Posted by: ychzqal | July 7, 2009

wisdom’s loyalty …

You can, of course, forsake the light and wander in the dark.
You can take pleasure in evil, and rejoice in clouding the mind with words.
You can choose the crooked road or dead end, and still Wisdom will rescue you.
You can abandon My teaching and pursue desire.
You can banish insight from your home and open your doors to those who cannot face truth.
But as long as you choose this road, the living path is lost to you.
Choose differently: Seek Wisdom and walk the good path.
The upright dwell in timeless Wisdom; the wholehearted can never be lost, but the wicked are driven from every place and the faithless have nowhere to call home.

— Proverbs 2:14-22

Wisdom’s love for you is unconditional. You can choose to follow Her or reject Her, and still She will love you. But Her love is not enough, for without your choosing to return that love, there is no relationship between you.

There are two paths through life, the living and the dead. The living path is Wisdom’s Way; the dying path is the way of folly and wickedness. The path of the living is a refuge for life: Each step is peace, each step is healing, each step is whole and balanced. There is no destination; the journey itself is the prize.

The path of the dying is about arriving — getting somewhere other than here, for here is filled with anxiety, fear, and suffering. But there is nowhere but here, so the traveler on dying’s way rushes from place to place, certain that the next place will be the last place. There is no joy in dying’s way; exhaustion is its only promise.

Posted by: ychzqal | July 6, 2009

embracing wisdom …

When Wisdom is embraced righteousness, justice, and fairness are known; all paths are illumined and you need fear no detour.
When Wisdom enters your heart and knowledge your soul, you will perceive the order of the universe and never despair.
You will be rescued from your own dark inclinations, and not even the cleverest lies will deceive you.

— Proverbs 2:9-13

When you have found your way to Wisdom, all Ways lead back to Her. When you have taken refuge in Her arms, you can be alone and never lonely. The place of Wisdom is not a place you stay, but a place that stays with you. She reveals Herself to you everywhere. So there is no need to stay anywhere. The sage is a wanderer who is never lost; your every step is both departure and arrival. The world will appear transparent to you: You will see all its doings, both foolish and wise, and you will not be deceived. You will engage the world with justice and compassion, giving and receiving without fear or hesitation.

Posted by: ychzqal | July 5, 2009

sages …

There are those who teach many, yet are deaf to their own instruction.
There are others whose words are clever, but whose meaning is false.
These shall starve, for they are deprived of Wisdom.

Those who follow their own teachings and prosper therein,
these are trustworthy sages.

— Wisdom of Yeshua ben Sirach 37:19-22

Not all who are called sages are wise. Some instruct well, and yet cannot follow their own instruction. If they do so willfully, shun them; if they do so because that is the best they can do, learn from them, but be wary of them.

Others are masters of words, but their words are empty of meaning. These serve only themselves, even if they are convinced that this cannot be so. Do not take to heart everything you hear. Wisdom is not irrational, though She may be nonrational. Wisdom is never against reason, though She may transcend reason.

How to tell the true sage from the false? By their fruits. If they prosper by following their teachings rather than by selling them, they are sages worthy of your loyalty and love.

Posted by: ychzqal | July 4, 2009

not for myself alone …

At first I was like a narrow stream from a river, and as a shallow brook into a garden.
I said, I will water my best garden, I will moisten my finest beds,
Then my brook became a river, and my river became a sea.
In this way I make instruction glisten in the morning, its shimmering seen from afar.
I pour out teaching as prophecy, and leave it for future generations.
Know this: I do not labor for myself alone, but for all you who seek Wisdom.

— Wisdom of Yeshua ben Sirach 24:30-34

You do not become wise all at once. There are stages, and what marks each is the lessening of ego and the expansion of grace. You begin as a narrow stream and hope to water your private garden. This is using Wisdom to better yourself. Then your stream becomes a river, too wide for your private garden and less inclined to feed the self alone. Then your river becomes a sea and from it all gardens are watered.

You know when you have arrived as a sea when you no longer labor for your self but for Self, and give Wisdom freely to all who seek it. The sea welcomes all who come to Her, and any who know Her Ways can cross Her. But the fool will fight the truth and drown in the shallowest brook.

Posted by: ychzqal | July 3, 2009

silence …

Not all silence is the same.
Some are silent and thought wise, while others are despised because they speak.
Some are silent because they don’t know what to say, while others are silent because they know when not to speak.

The wise keep quiet until the moment for speaking is ripe.
The fool babbles without regard to the time and season.

The babbler will be detested.
The self-proclaimed authority will be despised.
— Wisdom of Yeshua ben Sirach 20:5-8

There are fools who pretend to be sages, and sages who are mistaken for fools. Look beneath the surface and be not content with appearances.

The fool who pretends to Wisdom uses silence as a ploy, pretending to know and not say, when he does not know what to say. The sage speaks, but only when speech is necessary. Sometimes this speech is harsh: Do not mistake the sage for a coward or a pushover. Do not mistake the sage for an enabler. The sage sees the grain of the moment and lays it bare. Sometimes harsh, sometimes comforting, the moment determines what the sage says, while the fool is driven by a compulsion to manipulate self and other.

Posted by: ychzqal | July 2, 2009

be full …

You who eat Me shall yet be hungry, and you who drink Me shall yet be thirsty.
Only you who obey Me shall know clarity.
Only you who align with Me shall know simplicity.
— Wisdom of Yeshua ben Sirach 24:21-22

Your desire for Wisdom is without limit. At first you hope to taste Her and be satisfied, but you cannot get enough and your hunger is never sated. At first you hope to sip Her, but a sip becomes a gulp and your thirst is never quenched. Not that She is small or dry, but that your desire grows with every bite and every swallow.

Desire is what brings you to Wisdom, but desire is not enough to be one with Her. For that, surrender is obligatory. You must give Her not only your passion but your will. Only then does She give you clarity and liberation; only then does the hunger end and the true feast begin.

Posted by: ychzqal | July 1, 2009

come to me …

Do you desire Me?
Come to Me!
Do you crave Me?
Eat My fruit!
Even the memory of Me is sweeter than honey,
and to possess Me is sheer ecstasy.
— Wisdom of Yeshua ben Sirach 24:19-20

When it comes to Wisdom, let your desire guide you. Take Her and eat of Her and do so without reserve or hesitation. She wants you to want Her, and desires to give Herself to all who hunger for Her.

To find Her and to lose Her is better than not to have found Her at all. The memory of Her love will stay with you and push you to seek Her again. There is nothing as sweet as Wisdom’s love. Her taste, Her touch, Her gifts of simplicity and grace cannot be matched. And when you receive them, the narrow self is overcome with joy and the spacious self unfolds in bliss.

Posted by: ychzqal | June 30, 2009

do what you can …

If you have the power to do good to the deserving — do it.
If you have the means to repay a loan when asked — do so!
If your neighbor is trusting, be worthy of that trust.
If your neighbor is peaceable, pick no fight with him.
If you abide among the lawless, do not envy or imitate them.
— Proverbs 3:27-31

There is no arriving on the living path of Wisdom. There is only this step, and this step, and this step. There is no perfection on Wisdom’s path, there is only perfecting. One step is not superior to another other, only more thoughtful, compassionate, just, and wise.

With every step there is something to do. Large or small, complex or simple, each moment offers you an opportunity to act. Do what you can with each opportunity. Give when giving is what is required. Take when taking is what is appropriate. There is no right action for every step, only a right action at every step. Even if your path takes you into the realms of falsehood and chaos, you can act for Wisdom and order. It matters less where you step than it does what you do when you get there.

Posted by: ychzqal | June 29, 2009

guard your mind …

Guard your mind more than anything you own, for mind is the source of your reality.
Keep away from crooked speech, and avoid clever talk.
Fix your eyes forward; keep your gaze steady and straight.
Carefully examine the course you choose, and all your ways will prosper.
Deviate neither to the right nor the left, and keep your feet from evil.
— Proverbs 4:23-27

You are what you do, but what you do depends on how you think; so guard your thoughts from irrationality and falsehood. Do not shun evil thoughts; simply do not cling to them. When evil is seen to be evil, harmful to self and others, you will not do it. But if your mind is lost in false thinking, you will call evil “good” and praise yourself as you perpetuate it.

Deviating to the right or the left, letting your mind wander from truth into falsehood, is the danger; staying centered is the challenge. If you walk with a spacious mind, your feet will not lead you into temptation.

Posted by: ychzqal | June 28, 2009

focus …

Focus on Wisdom,
and do not be distracted.
Watch the patterns of creation,
and you will awaken to grace and tranquility.
— Proverbs 3:19-22

There was once a queen who built a palace of only one room. She sat herself at the center and invited all her subjects to meet with her. Inside the palace she had placed many mirrors that created the illusion of walls and hallways. The people became confused, wandering about the great hall blind to the queen in their midst. She also placed pouches of gold and sacks of silver throughout the room, so that as the people wandered about they would come across them and grow rich. Her people rejoiced at their good fortune, but when the pouches were all found, they tired of their search and went home, all thoughts of their queen banished from their minds. The queen was saddened that her people had abandoned their search so soon, and called to them, “Wait! I am right here! Look beyond the illusion and see me!”

Life is filled with mirrors, and from time to time you stumble onto pouches of gold. You become distracted and tired and want to rest, but the real treasure is not hidden and surpasses anything you have found. Drop all you have and heed Her call.

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