The Two Heads of Wisdom

The Two Heads of Wisdom

Updated: Apr 17


There seems to be an imbalance between technical wisdom and philosophical wisdom in today’s society.


You see, there seems to be much indulgence in fields such as mathematics, science, engineering, technology and so forth, but much less investment in humanities, with their elementary founder being philosophy.


The first head of wisdom is about “how”, and “when”; the second head - about the “why”, “what” and “if”.


The more we invest on the first head, the more we would be able to calculate things and discover their outcomes, but it’s still devoid of much potential purposefulness, beyond the general aim which is optimal financial gain.


The more we invest on the second head, the more we would able to apply purpose into our life, and look at existence as more than a machine, but, rather, as a sea of opportunities that can be actualized, with its general motive being, as said, purpose.


Simply looking at our existence as an automated machine beyond much purpose (regardless of the question if purpose is inherit or applied), we may be successful on professional terms, but we could still find ourselves unsatisfied, making our success only in terms of professionality, with little regard what is our ideology towards existence.


This is the wisdom our society lacks - the wisdom of purpose. The belief that financial gain is the most important, if not the only important, thing in life, we make ourselves ignorant of life as more than just a machine whom we use for optimal financial gain and nothing much more. We are encouraged to go to academies, get a degree in something beneficial, get a high paying job, raising a family, take care for them until you’re old enough to be in pension, and the generations after you are encouraged to repeat the same thing you’ve been encouraged to do, and when you fulfill these norms like a machine, you are given much respect and are considered attractive and desirable, even if you yourself are not pleased with your existence due to lack of purpose beyond such repetitive activities in the name of financial gain and a respectful reputation.


Whatever can be found beyond this metaphorical machine, lies within the Second Head of Wisdom, in humanities, and especially in philosophy, whose one of its main aims is to give us a sense of purpose into our lives; something which many of us are devoid of, both as individuals and as communities.


This is why I find the lifelong norms (getting into academy/collage, get a degree, find a high paying job and so forth) wrong, at least philosophically, because while such planning can ensure us our financial future, it usually has a much lower effect on us as beings that need a more general deeper motives for our activities, including deciding to stay alive and not commit suicide when we can.


This is something that the First Head of Wisdom - mathematics, science and so forth - is incapable of giving us, or, at least, is not that much competent of doing. Thus, philosophizing can be vital for one's ambition to stay alive and endure the daily, absurd-looking, continuous activities a civilized life requires from us.

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© 2019 Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosopher