Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Art of Deception, Cleverness... Wisdom

Watching Batman Begins for the first time I recall what it felt like as a boy playing espionage games with friends. All the gadgetry and training, the skill, artifice and sudden twists; these bring an excited sense of wanting that sort of role and stimulus in real life as the imagination strokes into overdrive.

And we feel this implicitly, each of us--it’s a normal human response and Hollywood knows this. We too know the name of the game of life. It is to live well; right, just and fair. This is why the good guy always wins in the end at the movies.

Life is somewhat a matter of smoke and mirrors. The wise get wiser in spite of this reality of deception. They grow to appreciate the deception and get clever with it, using it to their advantage. They learn to predict, avoid, counter and adapt.

Wisdom is not available for the grossly naive. We must get past that and know that it is necessary, in the wisdom tradition, to ‘be as cautious, shrewd and cunning as snakes and as gentle, harmless and innocent as doves,’[1] in order to achieve the objectives that are placed before us.

There are wolves in sheep’s clothing all about, notwithstanding the plainly obnoxious, yet it doesn’t deter us. We accept the territory and advance within it bearing this knowledge, tempered by it.

We are to be pure to an inch--and kept that way. Prudence and purity are the magnum opus of spiritual fortitude.

We survive the close calls and thrive on the winds of change. We know when and how to be elusive; when to commit and when to abstain. And it’s for survival. To live to fight the good fight yet another day.

We’re bound for confoundation. We will be required to be fired through the bellows of a furnace, refined and lightened in the process--capable in the end for the work ahead.

For this was our purpose from the beginning as soldiers of light.

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

[1] This is a compilation of Matthew 10:16.

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