April 10, 2016 24 Comments
Like you all, I face situations in real life, nearly every day that test my beliefs, and my morals. Increasingly, as I get older, I do better. Learning more all the time, and being perhaps more rational, maybe, I don’t really know. But, a few situations have faced me lately in which I am very disappointed in my responses.
And so, I’m going to take some time and re-evaluate how I managed to screw up so badly something I cared so much about.
The two snippets below will be all the explanation I’m willing to give. First from TS Eliot’s Little Gidding.
First, the cold fricton of expiring sense
Without enchantment, offering no promise
But bitter tastelessness of shadow fruit
As body and sould begin to fall asunder.
Second, the conscious impotence of rage
At human folly, and the laceration
Of laughter at what ceases to amuse.
And last, the rending pain of re-enactment
Of all that you have done, and been; the shame
Of things ill done and done to others’ harm
Which once you took for exercise of virtue.
Then fools’ approval stings, and honour stains.
From wrong to wrong the exasperated spirit
Proceeds, unless restored by that refining fire
Where you must move in measure, like a dancer.”
The day was breaking. In the disfigured street
He left me, with a kind of valediction,
And faded on the blowing of the horn.
And then from the Book of Sirach, Chapter 13
13 He that toucheth pitch, shall be defiled with it: and he that hath fellowship with the proud, shall put on pride.
2 He shall take a burden upon him that hath fellowship with one more honourable than himself. And have no fellowship with one that is richer than thyself.
3 What agreement shall the earthen pot have with the kettle? for if they knock one against the other, it shall be broken.
4 The rich man hath done wrong, and yet he will fume: but the poor is wronged and must hold his peace.
5 If thou give, he will make use of thee: and if thou have nothing, he will forsake thee.
6 If thou have any thing, he will live with thee, and will make thee bare, and he will not be sorry for thee.
7 If he have need of thee he will deceive thee, and smiling upon thee will put thee in hope; he will speak thee fair, and will say: What wantest thou?
8 And he will shame thee by his meats, till he have drawn thee dry twice or thrice, and at last he will laugh at thee: and afterward when he seeth thee, he will forsake thee, and shake his head at thee.
9 Humble thyself to God, and wait for his hands.
10 Beware that thou be not deceived Into folly, and be humbled.
11 Be not lowly in thy wisdom, lest being humbled thou be deceived into folly.
12 If thou be invited by one that is mightier, withdraw thyself: for so he will invite thee the more.
13 Be not troublesome to him, lest thou be put back: and keep not far from him, lest thou be forgotten.
14 Affect not to speak with him as an equal: and believe not his many words: for by much talk he will sift thee, and smiling will examine thee concerning thy secrets.
15 His cruel mind will lay up thy words: and he will not spare to do thee hurt, and to cast thee into prison.
16 Take heed to thyself, and attend diligently to what thou hearest: for thou walkest in danger of thy ruin.
17 When thou hearest those things, see as it were in sleep, and thou shalt awake.
18 Love God all thy life, and call upon him for thy salvation.
19 Every beast loveth its like: so also every man him that is nearest to himself.
20 All flesh shall consort with the like to itself, and every man shall associate himself to his like.
21 If the wolf shall at any time have fellowship with the lamb, so the sinner with the just.
22 What fellowship hath a holy man with a dog, or what part hath the rich with the poor?
23 The wild ass is the lion’s prey in the desert: so also the poor are devoured by the rich.
24 And as humility is an abomination to the proud: so also the rich man abhorreth the poor.
25 When a rich man is shaken, he is kept up by his friends: but when a poor man is fallen down, he is thrust away even by his acquaintance.
26 When a rich man hath been deceived, he hath many helpers: he hath spoken proud things, and they have justified him.
27 The poor man was deceived, and he is rebuked also: he hath spoken wisely, and could have no place.
28 The rich man spoke, and all held their peace, and what he said they extol even to the clouds.
29 The poor man spoke, and they say: Who is this? and if he stumble, they will overthrow him.
30 Riches are good to him that hath no sin in his conscience: and poverty is very wicked in the mouth of the ungodly.
31 The heart of a man changeth his countenance, either for good, or for evil.
32 The token of a good heart, and a good countenance thou shalt hardly find, and with labour.
I need some concentrated thought and study, if my words going forward are to have any value. See you all soon.