raised with philosophy, history & anthropology. In my years in the Uni Calif & State Uni of Calif systems the engineers & biz faculty were seen as largely different from those in the humanities, for sure. Actually I went between anthro & those other two faculties at several uni’s. And that was a cultural shock each time….
Keep up your interesting comments, my friend.

DT:  James, be careful you don’t smear Chesterton by juxtapositioning his name by that of Trump. Chesterton, having been shunned by British academics after he became a Catholic, is now usually (if at all) known for his Fr Brown detective stories. Yet in fact he was an intuitive polymath: an artist and poet who studied language and personality differences, became a renowned art, literary and social critic, turned down a professorship in order to educate the uneducated via journalism, became one of the leading lights in the Distributist school of economics and in retrospect was recognised by Jaki as “a seer of science”. If you pick up a copy of any of the old “Everyman” edition of Dickens, you will find it prefixed by a Chesterton tutorial about both the story and the writing of it.

The point is the one Kate Raworth makes so tellingly in her “Doughnut Economics”: all your erudite Masters and PhD’s began as students and often still see the world and their part in it in the way these were first presented to them: as misleadingly oversimplified and specialised. The academically despised Distributist picture is of localisation (as in families and sustenance farming) so that we can see and learn directly from what others are doing. Schumacher’s “Small is Beautiful” as against automated mass production (for sale only to those with money).

JB: Dave, of course Chesterton cared for others, which is not a suit which Mr Trump seems to know. My point was simply that when the world wants excellence in anything–whether with a Luther translating the Bible into German or an Albert Einstein with his re-ordering of our understanding of physical nature–it typically calls on specialists. I recall from my undergrad years that our famous professors in any subject could stand up and speak for hours without notes, often writing lines of poetry or mathematics, just because they were specialists.

Me:  Dave and James,

You’re both right of course because you’re both thinking integratively…..and integration of truths is the very process of wisdom, its self actualization and so maintenance. All we as economic thinkers and human beings then need to realize is that the pinnacle concept and experience of wisdom is grace/graciousness which is continuously dynamic INTEGRATING. It’s why R. Buckminster Fuller wrote I Seem To Be A Verb.

And then to realize that in addition to its personal benefits the aspects of grace as a concept are imminently applicable to any human system and in fact are the highest wisdom APPLIED…which is another one of the definitions of wisdom itself, that is, the best possible integration of the practical and the ideal.

So let us hustle up and apply the policies of Monetary Grace As In Direct and Reciprocal Gifting….and the nation and the world will be a much more flowing, ethical and enjoyable place.


KZ: Craig, how did the “Great Depression” unfold? It was not slow and deliberate but changed almost every aspect of life in America within a few months. It devastated jobs and lead to hundreds of bank closures. This crisis leads to FDR’s “New Deal” which included Social Security, unemployment insurance, etc. We’ve not seen anything like this related to the 2007-2008 financial crisis. TARP saved most the banks and financial investment houses, and thus most of the investors. But little help has been offered or provided to home owners, small businesses, hourly workers, and city and state governments. Now this “crisis” seems in limbo. The wealth share of the upper class separates from that of the middle- and working-class more with every passing day. Yet, even with no help and ever declining share of national wealth, the middle- and working class have not rebelled. The only sign of rebellion is the election of Donald Trump. And this seems about to finish the subjugation of both classes. It’s time for the professional revolutionaries to take over. That seems to be happening with the rebirth of the “Progressive” Party, not seen as active for over 75 years. Our struggle then is between two populist parties. Neither reluctant to use forces, propaganda, and blackmail. This likely will reshape the USA for next 50 years, if not longer. The last time these two fought, the Progressives claimed a clear victory.

Me:  Ken,  We agree on so much. But my perspective on the events you reference is slightly different.

The Great Depression was indeed a terribly disruptive event but there were actions and inactions that preceded and precipitated it. History as I’m sure you would agree is a continuum. Yes, the New Deal lead to lasting reforms but did not touch the deeper reasons why modern economies are plagued by serial de-stabilizations. Hence the business cycle continued and set the stage for ever greater future idiotic de-stabilizations like the various derivative products we saw building up to 2008. Hence from an historical perspective it was still a mere reform, a mere palliation of the real problem…the rule of the economy by Finance’s monopolistic paradigm of Debt Only and also IMO the unfortunate continuance of the economically illegitimate business model of private finance. Private Finance is not only a paradigmatic problem it has also devolved into a tremendously parasitical amount of additional costs…post retail sale. Retail sale is actually the only legitimate end of the economic/productive process….not finance. Thus a publicly administered national banking system is a part of the solution to our economic problems. The last 4-500 years of private finance has so hypnotized us as to its legitimacy that economists cannot see through and past it. Ellen Brown’s Public Banking movement is a great reform. All it needs is to make the integration to national instead of state banking and then to further integrate with the new paradigm thinking and policies I’m advocating. And yes, David Graeber has shown us that the paradigm of Debt Only has been with us for 5000 years and that the government/church controlled variety of finance was just as problematic and tyrannical as private finance has become. All the more reason to end its dominance and tyranny with economic and monetary policies based on and aligned with the benevolent universal solvent concept of grace as in monetary gifting.

As for Trump, he and Bannon espouse the fascistic, disruptive, dis-integrative and inevitably chaotic idiocy of “the fourth turning” which is actually just the historic failure to accomplish what economics and civilization has always required in order to evolve past the paradigm of Debt Only….the integrative wisdom/thirdness greater oneness of the natural philosophical concept of grace thoroughly applied to our technologically advanced economies.

KZ:  Craig, I understand that quantum physicists often connect quantum dimensionality and transcendence with spirituality and religious experiences. I don’t understand all of what they propose, but I agree with most of what I do understand. Having said this, it’s important to point out quantum physics is still a science. Thus, is based on empirical research and empirical evidence. Evidence, I agree of forms and depth not pursed by most only science today.

In terms of grace and science, I can’t agree that grace as science is the solution for anything. Scientists revealed the world of the atomic. No universal solutions followed. Scientists revealed thousands of earth-like planets in the universe. Still no universal solutions. Scientists reveal in intimate detail the structure and functioning of the human brain. No universal solutions. My version of grace is Sapiens expanding its insights, its understandings until it sees itself in the universe and the it sees the multiverse, per William James. “Visible nature is all plasticity and indifference, a multiverse, as one might call it, and not a universe.” (“The Will to Believe,” and “Is Life Worth Living?” I figure that’s a few thousand years away.

Me:  “In terms of grace and science, I can’t agree that grace as science is the solution for anything. Scientists revealed the world of the atomic. No universal solutions followed. ”

That’s because they didn’t make the relevant mental integrations between the quantum universe, their own minds and the cosmos as a whole. Science and its now rigid orthodoxy of abstraction and knowledge as data only jumped in and wrecked/missed the experience. When you contemplate

1) grace as in utter and complete integration on the cosmic/quantum level and the same on the individual mental level….they perfectly reflect each other

2) similarly the reflectivity of the very actions of our consciousness reaching out to and then withdrawing from whatever it was experiencing at any moment to the popping into existence (reaching) of particles in the quantum universe and then their popping back out of existence (withdrawing)

3) you begin to see that temporal/physical reality however delightful, interesting and necessary for temporal progress….is actually the reflection of the deeper more fundamental reality of the panentheistic quantum universe…that is, even though it’s also quite real it is the maya illusion of separateness and arrogance in its claim to ultimate reality spoken of in hindu and buddhist wisdom traditions. And finally

4) the truly complete reality is the integration and self actualization of BOTH of these realities….and that is the state of grace. And that’s why wedding/integrating a philosophy of grace with reflective policies/actions in economics….is the wise and effective thing to do.

The same applies to the other examples you gave.

“My version of grace is Sapiens expanding its insights, its understandings until it sees itself in the universe and the it sees the multiverse”

There you have it. That is exactly the same as my viewpoint. There’s no detraction from the experience itself, It’s just that sometimes it takes the discipline of internal (and external) attentiveness and an addition by subtraction mental sanctification process of non-integrative blocks….to make it fully real to oneself.

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