Here’s the wisdom that has offered itself on this second day of September.
Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23
22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.
22:2 The rich and the poor have this in common: the LORD is the maker of them all.
22:8 Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity, and the rod of anger will fail.
22:9 Those who are generous are blessed, for they share their bread with the poor.
22:22 Do not rob the poor because they are poor, or crush the afflicted at the gate;
22:23 for the LORD pleads their cause and despoils of life those who despoil them.
The great Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, once defined anxiety as “the next day.” We don’t know what will happen “the next day,” which creates anxiety this day. Therefore, we are consumed on this day with trying to anticipate future calamities against which to protect ourselves. Since there is no end to the calamities we can anticipate, we’re always uncertain and constantly chasing after something which, we hope, will decrease our level of uncertainty.
This never works. Acquiring things doesn’t reduce anxiety. It generates anxiety. You buy some kind of insurance to protect you against some kind of risk, which means that you now have one more bill to worry about paying, as well as worry about the loopholes your new insurance policy doesn’t cover. (All that fine print? It means “we’re not responsible.”)
The real damage is done by those millions who want to “survive.” The honest men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don’t want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. Those with no sides and no causes. Those who won’t take measure of their own strength, for fear of antagonizing their own weakness. Those who don’t like to make waves – or enemies. Those for whom freedom, honor, truth, and principles are only literature. Those who live small, mate small, die small. It’s the reductionist approach to life: if you keep it small, you’ll keep it under control. If you don’t make any noise, the bogeyman won’t find you. But it’s all an illusion, because they die too, those people who roll up their spirits into tiny little balls so as to be safe. Safe?! From what? Life is always on the edge of death; narrow streets lead to the same place as wide avenues, and a little candle burns itself out just like a flaming torch does. I choose my own way to burn.
Source: Die Letzten Tage
In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all those people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation in a special world, the world of renunciation and supposed holiness. The whole illusion of a separate holy existence is a dream.
Source: Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander
A Golden Compass
Forget every idea of right and wrong
Any classroom ever taught you
Because an empty heart, a tormented mind,
Unkindness, jealousy and fear
Are always the testimony
You have been completely fooled!
Turn your back on those
Who would imprison your wondrous spirit
With deceit and lies.
Come, join the honest company
Of the King’s beggars—
Those gamblers, scoundrels and divine clowns
And those astonishing fair courtesans
Who need Divine Love every night.
Come, join the courageous
Who have no choice
But to bet their entire world
Indeed, God is Real.
I will lead you into the Circle
Of the Beloved’s cunning thieves,
Those playful royal rogues—
The ones you can trust for true guidance—
Who can aid you
In this Blessed Calamity of life.
Look at the Perfect One
At the Circle’s Center:
He Spins and Whirls like a Golden Compass,
Beyond all that is Rational,
To show this dear world
Everything in Existence
Does point to God.