Thursday, August 6, 2020
Percy Wells Cerutty: The Seven Stages of Wisdom
As I have written many times, I find it strange that there are no athletic coaches around today that take his all encompassing approach to sport.
Consider what you are about to read. You may not agree with all of it but it is certainly thought provoking.
The Seven Stages of Wisdom
"There are seven main evidences of a high intelligence in individuals, which produce that enviable state called 'wisdom.' In order they will be found:
1.An inborn (innate) curiosity. Firstly about things: the physical world: then the world of experience: then the universe and the laws and forces behind it. This curiosity will not be satisfied until all things that confront the experience of the individual have been reasonably satisfied. He will admit of no impossibilities or submit to the 'unknowable.'
2.An instinctive distrust, and at an early age, of authoritarian attitudes, especially when based on dogmatism (opinions that are viewed as facts). All authority, especially religious authority will be suspect, and later rejected. This applies to all regimentations: social, military, political--and the demand for respect because of status, real or imaginary, of gods, kings, popes, powers and princes. The demands and submission to the alleged powers and authority of the headman, priests and the like will be resisted.
3. The instinctive recognition of the 'all-ness,' or 'one-ness' of all things, and an ability to identify one-self with nature in all its manifestations without fear, hates, even desire. This identification applies to all natural phenomena in nature, especially the sea. Thus is born a reverence for life in all its many forms.
4. A repudiation of the necessity to believe in the infallibility of the animal drives, which motivate the many, and which are recognized as an inheritance from our animal ancestors. Instead, a deviation towards the sublime, the ethereal, the ecstatic, the perfect, the pure and the self-less.
5. The instinctive and early recognition, which will be innate, that the overcoming of belly-hungers is the first step to the overcoming of all hungers and drives.
6. Evidence of survival, and not merely a decrepit survival. But an overcoming of all disabilities: the experience and discovery of the means of regeneration, so that to an advanced age the organism enjoys every normal function, and all upon a level higher than is customarily observed.
7. The ability to live without feelings of remorse, which is probably the most destroying of all emotions, since it must, of necessity, attack the ego and our belief in ourselves. Regrets are equally unintelligent.
Where fear has been overcome: where the function is above greed and selfish needs, and unworthy ambitions, there will be neither regrets nor remorse.
Remorse implies an inability to control ones actions, and ones destiny. Where there is true understanding there can be no regrets: no remorse: and no unworthy repercussions.
On the contrary, there will be some feeling of invincibility, and this without prides and obvious superiorities. Thus, the nature of the person will strengthen to the point of absolute self-reliance and complete self-responsibility."
I particularly like # 2,3, 6, and 7. I love Cerutty's use of the phrase--"decrepit survival". I agree that remorse and regret can be destructive emotions.
All the above provides insights and a path for us to become the complete person as well as athlete.