Are You A Wise Person Or A Wiseacre?

Wisdom is knowing how to use your wits, and is derived from an Old English word that means “to know;” as opposed to the construct “wiseacre” which is one who pretends to knowledge or cleverness.

Humanity has a long history of the pursuit of wisdom, which is called philosophy. The word “philosophy” comes from the Greek word sophos meaning wise.

There is also a long psychiatric history of trying to cast madness as a form of wisdom or of inexplicable insight. We suspect this might have arisen in a futile attempt to explain madness, since psychiatry has never been able to properly define it, defaulting instead to making up countless words for its multitude of symptoms. (Which is called “diagnosis.“)

The Resources of Wisdom

In the physical Universe there are four resources: matter, energy, space, and time. In the spiritual Universe, resources are whatever you consider a resource. Money for example, often considered as a resource, is a consideration — actually it is an idea backed with confidence; it represents an exchange of something of value for something else of value.

The common idea that one should use resources wisely, while a useful idea, comes from the situation that one has either forgotten how to create these resources or that one has too many blocks and barriers toward creating these resources. Thus, the basics of wise usage are really one’s abilities to effectively operate in the physical and spiritual Universes.

Rehabilitating one’s native abilities where they are blocked is ultimately the key to being wise.

Sanity and Insanity

The crux of the matter seems to be having proper definitions for sanity and insanity, as one alludes to wisdom and the other to madness. In this way we can adequately distinguish between the two.

Psychiatry has basically admitted to not knowing exactly what sanity and insanity are.

“We do not know the causes [of any mental illness]. We don’t have the methods of ‘curing’ these illnesses yet.” [Dr. Rex Cowdry, psychiatrist and director of National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in 1995]

As with most English words, there are a number of definitions for each to fit various circumstances. We’ll go with these two useful definitions:

Sanity — The ability to recognize differences, similarities and identities.
Insanity — The overt or covert but always complex and continuous determination to harm or destroy.

To make these two definitions real to you and see how they might apply to other things you know, perform the following two things repeatedly for each word:
1. Imagine a situation where this particular definition makes sense or applies.
2. Imagine a situation where this particular definition does not make sense or does not apply.

Do this until you have some realization about each word.

Books have been written on these two subjects, so we’re not going to examine all the ramifications in this one blog.

How Does This Apply to Psychiatry?

The inevitable conclusion seems to be that Wisdom and Sanity are related, and Madness and Insanity are related; and psychiatry is the Wiseacre bastard of the two.

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