Thursday, June 16, 2011

keeping wisdom at bay

Sometimes I think that elevating or anointing 'the wise' is just a way of marginalizing wisdom -- of keeping what is sought at a safe distance.

On the one hand, praise can inspire. It can build a fire under an otherwise lethargic ass. On the other hand, praise implies, ipso facto, a distinction and distance between what is praised and who is praising. And the praise of wisdom is no different ... the greater the praise, the greater the distance.

Why would anyone do such a thing -- distance themselves from what they yearn for? My guess is that there is a recognition of the implications of wisdom -- that wisdom is cotton candy without personal responsibility and no one wants to do the work themselves if they can find someone or something else to do the work for them. And those willing to do the work find very quickly that the symphonic and airy praise that once filled the wisdom balloon ... well, it dribbles and leaks and evaporates and ... is gone.

Don't mess with my woo-hoo's! Get thee behind me, Satan!

I wouldn't downplay the usefulness of praise and I wouldn't suggest that wisdom doesn't exist because "we're all the same in the end" or some similar bit of laziness. But I would suggest that anyone might be wise to keep a sharp eye on what they adore and praise. And the same goes for what they despise or disparage.

How can you love your gods if the best you can do is praise them?

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