“Collective Wisdom and Being Contrary” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Wisdom

Happy Mani’s Day


We have reached the end of another full cycle of me going through my philosophical foundations.  Here we end with wisdom and wisdom is both the goal and the beginning. So the whole issue of philosophy the process and a new beginning from time to time.

Every now and then it comes up in my head the issue of collective wisdom.  I have no great respect for it to be honest.  What constitutes conventional wisdom most of the time is things I would disagree with by nature.  I am pretty contrary most of the time when people say something I am already thinking of counters and the opposite point of view.  I am already becoming the antithesis to any thesis.

I guess my belief is built on finding wisdom through discussion and debate.  I despise the sheep mentality that accepts what people say I should need and want.  I know what  I need and want and I don’t really need someone to tell me that.  What I need and want more is the collective wisdom to tell me how to get it, not define it.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

“Feed the Wolves, but Listen to the Ravens first.”

Needs (Geri):

The wisdom of need is based on hunger for that which is needed.  Something inside calls for something and no amount of collective wisdom can define that.  The wisdom of others may give you options if it is truly wise.  But it can never tell you what you really need.  That has to be defined by you.

Wants (Freki):

What we want can only be governed by ourselves as well but does have to be placed through the filter of collective wisdom only in so far as does what we want to harm someone else.  Which as any decent human being would not want to do anyway?  Unless by not harming others, continued harm befalls yourself, but that idea would only be applicable to needs not wants.

Reason (Huginn):

This is where our own reason might butt heads against collective reason.  If something is reasonable it seems to me that collective wisdom would accept it but this is not always the case. Passion rules reason, but that is popular wisdom not necessarily the most rational course for each person. Only the individual can truly know that and only if they involve reason in the process of there decisions. Otherwise.  As Russell points out above, this is usually the moment where some individuals stand against conventional wisdom and rightly so.

Wisdom (Muninn):

Collective wisdom is not always wise. It offers a general guideline but not always the best course of action for each individual.  Because of this wisodm also says to be a little contrarian and challenge the conventional wisdom – which I do – often.  It is simply wise not to always accept collective wisdom until it can prove to be wise in my specific situation.


I suspect I will always be contrarian in my search for wisdom.  I just don’t think the conventional and collective mindset is always good for me. I find just accepting what everyone thinks is wise to be difficult. I feel far more strongly that Bertrand Russel has the right of it so I accept his wisdom on this.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.


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