国际智慧学会 文件总编号IWS-G15008 2015年9月5日
6. Differentiating from Humanistic andTranspersonal Psychology
The third andfourth waves of psychology had one thing in common. Unlike first twomethodology oriented waves, they are goal oriented because they all try to setan ultimate goal for the discipline. Wisdom psychology is also goal oriented.However, the difference is in what goals to be achieved.
Differentiating fromHumanistic Psychology（the Third Wave)
The third wave,Humanistic psychology, developed in the mid 20th Century led by Maslow as arebellion against the limitations of the psychodynamic and behaviorist psychology(Bugental,1964). Criticizing previous two approaches as deterministic and dehumanizing,the third wave psychology focuses on the study of the “whole person”,emphasizing the forces of free will, social values, motivations and creativityin human behavior.
Wisdompsychology can find a lot more common grounds with the third wave than with theprevious two. Both schools have respect, faith and trust in humans; they wouldfocus on humans rather than animals; they believe that humans to some degree caninfluence events through their conscious efforts; both would treat creativityas an important subject of study, etc. In short, from wisdom studiesperspective, humanistic psychology is a move in the right direction.
Humanisticpsychology does have some weaknesses in the eyes of other schools. The mostdetrimental weakness is its emphasis on individual experiences and reliance onqualitative research which raises the criticism of being unscientific (Rowan，2001). This might notbe a big issue with wisdom psychology because there will be many ways tocompile scientific data to demonstrate the differences between the wise and theunwise behavior.
One possiblecriticism on humanistic psychology which has not been raised by other schoolsin the past is that even though it made a big step in the right direction, itdid not see far enough to find the ultimate goal. It failed to find and erect agreat banner to call up followers and motivate the masses of psychologists.Because of this weakness, even though humanists might share a common idea, theylack a coherent plan to achieve it. For example, the founding fathers of thisschool, Rogers and Maslow, both believe in self-actualization which is aboutpsychological growth, fulfillment and satisfaction in life. However, bothdescribe different ways of how it can be achieved.
Wisdompsychology will have a clear ultimate goal in wisdom study which can also bethe banner to lead the movement forward. The advantage of this approach isobvious if we compare humanist’s view of “whole person” with wisdom’s view of“perfect person.” Being a whole person may produce a normal human being who cancontrol his/her own behavior; but being a “perfect person” is the ultimate goalor the highest state of human development. According to ancient Chinese views,a perfect person is a sage whose behavior is flawless (Wang, Han Dynasty). Sagesare the people who have the highest wisdom.
Therefore, whilehumanistic psychology aims at producing the whole person, wisdom psychologyaims at making “perfect human being.” This is perhaps the clearest and most significantdifference of between the two schools. With this new banner, wisdom psychologysets higher goals, opens new territories, faces new challenges, and creates newmotivations for research.
Differentiating from TranspersonalPsychology (the Fourth Wave)
After successfuldifferentiating from first three waves in psychology, the remaining comparisonis with the transpersonal psychology, which is regarded as the fourth wave.Wisdom psychology not only needs to find sufficient differences fromtranspersonal psychology in order to establish candidacy for an independent newschool status, it should also find convincing arguments showing bothconnections and significant contributions to win respect and acceptance as alogical heir for the title of Fifth Wave in Psychological Development.
Transpersonal psychologyis a relatively new branch of the tree of academic psychology. Its focus is onthe study of the transpersonal, self-transcendent or spiritual aspects of thehuman experience. The discipline attempts to describe and integrate spiritualexperience within modern psychological theory. Types of spiritual experienceexamined vary greatly but include mysticism, religious conversion, altered states of consciousness,trance and spiritual practices.
Even though theidea of transpersonal psychology can be traced back to some founding fathers ofmodern psychology like Carl Jung, its emergence as an independent school ofthoughts in psychology started in the late 1960s, which means that it has over 40years of development history. However, this school has experienced difficultiesto win respect and acceptance from the mainstream psychologists. Criticism ontranspersonal psychology also came from outside disciplines such asphilosophers, biological and physicist scientists, etc. Reasons for criticismvary, but most reflect the ages old fundamental conflict between science and spirituality.
Transpersonalpsychology has a strong connection with Oriental culture. Carl Jung himself wasvery interested in oriental philosophy and spiritual practices. The rise oftranspersonal psychology in the 1960s was largely influenced by the influx ofOriental life and spiritual culture such as Buddhism, Qigong, Taichi, Chinesemedicine and Indian Yoga. Naturally, Chinese psychologists, who have felt awkwardfor not making much contribution by Chinese culture to the development ofmodern psychology, found common interests in transpersonal psychology (Peng andLi, 2008). They not only recognize the connections between transpersonalpsychology and Chinese culture, but also use this theory as a base to establisha school of “Chinese classic psychology” (Higgins, Zheng, 2002). As ChineseTaoist life cultivation techniques which have been kept highly confidential forthousands of years are being opened up to the West in recent decades, there arecalls from psychologists to pay more attention to the study of Taoist “immortalstudies” in recent years (Cott and Rock, 2009, pp. 119-133).
Wisdompsychology shares some common interests with transpersonal psychology. Forexample, wisdom psychology agrees with the view that psychology should studyhuman spiritual experiences and assess its impact on human behavior. Wisdompsychology also believes that spiritual practices can have significantinfluences on the development of wisdom, even though the influence may bepositive or negative under different circumstances. Without study of thisimportant factor, our understanding of wisdom may never reach its full capacity.
Onthe other hand, wisdom psychology also has significant differences fromtranspersonal psychology. If given a choice between the third and fourth wave,wisdom psychology would associate more with the third. As the definition ofwisdom psychology indicates, the focus of this new school is on human wisdom. So,even if wisdom psychology may examine spiritual forces, it is strictly limitedto human spirit, not about those non-human spiritual beings.
Withthis differentiation technique, wisdom psychology could dodge some of thebullets fired at transpersonal psychology in the past.
7. The Fifth Wave in Psychology
Havingdifferentiated it from the previous four waves in psychology, the remainingquestion is to show how wisdom psychology is a natural and logical fit to beregarded as the new (the fifth) wave. This can be done by looking at threedistinctive and significant characteristics of wisdom psychology. The first isits complimentary nature, which means that the new sub-discipline would not tryto discredit previous schools, but would be relying on their strengths. Thesecond is its synthesizing nature, which means that it would have the abilityto integrate different methods, help resolve differences and bridge gaps amongthe psychological schools to work for a common goal. The third is itsindispensable nature, which means that wisdom psychology is the one and onlypath to reach the ultimate goals.
Complimentary Effects of Wisdom Psychology
Wisdompsychology not just differentiates from the four older schools, but may alsoplay a complimentary role to help all of them to find connections, commoninterests, harmony and developmental opportunities.
Forexample, psychoanalysis has been criticized for being too obsessed withabnormal behavior and been deterministic. However, wisdom psychology doesbelieve that psychoanalysis is an important and even an indispensable tool inwisdom research because the whole wisdom development process is like a battlebetween the two forces of consciousness and sub-consciousness. By studying theinterference and suppression of sub-consciousness in wisdom cultivation, wisdompsychology might find ways for psychoanalysis to make significant contributionsto the positive development of human wisdom.
Forbehaviorism, wisdom psychology will not deny the usefulness of behavioranalysis to understand human psychological activities. It is even possible tostudy the wise people’s behavior to understand their psychological traits andmost of the wisdom principles. It isalso most likely that wisdom psychology will discover many wisdom developmenttechniques and give behaviorists ample opportunities to convert thosetechniques into wise behavior training programs.
ForHumanism, wisdom psychology could reinforce its foundations and expand itsscopes by confirming many of its principles and bring in new concepts such as“perfect person”, “self-elevation,” “self-perfection” and “self-purification.” Mostimportantly, wisdom psychology should be able to strength humanism by designingscientific experiments and producing statistic evidences to prove that humanconsciousness are not slaves but masters of their behavior.
Fortranspersonal psychology, wisdom psychology not only share the interests instudying human developmental potential and the view that spiritual practicesmay have positive influences on human behavior, but could also provide someways to produce scientific measurements. The next two sections will provide moredetailed discussions.
Synthetic Effect of Wisdom Psychology
Anancient Chinese proverb said that “fools see only differences, while wisepeople look for consensus” (Huangdi Neijing). Wehave discussed the differences, now it would be wise to point out thesynergies. The synthetic function of wisdom psychology can best be understoodby looking at its ability to bridge a huge gap between the third wave humanismand the fourth wave transpersonal psychology.
Thegap between the two schools mirrors the ones that separate human beings fromthe supernatural spirits and philosophy from religion. Humanism, which actsmore like the old philosophical way of thinking, criticizes transpersonalpsychology for being influenced too much by religious thoughts. On the otherhand, transpersonal psychology blames humanism for failing to help humans reachtheir highest potential.
Inthe eyes of wisdom psychologists, the two sides both have weaknesses. Humanismshould think about the questions of what the highest human potential is and howto get there. To transpersonal psychologists, a difficult question would be: whatwould take for an ordinary human being to change from a human into the ranks ofsay “immortals” and how are the chances for success? It seems that humanisticpsychology did not go far enough, while transpersonal psychology went too far.
Withwisdom psychology, however, this gap can be bridged. The logic is like this:
· First, wisdom is a humanphenomenon, thus its study falls within the scope of humanistic research;
· Wisdom aims at converting ordinarypeople into wise ones;
· Second, wisdom is thehighest state of human mind, thus part of the highest human potential;
· The power of wisdom can helprelease other parts of the human potential;
· The higher of wisdom, themore potential could be released;
· The highest wisdom connectswith transpersonal activities;
· Wisdom is the most importantcatalyst for transpersonal process.
Therefore,by studying human wisdom, the fifth wave could not only help find and releasehuman potential, but also provide an important means for psychologists tostudy, understand and interpret transpersonal phenomena. This is not justimportant for transpersonal psychology, but for the whole psychology disciplineas well, because soon or later it will face a tough question that it cannotavoid.
Indispensible Means for the Ultimate Goal
Theconflict between life and death has been one of the biggest questions thathuman civilization has been trying to find satisfactory solutions for thousandsof years. Longevity, or even immortality, has been the common aspirations ofall mankind, past, present or in the future (Cave, 2012). In recent decades,humans are exploring ways to prolong life through scientific research such as stemcell research, genetic engineering and small biomechanical devices (Bova, 2000).It is been predicted that in a few decades, average life span could be extendedto over 150 years (Klein, 2003). Even thoughthis prediction may come true, it is only the second level achievement (humanimmortals) according to Chinese traditional views.  Sciencemay not be able to give humans the higher level immortalities and it certainlywill never be able to if it continues to show no interests in such subject andsuppress those who made attempts like the transpersonal psychologists.
Immortalityis one of the transpersonal phenomena studied by transpersonal psychology startingwith Frederic W.H. Myers (1903). Even though often ridiculed by the generalscientific community, this kind of research should be respected and tolerated.Humility is a virtue of wisdom and maintaining curiosity is a virtue ofscience. We should remember the lesson that the Chinese classic theory ofChannels and Collaterals (经络 Jingluo) had a history ofthousands of years and was rejected by modern science for many decades. Onlywith improved detecting techniques, this old system is verified by science inrecent years.
Onthe hand, transpersonal psychology did make a mistake. It failed to identify themost important driving force behind transpersonal activities. It neverrecognized the importance of wisdom in the transpersonal experience. Eventhought here or there transpersonal psychologists occasionally mention the wordwisdom, they have not recognized how important wisdom is to transpersonalactivity and have not tried to focus on it in order to use it as a key tounlock the secrets of transpersonal phenomenon. For example, one scholardefines transpersonal psychology as “an attempt to integrate timeless wisdomwith modern Western psychology and translate spiritual principles intoscientifically grounded, contemporary language” (Caplan, 2009, p.231). Here,wisdom is described as ancient views or theories of transpersonal phenomenon,rather than treat it as a subject of study to find its role in thetranspersonal process. Even scholars who emphasize the importance of ChineseTaoism in transpersonal psychology have not recognized the roles of wisdom(Cott and Rock, 2009). This leaves a golden opportunity for wisdom psychology.
Chineseancient philosophy emphasizes the importance of wisdom in personal developmentas well in the transpersonal activities. According to Zhao Bichen, one of themost respected Taoist masters in modern China, the practice of Taoist internalalchemy not only could foster wisdom, but also needs the support of wisdom tosucceed. The level of wisdom would determine the level of Taoist achievement(Zhao, 1933, Luk, 1973). In Chinese Zen Buddhism, the final break-through (觉悟the great enlightenment or pragna in Sanskrit) is the work of greatwisdom. Just like prototype events are the key catalysts for “Aha!” effects in innovation(Qiu J. et al. 2008-1, 2008-2), wisdom is the key catalyst for transpersonaldevelopment.
Therefore,wisdom psychology could have the potential not only elevating a “whole person”to the state of a “perfect person”, but also lay a ground for possibletranspersonal experiences. However, a caution should be made that wisdompsychology only concern with human affairs. That is the boundary it should beconfined within. This is for the best interests of this new school. Wisdompsychology will study human psychological activities up to the state of “greatenlightenment” in mind development or “human immortals” in life span relatedissues. What happen after that should be picked up by other groups ordisciplines.
Definition of the Fifth Wave
Fromabove discussions, many characteristics of wisdom psychology have beenexamined. Drawing lessons from the past, in which some of the waves ofpsychology have been criticized for causing confusions because of the lack ofcommonly accepted definitions (Cunningham, 2007, 41-55), we here provide adefinition for the Fifth Wave of Psychology:
“The firthwave of psychological school of thoughts is wisdom psychology, which focuses onscientific research of human wisdom, a subject that has been traditionally dominatedby philosophy and religion. Regarded as the highest state of human mind, itsstudy would allow psychology to become a new force to decipher one of the mostdifficult research questions of mankind and could generate great opportunitiesfor this relatively new discipline. Wisdom psychology will be part of acollective cross-disciplinary effort under the umbrella of Wisdom Studies. Theobjective of the firth wave is to understand and interpret the psychologicalaspect of wisdom development related activities. The research methods of thefifth wave will focus on an integrated approach including introducing,interpreting and experimenting theories from other disciplines, utilizing oldpsychological methods such as psychoanalysis, and developing new scientificmethods such as brain mapping. The fifth wave might discover new ways to bridgethe gaps between humanistic (the third wave) and transpersonal psychology (the fourthwave) because wisdom is the highest potential of human mind and the mostimportant medium connecting humans with the realms of immortals.”
8. Future Research Directions
Onecharacteristic of wise behavior is to make well-prepared plans before takingactions (Gui Gu Zi). Wisdompsychology should also think carefully of what to do and what not to do in orderto have clear directions. Since wisdom regarded as the highest state of humanmind, people might generate high expectations for wisdom studies in psychology.The following are some principles it should consider in development planning.
Wisdompsychology should have clear definitions, objectives, scopes and strategies sothat the roll out will be smoothly and understanding and support will begathered quickly. This paper has offered some material to start with, but moredetailed plans should be worked out.
Because wisdompsychology is part of a larger effort to understand the works of human wisdom,it should work not only with other psychological sub-disciplines, but also havea close collaboration with disciplines outside of psychology. It can alsorequest support from other disciplines.
Wisdompsychology should find a balanced view on theoretic work and scientificexperiment. Human civilization has explored, tested and experimented wisdom forseveral thousand years and have produced abundant theories and experiences.Scientific research on wisdom psychology on the other hand is a new territory.This kind of imbalance determines that wisdom psychology needs theoreticguidance from other more experienced disciplines such as philosophy or history.
Wisdompsychology should have cool minded view on the potential of neuroscience(Nagle,Michael, 2013). Brain mapping is now mostly designed for cognitive studiesconcentrating on issues such as reading, comprehension, memory and simplejudgment, but brain mapping for wisdom study would be far more complicated andchallenging. Brain scanning may produce brain function maps, but it is on thecondition that brain cells are activated by the stimulus of external events orby the instructions of the conscious or sub-conscious minds. Therefore, brainmapping would not reveal anything about wisdom unless some methods are used tostimulate the brain cells to perform wisdom related functions. This would require prior wisdom knowledge inorder to design tests for wisdom related brain mapping. There have beenincidents that brain activities show patterns that make no sense to some people,but a person with good mastery of wisdom knowledge may be able to interpret.
Wisdompsychology therefore should avoid placing too much hope on brain mapping, butshould adopt an integrated research approach and use all available methods totry to find a comprehensive understanding of the psychological process of humanwisdom.
Wisdompsychology can make use of the scientific research methods and experiencesaccumulated by the discipline of psychology in its 150 years of development toexperiment and verify ancient wisdom theoretic assumptions. This would be agreat help for the efforts to convert wisdom from metaphysics intoscientifically proven principles.
Wisdom psychologistsshould be aware that unlike in cognitive and behavioral research, the study ofanimal behavior would yield little insight because wisdom is exclusively ahuman phenomenon. Research should focus on those people who possess variouskinds of wisdom characteristics either in the history or in current society.However, again, prior theoretical knowledge of wisdom is required, otherwisethere will be no guidelines on where and how to find those “wise guys”. Asancient Chinese described, “wise people often disguise themselves as ordinaryfolks” (Lao Zi).
Wisdompsychology may also take the responsibility to resolve the foremost questionpeople have about wisdom education: can wisdom be taught? In popular conceptions,wisdom comes mainly from personal experiences. This is clearly an obstacle towisdom studies because if it is true, there is no need to conduct study in thisfield. We study wisdom not for the sake of study, but for the purpose ofteaching people how to obtain wisdom in more efficient ways. Wisdom psychologyshould consider conducting experiments to provide statistic proofs that wisdomcan be learned and taught.
Wisdompsychology should also pay attention to the development of measurement criteriaand tools for wisdom quality assessment. Just like cognitive psychologydeveloped IQ tests, wisdom psychology can also develop WQ (stands for WisdomQuotient) tests. This test will have wide application potentials, especially ineducation, leadership training and human resources management.
Wisdompsychology should pay a very close attention to the two different paths in thedevelopment of wisdom. One is the so called intuitive wisdom and the other isintellectual wisdom. Even though humans have studied these two paths for a longtime and produced many theories, their functions and relationships are stilltoo complicated and hard to explain. Well designed scientific experiments mayreveal how they work.
Wisdompsychology may also explore how to use wisdom theories for therapeutic applications.Wisdom, because of its characteristics of comprehensive knowledge, wise ways ofthinking and great mental power, can help people find solutions to all kinds ofpersonal and social problems. For example, in life or death situations, peopleusually have two choices, either science (put life in the hands of medicine ordoctors) or religion (put life in the hands of faith). But with teachings andgood practices of life wisdom, people may have wiser views on life, have moreeffectiveness in sub-energy self healings, have opportunities to become humanimmortals (longer life span), may spend elderly years without pains andsufferings, and even with the possibility for transpersonal experiences.
Wisdompsychology should also pay close attention to Chinese Taoist internal alchemystudies. In terms of bridging the humanistic and transpersonal psychology,Taoist Inner Alchemy may provide a bridge between scientific materialism andreligious faith (Winn, 2009).
The immediatetask is to develop a wisdom road map which will provide a clear description ofthe major steps or stages that a person may take or go through in the completeprocess of wisdom development. The Wisdom Map will show how the gap betweenhumanism and transpersonal psychology is amended step by step. It will alsoprovide a structure to sort out the relationships among relevant researchareas. For example, according to the 10 layered “Chinese Wisdom Paradigm”developed in the course of “LearningWisdom in College”, cognitive psychology is in the third layer whiletranspersonal psychology is in the ninth layer (Zhang and Zhang, 2009). It willprovide a tool to organize research interest groups within wisdom psychology.
Thedevelopment of human civilization in the past several centuries has producedenormous knowledge about nature, life and human society. But wisdom hasremained an ancient mystery. As scholarly interests in wisdom study showing adramatic increase in the beginning of the 21st century, it might create anopportunity for the emergence of wisdom study as a new psychologicalsub-discipline. The power of wisdom could enable wisdom psychology to make ahuge impact on the development of psychology. Having the ability to bridge thegap between humanistic and transpersonal psychology would make wisdompsychology a legitimate contender for the title of “the Fifth Wave inPsychology”. This paper not only justifies the establishment of wisdompsychology as a sub-discipline, but also found a right place for it in thepsychological schools of thought.
Withits potential to help demystify the highest state of human mind, to helprediscover the crown jewels of human civilization, to help fill a void betweenhumans and the “immortals” and help resolve the conflict between science andspiritual development, we are confident that the study of wisdom psychologywill have a bright future. Wisdom psychology can make a great contribution tothe cause of building a wisdom science.
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作者感谢美国著名学者Kenneth Cohen和Howard Nusbaum对本文提供的支持和协助。
 Othertypes of immortals include ghost immortals, earth immortals, spirit immortalsand heavenly immortals.http://www.wudangdao.com/about-daoism/daoist-cultivation/5-types-of-immortals/#.UXi1G8r4J8E
 Suchviews can only be found in the Chinese version of Zhao’s book (Zhao, 1933). TheEnglish translation (Luk, 1973) does not have such contents.
“君子盛德, 容貌若愚”，Lao Zi.