33 Strategy versus wisdom:

Basics about dealing with the world


The existence of man may be described as life in a closed natural cycle. Our body consists of chemical elements, and only the constant material exchange with these elements through breathing and metabolism keeps us alive. Therefore, we are forced to provide for our livelihood and to make use of strategic advantages. We share this task and approach with all other creatures. Due to the particular development of the cerebrum, it was possible for humans to reach the top of the food chain. This place is associated with particular responsibility.

The realization of living in a closed system leads to the insight that strategic thinking must be limited in order to preserve the conditions that make life possible. The closedness of the system has to do with the spherical form of the earth. If it would be a landmass traversing the entire cosmos, new continents could be continually taken in possession and no one would have to worry about the function of a cycle, but reality looks different.

The ability to limit strategic thinking including conscious waiver of short-term advantages is called wisdom. It includes anticipatory thinking, concern for the welfare of fellow human beings, including future generations, and takes in account of all factors that contribute to the stability of the system.

While strategic thinking can be trained, wisdom is more a result of the character. Certainly it is possible to define wisdom as well, and it is possible to draw on examples of history from which it is possible to show the consequences of the absence of wisdom. Irrespective of this, however, the individual is almost faced every day with the decision whether he wishes to act stategically to his or her own short-term advantage - or in a synergetic manner for an overall sustainable advantage. To be wise is not enough to know what wisdom is but to act wisely. And, especially in view of the task of a just distribution of goods, character appears more than knowledge.

In the vast majority of cases, it is likely that what is to be done is well known, but especially in anonymity people tend to act egoistic. Opportunity makes thieves. A consistent strategist does not return a found purse to the owner, since he understands to exploit the advantage of the moment. Strategy uses the insidiousness, obfuscation tactics, suggestive manipulation, the trap and the pretending of false facts. The trivializing german expressions: Mogelpackung - bluff packaging - or Schummelsoftware - bluffing software - speak for themselves. Guilt Consciousness is not existing - also while hacking foreign networks - because guilty is only, who is not able to fight back. The transitions to illegality, to exploitation (such as child labor) to war are fluid, for existences are always at stake. Nature makes it clear: for losers, nature only knows the penalty of death, returning all organic components into the natural cycle. Hence the term recycling.

On contrast, wisdom can be found in all cultures, epochs, educational strata, and age groups. Leaders, having achieved their goal exclusively by strategic means, tend to be little interested in wisdom. Likewise, it is less often found in socially excluded people. Since they live under pressure of suffering, they tend to recapture what they have been deprived of. For this, strategy is needed, not wisdom.

In general wisdom is unattractive because it is not able to solve acute existential problems. In general, efforts concerning wisdom remains unpaid, and moreover, its consumption-critical attitude is viewed as an economic and progress brake - as business damage. Therefore, it is exposed to defamation and its arguments are combated with all rhetorical means, whether it is described as foreign to the world or, if nothing else helps, dismissed as fake news. In a strategic way of thinking the purpose sanctifies the means. Taxes are supposed to be paid by others. It is an old realization that wisdom, apart from ignorance, has no enemy: Sapientia non habet inimicum nisi ignorantem. Strategy makes strong, wisdom makes weak. Therefore, it is very often the loser.

Although our planet has a stately age of 4.6 billion years, the term globalization is a word-creation of the 1960s, as if the globe had only recently received its spherical form. The term designates the globe how it existed long before the emergence of mankind. But only by space travel the homo sapiens got a glimpse of the blue planet from a distance - and by means of modern communication tools he got the possibility to perceive the consequences of his action at the other end of the world. What he sees is extremely complex. Seven billions of people – a number with tendency to rise rapidly - are faced with a very difficult task. Therefore, a relapse into national-state thinking is observed in some places and the tendency to secure local advantages through walls and fences, at least for the duration of one's own lifetime. Struggling for political independence points in the same direction.

Seen from a distant point of view, the atomic balance of power was much more a trigger for a partial restriction of the production of weappons than wisdom. As the importance of the export of conventional weapons shows, the economic advantage of their production and sale is still estimated far higher than the damage caused ba the same products – provided of course, that war is taking place somewhere else. Global spending on armaments is $ 1.7 trillion. Opposite to that we count 132 billion dollars for development aid plus voluntary work and donations as evidence of wise action. However, for the objective assessment of such comparisons, natural catastrophes and man-made crises with corresponding refugee movements should have to be distinguished, since strategic advantage is always associated with a destabilization elsewhere, which would have to be taken into account in the success report created by the arms sales. The used terms "somewhere else" or "elsewhere" are, in a global perspective, absolutely nonsense. Even if it were only conceivable that armament companies could similarly be held liable for the damage caused by product use as automobile groups, we would face a completely different situation.

From all this it is clear that man is faced with the task of developing the ability of synergy: synergy with nature and with others. In historical retrospect, many clever minds have tried to find a mode of how to train the ability to do so. As I said before, there is no guarantee of success, but an attempt was ever worth all efforts - especially after a series of setbacks.

With the theory of occidental harmony, Europe has something special to offer. Apart from the Christian symbolic reference, which is no longer taught at schools, five levels are defined, which have to be reached beyond ones own opinion. These are: charity, valor, compassion, love of enemies and wisdom. It is the upper five of the seven rungs of the ladder of Jacob on the way to God, mirrored in the syllables Ut, Re, Mi, Fa So, La and Si, which in turn correspond to the opening syllables of the hymn of John the baptist. Hence the term scale (germ. „Tonleiter", soundladder). According to Aurelius Augustine, it is the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit which represent the steps on the way to salvation. For this reason, the term octav is congruent to both, to the consonance as well as to the 8 bliss of the sermon of the mount. The Christian symbolic reference is responsible for the striking illogicalness of the Western sound system.

It says a lot about man's self-appraisal when a Holy Spirit is needed to understand such relations. In addition, bravery is required, as Aurelius Augustinus makes clear, to cope with the expected setbacks. From all this speaks a great deal of knowledge of human nature.

Western music has an ethical content, even before musicians are tuning their instruments and practicing synergetic interplay. But has all this - and has education at all - any influence on wise action? Yehudi Menuhin often emphasized the fact that usually no criminals would come from a music school and he might be right. But did he also ask himself how many people with criminal potential join music schools? Be that as it may. Human training is the only means available to a civil society to secure the future. Saving on this is always saving at the wrong end, but shows that the priorities are located somewhere else.

Training means that man first learns to deal with himself - with his 5 senses and the two methods of analysis of the mind. Already here a great deal of synergy is required if the entire potential of human thought is to be used with regard to causality and analogy. This is no less than the potential for different thinking in one's own cortex. The practice of weighing different sensory impressions and different ways of interpreting them allows a regular questioning of one's own opinion and simplifies the handling with those who grew up in a different environment and have another perspective. They can not think otherwise. In this respect, a lot of similarities are also to be discovered.

The all-too-early specialization in causally oriented subjects leads to a dangerous imbalance and tendencies towards the degradation of empathic qualities, the importance of which is expressed in the Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 13). In the same way, neglecting rationality and analytical qualities would be just as negligent.

On the occasion of the election of political decision-makers, wisdom should be given greater attention - less polarization, since in the end it is the balance that needs to be found - even between strategy and wisdom. In general, it is important to act with an insight-oriented approach and not simply to set aside uncomfortable facts.

The global societies are facing a series of reforms, all of which having to do with removing blind support of strategic operations and to prevent existential need by reliable help. From a historical point of view, this task resembles a quantum leap, since the technical progress always took place in the wake of the armament contest. However, there is a clear need to develop the civilization progress – proved by 65,6 million refugees worldwide - which is generated in a different way.