Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Wordplay Wednesday™ March 1, 2017 – Nous

Welcome to Wordplay Wednesday “101”! 

Class … Class … Class! May I have your attention, please!

How many times did you hear that line stressed, in the twelve- to sixteen-plus years of your education? Well, imagine you’re back sitting on a hard wooden chair, a doodle-bedecked tablet (old-school or new) on the battered desk in front of you, while you peruse the cute guy or girl in the next row.

Wordplay Wednesday “101” is now in session …

NOUS (nōōs) n. – 1) mind, reason, or intellect, specif. as a metaphysical principle; 2) shrewdness or understanding; savvy. [WW #101; see also, noetic, from WW 09/02/2015.] 

So … what does that mean?

Wiki explains nous in layman’s terms, “… sometimes equated to intellect or intelligence, is a philosophical term for the faculty of the human mind which is described in classical philosophy as necessary for understanding what is true or real.”

Some folks, including the original Greek philosophers, have gone beyond the intellect to equate nous to the metaphysical and intuition. It even forms a base of understanding in the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), founded by Apollo 14 astronaut, Edgar Mitchell (1930-2016).

Following his moon walk and returning to Earth, the trained engineer and scientist found himself faced in space with a thought he couldn’t attribute to mathematics or any known structure. “He knew that the beautiful blue world to which he was returning is part of a living system, harmonious and whole—and that we all participate, as he expressed it later, ‘in a universe of consciousness.’”

We can argue all day about the “true” meaning of nous—it exists in that nebulous realm of feelings, understanding, and intuition.

But by initially defining nous for you, I hope with Wordplay Wednesday “101” to do what your educators did for you a few, or oh-so-many, years ago … encourage you to think.

This word works as a catalyst—what do you think, feel, understand, or intuit, as true and/or real?

Today, we are facing a slippery slope of fake news and charismatic charlatans in every faction of our lives, to an extent that would shock and mortify poor Aristotle. How are our minds to distinguish what is true?

To combat the inanity, nous needs to move past the classic philosophy of Aristotle and Plato, to be explored in the mainstream as a cognitive development.

Nurturing our minds through the nous of humanity, peace, and compassion, is our only hope for the future.

Think big. Think magnanimously … most of all ... THNIK!*

*If you didn’t get the humor of that and thought I simply spelled “think” wrong, you’re just too young to remember when it was all the rage on t-shirts, hats, and especially in teachers’ classrooms. 😏 

Word Challenge: NOUS. Make it the center of your thoughts as you fit nous into your week of intellectual musings and writings.

Write first for yourself … only then can you write for others. (L.Rochelle)


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