Tuesday, January 12, 2010

THE SECRETS OF OUR HEARTS - THE SECRETS OF OUR MINDS

This short video (with pictures) presents some of my most important findings on the research of the human mind.
video

Monday, January 4, 2010

My letter of intent to the UBC

Proposed Program of Doctoral Studies

Motivation and Objectives
One summer night, over 22 years ago, I risked my life and illegally crossed the Romanian border into Yugoslavia to escape the terrors of communism. That was my first night of freedom. It was a night of a bitter-sweet freedom because even though I escaped communism – I lost the country of my birth. It was a night when I started to look upon myself as a person without a country, but at the same time – a citizen of this world.
My freedom was short lived because the very next morning I handed myself over to the Yugoslavian authorities asking for political asylum. After a short interview, they sent me to prison. It was during my imprisonment that I found out from other inmates (Yugoslavian criminals, thieves, crooks, and also people like myself who have run away from other East European countries such as Poland, Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Soviet Union, Bulgaria, etc.) that we were imprisoned for “entering illegally and without passport into Yugoslavia”, and that the punishment for our “wrong doing” was to spend 15 days of prison.
After these days of imprisonment, we (the East European inmates) were brought into a large room, called by name, and divided into two groups of relatively equal size. One of the groups was to be handed on, into the care of UN Authorities; while the other group, was to be put in chains, and then sent back to the countries we had run away from.
When the prison policeman called my name - I stepped forward. I felt at that moment that my destiny was in his hands, and couldn’t do anything to change it. My biggest fault/mistake in life until then was of being born into a communist country. I was scared. I was terrorized of the thought of being sent back to the communists. I knew that my chances were 50/50 to be sent either way. I encouraged myself remembering that I had already beaten the statistics a few weeks earlier - when crossing the Romanian border. My chances of success then were about one in ten (the same as the chances of being shot and killed), and that my greatest chances were these of being caught, and then thrown into prison, where I’d have been “beaten to death”, brainwashed and tortured for very many years.
When the name of the last East European prisoner was called, and the two groups were finally formed - we were shown two doors. Each group was indicated the door on which to walk through. Each and every one of us knew that behind one of the doors was “waiting” - a destiny of freedom and we all hoped of going through that door.
When our group walked through our “destiny door”, our hearts were beating at their maximum. We were tensed and scared, but at the same time full of hope and expectancy. When we saw the United Nations people, welcoming us with their big smiles and open arms, our fears disappeared and were replaced by joy. I could not describe the magical moment of happiness, and the great relief we all went through at that very moment. That was a magical and crucial moment in our lives. I have personally felt that I made it - I have finally escaped the terrors of the communism. I have also felt that even though I became a man without a country – I still remained “a citizen of this world”… - and not any kind of “citizen of this world” – but rather – “a free and un-humiliated citizen of this world”.
A few minutes later, I began thinking about the members of the other group, my East European inmates – the men who wanted to escape communism, exactly as much as I did - and who were not as lucky as I was. I imagined them being sent back to their countries - to be punished, terrorized and unfairly treated for wanting a basic human right – the right to live free! At that very moment, I promised myself that I will fight communism, I will work hard, I will not quit and I will do something meaningful for the United Nations Organization and for the people of this world.
Since then, I’ve tried to keep my promise, each and every day of my life. I have studied hard, worked hard, and have made great sacrifices each and every day of my life. There were times when I was well feed and there were times when I was hungry. There were times when I was rich and I shared everything I had with the poor people of Romania, and there were times when I was so poor that I didn’t have anything to eat for days. There were times when I was feeding myself healthy foods, and there were times when I was starving myself to death on hunger strikes. Fighting the liars, the crooks and the thieves from the Romanian Justice system, the Romanian Health system and the Romanian Educational system (controlled still by the former communists), was not an easy task.
Beginning with that very special day (September 8, 1986), when I was given into the care of the UN authorities, I started to work hard, study hard, help the poor, fight for the human rights, fight for social justice (anywhere and everywhere I had the chance) - and begun to produce meaningful things for the people of Yugoslavia, Hungary, Canada and Romania.
Last year I returned to Canada (after working the previous 10 years in Romania) with two very clear goals in mind: 1) To do a PhD in Education at one of the best universities in Canada; and 2) To improve/upgrade the content of my 20 published books and 23 audiotapes, translate them into the English language and then make them available to the whole world.
To achieve my first goal, I’ve chosen to apply at UBC, since this university is one of the best universities in Canada, and one of the top 50 universities in the world. My long term goal is to return to Romania and continue my work in helping that country align with the demands of a civilized world. Education is one of the best and most important tools that can help the people of Romania awaken to freedom, democracy, civilization and globalization, after so many years of communism and dictatorship - and it is my belief that no other Canadian university can better help me prepare to achieve that goal/dream.

Personal Background and Preparation
My background is drawn from being a professional athlete and living the first 28 years of my life in the communist Romania; then risking my life and defecting from Romania into Yugoslavia; then living one year in Yugoslavia as a refuge under the United Nations care; then arriving 21 years ago in Canada as a landed immigrant; then getting an education (B. Sc. and M.A.) in Canada; then returning to Romania and using my acquired Canadian knowledge to open and run the “Mental and Physical Health Institute” (dedicated to helping the people of Romania not only stop smoking, drinking, and unhealthy eating, but also to open their eyes, minds, souls, and hearts to discover the benefits of freedom, democracy and civilization); writing books on social justice (3), wisdom (11), sport psychology (4), self-help (2), and recently returning to Canada to upgrade my education skills to better serve not only the needs of the people from my country but also the needs of the people from all over the world.
Throughout my life, I have discovered that wisdom is one of these qualities that brings people together; helps them live better lives; and brings with it peace, joy, harmony, friendship and happiness. This is my research area of long and continuing interest. During the past 6 years I have undertaken extensive research on conceptions of wisdom over the ages and published 11 books as the result. These books received great reviews from Romanian priests, lawyers, judges, and educators. I have discovered, however, that (a) wisdom has been the focus of relatively little research during the past century, and (b) as yet, there is no shared agreement on a clear definition of wisdom: researchers and theorists from the fields of education, sociology, philosophy, psychology and religious studies do not accept each others’ definitions.
Since wisdom is essential to individual and collective human well-being, it is important that this concept be better analyzed, researched and understood, so people from all over the world can cultivate and exercise “it” - in all their daily interactions; for the benefit of themselves, their families, their communities, their societies, and at the end - for the benefit of the world we live in.
Accordingly, the intent of my proposed doctoral studies is to help formulate a conceptual model of wisdom that (a) would consolidate and expand historical teachings about wisdom, and (b) could be used by scientists across disciplines and cultural boundaries.

Interests in Wisdom
My interest in wisdom begun many years ago, when I discovered that wisdom is one of the best attributes/qualities that one can use in passing on knowledge; be it in communicating, educating, consulting, coaching, writing, leading, motivating, etc.
However, before talking about how my curiosity to study and understand wisdom came about, I’d like to go back a few years, to the time (1993) when I was doing research for my MA at the University of Ottawa, and was guided by two of the best Sport Psychologists in the world; Dr. Terry Orlick (top 10) and Dr. John Salmela (top 20).
My research was supposed to measure and evaluate the mental skills required to achieve high levels of athletic performances. The premise advanced by Dr. John Salmela was that - elite athletes are better mentally equipped to deal with the demands of competitions than non-elite athletes. He suggested that elite athletes posses a number of fundamental mental skills, and these skills are absolutely necessary to achieve high levels of physical performances. These fundamental skills are: a) Foundation Skills (Goal-Setting, Self-Confidence, Commitment); b) Psychosomatic Skills (Stress Reaction, Fear Control, Relaxation, Activation) and c) Cognitive Skills (Focusing, Refocusing, Imagery, Mental Practice and Competition Planning).
Dr. Terry Orlick’s went a step even further and suggested that - elite athletes require all of the above mental skills/abilities/qualities, and that, the same skills required to achieve high levels of athletic performances (present in elite athletes), are in fact required to achieve all other top human performances. This meant that top classical musicians, top surgeons, top politicians, top businessmen, top educators, top actors, supermodels, astronauts, world leaders, and in fact people that excel in any human domain, have/hold the same mental skills/abilities as do elite athletes.
The results of many scientific papers and research conducted at the University of Ottawa by my colleagues and I supported these theories. The OMSAT (The Ottawa Mental Skills Assessment Tool) test, on which I was involved in the development and which continued to be corrected and adjusted (by other graduate students who came after me at Ottawa University) to measure these mental skills - has in time been validated and has recently been made publicly available. Now, anybody can take this test on the net. This test makes me very proud and happy in the same time. I am proud of the work I did 14 years ago, and I am happy that people from all over the world can now benefit from being able to measure their mental skills/abilities/qualities when taking this test. I am also very proud with the work I did after graduating, since these professors have greatly inspired me not only to be curious and continue to research these mental skills/qualities/components, but also to write about my findings and make these findings available to people from all over the world. That’s exactly what I did, and now my 20 published books have been already read by over 53 000 Romanians and one of them has been translated into Hungarian.
My academic interest in wisdom begun many years ago when doing research for one of my published books (Awaken the giant from inside), while studying the life of the people who lived on this earth, and did something “major” in their lives (leaving a “mark” on this earth, as a result of them being here). Through reviewing the lives and work of Aristotle, Plato, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, William Shakespeare, Beethoven, Thomas Alva Edison, Marie Curie, Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney, Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Mother Teresa, Bill Gates, etc., I discovered that these individuals had the same mental traits/characteristics/skills/abilities as the elite athletes I have studied many years earlier. I was not surprised by my findings, because I have expected these qualities to emerge. However, after completing my research and writing the book, I felt that there was something else… something that I was missing! At the beginning I couldn’t figure out what that “missing thing” was - but I felt and became increasingly convinced that there was something, and that something was “great”. My subconscious mind was struggling to give me the answer - but the answer wouldn’t come to me.
I must have felt the same way as when the first chemists discovered “strange relations” between chemical elements - but couldn’t figure out what that relation was. They observed that every chemical element, had a certain number of electrons, neutrons, protons, atomic number, etc., and saw that some of these elements were very similar in some ways, but still very different in some other ways, and couldn’t figure out a way to place them in a logical order. These “strange relations” were not clearly understood, until Mendeleev came, made the logical connection between these elements, and suggested the periodic table of elements.
In a very small and modest way I must have felt the same way as these first chemists, when they were struggling with their knowledge of chemistry. They saw something… they knew it was there – but couldn’t figure out what “that something” was.
My previous education, my previous knowledge and my previous experiences didn’t cover yet - “that thing”. My previous education didn’t make any reference and/or connection to this particular subject… yet – I knew that I have studied it all along. I had never taken any courses in that subject before. I felt that, what I was looking for was there; very close to everything I had studied before – but still, I didn’t know what “that” was, and didn’t have a name for it - yet.
The answer finally came to me. It came, however, a little bit late; it came a few months later, when my book was already published. The answer given to me by my subconscious mind was like a revelation. The answer came to me in the form of a word… a very simple word… a word that was much stronger than any other phrases, paragraphs, arguments and even books that I have ever written before. This simple word was spelled W-I-S-D-O-M. The magical ingredient that all these people (giants) had in common was called WISDOM, and this mental ingredient/skill/attribute/quality made them actually do, what they ended up doing.
The more I analyzed (and looked back upon) the life of these individuals (these so-called “human heroes” or “giants” that have lived on this earth), the more I realized how many similarities (in terms of mental skills/abilities) were between them and the Olympic athletes, world champions and elite athletes – on which I have done my research, many years earlier. That realization, really gave me the “missing link” of the puzzle.
The same mental skills/qualities suggested by Terry Orlick as required to achieve high levels of human performances - are required to achieve wisdom. In fact wisdom is something that most of the people who achieve high levels of human performances could (and most of them would) be rewarded - as a result of their hard and honest work, of their perseverance and persistence on doing what they set up doing, of their belief in themselves and the important things they believe in, of their humbleness in their interactions with the others, and of their compassion towards all the other human beings. These people could/should and finally would be rewarded with wisdom, sometimes on their “road of life”… sometimes when they will approach golden age. In fact – “the wisdom they will acquire” will be the result of their mental training over the years… - it will be the result of living their lives a certain way… and using these mental skills/qualities suggested by Terry Orlick (over 20 years ago), as well as by the sages that have lived on this earth over 2000 years ago (i.e. Lao-Tzu, Confucius, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Aristotle, etc).
Wisdom - supports 100% Orlick’s (1986) theory of “In pursuit of Human Excellence”. In fact, all the mental skills suggested by Orlick and Salmela as being required to achieve high levels of human performances, are required to achieve wisdom. These mental skills are nothing else but some simple wisdom tools… which “fit” very well under the umbrella of - wisdom.
Orlick and Salmela have further suggested that these mental tools are in fact some seeds (some mental seeds) that we should plant in our lives – before becoming capable to reap the rewards of high human performances. That’s exactly how Ardelt (2004), Carstensen (2007) and Clayton (1982) suggest on how wisdom is planted. “The seeds of wisdom are planted earlier in life — certainly earlier than old age, often earlier than middle age and possibly even earlier than young adulthood.” Monica Ardelt (2004) mentioned that the roots of wisdom can be traced, in most cases - to adolescence. She points out that many of the wise people she studied who scored high on her wisdom scale also reported considerable hardship earlier in their lives.
Throughout my research during the past 6 years I have discovered that wise people seem to have all the mental skills/abilities/attributes that successful people have/hold… Or, perhaps I should say it differently: “Successful people seem to have some of the same mental skills/abilities/attributes that wise people have/hold” (Successful people do not necessarily have all the mental qualities as wise people have – but they are very close… - they are in the process of becoming wise). Beside that, wise people have learned “many lessons” by going through difficult life situations and confronting tremendous challenges in their lives. They all seem to have “a great heart” and a tendency to always do good things. They do major things. Wise people have a tendency to give away, to give to others, to give to the world they live in (Buddhist and Sikh wisdom teachings).
These “giants” have learned from previous negative experiences and were able to step outside themselves and assess a troubling situation with calm reflection (Ardelt 2004). They have looked at their life difficulties and crisis as a problem to be addressed, or “a puzzle to be solved”. They have taken actions in situations they could have controlled and have accepted the inability to do so when matters were outside their control (Ardelt 2004; Orlick 2000; Salmela 1992). They learn from previous negative experiences (Salmela 1992).
These people have given something to the world they lived in… - they have made this world a better place to live in (Plamadeala 1993). They helped us, and the rest of the world live better. A general thread running through modern wisdom research is that wise people tend to be humble and “other-centered” as opposed to self-centered (Stephen 2007, Salmela 1992).
It is my belief that if they wouldn’t have been wise - they wouldn’t have done what they actually did. The magical ingredient which made them do what they ended up doing… which made them become what they ended up becoming, was – wisdom!
That’s how I began to become more and more interested on this subject. The more research I did - the more things I’ve discovered; the more things I’ve discovered - the more curious I became; the more curious I became - the more questions I’ve asked; the more questions I’ve asked - the more answers I’ve received.
On a more negative note, the more research I did on the recent scientific books and/or publications on wisdom, the more I’ve discovered the contradictions amongst today’s scientists when defining and/or talking about it. That was the time I’ve left aside today’s scientific literature and conflicts, and focused on the “pure science of wisdom” that was left behind by our ancient sages. I wanted to “get into the wisdom myself”; to “taste it”, to “feel it”, and to “see it myself”, without being influenced by any scientist. I didn’t want to be lead into a wrong direction. I focused on older books and all other resources that could provide me with the information I needed, to find out what these wise people said, what they did, and how they lived their lives.
I begun to be looking for wisdom everywhere and anywhere I could find it. I took the scripture and carefully re-read “Solomon’s proverbs” and “Ecclesiastes”, and pondered a lot about the wisdom I discovered there. I took my former father in law library (he was an orthodox priest), and researched all of his religious books; I took my mom’s books (she was a Baptist church member) – to look for wisdom; I walk into the biggest Romanian libraries and researched all I could find related to wisdom; I researched the Romanian folklore as related to wisdom; I look on the internet and researched wisdom. I talked with elders and asked them for old stories, quotes and teachings about wisdom. I was hungry about wisdom and sought it anywhere and everywhere I could find it. My journey so far in researching wisdom has been very much enlightening. The 11 published books on this subject (as a result of my research), present wisdom teachings, wisdom lessons, wisdom stories, wisdom quotes and wisdom sayings, not only from the ancient sages, but also from many other sages (wise people) that have lived on this earth from the beginning of time until now.
Since returning to Canada, I’ve continued my research in wisdom. Last year, I’ve approached Indian Elders and Chiefs from the North area of British Columbia, and looked for wisdom; I have later come to Vancouver and approached the “Church of Scientology” to see how they perceive wisdom. This year I have approached all Guardara’s Temple from the Vancouver area and meet several Sikh priests – looking for wisdom; Right now I am searching Buddhist religion and I am meeting with Buddhist monks to discuss wisdom. My intention is to continue my research and approach the Muslim religion and then the Hindu religion. Once I’ll be done with the “religious approach” research on wisdom - I’d like to look again at the work of the ancient philosophers (Confucius, Lao-Tzu, Aristotle, Plato and Socrates) and read once again their work. Once this research will be completed, I’d like to come back to the present time and read the conflicts between today’s scientists. This final step could be a great experience in learning for me. Even if I will not agree with all scientists upon their definitions on wisdom, I will still learn from them. Nobody put it better than Confucius who said this, over 2500 years ago: “Whenever walking in the company of three, I can always find my teacher among them (or one who has something to teach me). I select a good person and follow his example, or I see a bad person and correct it in myself.”

Research in wisdom
When Socrates was asked to define wisdom (about 2450 years ago), he said: “What is wisdom? I cannot find it? I cannot find ‘it’ in myself, or in any of my fellow citizens.”
When Aristotle came (about 2400 years ago), he claimed that the wisdom acquired with feeling, choosing, and acting well - is the moral virtue; and that wisdom acquired by teaching - is the intellectual virtue. He was one of the first philosophers to equate virtues with wisdom.
Throughout the past centuries, wisdom has been perceived as an ancient concept, as a virtue and as a desirable human mental skill/trait characteristic, and was taught and studied extensively in the field of religious studies.
In 1950, the psychoanalyst Erik H. Erikson, identified wisdom as a likely byproduct of growing older. If an individual had achieved a large amount of “ego integrity” over the course of a lifetime, then the imminent approach of death would be accompanied by the virtue of wisdom. Erikson didn’t define wisdom, but his observations left the doors open for the formal study of wisdom, and scientists from the fields of education, sociology, psychology, philosophy and religious studies have begun researching it. However, after 30 years of empirical study, scientists still don’t agree on defining it. The same scientists who contradict each others definitions - agree with each other in that “the journey of studying wisdom in many ways may be as enlightening as the destination.”
In 1990, Robert J. Sternberg, president of the American Psychological Association (APA), who edited “Wisdom: Its Nature, Origins and Development,” wrote “Wisdom is really hard to study — really hard.” In one of his most recent (2005) books entitled “A handbook on wisdom” he believes that “cultivation of wisdom is essential to the future of our society”.
The formal study of wisdom as a modern academic pursuit begun in United States in the early 1970s, when Vivian Clayton, a graduate student, working with one of the leading world psychologists, James E. Birren, was asking the question: “What does wisdom mean, and how does age affect it?” After several years of intensive research on these questions, she claims that “wisdom meant a lot of different things, but it was always associated with knowledge, frequently applied to human social situations, involved judgment and reflection and was almost always embedded in a component of compassion.” (Clayton 1982).
Between 1976, when she defended her dissertation, and 1982 (when she stopped researching wisdom), Clayton published several groundbreaking scientific papers to suggest that wisdom could be studied empirically. She departed from continuing researching wisdom, because, as she put it: “I was lost in the Milky Way of wisdom, and each star seemed as bright as the next.”
Soon after that (1984), Dr. Paul B. Baltes, a world-renown German psychologist, who had closely monitored Claytons’ initial wisdom studies, and has even met her several times “to discuss wisdom”, decided to continue researching “this mysterious thing” in Berlin. Along with Jacqui Smith, Ursula M. Staudinger and Ute Kunzmann, embarked on a program - “to take wisdom into the laboratory”, as they put it.
The Berlin Wisdom Project made a great impact on the people interested in wisdom; “wisdom publications numbered only two or three a year before 1984 but had grown to several dozen a year by 2000” (Stephen 2007).
Since 1984, researchers affiliated with the Berlin Wisdom Project have tried to come up with and develop a psychological test to measure wisdom – but this only happened 15 years later, when another German scientist, Monika Ardelt, professor at the University of Florida, who received a grant from the American National Institute on Health and Aging to develop a psychological test to measure and/or assess wisdom - had made this challenge possible. In 1990, while she was still a graduate student, Monika Ardelt wanted to identify factors that contributed to the acquisition of wisdom. Strongly opposed to the wisdom research coming out from “the Berlin Research Group”, Monika Ardelt begun building upon the framework of Vivian Clayton’s research. By 1997, when she received the above mentioned grant, Ardelt had already done extensive research in the field of wisdom and was well prepared to work in the development of the 3D-WS (Three Dimensional Wisdom Test). After intensive work, this wisdom test was finally designed, developed, tested and validated. Now, this wisdom test was published by “The New York Times Magazine”, at (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/magazine/20070430_WISDOM.html) and any person of this world (who wants to measure his/her levels of wisdom) can take it from this site - free of charge. This multi-dimensional wisdom test suggests that “wisdom can arise in ordinary people from unexpected background” and that “...these who rate high in wisdom, seem to be very generous - both financially and emotionally. These who rate low in wisdom – seem to be more preoccupied with the self.” (Ardelt 2004)
However, as one of the top world wisdom researchers, Monica Ardelt (2005) puts it: “We are not there, yet! Much more research is needed to understand wisdom.”

Doctoral program
I have chosen to pursue a PhD in Educational Studies at UBC in preparation for the challenges that I would have to face in working in three main areas: 1) Continuing to write books and pass on the acquired knowledge, to not only my Romanian compatriots but also to the rest of the world; 2) Work for the government of Romania, especially for the role of ministry of education; and 3) Representing the Romanian Government in the European Union.
I am in the process of developing a good relation with Dr. Daniel Vokey, who has expertise in Eastern philosophy, Buddhism wisdom and theory development. I have also discovered that one of my favorite professors from the University of Ottawa, who was in fact one of my advisors to my MA, Dr. Bruno Zumbo, works now on the Department of Education and Counseling Psychology (ECPS) at this university.
I have established a good connection and relation with Dr. Monika Ardelt, from the department of Sociology (University of Florida), who is one of the top world researchers in the field of wisdom, and with Dr. Ferrari Michel, from the department of Education (University of Toronto), who has done extensive research in wisdom as well. Both of these professors have offered to help me, guide me, and be my external advisors on my research in wisdom.
Since I am a team player contributing always to help our team become a winning team, I am sure I could find a good team/committee, to work with…. and come up with a great scientific project for the benefit of ourselves, our university, but especially for the benefit of mankind.
I have a profound sense of how important and precious a doctorate in education is, how it builds a sense of obligation to give back to society and the world. I could not express myself in telling you how happy this “giving back to the people of the world”, will make me feel… - for the rest of my life!

Proposed doctoral research
The more individual research I did throughout the past 6 years, the more I’ve discovered the contradictions amongst today’s scientists when defining and/or talking about wisdom. That was frustrating to me because I wasn’t really interested to learn about the conflicts and/or contradictions between scientists on “how” or “why” they define wisdom the way they did, but rather to learn about that special mental skill/quality which our ancestors have left us behind, and which we call today – wisdom! I also discovered that even though these researchers/scientists studied and analyzed that old mental concept/skill/tool called wisdom, using critical reasoning and logical thinking, employing the scientific method on their research, something still didn’t add-up. Something was missing. They ended up with different understanding of it and that’s how they came up with different definitions.
The intent of my proposed doctoral studies is to further expand our understanding of wisdom by developing an interdisciplinary and universal conceptual model of wisdom. To date, wisdom was being researched in education, sociology, philosophy, psychology, religious studies, but scientists from these fields do not accept each other definitions.
In fact, one of the top scholars in the field of wisdom, Dr. Monika Ardelt, from the University of Florida wrote in 2005: “Although wisdom research has gained in popularity over the past two decades, a generally agreed on definition of wisdom does not yet exist.” On another occasion, when talking about two other highly respected scholars in the field of wisdom, she acknowledges that no one really knows what wisdom is. “I like my definition, the Baltes people like their definition, and Sternberg likes his. There’s no agreement on what wisdom is, and that’s the fuzzy part. We’re not there yet.”

Research design and methodological approach
My proposed dissertation will take the format of a manuscript-based thesis and will have the following working components:
- I will explore the life, the writings and the work of 10 of the most significant thinkers that have lived on this earth from the beginning of time until now. These wise men (sages) will include: Confucius, Lao-Tzu, Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Jesus Christ, Buddha, Mohamed, Guru Nanak and the “Gods” of the Hindu religion.
- I will analyze what they said, what they did, and “the wisdom they left behind”.
- I will make an attempt to come up with a psychological profile of a wise person. This “wise person” will take common characteristics from each of the 10 wise people studied.
- I will develop a wisdom questionnaire and test about 500 elders from British Columbia on this wisdom scale.
- Finally, I will try to answer the question: “How wisdom influences intuition?” This question is important since “wise people” have always good intuitions. Ex: When Mendeleev suggested “the periodic table of elements” he also discovered that some elements in his table were missing (these that were not discovered yet at the time), and he left “empty spaces” for these elements. He had the intuition (the wisdom) that some new elements would be discovered and these empty spaces will sometimes be filled. He was right.

Contributions of research
This theoretical study aspires to serve practitioners, researchers and students who work not only in the education field but also in other fields where wisdom is sought.
I anticipate this research study will definitively improve upon the understanding of wisdom. Additionally, this dissertation will advance much needed awareness of the significance of wisdom in teaching/leading/coaching/motivating and all the other institutions of higher education.
Since wise people claim “the more one gives – the richer one becomes” and since in Education our role is “to give the best from us each and everyday to the ones we teach”, it is my belief that; if we will teach more wisdom - our students would learn more wisdom. The more wisdom they will receive from us – the more wisdom they will learn; the more wisdom they will learn – the wiser will they become; the wiser will they become – the better world will they build for the future of our human species. As one Buddhist monk (rev. Allen) from Vancouver puts it, “if people of this world would be wise, they will be compassionate. Compassion is the main ingredient in wisdom. Compassionate (wise) people never hurt or kill others. They have never started a war. If people of this world would be compassionate (wise) – there will never be any wars… anymore!”
Since wisdom comes from all over the world, what better tool could we have at hand to use, to bring us closer together and speak the language of compassion, goodness, harmony, peace, joy and logic? What better tool can we have at hand, in our intention of becoming citizens of the world - than to use wisdom in our interactions, in our teachings and in our offerings to others?
Wisdom is that important tool that can overturn traditional barriers that separate peoples, nations, and governments. Through wisdom we will better understand other people, other nations, other languages, other cultures and other traditions that are very much different from our own. It was again Confucius who said: “Guide the people by wisdom and control them by harmony and the people would have a sense of honor and respect.”
Wisdom is that “magical key” that would unlock not only the doors that hide inside the secrets of our pains, of our sufferings, of our frustrations, of our unhappiness… but also the doors that hide inside the secrets of our contentment, of our joy and of our happiness. By unlocking these doors and discovering the “secrets” hidden behind them, we should be able to use that knowledge (wisdom), to make this world a much better place to live in… a place where there will be no wars, where we (the people) will be kind and compassionate towards each other; a place where we will choose to give instead of stealing, to create instead of destroying, to persevere instead of quitting, to praise instead of blaming, to heal instead of hurting and to love instead of hating. By opening these doors, we will be able to make this world a much better place to live in; not only for us – but especially for our children, for our children-children, and for all the future generations that would come and populate this wonderful planet, which we call today - earth.

References:
Ardelt, M. (2004). Where can wisdom be found? – A reply to the commentaries by Baltes and /Kunzmann Sternberg and Achenbaum. Human Development, 47(5): 304-307
Ardelt, M. (2005). How wise people cope with crises and obstacles in life. ReVision: A Journal of Consciousness and Transformation, 28(1): 7-19
Armstrong, C. (1980). The chemistry of persuasion. Fredericton: Armstrong and Associates.
Beyer, E., Valens, E. (1975). How we control others, how they control us. New York: Warner Books, Inc.
Bristol, C.M. (1948). The magic of believing. New York: Cornerstone Library.
Bota, I. (1997). Secretele Mintii – Secretele Succesului (The Secrets of the Mind - The Secrets of Success). Oradea. Romania. Crican.
Bota, I. (1998). Puterea Mintii – mai tare ca Diamantul. Editia a 3-a. (The Power of the Mind – stronger than Diamond. 3rd ed.). Oradea. Romania. Imprimeria de vest.
Bota, I. (2000). Mintea umana – descopera puterea fara de limite (The Human Mind – unlimited power), Oradea, Romania. Editura Institutul de Sanatate Fizica si Mentala (The Mental and Physical Health Institute Printing House).
Bota, I., (2001). Trezeste Gigantul din tine (Awaken the Giant from inside). Oradea. Romania. Editura Institutul de Sanatate Fizica si Mentala (The Mental and Physical Health Institute Printing House).
Bota, I., (2004). Cartea Cartilor de Intelepciune (The Book of Wisdom Books). Oradea. Romania. Editura Institutul de Sanatate Fizica si Mentala (The Mental and Physical Health Institute Printing House).
Bota, I., (2005). (Manualul Intelepciunii (The Manual of Wisdom), Oradea, Romania: Editura Institutul de Sanatate Fizica si Mentala (The Mental and Physical Health Institute Printing House).
Carnegie, D. (1964). How to win friends and influence people. New York: Simon and Schuster
Carnegie, D. (1975). How to stop worrying and start living. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Carstensen, L. L. ( 2007). Growing old or living long. Take your pick. Issues in Science and Technology, Winter 2007, 41-50.
Chelcea, A. & Chelcea, S. (1983). Cunoaşterea de sine - condiţie a înţelepciunii. (Knowing ourselves – a condition for wisdom), Bucharest, Romania: Albatros
Clayton, V. (1982) Wisdom and intelligence: The nature and function of knowledge in the later years. International Journal of Aging and Development 15 (31) 5-23.
Costan, I. (1943). Lectii Evanghelice. (Evangelical lessons). Bistriţa. Romania. Minerva.
Drakeford, J. (1967). The awesome power of the listening ear. Waco, Texas: Word Books.
Durand-Bush, N. & Salmela, J. H. (1996) Nurture over nature: a new twist to the development of expertise (Journal Article in Avante)
Evans, C. (1977). Understanding yourself. New York: A&W Publishers, Inc.
Gausens, E. (1907). Complete course of teachings. Gherla: Tipografia diecezană.
Hendrick, J. (1980). Total learning. Toronto: Merrill Publishing Company.
Hill, N. (1971). Think and grow rich. Greenwich: Fawcett Publications, Inc.
Hull, R. (1976) How to get what you want. Markham: Longman Canada Limited.
Johnson, S., & Wilson, L. (1986). The one minute sales person. New York: Avon Books.
Levy, B.R., Slade, M.D., and Kasl, S.V. Longitudinal Benefit of Positive Self-Perceptions of Aging on Functioning Health. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences 57: 2002.
Newburger, H. (1975). Winners and loosers. Scarborough: Meridian Books.
Nirenberg, J.S. (1963). Getting through to people. Englewood Clifs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, Inc.
Oprean, N. & Topciu, T. (2000). Becky - suferinţă şi binecuvântare. (Becky – suffering and blessings), Cluj-Napoca, Romania: Risoprint.
Orlick, T. (1986). Psyching for sport. Illinois: Leisure Press.
Orlick, T. (1986). Coaches training manual for psyching for sport. Champaign, Il: Leisure Press.
Orlick, T. (1992). Nice on my feelings. Sacramento: Ita Publications.
Orlick, T. (2000). In pursuit of excellence (3rd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Pacout, N. (1998). Arta de a vorbi in public (The art of public speaking), Bucharest, Romania: Editura Globus (Globus printing House).
Petrescu, C. (1975). Maxime şi reflecţii. (Maxims and reflections), Bucharest, Romania: Albatros.
Plămădeală, A. (1993). Mica Biblie. (The Small Bible), Sibiu, Romania: Editura Arhiepiscopiei Sibiului (Episcopal Printing House).
Pura, P.N. (1941). Pilde. Culegere de pilde pentru ilustrarea adevărurilor creştine. (Wisdom stories. Selection of wisdom stories to prove the Christian truth), Cluj-Napoca, Romania: Tipografia diecezană. (Diecezan Printing House).
Salmela, J. H. (1989) Long-term intervention with the Canadian Men’s Olympic Gymnastics Team (Journal Article in The Sport Psychologist)
Salmela, J. H. (1992) The world sport psychology sourcebook 2nd edition. Champaign, Ill.: Human Kinetics Books.
Sternberg, R. (1990) Wisdom: Its Nature, Origins and Development. Amazon
Sternberg, R. & Jordan, J. (2005) A Handbook of Wisdom: Psychological Perspectives. Amazon
Stephen, S. Hall (2007) The new middle ages. The Older-and-Wiser Hypothesis. Article in The New York Time Magazine.
Stone, W.C. (1962). The success system that never fails. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Tăutu, A.L. (1931). Compediu de teologie morală. (Compendium of moral theology), Oradea, Romania: Cosmos şi Victoria.
Ursula, M. S. & Ulman, E. R. L. (2003) Understanding Human Development: Dialogues With Lifespan Psychology. Kluwer Academic Publishers
Williams, A. (1985). Pushing up people. Doraville: Parklake Publishers, Inc.
Zaharia, V. (1955). Flori alese din grădina sfintelor scripturi. (Flowers chosen the scriptures), Oradea, Romania: Editura Episcopiei Ortodoxe Române (Romanian Orthodox Church).
Biblia cu explicaţii, traducerea Cornilescu (Bible with explications, Cornilescu translator) (1996). Berlin, Ohio: Christian Aid Ministries.
Panchatantra. Cele cinci cărţi ale înţelepciunii (Panchatantra. The 5 books of wisdom). Book translated from Sanskrit literature by Th. Simensky în 1969. Bucharest, Romania: Editura pentru literatură (The Literature Printing House).

Sunday, January 3, 2010

SEARCHING FOR WISDOM

WISDOM

I fell in love with “wisdom” without even knowing its name. It came slow, like a thief during the night, and it took over my mind, my heart, and my soul. The heat and passion of this “strange feeling” has never diminished, but increased tremendously over the past two decades. Right now, if I were asked: “How do you feel about this mental concept?” I would have to say it simply: “I am madly in love with it!”
The seeds of this “strange feeling” must have been planted in my heart by my grandma, over half a century ago, when she would tell me Bible stories. They remained dormant for many decades, and only germinated over the past 18 years. Their biological clock must have started early, in the 1990’s when I did my graduate work at the University of Ottawa, and worked with John Salmela and Terry Orlick, two world scholars in the field of sport psychology. They have somehow, started the germination process of these magical seeds. It is well known in the world of sport psychology, that these two wise men had the gift of spreading these types of “mental seeds” in the hearts and souls of thousands of researchers, educators, coaches, athletes, politicians, and other people throughout the world.
The area of their expertise, and my graduate work, was in mental training in sport and life. My research measured and evaluated the mental skills required to achieve high levels of human performance in sport. Their premise was that: successful people were better mentally equipped to deal with the demands of life than unsuccessful ones. The conclusions of my research proved unequivocally, that these two scholars were absolutely right in everything they claimed.
A few years later, when I was doing research for one of my published books Awaken the Giant from Inside (Bota, 2001) while studying the life of the people who left a “mark on this earth”, (i.e. Aristotle, Plato, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Shakespeare, Beethoven, Edison, Marie Curie, Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney, Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Mother Teresa, and Bill Gates, among others), I discovered all these mental traits/characteristics/skills/abilities in these individuals, as suggested by John Salmela and Terry Orlick, many years earlier. However, after completing my research and writing this book, I felt that there was still something else. There was something that I was missing! In the beginning, I couldn’t figure out what that “missing thing” was, but I felt and became increasingly convinced that there was something I was overlooking, and that something was “great.” My subconscious mind was struggling to give me the answer, but the answer wouldn’t appear.

When I first read the story of Confucius and one of his disciples, who supposedly asked:
“If everybody in the village loves you - are you a good man?”
Confucius replied, “Not necessarily.”
The disciple asked again, “If everybody from the village hates you - are you a good man?”
And Confucius replied again, “Not necessarily.”
“What do you mean?” asked the confused disciple.
Confucius replied, “When the good people of the village love you and the bad people of the village hate you – you are a good man.”
I was profoundly impressed by that straight forward language. I then began to read more books on the life of “human giants”. The more books I read, the more I became aware of these simple, powerful and clear messages that they have tried to send to us. My eyes began to finally open, and I could understand much clearer, what these people tried to convey:
“If you gave a man a fish, you fed him for a day, but if you teach him to fish, you fed him for life”, said Confucius;
“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make our world“, said Buddha;
“There is no right way to do a wrong thing”, said Aristotle;
“Beautiful words are not true; true words are not beautiful”, said Lao-Tzu;
“If we change our minds, we could change our lives”, said Williams James.

The words used in these sentences have something magic and mystic in them. They have strength, power, logic, clarity and simplicity. When reading these kinds of words and phrases, I discovered that they were, in fact, the nourishment for the “mysterious seeds” planted in my heart by grandma, many decades earlier.
The question I was struggling with was: “What were these seeds called?” This type of information was not only relevant, but also powerful, and eye opening for me. Once I heard it, I could not forget it, and I begun admiring the ones who were able to put these words and ideas in such a close proximity. My previous education, knowledge and experiences did not cover “that thing”. My previous education did not make any references and/or connections to these particular subject areas. Yet, I knew I have studied it all along. I felt that what I was looking for was there. It was very close to everything I had studied before, but still, I didn’t know what “that thing” was, and didn’t have a name for it, yet.
And then, one day in 2001, it hit me. It hit me all of a sudden! The answer came to me a little bit late, a few months after my book was already published.
The answer given to me by my subconscious mind was a revelation. It came in the form of a word, a very simple word, a word that was much stronger than any other phrases, paragraphs, arguments, articles and even books that I have ever written before. This simple word was spelled WISDOM. The magical ingredient that all these giants had in common was called WISDOM, and these mental ingredients/skills/attributes/qualities, made them actually do what they ended up doing.
“Whow!” I thought then. “What a wonderful word!”
After discovering that magical word, I was happy. I had finally discovered a term for it. Now, I knew what to do and where to look to find it.
I then began researching this concept. I needed to know more about it. When I felt that the knowledge I had accumulated through my research was sufficient for a book, I wrote my first book on the subject. This book was called, Food for the mind (Bota, 2001). Until 2004, I had already published 9 more books on this subject, the last one called: The book of Wisdom Books (Bota, 2004).
These books relied heavily upon the teachings of Jesus Christ, Muhammad, Buddha and Confucius, and had a strong influence by the wisdom of Solomon, Lao Tzu, Aristotle, Plato, Socrates and all wise men who have ever lived on this earth. These books received great reviews from Romanian priests, lawyers, judges, educators and readers from all walks of life.
Even though, The book of wisdom books came out of print in 2004, four years after beginning my research on this topic, I had a feeling that the book was still incomplete. There was more, and I felt that I had to discover it. I was still hungry to know more, to find out more, and to understand more. My mind continued to remain hungry and was continuously searching for, whatever it was. In 2005 I wrote my eleventh and final book on wisdom entitled The Manual of Wisdom – the teachings of Jordache Bota left as a will to his children David and Daniel. Yet, after publishing that book, I still felt that I needed to find more and to know more.
The more I researched and looked upon this mental skill (wisdom), the more I realized that it was, in fact, an umbrella for all the mental skills suggested a decade earlier by Drs. John Salmela and Terry Orlick. It was easy to see that if one had wisdom, he/she had all of the other mental skills suggested by these two world scholars (i.e., belief, commitment, focus, among others).
That’s how I became more and more passionate about this mental skill. The more research I did, the more things I have discovered; the more things I’ve discovered; the more curious I became; the more curious I became; the more questions I’ve asked; and the more questions I’ve asked; the more answers I’ve received.
On a more negative note, the more research I did on the recent scientific books and/or publications on wisdom - the more I’ve discovered the contradictions amongst today’s scientists when defining and/or talking about wisdom. That was the time I’ve left aside today’s scientific literature and conflicts, and focused on the “wisdom” left behind by our ancient sages. I wanted to “get into the wisdom myself”; to “taste it”, to “feel it”, and to “see it for myself”, without being influenced by any contemporary scientist. I didn’t want to be subjectively influenced and/or to be lead into a wrong direction. I focused on older books and all other resources that could provide me with the information I needed, to find out what these wise people said, what they did, and how they lived their lives.
I began to look for wisdom everywhere and anywhere I could find it. I took the scripture and carefully re-read “The wisdom of Solomon”, “Solomon’s proverbs” and “Ecclesiastes”, and pondered a lot about the wisdom I had discovered there. I took my former father in law library, he was an orthodox priest, and researched all of his religious books; I took my mom’s books, she was a Baptist church member, to look for wisdom; I entered into the biggest Romanian libraries, and researched all I could find on wisdom; I researched Romanian folklore, as related to wisdom; I talked with elders and asked them for old stories, quotes and teachings on wisdom. I was hungry about wisdom and sought it anywhere and everywhere I could find it. My journey so far in researching wisdom had been very much enlightening. The 11 books that I published on this subject, as the result of my research, present wisdom stories, wisdom parables, wisdom teachings, wisdom lessons, wisdom quotes and wisdom sayings, not only from the ancient sages, but also from many other wise people, who have lived on this earth from the beginning of time until now were consulted.
Since returning to Canada in 2006, I’ve continued my research on wisdom. Three years ago I was looking into furthering this research into an academic setting by doing a Ph.D. in this subject. Things didn’t work out the way I wanted, but out of that venture, I got to know Monika Ardelt (University of Florida) and Daniel Vokey (University of British Columbia), two world giants in the study of wisdom. They, along with John Salmela, my former advisor from the University of Ottawa (now at the Universidad Federal de Minas Gerais/Brazil), have all offered me their expertise, input, guidance and encouragement on this research. I am grateful to all of them.

A few years ago, I approached the Indian Elders and Chiefs from the North area of British Columbia, and looked for wisdom. I later went to Vancouver and approached all of the Guardara Temples from the Vancouver area, and meet several Sikh priests, seeking their wisdom. Two years ago, I was researching the Buddhist religion in Vancouver and Edmonton, and I met with Buddhist monks to discuss wisdom. Last year, I approached leaders of the Muslim religion in Calgary, and asked them about wisdom. This year I have focused on the Hindu religion, and met with adepts and Gurus of this ancient religion, and discussed with them about wisdom. Meeting these people was a great experience and provided me with valuable insights on the way they perceived wisdom, and I am very thankful to them.

During the past three years I have also read and fed my mind with what it hungrily needed. I studied the books with the teachings of Lao Tzu’s (Tao te Ching); Confucius’s (Analects), Buddha’s (Dhammapada), Solomon’s (The Book of Wisdom, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes); the wisdom of Jesus Christ and Mohammed, and of all other ancient wise men and prophets who have lived on this earth.
Each and every dish offered to me by these wise men was great. Some of these wise men provided me with more wisdom than others, but I remained grateful to each and every one of them, for every word of wisdom they passed on, for every phrase that they gave away, for every sentence, and for every teaching that they passed on to their disciples and further, to our world.
I was eating wisdom stories for breakfast, teachings for lunch, and lessons for dinner, and I was enjoying the delicious deserts of Confucius, Lao Tzu, Buddha and King Solomon. I was able to discover how Buddha equated wisdom with knowledge, and ultimate it with enlightenment; how Lao Tzu equated it with following the natural laws of the universe; how Confucius equated it with humility; how Plato and Socrates equated it with knowledge: how Aristotle equated it with experience; how Jesus equated it with love and self-sacrifice; how Mohamed equated it with truth and morality; and how other old sages equated it with a supernatural source, or God, the source of all knowledge.


WHAT IS WISDOM? HOW CAN ONE DEFINE IT?

The short definition of wisdom is that, Wisdom cannot be defined. Wisdom is a divine concept, and a divine quality; until we fully understand divinity, we won’t be able to fully understand and/or define wisdom.
People contradict each other when trying to define and/or describe God because no one has truly seen him/her. They have also difficulties to describe his Godly qualities. Since Wisdom is such a quality, no wonder mankind finds it so difficult to grasp its meaning.
If we could truly see God and/or fully understand him, we may then be better able to define wisdom.
Nobody put it better than Lao Tzu, who said 2500 years ago: “Wisdom is older than the world itself. How can one grasp its meaning?” He went on and said, “Wisdom does not need to be proven, and that what needs to be proven is not wisdom.”
When talking about wise men, he said, “Wise men don't need to prove their point; men who need to prove their point aren't wise.”

However, if I would have to pass this 2500 years old description, and try to define it for the purpose of this paper, I would have to say the following:
Wisdom is knowledge (claimed by Plato and Socrates). Wisdom is experience (claimed by Aristotle) and insight (claimed by most contemporary scholars). Wisdom is patience, love and virtue (claimed by Buddha, Lao Tzu, Confucius, Aristotle, Jesus and Mohamed). Wisdom is caring, sharing, kindness and goodness (claimed by Jesus Christ, Mohamed, Confucius, Lao Tzu, and King Solomon). Wisdom is intelligence, intuition, experience, simplicity, fairness and justice (this is something I found as a constant while researching the books of Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tzu and King Solomon).
Wisdom is a mental quality resulting from acquired knowledge, intuitive understanding, correct thinking, correct living, correct effort, correct attention, correct focus, and the practice of truth, compassion and love. (On this definition I tried to unite my insights/findings from the books of Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tzu and Solomon).
Wisdom is an old concept which describes a skill that unites the hearts and the minds of these who are very much interested in knowledge, understanding… and love, towards everyone and everything that’s on this earth. Wisdom is one of these qualities that brings people together; helps them live better lives; and brings with it peace, joy, harmony, friendship and happiness. (This is something I made myself, and it is based on my overall research findings).
Wisdom will never be found in a sociopath, a con man, or a criminal - and that is because wisdom cannot blossom, cannot grow and cannot reside in the minds of such individuals. (This claim is drown from the teachings of Confucius and Lao Tzu)
Wisdom is not power of any sorts … and has never been associated with money, gold or other material riches. In fact some wise men (Buddha, Jesus Christ, Lao Tzu and Confucius) claim that, “It is impossible to be wise and rich … or to be rich and wise”.
Wisdom is something you feel… something you see. It is the simplicity of the words and the power of the message they carry with them. (This is what firstly attracted me to this mental concept). Wisdom is something that is hard to explain, yet it is very good to have. Wisdom is something that is shared by only these who are wise. It is impossible to understand it, if you are not wise. (I found these claims in the teachings of Jesus Christ, Lao Tzu and Confucius)

Well, this is wisdom… this power of the message… this simplicity of words… these Godly skills/tools/concepts/knowledges/experiences/strategies/qualities that make people increase the quality of life are (in my own understanding) the best descriptors of wisdom, left behind by our ancestors.


CONCLUSIONS
Wisdom is the most powerful mental tool/skill/attribute in the universe. The knowledge of this tool has run through the lives, hearts, minds and teachings of all the prophets, seers, sages and saviours in the world’s history, and through the lives of all truly great men and women who have lived on this earth. All they have ever accomplished or attained in their lives has been done in full accordance with this powerful tool.

Wise men say that it is impossible to understand Christianity without learning first about the life and work of Jesus Christ - the son of God. It is impossible to understand Islam without learning about the life and work of Mohamed - the prophet of God. It is impossible to understand Buddhism without learning the life and work of Buddha - the Enlightened one. Wise men also say that it is impossible to understand wisdom without learning first the life and work of the wise men who have lived on this earth from the beginning of time.
These claims are logical because the whole ideology of the religions previously mentioned is based on the lives of these wise people. I will go a step even further and say that logic dictates that if the teachings of these people were and are so much revered by billions and billions of people throughout the world and throughout our world history, it means that these teachings (their wisdom) are valuable, worthy, and should, could and must be further investigated. I would go a step further and say that I believe a course on this subject could, should and must be taught in all educational systems throughout the world. A course in wisdom would be useful and should be taught as Wisdom 101, in the same manner as most world Universities offer courses in Psychology 101, or Philosophy 101. I do not claim that Wisdom is more important than the other “101 introductory courses”, but I strongly believe that such a course could plant “the wisdom seeds” in the minds of our students. By taking such a course, students would/could become wiser and could choose wiser choices when confronted with dilemmas in their lives. There are at least six ancient wisdom books, which provide valuable knowledge. They are: The Wisdom of Solomon, Solomon’s Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Dhammapata, Analects and Tao te Ching. The knowledge hidden in these books is invaluable for every human being.
I am very passionate about such a course, because I see its relevance in the life of people throughout the world. By allowing our youngsters to learn about the lives of these wise men, the work of these men, the teachings of these wise men, we will implant these wisdom seeds in their hearts and minds and this would better equip them with that true quality “wisdom” that is often missing from our societies. This quality could bring people together; make them more humble, less arrogant, and much wiser. With this course, we could help change our world, and make a better future for our children.
I believe that this Chicago Wisdom Research Project could suggest this action to governments throughout the world.


To support my previous claims, about the importance of wisdom in our everyday lives, I am very proud to tell you a little bit about the work I’ve done in the past 9 years of my life. I invite each and every one of you to come along and contribute to my work in any way, shape or form you may consider appropriate.
So far, I have published 11 books on wisdom. The most relevant one of them is THE BOOK OF WISDOM BOOKS. To write this book, I had to go back through the centuries, tracing and uncovering the wisdom that lay at the core of the most powerful philosophies, teachings and religions of the world. What I discovered there was fully revealed in this book. This book is the final result of 10 years of extensive and passionate research. The book is written in the Romanian language and is ready to be translated and be made available to people throughout the world. I need any help I can get from you people.
The book is 1000 pages long, in letter format. Its pages are full of stories of wisdom, parables, teachings, and lessons. It has wonderful graphics and has a special page, where the names of these who would read it, are to be inscribed. The book contains 41 wisdom books, which are divided into nine sections, each section with its specific topic. There are nine Ancient Wisdom Books, seven World Religion Books, twelve Books of Stories, three Books of Parables, one Book of Lessons, one Book on Teachings, and other books.
This book is a true encyclopaedia of wisdom, and could be used as a treasured gift to be kept in the family from generation to generations, and to be passed from parents to children and then grandchildren. What richness could be more valuable to pass on to our children than the wisdom left behind by our ancestors (Confucius, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Solomon, Jesus, Mohammed, Aristotle, Socrates, and Plato?)
The book addresses all world religions, and the four names most used throughout the book are these of Jesus Christ, Mohamed, Buddha and Confucius, names who have true believers in over 95% of the world’s population. This book does not contradict religions, but rather brings all religions together with the help of the most important tool they all use, wisdom. This book accompanies with pride, honour and dignity the Christian Bible, the Muslim Koran, the Buddhist Dhammapada, the Hindu’s Veda’s, the Taoist Tao te Ching and the Confucianism Analects. It is a must to any anyone who is looking for knowledge, spirituality and deep meaning in life.
The Book of Wisdom Books reveals the wisdom that is governing our lives. By applying the knowledge of this mental tool - we can change our lives, our destiny and our world.

Based on my previous experiences as a writer, I believe that this book is invaluable and it will be read by millions and millions of people around the world.


References:
Ardelt, M. (2004). Where can wisdom be found? – A reply to the commentaries by Baltes and /Kunzmann Sternberg and Achenbaum. Human Development, 47(5): 304-307
Ardelt, M. (2005). How wise people cope with crises and obstacles in life. ReVision: A Journal of Consciousness and Transformation, 28(1): 7-19
Armstrong, C. (1980). The chemistry of persuasion. Fredericton: Armstrong and Associates.
Bristol, C.M. (1948). The magic of believing. New York: Cornerstone Library.
Bota, I. (1997). Secretele Mintii – Secretele Succesului (The Secrets of the Mind - The Secrets of Success). Oradea. Romania. Crican.
Bota, I. (1998). Puterea Mintii – mai tare ca Diamantul. Editia a 3-a. (The Power of the Mind – stronger than Diamond. 3rd ed.). Oradea. Romania. Imprimeria de vest.
Bota, I. (2000). Mintea umana – descopera puterea fara de limite (The Human Mind – unlimited power), Oradea, Romania. Editura Institutul de Sanatate Fizica si Mentala (The Mental and Physical Health Institute Printing House).
Bota, I., (2001). Trezeste Gigantul din tine (Awaken the Giant from inside). Oradea. Romania. Editura Institutul de Sanatate Fizica si Mentala (The Mental and Physical Health Institute Printing House).
Bota, I., (2004). Cartea Cartilor de Intelepciune (The Book of Wisdom Books). Oradea. Romania. Editura Institutul de Sanatate Fizica si Mentala (The Mental and Physical Health Institute Printing House).
Bota, I., (2005). (Manualul Intelepciunii (The Manual of Wisdom), Oradea, Romania: Editura Institutul de Sanatate Fizica si Mentala (The Mental and Physical Health Institute Printing House).
Carnegie, D. (1964). How to win friends and influence people. New York: Simon and Schuster
Carstensen, L. L. ( 2007). Growing old or living long. Take your pick. Issues in Science and Technology, Winter 2007, 41-50.
Chelcea, A. & Chelcea, S. (1983). Cunoaşterea de sine - condiţie a înţelepciunii. (Knowing ourselves – a condition for wisdom), Bucharest, Romania: Albatros
Clayton, V. (1982) Wisdom and intelligence: The nature and function of knowledge in the later years. International Journal of Aging and Development 15 (31) 5-23.
Costan, I. (1943). Lectii Evanghelice. (Evangelical lessons). Bistriţa. Romania. Minerva.
Dawson, R. (1993). The Analects. Oxford University Press.
Drakeford, J. (1967). The awesome power of the listening ear. Waco, Texas: Word Books.
Durand-Bush, N. & Salmela, J. H. (1996) Nurture over nature: a new twist to the development of expertise (Journal Article in Avante)
Evans, C. (1977). Understanding yourself. New York: A&W Publishers, Inc.
Gausens, E. (1907). Complete course of teachings. Gherla: Tipografia diecezană.
Hanh, T. (1998). The heart of the Buddha's teaching: Transforming suffering into peace, joy, and liberation. Berkley, Calif.: Parallax Press.
Hendrick, J. (1980). Total learning. Toronto: Merrill Publishing Company.
Hinton, D. (1999). Analects. Counterpoint Press.
Hull, R. (1976) How to get what you want. Markham: Longman Canada Limited.
Levy, B.R., Slade, M.D., and Kasl, S.V. Longitudinal Benefit of Positive Self-Perceptions of Aging on Functioning Health. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences 57: 2002.
Mitchell, S. (1988). Tao te Ching. HarperCollins Publishers, NY.
Newburger, H. (1975). Winners and loosers. Scarborough: Meridian Books.
Nirenberg, J.S. (1963). Getting through to people. Englewood Clifs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, Inc.
Orlick, T. (1986). Psyching for sport. Illinois: Leisure Press.
Orlick, T. (2000). In pursuit of excellence (3rd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Pacout, N. (1998). Arta de a vorbi in public (The art of public speaking), Bucharest, Romania: Editura Globus (Globus printing House).
Petrescu, C. (1975). Maxime şi reflecţii. (Maxims and reflections), Bucharest, Romania: Albatros.
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