Scholarship vs wisdom

Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by rcscwc, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. rcscwc Registered Senior Member

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    Scholarship vs wisdom


    This is a tale in Pachatantra, and old compendium of tales which convey some messages about various aspects of human activity.



    In a village, there were four friends. One day they decided to venture forth in quest of knowledge. So, they started their journey to distant lands. By and by, they came to a place where the road split into four branches. Each decided to take his lonely path, but they agreed to rendezvous after five years at that very place.



    Five years later, all came to that point and started back to their village. Each was recounting the hard work and studies he did to attain the specialised knowledge. But the Fourth was apologetic: Nothing special. Only a lot of common sense I gained. He, of course, was jeered and ticked off by his scholarly pals.

    On their way, they across a heap of bones. First one, a scholar to the core, declared that they are tiger bones and he can assemble them into a complete skeleton, even if something is missing. The Fourth One tried to dissuade him. But the scholar diddit.!!


    Now the Second one, a scholar to the core, declared that he can put flesh and skin on the skeleton. The Fourth again expressed his misgivings. But the scholar diddit.


    The Third one, a scholar to the core, declared that he can resurrect the tiger. The Fourth, not a scholar, again pleaded not to do it. He also advised his friends to first climb the nearest trees. But the scholars did not listen to his pleadings. So he scrambled onto a tree. The Third one did resurrect the tiger.


    Epilogue: The poor, un-scholarly dude returned to his village and related the sad tale!!

    Moral: Draw your own.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
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  3. Gustav Banned Banned

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    a dilemma inferred by a premise of mutual exclusivity?
    sorry
    a bogus premise
    a false dilemma
    no draw
     
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  5. The Esotericist Getting the message to Garcia Valued Senior Member

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    hmmmmm.. . . . sounds akin to the Plot of Jurassic Park.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
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  7. rcscwc Registered Senior Member

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    Those sciences may or may not be feasible. They are purely allegorical. Given. But where is the "mutual excluvity" here?


    No need, pal.

    Where? Remember, it is not a logic problem.

    My point blank question: Will you not scramble up a tree in these circumstances?

    why?

    Why not?
     
  8. Gustav Banned Banned

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    i will cos i am hardly the absent minded professorial type prone to abstractions while oblivious to reality
     
  9. Emil Valued Senior Member

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    I think,
    The men of science creates practical knowledge in the service of society.
    Depends on the society how it will use this knowledge.

     
  10. woowoo Registered Senior Member

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    the un-scholarly dude was probably an artist, his scholarly friends ommited
    to assess their wisdom quotas.


    OM
     
  11. Lady Historica Banned Banned

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    Slow down there big boys. A tale is a tale. Where is the wisdom in this scenario. What does it mean to be wise?

    "By quietude alone one does not become a sage (muni) if he is foolish and ignorant. But he who, as if holding a pair of scales, takes the good and shuns the evil, is a wise man; he is indeed a muni by that very reason. He who understands both good and evil as they really are, is called a true sage"-Buddah

    In what world would scholarship ever overtake wisdom. What kind of values are always present in wisdom? It seems to me wisdom implies a form of scholarship. Is the wise man not a different scholar?
     
  12. Emil Valued Senior Member

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    Under what circumstances people can not distinguish good from evil?
    Or what you need to be able to differ good from evil?

     
  13. Lady Historica Banned Banned

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    Is it a good thing or a bad thing that the tiger is alive?
     
  14. Emil Valued Senior Member

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    Tiger is different from humans?
     
  15. rcscwc Registered Senior Member

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    Does not matter, as long as I am safely in a tree.
     
  16. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I think that what we call Indian philosophy has always had a strongly pragmatic tone. That's probably the result of its having typically retained a closer connection to religious concerns than was always the case in ancient Greece and certainly in modern Western scholarship.

    Rcscwc's story reminds me of a similar story in the Buddhist Pali canon, the Cula-Malunkovada Sutta. In this sutta, a young monk tells the Buddha that unless the Buddha answers some large philosophical questions, he will quit being a monk. The Buddha replies that he teaches only four things, dukkha, the arising of dukkha, the subsiding of dukkha, and the path to the subsiding of dukkha. And he uses his famous analogy of a man shot by an arrow. That man wouldn't refuse to have the arrow removed unless he knows who shot it, what clan that person can from and what kind of bow he used. He would want the arrow out asap.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.063.than.html

    The moral here seems to be that teachings that appear to the Western eye like philosophical ideas, aren't being presented in order to satisfy academic curiosity. They are being presented as a cure for a disease, even as a means of salvation. These teachings may emphasize seeing through illusions and acquiring true knowledge of how things really are, but truth is always being defined pragmatically by whether it's conducive to some religious end.

    In Buddhism that led to the Mahayana idea of 'upaya', 'skillful means'. This is the idea that the Buddhas are able to tailor their teachings individually, to give each inquirer what they need at that precise moment. So while Buddhist teachings are all true in the pramatic sense that they all serve to advance particular hearers towards the goal of enlightenment, they needn't all be logically consistent. I guess that the reductio-ad-absurdem (literally) of that kind of idea are Zen koans. It also explains the great emphasis that's often placed on having a suitable teacher.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2010
  17. Lady Historica Banned Banned

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    Yazata- Your saying some wise people can instill good values into people on a individual level. That's very insightful. What seperates these type of people from the rest?
     
  18. rcscwc Registered Senior Member

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    Pragmatism should tamper your ideology and pre set notions. From Pachatantra.

    One morning a mouse peeped out of his hole a saw that his arch enemy the cat was trapped in a net. So he boldly ran out, but soon espied a crow and mongoose eyeing him as a breakfast. The mongoose cut off his escape. So mouse went to cat and made a deal: You protect me from the crow and mongoose and I will cut off your shackles. Cat accepted the deal. The other were disappointed and went off in search of other breakfasts.


    The mouse started cutting the net, but was slow about it. When the last few threads remained, he stopped. The cat was desperate to be freed. But the mouse ignored him, but assured that the deal would be fulfilled. By and by, the hunter came, and the mouse cut off the last strands. The cat scampered up the nearest tree, and to his hole. Later in the day, the cat asked (1) Why did you make a deal with me, your enemy? You would be happier to see me eliminated. (2) Why did you delay to the last split second, when I was barely able to escape?

    The mouse replied:
    1. There are no permanent friends and enemies. One has to judge the current situation. The deal was mutually beneficial, which you also saw.

    2. Had I freed you before the hunter arrived, you would have eaten me as your breakfast. But with the arrival of the hunter, your only interest was to save your own life. Hence I delayed cutting the last strands.

    The cat saw the reason and desired to continue the friendship. But the mouse declined saying that cats are natural enemies of mice, and therefore cannot be dependable friends.

    During WW-II, Allies struck a pact with Stalin against Hitler, their biggest foe. But the alliance did not last beyond fall of Berlin.
     
  19. rcscwc Registered Senior Member

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    Tiger has a niche, and without him, we would be poorer.

    But tiger is different from humans. Their mind sets are different. You might abhor any killing, but a tiger survives by killing his prey. Though meat is anathema to me, but I do not hate the tiger.
     
  20. Lady Historica Banned Banned

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    So metaphorically the tiger stands for what wisdom accomplishes, which is bringing something to life?
     
  21. rcscwc Registered Senior Member

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    A king, worried that his three sons are without the wisdom to live in a world of wile and guile, asks a learned man called Vishnu Sharman to teach them the ways of the world.

    Since his wards are dimwits, Vishnu Sharman decides to pass on wisdom to them in the form of stories. In these stories, he makes animals speak like human beings. Panchatantra is a collection of attractively told stories about the five ways that help the human being succeed in life. Pancha means five and tantra means ways or strategies or principles. Addressed to the king's children, the stories are primarily about statecraft and are popular throughout the world. The five strategies are:

    1. Discord among friends
    2. Gaining friends
    3. Of crows and owls
    4. Loss of gains and
    5. Imprudence

    A good LINK
     
  22. rcscwc Registered Senior Member

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    Nope. Tiger stands for TIGER. Tiger was used in the parable because being newly resurrected it would be hungry. An elephant would have ambled away. A dog could not have killed the three scholars.

    It was foolish application of knowledge that resurrected the tiger. The wise went up a tree and saved himself.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  23. rcscwc Registered Senior Member

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    Do I believe GHOSTS exist? My sceintific brain says NO.

    But am I afraid of ghosts? Yes. That is my pragmatism speaking. After all, ghosts have not been disproved. If they exist, then what? I will scamper up a tree, pals, a tree which is ghost proof.
     

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