Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Despite our having optimistically named ourselves Homo sapiens sapiens—the doubly wise human—most of us, most of the time, stand far off from that ideal. Folly, not wisdom, seems to be our native medium and natural state; error, not rectitude, is our common mode; confusion, not clarity, is our customary condition.

We “see through a glass darkly,” discerning more shadow than substance. We are dense and descending, not soaring in glory. At most we muddle through, relatively unscathed by our stupidities, causing not too much harm to others, and humbled by how short we fall of grace and brilliance.

Yet the spiritual sunshine of wisdom continues to brighten and warm us from above, far beyond our reach and grasp, though still exalting to our souls: flowers yearning skyward toward that radiance.

We never can be wholly wise, but only grow in that direction. We are not “doubly wise” but merely wisdom seekers—when we’re rightly oriented. First we discern, by our best lights, how wisdom would comport itself. We look for archetypes and models of sagacity, heroes and exemplars who have manifested wisdom most distinctly. Then we take their path and go their way as best we can, hoping to end as well as they.

How do things look when bathed in the glorious sunshine of wisdom? Beautiful. Kindly. Authentic. Wholesome.