Meditations on the Not-Yet Realizable Goal.
We are ashamed of our audacity sometimes. Yet, when we connect with wisdom we have connected with all we need to know. In those weird years between the age of 25 and 30 I had experienced many hells and horrendous chasms brought on by the times, by private problems, by a fierce density that had clouded everything inside and out. Some great shakeout was occurring to people after the adrenaline years. All was blight. All was a threat against ones integrity.
It occurred to me, in an interesting place to think, that wisdom is the natural outcropping of failure, of disillusionment, of lost and broken dreams. Or, more precisely, at the moment we lose dreams, we are profoundly disillusioned and the world becomes a nasty sort of silence. It is at that point we seek wisdom.
It is the curative that keeps things upright. And this must be so because our dreams and aspirations are a pure vanity without which we believe life is a stupendous lie and hell-bore. "Ah, we have lost our dreams and aspirations; we are in the hell-world of disillusionment!" So, people plummet and don't want to face the odd reality that we are human animals in a universe we scarcely understand. in a life so confusing and complex. And then death waits for us. Another incomprehensible mystery. So, how is all of this resolved? By not resolving it trouble begins, sometimes trouble on a monumental scale.
We surrender, then, to the little pleasures and diversions which harm no one, not least ourselves. The heroism of youth dies but we admire it in others, in the young, in figures of history.
No one can explain wisdom. Only a few have actually embodied it as it is. Christ and Buddha, for instance.
Wisdom is mind at the end of exhaustion; the beginning of new energy.
Wisdom is nearly an embarrassment.
And what goal would there be? I think all the great spirits and mind have wrestled with this dilemma. What possible goal could there be but this: Continue to enrich the mind and push against the envelope until it opens. Therefore, it is not perfection that is needed but transformation' transcendence. There is a kind of trick that puts the soul in motion and, in motion, the possibility of its renewal exists.
When a goal has been attained it is the omnivorous self that goes after it. The irreconcilable battle ensues. Perfection implies that there is no real adventure when, in reality, it is an enormous adventure. There are two words for perfection: Boredom and Slavery.
If one were to live in the spirit of creation where would be the need for perfection?
When one thinks of the future one makes a decision between what is inexhaustible and what is finite. Are the objects surrounding us inexhaustible? The only way one could make the claim that objects are an inexhaustible source of vitality would be to say they have displaced what was once the inexhaustible vitality of the human soul. and if this is true are not the two fates similar? No doubt the fate of cars, atomic bombs, and all type of machines is of greater value than God, death, love and all the sources of mystery.
Wisdom is the giving up of power for a greater understanding of life. When wisdom has the power to coax a man out of his "will-to-power" then the wisdom is true or, at least, on the path to truth.
Modern men and women have abandoned the thought that "God is out there, beyond the sky and stars." But the modern person has not abandoned, perhaps is not even that aware of, the idea that God is within the person stretching out into that sky and star. If God stretches this way and yet we are not God what is our relation to God?
The knotty question arises, "Can this God tell us how to live, how we should live in these days?" "Well," someone asks, "what do you mean by living? Do you mean God will show you the best mortgage rates in some city you want to move to? Will God direct you to your truest love? Perhaps. But here is what God does. He is the artist that "releases the life already embedded in the stone," as Michelangelo was quoted as saying about his sculpture. And once God has done this we are free in a painful sort of way."
The poet handles wisdom very carefully. Brothers have died in their mishandling of it. A man puts his wisdom on his shoulder to get it whacked off.
Wisdom for a master like Christ is pure sacrifice. We, the lesser types, sacrifice the world of artifact and gain incredible riches as a result.
But then we are always on the verge of asking, "what is the wisdom of a a bureaucracy or a corporation or a baseball team? What is the wisdom of commute traffic?" And the truth is that wisdom can very definitely penetrate these areas especially as human beings are involved. But wisdom can only win out in the human soul, it can't always become public policy, especially in a good, healthy secular culture as this one attempts to be from time to time. Not lately perhaps.
The problem for wisdom is that it is not reproducible like a scientific product. It is a unique quality for each individual person. People who do not cultivate wisdom and live life with pure instincts always are startled when they come across one who has cultivated wisdom. "Ah, why couldn't I just buy this in the store? Why don't they have a mailbox number or website where I can order some of this wisdom?" No, first there has to be a felt need for it. And that comes in many forms. First, the need and then the discovery through arduous work. The dark night of the soul occurs
© 2015 David Eide. All rights reserved.