June 6th, 2010

Dhammapada (6) - The Wise Man

(The wise man leaves the way of darkness)
For the way of light.
He leaves his home, seeking
Happiness on the hard road.
Free from desire,
Free from possessions,
Free from the dark places of the heart.
Free from attachment and appetite,
Following the seven lights of awakening,
And rejoicing greatly in his freedom,
In this world the wise man
Becomes himself a light,
Pure, shining, free.
Dhammapada (6) - The Wise Man

In contrast to the fool in chapter 5, the wise person is not attached to things
"freedom's just another name for nothin' left to lose."

There are apparently more fools than wise people.
I guess everyone knows this in one way or another.
Attachments are easy to come by,
hard to let go of.
Even when they are taken from us,
we hold on to them in our minds,
which is the worst place to keep them.

The wise person is hated by the world;
the same cannot be said for the fool.

Chapter 5 hints that foolishness is more contagious than wisdom.
Jefferson disagreed, and Jefferson was wise.
Maybe there are different kinds of wisdom/
Solomon was granted any gift he wanted from God; he chose wisdom, yet he lived like an oriental potentate and engaged in political intrigue.

The wise person uses his mind like a craftsman uses a tool.
If she or he is also wise enough to select virtuous projects. this is real wisdom.
A dull tool can be sharpened.  A misused tool can do more damage the sharper it is.

Can one be called wise if he or she ignores the teaching of the wise.
"Don't give money to a bum, he will only spend it on booze."  No wise person ever said that.
Don't be a sucker." No wise person ever said that.
"Anything worth doing is worth doing well."  No wise person ever said that.
"Trust but verify." No wise person ever said that.
"We need to protect our borders."  No wise person ever said that.
"We live in a free country."  No wise person ever said that.
The list goes on.

Yesterday joshmanicus posted a lengthy quote from Eugene Debs.  I thought, where is the like of him today?
Is anyone today wise.  Yes, I know a wise man.

Will i ever be wise; that's unlikely.  But i am a fool who knows he is a fool.