TED Conversations

Vera Nova

Director Research Analysis, NOVA Town Futuristic Development

TEDCRED 30+

This conversation is closed.

How long do we need to live to become more wise about life?

Will our humanity benefit from a much longer life, having more time to learn and re-learn from our own and other's mistakes? Would this be great to have the time, 300 -500 years, to revise and re-evaluate our ideas, knowledge, experience, ethics, and mentality in whole?

If it would be possible to live long enough what kind of stories we would be able to tell the younger generation? "Simple" or fascinating, "Informative" or wise?

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Closing Statement from Vera Nova

natasha nikulina
TED TRANSLATOR
Jan 27 2014:


Infinitely



P.S. We need to go back to this very Topic once more, as it provokes us to observe ourselves and brew our own meaning of life - for ourselves.

We’re on this planet for too short a time, breaking everything we may reach trying to get "inside things" - just like young babies. When we become older we take these illusions of knowing of what "inside" for wisdom.

Wisdom is deeply Intuitive Awareness that every living form is granted by nature. But humans who "learn" to trust their naive fantasies, symbols and collective prototypes need to live much longer for re-evaluating that "knowledge" and improving it over and over again.

After all wisdom is an endless Process, not a set of answers.

I thank you all for thinking along!
Hope to talk to you very soon.
V.N.

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    Feb 23 2014: Vera, We have the element you ask for ... we call it by many names ... culture ... lore ... history ... etc ...

    We also have a failure to learn from these successes and failures.

    I am not young any more,l but I learn every day in many ways ... One of the problems I see .. my opinion ... is that much of the learning today is closer to indoctrination than education.

    The media is being used and many take it as fact not goals that are being presented as facts.

    We need to become independent and capable of research without manipulation. We need to review and analyze history and STOP expecting different results to the same inputs ... thats just crazy.

    Age is not the determining factor ... access to information and the ability to maintain a open mind and then to connect the dots ...

    There is a old sled dog story that says ... if you ain't the lead dog the view never changes.

    So stop following .. do your own thinking ... and enjoy the view.

    I wish you well. Bob.
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      Feb 23 2014: "We need to become independent and capable of research without manipulation. We need to review and analyze history and STOP expecting different results to the same inputs ... thats just crazy."

      What you're saying is soooo true, Robert!

      And your suggestion is superb: So stop following .. do your own thinking ... and enjoy the view.

      Stay very well and as curious as you can be :) Vera Nova
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    Jan 24 2014: Hi Vera,
    I don't think gaining wisdom is about how LONG we live, but rather HOW we live...if only for a short time. I have met lots of young people including really young children, who seem to be very wise, and perhaps children are born with wisdom, and the whole life experience is about remembering:>)
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    Jan 24 2014: Wisdom does not come at a steady pace, nor does an event result in a set amount of wisdom gained for everyone.
    Likely you have met kids that wisdom has far surpassed their age, and teenagers that are clueless and too many adults also.
    I have a health issue that has gotten me to look inward and seek the meaning of life, and yet others with the same health issue get stuck in the “Why Me?” phase and never gain the wisdom that I have found.

    We are all on our unique paths and have different lessons to learn in our earthly lives, I have learn to embrace hardships as lesson to learn from, and others may see them as punishments or opportunities for they are on a different path and will gain wisdom at their own pace.
  • Jan 24 2014: I know we associate wisdom with age because of experience but I have known wise children (forced to grow up due to circumstances) and very unwise adults. To me wisdom is to know what you know and what you do not know and how to get new knowledge and how to apply it.
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      Jan 24 2014: Your point is fantastic! I believe that very young children are naturally deeply intuitive, I mean, uncorrupted by man-made, often stupid conventions, blindly rulling the majority of adults.

      Our first "childish" questions about our existence are fundamental, but the answers we usually get from parents and teachers are shallow, nearsighted and after all meaningless.

      When I was growing up among very ill, and troubled adults, I was desperate to find an old Sage to come to, who could be as knowlegeable as a 3000 year old wizard, but who could perceive the world with open honesty of a very young child, like I was …

      I'm still missing this Sage, to this very day.

      Still wish some people who become sages need to live for a few hundred years at least. We might learn from them first hand and they would have more time for continuing their fascinating work.
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    Feb 23 2014: 'Wisdom' assumes accumulated experience and knowledge from the past, which would tend to be static, 'set in stone', solidifying more with age. This assumes a world also in stasis, where such wisdom would be appropriate.

    This begs the question - what if the world of our own making is no longer static and solidly dependable, and is instead rapidly changing and needful of a more appropriately dynamic kind of wisdom, relevant to constantly shifting ideals? Would the likewise dynamic wisdom of youth be more appropriate in order to perpetuate that dynamism? What would be the planetary outcome if such wisdom were to be perpetuated?

    Because we have lost our relationship with the natural order and are arguably no longer part of it, I think our outlook has become more and more anthropocentric, yet increasingly globalised in its reach.

    The 'dynamism vs stasis' argument is a tricky one. I think it partly boils down to the desire for longevity in two different ways. Ideals of dynamism desire personal longevity, whereas ideals rooted in stasis desire a wider planetary longevity. One is probably at the cost of the other.

    Many now desire stasis, including me, not just because this period of youthful dynamism has clearly now run it's course, but also because within stasis, lies peace. For that to happen there has to be a re-evaluation, somehow, of our personal relationship with death, and to regard our own passing as a vital part of the perpetuation of life on earth.
  • Jan 27 2014: Infinitely
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    Jan 27 2014: What came first the chicken or the egg?
    Does a long life make you wiser, or does being wise lead to a long life?

    It is common knowledge that an active mind is a healthy mind, reducing the odds of getting Alzheimer’s disease for example. And it is not much of a leap to conclude that there is a connection between an active mind and wisdom.
    Food for thought: A lot of people die shortly after retirement, is wisdom or lack of wisdom a factor?

    P.S. Consider this: the US founding fathers were very wise, and yet the average life span at the time was much shorter.
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    Jan 25 2014: I’m one of those individuals who cannot help but push themselves to the extreme even in sickness. It’s not a common reaction on sickness and pain.

    That day when I was very seriously sick visiting this clinic the doctor told me to stay alert driving back (he did not know - I drove for 2h 40min each way, he thought I lived "around the corner" )
    He advised me to play loud music.

    When my body is very hurt my mind is taking over and shines light onto my present situation bringing super clarity..

    My mind takes over when my brain hurts and is clouded in feaver and pain. Internal alert saves me every time.

    That night while driving with a high fever I was contemplating our belief in “reality” of Time, I instantly dived into timeless bliss… more real than anything I knew. I wrote this poem on my way back to the miserable place where I was staying at that time.


    Clocks are churches to venerate Time.
    They are built for minds bewitched by the illusion of its power.
    Humans hurry their existence, they know more about hours and minutes
    than what they do,
    facing new years as old worlds to count.
    Time measures stars to fit them in space of minds.

    Clocks tick away the rest and labor, love and hatred, horror and joy
    in the same way because they come and go as the same units.
    They give the same minutes to be born and die.

    It was no time before I opened my eyes to see the world.
    My heart started my clock and my time began.
    My days are as long as I move.
    Thoughts are years.
    Minutes of hate are shorter than seconds.
    Minutes of love and thanks longer than my existence.

    I cannot be late for myself -- I am always on time.
    My mind is the only time machine which takes me
    everywhere -- ignoring millions of years.

    I could see my life as one day, but I need centuries to understand a minute.

    When my heart stops my time, no one will be there to rewind it
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    Jan 24 2014: That would mean, Vera, that we would not be allowed to drink alcohol legally until the age of 68/113 in Europe and 79/131 in the US ... I am not certain if I am going to vote for this ... ;o)

    Besides that, I don't think it would have any positive effect on humanity as the average age of any leading elite is usually high enough already to could have or to use the overall knowledge they gained or out of our historical heritage.

    Humanity does not fall short on insights and better knowledge, it falls short on courage and practice and I have my doubts if more time on our life-clocks would finally get us going, as comfort zones remain comfortable regardless our age ...
  • Jan 24 2014: Hi Vera,your topic reminds me one of my confused questions here:It seems when I was going to be forty-year-old,I was aware of myself to see things around clearer than before.You know there is very classical ideas came from Confucius:吾十五志于学,二十而冠,三十而立,四十不惑,五十知天命,六 十耳顺,七十而从心欲不逾矩。四十不惑 means when people are in forty later,will be wiser than before,it sounds for me it is true,i don't know how others people who are over forty feel about that.:)
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      Jan 24 2014: Thank you for your lovely post :)

      What if a great sage, like Confucius, could live for 3,000 years and we would be able to see and hear him in person? How would he change his Golden Rule?
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    Jan 24 2014: .
    As long as we learn what the INVALID HAPPINESS is.
    .
    .
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      Jan 24 2014: Dear W.Ying, I want to make sure I understand you perfectly. If I do we might never learn what invalid happiness really is --- Do you mean presumably Collective? or personal experience?
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        Jan 31 2014: Thanks!

        Here is a brief:

        (1) Valid happiness is the short-time feeling of things being a-step-better
        . . for keeping our DNA alive.
        (2) Invalid happiness is the short-time feeling of things being pseudo-a-step-better (actually a-step-“worse”)
        . . for keeping our DNA alive.
        . . E.g. having junk food, drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco, abusing drug,
        . . .... wasting (fashion, big house, touring, .... causing environment crisis),
        . . .... making too much money (causing inequality, crimes, wars, ....
        . . .... "destroying our planet", .... humankind self-extinction).
        (3) “Invalid happiness” is out of the valid scope of our instincts formed 10,000 years ago.


        About 90% of happiness we pursue today is invalid happiness.
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    Jan 24 2014: There was a story of a famous man who said that he reached a point in his life where he had gained enough knowledge and wisdom, but he was too old to enjoy it.

    For many of us, we seem to be less reckless and restless by age thirty. At that age, we gain a deeper understanding of life.
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      Jan 24 2014: I'm wondering if humans could manage to live and learn from new, surprising, real experience as long as they wish to learn and live.

      When I see elderly people exercising their declining brains by "working" on crosswords I want to cry - a pitiful
      picture..

      Every individual is different, some would get bored as they age, but some could be extremely productive (mentally) and would need more time to complete their work…
      Always love to read your posts, Rodrigo!
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        Jan 24 2014: Do you find all sorts of puzzle-solving recreations pitiful or specifically crosswords, or only when undertaken by seniors? For example, would you pity someone who does the New York Times crossword on the subway heading to work or a youngster engaged with a rubics cube? I am curious.

        I am sure humans naturally learn from experience for the entirety of their lives, with the exception of those with specific, advanced mental disabilities.
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          Jan 25 2014: I perfectly understand that many people of all ages read, or play games or do crosswords on busses and trains. I understand that the noise and other things around are too disturbing to dive into "deep thoughts".

          Well, someone learns something else from practicing crosswords. This is what Rabbi Geoffrey A. Mitelman tells us about his Ritual, NY crossword puzzles ”

          "Indeed, crosswords can teach us more than just the first name of "NYPD Blue" actor Morales. They teach us how to fail, which is what we need to learn how to do in order to truly succeed.

          This is his own experience and opinion.

          (I find my ways of learning everywhere)
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        Jan 24 2014: Oh my goodness Vera! You pity elderly people exercising their brains with crossword puzzles??? My mom did crosswords her whole life up until the time she died of a brain tumor at age 87....she was as sharp as a tac, until the brain tumor interfered with that! I love to play scrabble, and have loved it since I was a kid, playing with my mom. Do you see that as a pitiful picture?
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          Jan 25 2014: Colleen, I admire your kindness and thoughtfulness. I was thinking how to more clearly explain my point.

          My best friend, 92, is the most intelligent old girl I’ve known. She plays scrabble often saying - I know you would not understand why I do this but this “ritual” calms me down and makes our boring talks with my elderly pals (mostly about illness) more tolerable.

          Some years ago I’ve volunteered to invite a group of elderly people to my tiny art studio. The reason was, in spite playing scribbles, bingo and crosswords, everyone of them was very depressed and not well.

          We were having a grand time, though they were not artists. I introduced them to art in a very unusual way. While talking about our inborn artistic abilities in perceiving reality we were discovering together something that my older pals never
          guessed they had already inside, a creative gift in seeing things around in new ways.

          We also talked about how artists lived trying to survive.

          I felt rewarded when everyone told me how much joy they found in my studio, away from their everyday routine. More importantly their lives became more meaningful in their own eyes.

          Why is that the majority of people in our Western world so quickly decline after they stop going to work, and why do they try to substitute real life experience by exercising their depressed brains using crossword puzzles offering soundbites of “knowledge” ? Why not to read history books and in a few different versions, to make your own opinion?

          Erasmus of Rotterdam was writing and thinking clearly until his very last day, deadly sick and in pain. Not a unique case!

          The most brilliant philosophers have published their best work in their 50s and even 60s.

          My point - we Do have a choice and there is a better way - we can become wiser by discovering our New self and our new abilities often suppressed during our earlier, fussy life.

          Old age can be the most inspirational..

          This Topic is - HOW can we become WISER?
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        Jan 24 2014: Thank you, Vera.
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        Jan 25 2014: I am aware of the topic Vera, and what I was responding to, is your statement...
        "When I see elderly people exercising their declining brains by "working" on crosswords I want to cry - a pitiful
        picture.. "

        I simply wanted to clarify, that a lot of elderly people do not want pity, because of the exercises they/we have chosen. Lots of elderly people have FUN playing scrabble and doing crossword puzzles.

        That being said, I also agree that there are MANY other equally as interesting activities for us elderly to participate in:>)
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          Jan 25 2014: I always feel you're younger than many of my friends in their 30s and 40s. You mind is Young.


          I respect your opinion, but still believe that we have to comprehend, Before we get really old and trapped inside broken healthcare systems and greedy industries practically ruling elderly people lives, that there are BETTER WAYS towards healing and even growing our souls.
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          Jan 26 2014: While I don't do crosswords personally and am not a senior, I notice the Mayo Clinic recommends crosswords, though not as a substitute for life or books. I believe their value is practice remembering things that may be more challenging to remember because they are outside of ones normal life and research/professional path.

          I don't think one can assume that a hobby of doing crosswords comes hand in hand with substituting for "real life" experiences. As one example, Colleen describes her Scrabble habit while also engaging in the world in a variety of ways. Some of the most intellectually engaged people I know are also word puzzlers, spatial puzzlers, or math puzzlers. Word enthusiasts almost certainly are also readers and thinkers.
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        Jan 25 2014: Thank you Vera:>)

        I agree that it is not good to get trapped in broken healthcare systems, and there are lots of beneficial ways to heal and grow. The first very beneficial thing we can do, in my humble perception, is to "know thyself":>)
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          Jan 25 2014: We have no other way, I suppose. But so many of us scared to find out...

          People need alot of encouragement in their childhood to build their own unique characters, and bring some inspiration to others.
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        Jan 26 2014: It is great when people are encouraged from the time we/they are children Vera. If that has not happened however, there is always an opportunity for us throughout our life adventure to explore, learn, grow and gain wisdom:>)
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          Jan 26 2014: When was very young I had to learn how Not to get mad in “return” to senseless cruelty and abuse towards me. Maybe for the reason that I was a very fragile child I had to stay looking calm and not to fight back. I discovered that people around me were not “normal” but sick and for the reasons I did not understood. Growing up with screaming madness I've learned painful lessons on my own - I’ve learned how to be Helpful to and become a little nurse for those who were tormenting me..

          As I mentioned somewhere above - as a young child I was desperately dreaming to find my kind old Sage - a teacher who would nourish my little soul with blessed Understanding.. and encouragement.
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          Feb 5 2014: Hello Colleen - Finally My Question regarding our food/diets has been published. Lets see what kind of answers we might get.

          Please take a look: http://www.ted.com/conversations/22881/can_the_food_we_choose_to_eat.html
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        Jan 26 2014: I am so sorry you had that experience as a child Vera. It is not a very good start to life. My father was violent and abusive, and being quiet and trying not to be noticed in our home was preferred, because we never knew when he was going to go into a rage. We (mother and 7 siblings) usually had nothing to do with his anger, but if we happened to be near him when he was angry.....watch out! There were quite a few things I had to learn about life too Vera....perhaps we have that in common.
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          Jan 27 2014: I'm glad that you've had your siblings - it should be a blessing in your difficult life. I was alone.

          I think when we grow up in a such terrible environment where we are trapped beacuse we are too small to escape, we still have a choice to become as violent and brainless as our parent, or find our own way and become mentally and spiritually very strong.

          My stepsister (she could be my mother by age) did not live with us, but has been imitating my stepmother's madness extremelly well, pretending that she is very ill, very "sensitive"!! She is an ultimately cruel, immoral manipulator, demanading others to treat her as a "victim" making everyone very angry. Every time when I help her she bites back like a deadly scorpion. Her life is ultimately miserable, and she has no one to blame but herself.

          I just want to say that a wonderful intuition is hidden within every young child -- it is up to our choice how we are creating our characters. Every challenging situation can become our sculptor's chisels, shaping our minds and souls. it's up to us what to make of it - ugliness or loveliness and even grace.

          I have this real story. I loved to escape into our old god-forgotten courtyard and look at small flowers and birds.
          Once (I was 5) I came to realize that a heavenly beautiful little flower grows from that scary dirt... How in the world did it make itself so beautiful and can smell like honey? This became my lifelong lesson - no matter what garbage piles on me, I must learn how to turn it into the soil for growing something valuable, well, at least into something nice..Turning "garbage" into soil for planting and growing beautiful thoughts and dreams was my "philosophy" then, and it is still leading me in my present existence.

          You obviously have this gift inside you to help others see things in a better light, and even in a more inspirational way.

          Thank you for sharing your story with me!

          Some people are to destroy, and some to create.
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        Jan 27 2014: Vera,
        I am very sorry you had that experience as a child, and also sorry that you felt alone. I am grateful to have had an unconditionally loving, wise mother and 7 siblings, who were very loving and protective of me.

        I had the gift of experiencing two polarities.....a father whose life was fear based, and a mother, whose life was based on unconditional love. I had the gift of observing them in the life experience, and how their character/personality/persona/words and behaviors influenced their own lives, and the people around them.

        I do not perceive my life to be difficult Vera. I am sure you know that there are a lot of wounded people in our world who have much more difficult experiences than I have faced. Sure there have been challenges, and life is life. Nobody ever told me life would be easy. My mother, however, demonstrated in every moment of her life, how to be loving, even while facing challenges. She brought beauty, humor and joy to almost everything she did.

        I agree with you that we sometimes do not have choices as children. As adults however, we have choices regarding how we use the lessons we may have learned as children.

        You say your step sister demands others to treat her as a "victim" making everyone very angry. Can she "make" people angry? Or do people have choices regarding how to act/react to her script?
        I believe we have choices. No one can make me angry because to respond with anger....or not.... is a choice we can make for ourselves. As you insightfully say Vera..."it is up to our choice how we are creating our characters. it's up to us what to make of it - ugliness or loveliness..."

        That's a good philosophy Vera....to realize.....that from dirt, beautiful flowers grow. As a gardener all my life, I am aware of this philosophy, and see it in action every day:>)

        Thank you Vera, for your kind words. I learned how to see things in a better light, and I love sharing that information with others:>)
        .
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          Jan 27 2014: Dear Sweet Colleen! Wish someone like you would be able to live forever.
          My childhood would be just beautiful if I could have had a person like you somewhere near.. But my stepmother was a loud fury and anyone who felt some sympathy for me ran away from her as far as possible. I was isolated from others because of my sick mother.. until I escaped when I turned 16. Then my naive trust in "kind" people (I did not know people yet) lead me to new desasters, one after another --- I had to learn again how to survive...

          I always felt that I Should survive in this existence for awhile - I felt I had a special obligation, a "mission" to leave my encouraging message to someone like me, to some small helpless child - in a faraway future..I found my closest souls, teachers and sages in books, they were long time dead, but they left for me their bright inspirational thoughts. They suffered, but brought wisdom that somehow survived to this very day.. I found my first book with fragments from Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and others when I was 11. I read it everyday, when my mother was asleep. I was thinking day and night, trying to understand where and why I was hanging around, against my will. (My stepsister would come once in two weeks for a few minutes pretending that she "cares" and would grab some of my paintings I was going to bring to my art teacher, and through it in a garbage can, doing this behind my back..she's a "controller"! No wonder I was not only physically abused but deeply depressed, and developed very serious heart problems. I saved my soul by composing music, playing piano and listening to Wagner and Mozart ect)

          I published this topic above, to find someone who was desperate to be advised and encoraged by a Real Living old sage. 2000 + years old? These old souls are very rare, but very many of us may benefit from knowing them. It's a grand task to become one of them, one needs to practice for endless years.
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        Jan 29 2014: Thank you Vera, but honestly, I have no desire to live forever. I am aware of the human life span, and that's ok with me.

        Again, I am so sorry about your challenges and very glad you could move beyond them.
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    Feb 23 2014: You write as part of your concluding observation on your thread that "Each of us needs a few hundred years to learn wisdom and some grace." I believe that through observation, thought, and engagement with life, we can all cultivate both in ourselves in the time that we have, however short that time turns out to be. Further, during that time many of us will have the good fortune to encounter people who are not a few hundred years old and yet who are graceful, intuitive, and wise.
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    Feb 23 2014: I guess this conversation does not go too far - no imagination is inspired here in terms of possibilities to evolve our recycling mentality, bodies and poor psyche. I honestly think that humans are underdeveloped in spite that we can produce babies early in life - this happens in nature. We play mindlessly with everything that is reachable for us, just like very naive children. We get old prematurely and die too soon.

    Each of us needs a few hundred years to learn wisdom and some grace. From ancient time to this very day we all need a lot of time to learn how to grow up and somehow evolve our superficial mentality, poor psyche and bodies. How many years one needs to become a graceful, highly intuitive, mature and truly wise living being?
  • Feb 8 2014: Hi Vera,

    I don't think it is a matter of personal self actualization as much as a matter of reflected acknowledgement from others of recognition.

    It seems to me it is a time related consequence involving the interaction between learning, idealism, cleverness, etc., and ultimately the feedback experience, or achievement success for a given contender in the eyes of others.

    Just as a side observation. It may well be the expanded roles of government preclude and preempt the individual value of self developed wisdom via extensive government directives and regulations on virtually every aspect of our public and private lives by default scripture.
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    Jan 26 2014: Understand what you're saying, Hannah. Some elderly people say that they only begin "to live" after they retire..

    Well, but it looks that they just try to compencate themselves for the long years they've lost at work - they have not enjoyed .

    Some Fragments of wisdom we may only find in old classical philosophy, and in some philosophy and literature written randomly throughout millennia. Humans have not learned much since. We are very busy believing that our superficial human-built theater of "reality" is the only "real" thing...

    When we "learn" how to survive in our bizarre society we think we have some "intelligence" or even "wisdom".

    I'm trying to imagine if we would be able to live much longer, would this be possible for some of us eventually to understand anything about the nature of our existence?

    How would we live then, how our ethics and relationship with nature around us would be changed? How would we re-evaluate talent, or our environment and other living creatures, who share the same environment with us in their creative ways which we like to imitate "technologically" but still do not understand?
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    Jan 26 2014: When we are are children we see the world in the most wise way. Everything is so clear, and beauty is found all around. Sometimes children can say things that are surprisingly very wise. I have always thought it was strange that we lose our wise eye as we get older, but my grandma was very wise. I always took her advice, because it was so great. So somewhere in life we regain our wise eyes, and I think it depends on how much pain you experience in your life, and how well you overcome it, that makes us more wise. The reason I think that this happens is that in one point in your life you feel that you have to work for everything, and that moment of your life when you retire from all of your life's work is when you see that it made you think of the world differently. You become more observant of the world around you, because you no longer are in this big rush all the time. It might not happen automatically after you retire, because you need to get used to it. Just because you are retired it does not mean you have to slow down though. You can still go sky diving and be very wise.
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    Jan 26 2014: I would say about 60 years, at least that is what occurred to me. Let's see... children won't listen to their parents and grandchildren see us as aliens from another world. On top of generational rejection, comes the realization of pending dementia. Some are able to make to 80 and a few even to 100...but that last twenty can be miserable.
    The thing is that wisdom is not a function of age. There are a number of my generation that are totally clueless.
    So, I am thinking man is about living long enough.
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      Jan 27 2014: Less than 5 minutes ago: Why do you think about 60? We know that the greatest minds have published their best work in their 50s and 60s, Many died while still working.... I agree many of us do not learn much at all, but adjust to some hectic lifestyle and conventional mentality.

      When it comes to retirement people have nothing to do and become very bored.
      The majority of elderly people are ultimately confused.. try to look younger, and do things like if they are young, but it does not work. I think older age CAN be very different - it can be noble and intelligent.

      I'd like to be as old as possible, and get rid of all stupidity that occupies young people driven by hormones, I'd like to stop working for money, and learn how to stay well to some point, away from any "healthcare" traps.

      Most importantly, I want to challange myself to revise my life, my experience, and try to answer some fundamental questions about life, those I still cannot find in any philosophy or literature, and for sure they cannot be answered in those fields of sciences...

      When I've asked the question about how many years one wants to live to become wise, and wiser, I meant Wisdom in a sense of a long process, that cannot be ever completed, but if we can take our time we might turn into better human beings, more thoughtful and kind, giving a living example and support to the younger ones.
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        Jan 27 2014: You make some points, but, I have to stick with my assessment. Yes, there are a few that have done their best in late middle age, but we know about them because they are the exception.
        There is no real future in old age, infirmities will despoil any gains that may come to most as you've noted. Further, as you get older, your sense of staying around is slowly turning into your sense it is time to go. As Shakespeare said, life is but a stage, we come on, say our lines and exit.
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          Jan 27 2014: Like your comment very much, Mike. Agree with what you are saying 100%. Not everyone can manage to get older and at the same time wiser.


          Since you brought up this beautiful observation from great Shakespeare: life is but a stage, we come on, say our lines and exit, I suggest my own point of view - it is about the existence BEYOND the stage.

          What we see as the "stage", through our corporeal (very deceiving) eyes, it is Not our realty, but only some superficial appearances created through our perception of sight.

          We interact with the world in every instant but have no clue what we interact, what we are and how we can stay in one living composition, in this instantly changing world. We are tamed to see only what appears on the stage, and only a few of us dare to get a little farther/deeper... beyond the curtains. (No scientific "penetration" into "matter" can get us anywhere, and we still observe the "stage", in spite that we may keep slicing an apple onto millions pieces. Well, Kant said this very clearly, but his work is not read or learned by scientists.)

          I think - the wisdom regarding our existence is Beyound the stage, behind the curtains, some of us may be lucky to figure this out.

          Would be happy to talk to you again if you feel like saying something more ..
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    Jan 26 2014: Did not find any ordinary words in your comments. Only kind and wise.

    The man-made world is mercilessly nasty, agree. Serving Goodness is a grand challenge, but :) there are endless ways out there, and we may not know about them.
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    Jan 25 2014: Like your wording: "a trick of nature for her survival" Thank you:)
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        Jan 25 2014: I hope to read some more of your posts. Thank You:)
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    Jan 24 2014: I trust I must live up to 80 to feel peaceful enough to practice some little wisdom.

    Just wondering if we would be able to live for a few centuries? Less population, less wars, smaller comunities and a few great sages around?
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      Jan 24 2014: And almost no children ... and those there are would be spoiled no end by millions over millions of thirsting grandparents ... :o)
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      Jan 24 2014: This peace doesn't come by age, Vera, it comes by a change in our hormones ... :o)