Thursday, April 26, 2012

Knowledge, Intelligence, and Wisdom

These words are often used interchangeably, which is fine because you can most of the time figure out what people mean given context, but when I use them, I tend to think about them in these ways:

Knowledge is the exposure, acquisition, and retention of information.  It is the diving board from which intelligence and wisdom can splash into existence.  Think Trivial Pursuit, Jeopardy. 

Intelligence is the manipulation of knowledge.  It is the innovative and theoretical application of information.  Think Einstein, Marie Curie. 

Wisdom is the mystical fusion of intelligence and knowledge.  It is a kind of sublime understanding of life and its mysteries.  Think Socrates, Mahatma Gandhi.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Robert Frost (1874-1963)

Here’s a tidbit from an interview he once gave:

I know it [nature] isn’t kind.  As Matthew Arnold [a British poet] said: “Nature is cruel.  It’s man that’s sick of blood.”  And it doesn’t seem very sick of it.  Nature is always more or less cruel.  Shall I tell you what happened on the porch of a professor – minister he was, too?  The war was going on, a beautiful moonlit night.  He was there with some boys, talking about the horrors of war – how cruel men were to each other and how kind nature was, what a beautiful country this was spread beneath us, you know – moonlight on it.  And just as he talked that way, spreading his arms over it, a bird began to shriek down in the woods – something had got into its nest.  Nature was being cruel.  The woods are killing each other anyway.  That’s where the expression came from “a place in the sun.”  A tree wanting a place in the sun it can’t get.  The other trees won’t give it to it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

haiku from SiSyphus

My sister (who I like to call SiSyphus because well she's my sis and because I dig the myth) shared with me some of her poetry and now I'm sharing it with you.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


A dear, good, loyal friend of mine named Leran (pronounced "Leeron") who has long been diagnosed with mental illness (schizophrenia and bipolar disorder), and who has also been in and out of jail over the past decade was kind enough to share with me some of his thoughts about what it feels like to be him...

When I feel like I make changes in myself for the better, that joy is short lived because my encounters with those from my past remind me of a dictated status – not so much in a person’s words, but in how they make me feel.  The role I have been typecast in is no longer acceptable.  It is time for new relationships and embracing those who now make my inner circle.  My casual and superficial interactions with complete strangers have been favorable to me currently.  These pauses for social interactions make me feel better, but I wonder if an eccentric human being like myself will always be the root of a potential friend’s disdain.  I seem to bring out the worst in perfectly good people. 

I often think of Mike Tyson – how he is viewed as such a radical, and seems to attract a lot of bad from people.  Even when I thought he turned his life around and I was boasting about him for a class project, my professor made him sound like a monster.  Am I a monster to people? 

I seem to feel the suffering and pain people feel when they try to “reach me.”  Me being the fool that I am, I took mental note of what was said, but still fell victim to my own disabilities.  I still feel like I have a good heart with an intermittent potential mean streak in me, but I feel this is totally reactionary because of mental and emotional bullying.  I invite physical bullying now because I have something to share now, my frustrations manifesting itself in a physical form.  But realistically this is unhealthy because those who bully do so covertly, and there is a little bit of role play, playing the part as it is.  So now I seclude myself from the people that knew me.  Silence has proven golden to me.  I have been tempted to comment on someone’s status on facebook, and gloat on how things are going so well for me lately.  Unfortunately, I have this inhibition that someone will take this as a challenge to convert me back to their perception of me.  Therefore, I will be angered.  There, my right hook.  Therefore, I will go back to prison.  Therefore, many more right and left hooks.  I rather not take this path. 

I think of my Friend with No Name in these times.  He is the strong, silent type.  Against his principles I have chosen not to forget what I can still remember of how people make me feel and never forgive.  In return I hope not to be forgiven as well.  This will toughen me up, I hope.  How can I continue to walk in the same steps, and encounter the same feelings, but expect things to be different?  This is the definition of insanity, or at least my variation of it.  I really have done a lot of bad shit, and had a lot of suffering because of it.  I think I will still have the same character.  I will just have my battles in different settings.  I have to admit I see the potential in myself to be a really big ass hole too.