Rarely today do we meet with real timeless practical wisdom of the ages. This is why I love the sage, Balthasar Gracian, and why I so love to pull his wizardry apart piece by piece to put it back together.
This is what he says toward guarding judgment until the appropriate time:
“Lies always come first, dragging fools along by their irreparable vulgarity. Truth always lags last, limping along on the arm of Time. The wise therefore reserve for it the other half of that power which the common mother has wisely given in duplicate. Deceit is very superficial, and the superficial therefore easily fall into it. Prudence lives retired within its recesses, visited only by sages and wise men.”
The following may be drawn from this saying:
~~ We don’t always judge things correctly first time around.
~~ The truth is often not presented first up. People have many motives for misrepresenting the truth besides being plain wrong. Non-truth can be promoted via slips, lapses, mistakes and violations--all common to ‘human error.’
~~ Truth may ‘limp along’ finally in last position, but it always comes, eventually. It is therefore the safest position to be on i.e. the side of truth, when it arrives/is revealed.
~~ Patience is required in extracting benefit from truth.
~~ The ‘common mother,’ or our innate natures, has provided for our ability to wait on the truth. But first we must stop or control our desires.
~~ Like attracts like. The superficial seek out the superficial. If we’re adept at looking deeply into things i.e. into their interior, seeing the fine print, we’ll not often stop at the superficial, initial presentation of ‘fact.’
And the final sentence sheds light on where we need to be.
The prudent live not only aware of the presence of deceit, they live in ‘its recesses,’ being part of the lattice of deceit but very much apart from it. They do this because they know they can’t escape deceit; it’s inevitable in this world. So they gird themselves in it to protect themselves from it. And from this standpoint they can simultaneously be as cunning as a snake but as pure as a dove (Matthew 10:16).
Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.