The Elasticity of Wisdom

An Exploration into the Retractable and Expansive Nature of Realization

As the academic, theological, and moral discipline of Philosophy advances, new and peculiar sectors of thought are added to an already existing clump of intellectual property. Thus, a process of accepting certain previously stated normalities takes place both subconsciously and consciously in the heart and mind of every new philosophically bound entity. Meaning, certain lines of thought are so intertwined with the evolution of intellectual writings and inferences that they have a tendency to be taken as golden truths. Life, justice, and, on occasion, even goodness fall into this seemingly naturalized category. Wisdom, however, seems to be a concept immune to concreteness and based solely in the abstractness that pertains to thought itself. In this way, the obtainment of wisdom is then deeply indebted to the individual’s ability to augment and become a conglomerate of theories.

Consequently, it can be assumed that if wisdom is to be realized, the self must be relentlessly elastic. Wisdom is, through daily life as well as deep and taxing contemplation, realized, therefore, the self must be relentlessly elastic. Whereas this is true from the deduction of premises, it is vital to unpack the ways in which these two conceptions, wisdom and elasticity, present both manifest and latent definitions in the world of abstract reason. In order to do this, the terms must be addressed through both philosophical and more objective avenues.

Wisdom in an objective and seemingly secular way is often characterized by certain levels of virtuosic claims in social spheres. Namely, wisdom is often associated with eloquence in relaying experienced moral situations and their outcomes, which is often attached to age or persistent misfortune. On the same accord, wisdom in this sense is often seen not as a revolutionized moment of enlightenment, but rather a gradual employing of things that could, and often are, learned “eventually.” Unfortunately, this marking can give way to mindsets of indifference, connoting wisdom with inaction rather than investigation.

In a more philosophical characterization, wisdom, as mentioned above, is an area of cognition that has been under ceaseless analyzation since nearly the beginning of human logic. The forefathers of western philosophy, who from which modern thought has been evolutionistically formed, have more than dabbled in the subject. Socrates, circa 470 BC, famously noted, “the only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing,” yet further asserted that, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Aristotle, the successor to Socrates’ successor, circa 367 BC, declared, “knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom,” and that, “it is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” Given these declarations, along with the purpose of providing evidence for the aforementioned argument, it can be surmised that philosophically bound wisdom is acknowledging that what is learned is not concrete, that human actors must still attempt regardless, and that the first step to this doomed experiment is introspection. Introspection, being inherently investigative, challenges the sort of wisdom juxtaposed with age and/or persistent misfortune. This is not to imply a humankind which sees introspection as antagonistic to wisdom, but instead acknowledge the widely practiced apathy toward the detailed and intensive work of introspection which leads to wisdom in its most supreme manifestation. In order for such a phenomenon to occur, the individual need only be enthralled to elasticity.

Elasticity, in non-philosophical discourse, is defined as, “the ability of an object or material to resume its normal shape after being stretched or compressed,” or “the ability of something to change and adapt.” It is often used in economics to show the responsiveness, or elasticity, of the quantity demanded of a good or service to a change in its price. Or in regard to the way a face is able to flex and then return to its resting state. Through these examples it is clear that elasticity is most commonly referred to in relatively factual, and not particularly metaphorical, situations.

For the purpose of this specific philosophical endeavor, elasticity contains countless allegorical layers which use primary definitions as stepping stones to deeper and more crucial conclusions. One common and divisive misconception of wisdom is that once it is realized it is stagnant. In other words, there is a rhetorical conception which insists in a fixed idea of wisdom, one which, if unattended to by the individual, will not evolve with temporal, social, political, and philosophical timelines, but bury itself into the ground for whenever the digger deems fit. This not only, as stated earlier, discourages breaking the wall down to step into wisdom through deliberate introspection, but also demonstrates a complete and utter disregard for the accumulation of intellectual property and how it inevitably drives the very depths of how wisdom fabricates itself to the investigator. Wisdom, alternatively, should be viewed as an ocean, ebbing and flowing for the individual who dare brave its waves.

To illustrate this fully, imagine a rubber band. This rubber band, as with all, stretches, retracts, and expands when effort is exerted by some outside force. It is not constricted to its resting shape, for it can not only enlarge, but also be condensed into a smaller form. Such is true for the exploration and realization of wisdom; it expands with new information in which to delineate the truth, and condenses when a notion requires a more micro analysis. As the self, the encompassing entity through which wisdom is filtered, decides to frightfully delve into the system of extracting wisdom from the human experience, they must first pledge themselves to be elastic. Strictly speaking, the individual concedes to the vastness of wisdom before it is even realized. Once this step has been completed, and only once this step has been completed, can they begin their walk into wisdom.

Assuming this course of events occurs and wisdom is now beginning to be revealed, the importance of elasticity becomes ever-present and pivotal to the elongation of wisdom-realization for that individual. For it is easy to buy into the first ounce of wisdom bestowed upon the mind, yet harder to purposefully and actively look beyond the first instance of realization, or in the example above, the resting state of the rubber band, to the breadth of wisdom beyond. No substantial effort is being exerted by the individual who merely accepts that first bit of wisdom, therefore, they abandon the very elasticity that provided them with the wisdom itself and have instead returned to their innate desire for a feasible and concrete truth. This, in conclusion, is why if wisdom is to be truly, correctly, and most beneficially realized, the self in turn must be relentlessly elastic in order to continually substantiate the mess of this world.

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