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Functioning Levels

  1. Firm and sound conclusions. For the sake of proficient living, most conclusions to steer by had better be got or well confirmed by scientific study. To function on a high level of life - as distinct from rudimentary and primitive ones - you fall in step with the best of scientific studies and methodology, and hardly with hard and common misunderstandings. To make good use of schooled doubting is for able folks of science and other fields of life.

  2. Tact in a conform setting, a community, helps too for very much in everyday life is not rooted in scientific findings and expertise. The "agreements" beneath common ways could function, but most common goals in life are not sound: glitter and facades and the hope of winning a lot of money with little sweat make guys swarm to Las Vegas casinos and quite similar.

  3. The hearsay level. A gossip functions on that level, and a backstabber too. Guard against them and against getting cramped by religious hearsay - the claims "up in the air" without a shred of sound verification and not even efforts to get all right evidence for the bossy claims. Faith catches many.

So as not to mislead anyone, this is about Albert Einstein - he got ideas through imagining things first, and then sitting at his desk, pondering for up to decades, and also calculating, to verify some of them. Many are accepted in the scientific community today.

Einstein I was working on a comprehensive paper on the special theory of relativity for the Jahrbuch der Radioaktivität und Elektronik, I had also to attempt to modify the Newtonian theory of gravitation in such a way that its laws would fit in the [special relativity] theory. Attempts in this direction did show that this could be done, but did not satisfy me because they were based on physically unfounded hypotheses. . . .

Then there occurred to me the 'glucklichste Gedanke meines Lebens,' the happiest thought of my life, in the following form . . . for an observer falling freely from the roof of a house there exists – at least in his immediate surroundings – no gravitational field. - Albert Einstein, quoted in Pais 2005, 178)

A significant part of Einsteins luckiest though reminds of a Norwegian proverb: "Look now, said the man from Sogn, he fell down from the church roof."

Allowing for "room on the top", as for Einstein, and "room for worse in the basement, such as Inquisition practices," the three general ways above may work fine in unison and together, and separately. That is, the fruits can be good and entertaining too. Much in a culture has to rest on unverified, agreed-on standards (level 2 above) all the same. Cultural outlets rest on agreed-on standards, and without good culture and its various ways of handling this and that with tact and good spirits, we would soon tire of the way we live. We may expect that.

Also, much that goes for solid wisdom in some quarters, is not (yet) verified by standard research - and may still work. If we like, we can look on sagaciousness-maintaining proverbs as forerunners of theories, that is, hypotheses (see e.g. Fergusson 2001).


Expert Uncertainties

In Rogerian counselling, also known as Person Centred counselling, it is assumed that humans have an innate drive to grow in a nurturing and accepting environment. A setting that allows for genuine, empathetic and positive regard may lead to development of the person.

With this in mind, one may consider some other points as well.


I have learned that my total organismic sensing of a situation is more trustworthy than my intellect. - Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person

The good life . . . involves an increasingly tendency to live fully in each moment. - Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person

Positive psychology can help individuals do the right thing. - Daniel Torrance

Acting well is not always easy and we often fail to do what is right despite our best intentions . . . we need practical wisdom (phronesis). - Daniel Torrance

Practical wisdom is . . . allows one to be morally perceptive, to deliberate between courses of action, and to make a reasoned choice that is aligned with worthwhile ends. - Daniel Torrance

You'll get older but not necessarily wiser. - Richard Templar

Accept yourself. - Richard Templar

Leave a little space for yourself each day. - Richard Templar

It's OK to feel big emotions. - Richard Templar

Never lend money unless you are prepared to write it off. - Richard Templar

Look at the long-term ramifications of what you do for a living. - Richard Templar

We move toward truth by throwing out what is false. - Susan T. Gardner, 2009, 30.

Be part of the solution, not the problem. - Richard Templar

Practical wisdom guides individuals towards human excellence by exerting our strengths in moderation to establish good habits, which ultimately forms a good character. - With Daniel Torrance

Practical wisdom is needed to help individuals . . . find balance between conflicting aims. - With Daniel Torrance

Practical wisdom is necessary for any individual or professional to become the best that he/she can be and to truly flourish. - Daniel Torrance

By adopting practical wisdom, . . . positive psychology can fulfill its original aims of making the lives of people better and of building flourishing communities. - Daniel Torrance

Good second chances may work better if outcomes derive from expert skills and mature work levels attained to first yield a platform somehow.

One had better be careful to guard against what is good for nothing.

It is quite important to maintain the strength to be uncertain and live with uncertainty. There is a difference between gross insecurity and uncertainty on the one hand, and skilled, carefully geared up uncertainty on the other, as in quantum physics.

To be counted as a clever expert where uncertainties abound, it pays to mingle well, but it depends.

Love is a recurrent theme in so many tales people tell.


Levels of functioning, expert uncertainties, quotations, Literature  

Evans, Gail. Counselling Skills for Dummies. Chichester: John Wiley, 2007.

Fergusson, Rosalind. 2001. The Penguin Dictionary of Proverbs. 2nd ed. London: Market House Books / Penguin Books.

Gardner, Susan T. 2009. Thinking Your Way to Freedom: A Guide to Owning Your Own Practical Reasoning. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

Hough, Margaret. Counselling Skills and Theory. 4th ed. Abingdon, Oxon: Hodder Education, 2014.

Pais, Abraham. 2005. "Subtle is the Lord . . .": The Science and the Life of Albert Einstein. Reissued paperback ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Rogers, Carl R. On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1963.

Sanders, Pete. First Steps in Counselling: A Students' Companion for Basic Introductory Courses. 3rd. ed. Ross-on-Wye: PCCS Books, 2002.

Templar, Richard. 2011. The Rules of Life: A Personal Code for Living a Better, Happier, and More Successful Kind of Life. Expanded ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Torrance, Daniel. 2015. Practical Wisdom and the Pursuit of the Good in the Good Life. Thesis. University of Pennsylvania

Harvesting the hay

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