There appeared a commentary in the October 13, 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) entitled, Wisdom a Neuroscience Perspective: co-authored by Drs D.V. Jeste and J.C. Harris. The opening paragraph of the article began, “Philosophers, poets, and pundits have long pondered human nature, positing psychological constructs such as consciousness, cognition, emotion and resilience to stress. However, biological scientists have tended to ignore or avoid serious investigation of such constructs, considering them complex, or imprecise and not measurable using conventional scientific measurements.”
After several hundreds of words describing the neurological imaging studies utilized by some investigators searching for the location of a “wisdom center” in the brain, the author concludes with these words regarding the afore mentioned radiological studies in the final paragraph; “Although the elements that underlie wisdom may be enhanced through such means, wisdom is an emergent property of integrated brain functioning. Thus although the conditions for its emergence may be established, the final ingredients that make humans wise, despite innovative neuroscience, remain evasive.”
The following well known parable is instructive: One day a group of climbers composed of philosophers, sociologists, geneticists, biologists, neuroscientists, psychologists, lawyers, physicians and psychiatrists began to scale a high mountain in search of wisdom, only to find after several months of climbing, a committed student of the Bible sitting atop the mountain reading, learning and intently studying about wisdom in that Bible that had been revealed 5000 years before and passed down through generations of Bible believing Christians.
Wisdom is more a matter of metaphysics than anatomical locations or chemical constructs. The seat of wisdom is the soul and the soul being immaterial will never be found by the investigative imaging studies currently being utilized by neuroscience experts. When searching for a lost article one must begin by looking where it might logically be found. In the next blog we will look at the source and location of wisdom.