Wisdom Of The Ages


We were merely human beings ….

What is life but that which you see and create all around you? All those things that you hear, smell, taste, touch, say, and generally experience through your accumulated experiences define and encompass you – Reality.

My life can never be yours anymore than yours can become mine or that of someone else. So, one must cherish life. All life, not just your own. That singular life is the most important of all in the grand scheme of things.

That statement, however, raises a host of other questions which beg: is not the statement not in itself a declaration that there are times when one must destroy in order to rebuild? Love so that one can learn of the cancer of hate? Fall before learning to rise again in triumph? Know fear so that you can demonstrate bravery?

The positions and stances which you fall into with the greatest of ease are those which define who you and everyone else are, to yourself and those you encounter and interact with daily, actively and passively.

Be reminded that those who are wise know not that they are. It takes others to perceive them as such. To gleam any of the myriad of meanings behind the refractions requires the passages of time as perceived and experienced through yours and the eyes of those who have gone before you; as well as those who are sure to follow in one way or another. Who then is truly the wiser?

The person(s) who originally uttered or penned the words, such as, ‘Time heals all wounds’ or ‘What goes around comes around’, possibly never attached the label ‘being wise’ to those utterances. Nor, perhaps, did they expect those thoughts to survive through the passage and ravages of time. Time and circumstances merely resulted in them being philosophical about their lot in life. The wisdom contained within is something that was to be perceived by others upon reflection.

Consequently, the utterers or authors knew not that they were wise. Wisdom evolves through reflection, in hindsight.

Raising such questions as: what pearl(s) of wisdom have you generated or discovered as you journey on through life. Have you been instrumental in inspiring those you encounter, directly or indirectly, by your thoughts, acts or deeds? How have you been inspired by others? What has been the extent of those seeminly singular instances of insights that have passed by your way as you traverse the often unfamiliar landscape of life?

Have you left markers in your wake? Which have you adopted or merely discovered on your own along the way? Being wise or foolish often requires much more than ones’ own assesssment. Subjective evaluations need to be always viewed with healthy doses of skepticism. Constant patting one’s own back often results in one being unable to distinguish fantasy from reality.

Does that mean that we must every so often give our heads a shake to get rid of the cobwebs and blinders? Yes! He who believes that he is full of it, usually is in fact so constipated.

Insights and their meanings require objective examination and evaluation. The meaning, intent, origin and implications are what determine validity and purpose; and to do any or all of this means that we must always examine the examiner. It is only by questioning the questions that we are able to unearth the gems which so often lie hidden from view.

Listen to the children crying. What are they saying?

The examination can be so spellbinding that one can, and often does, forget about the examined. Why does the crying of little babies, regardless of race, colour or creed, appeal so much to our sensibilities? What secret, often left unexamined, portion of our  souls has been, especially, set aside for the particular innocence of babies. From whence do the subduing passions arise and break to the surface, demanding to be heard – in the name of humanity?

Is it the sad, sad sounds? Or the foreknowledge that innocence is about to be lost in the unrelently stream of human endeavours? How often do we also fail to pick up on those cries in the night?

The examination. Yes, there is always that to be held up as vindication. Circumstance assumes the mantle of Truth. Logic adorns itself in the aura of Fact. Reason sheds it skin and vies for the  embrace of the Heart. The undeniable becomes desirable. We are mortal. We think, therefore we are, but are non-the-less, mere mortals. Consequently, A, invariably, leads back to B.

Consider the entertainer and the entertained. Both start off on their individual paths with one basic assumption – it must lead somewhere. One wants to be the entertainer and the other entertained. Communication of those individual wants, desires or needs need a channel of commununication. A Singularity, as it were, at some point in the interaction between the two unkowns. One wants to hear and the other to be heard. So, somewhere there has to be a synchronisation of purposes where it all takes place. Opposites become one.

Does one ever have to relinquish strength or admit weakness(es) to gain control over the other. Is it, or should it always be, a question of, ‘a battle of wills’, ‘right against wrong’, ‘good championing against evil’? Where does the concept, compromise, fit into this mural?

At some point the Entertainer stops being the ‘entertainer’ and needs to be ‘entertained’. That ‘reason for being’ …… that sound that  stops one in his or her tracks, loud enough and long enough to make one ask ask, Huh??’ Is that the sound of just one hand clapping?

It is that crossing of signals which constitutes mis-communication. The complimentor becoming indistinct from the complimented. The chattering voices becoming indiscernable from the cries requiring attention and concern. We tend to become so adept at tuning out that we often times forget to tune back in the background noises. But within that ether reside hope as well as fate, distinguishable among the constant babble which surrounds us. Turning  inwardly in search of entertainment; such navel gazing often leads into forgetting about those follow in our footsteps. A clear case of  ‘the blind leading the blind’.

So what? Is the medium the message or the message the medium.

So often we lose sight of things which are so simple and profound, in their simplicity, as we peer about in our unending quests for definitive answers to ‘eternally’ burning questions. That which is right before our very eyes often falling into some mental blind spot, as though peering at the world, from the wrong end of the lens. The medium, in the final analysis, is truly irrelevant. What is being communicated, the message, gives life to the medium itself. Neither can exist without the other so why then should there be supremacy in the relationship?

Get a life! Deal with life! Get Real! Reality bites! The Twilight Zone. Deja Vu.

Cliches, one and all. And yet they all have one thing in common: they provide for communication with one another at the simplest of levels, forr the briefest and quickest of moments. Unknowingly, we often turn away from those communiques in our haste or self-absorptions – as we search for our idealised truths, selves, definitives, perfections and gods.

And just who or what do we dance for; and at what price or cost, not just to ourselves but also to those who join us in the bargaining?   Brief flashes of recognition come your way containing the kernels of truth. Truth that you truly understand, at last. Every age has had its storytellers, chroniclers, poets, songwriters, painters, sculpters and other artistes. Their visions and dreams, thoughts, fears, joys and sorrows all captured and preserved for all time – in one form or another, for those who were to follow to share and experience in their own ways. If and when a kinship develops it merely serves to sow the seed that will cause the passions which exist in us to rise up and be heard. That is Reality.

The cinematographer does not merely point his cameras willy-nilly in all directions. There has to be a story being told; and the telling is in a visual manner. Captured moments, as it were. The various juxtapositioned scenes  are the pages and chapters. Tool of trade, the trusty camera. Then  there is the director, the producer, etc, etc. , each with his or her own story to tell – in their own way. But the actors and actresses in front of the unobtrusive camera are the ones who are really in their glories.

The psychopaths, the sociopaths, the thieves, murderers, the victims and the tormentors. Not forgetting the buffons, the twerps, niggers and whores, the dreamers, the demeaned and belittlers. The court-jesters and the mocked. The hopeless romantics or the biggest boneheads that can be  conceived by the cynics at their best. Yet we cringe when told to do so by the sight of babies dying of both starvation and malnutrition in those far away lands. And bust a gut at the sight of people on a screen who wontonly throw precious food around with wild abandon, as they smile for the cameras.

Heard that laughters helps you to live longer. Who loves you, babe?

There are stars and there is stardust. One needs to stand out and the other must stand back. Nothing without the presence of the other, however. What attracts you, the starlight as it shimmers out there in the dark, cold vacuum of the universe? Crossing that line sows, yet another seed.

Are they memories of a time or place long gone by? What is being manipulated within you as you struggle with that thought. A voice you have heard, in a song perhaps? Was it something you read or snippet of conversations overheard in passing? A picture or a work of art? The tired voice or the plaintive one? The shout or the whisper? Laughter or sorrow?

Dreams are all around – filmed, recorded, penned, etched, painted, catalogued and documented. Stored away for safe keeping; just waiting for anyone to stop and take a moment to sift through the wisdom of the ages before journeying onwards in the wake of yet another dream.