Saturday, July 10, 2010

... some musings on wisdom

i've been thinking about wisdom a little bit lately. here are some quotes on wisdom that have stuck in my head:
wisdom for a man’s self is, in many branches thereof, a depraved thing. it is the wisdom of rats, that will be sure to leave a house, somewhat before it fall. it is the wisdom of the fox, that thrusts out the badger, who digged and made room for him. it is the wisdom of crocodiles, that shed tears when they would devour. but that which is specially to be noted is, that those which (as cicero says of pompey) are sui amantes, sine rivali, are many times unfortunate. and whereas they have, all their times, sacrificed to themselves, they become in the end, themselves sacrifices to the inconstancy of fortune, whose wings they thought, by their self-wisdom, to have pinioned.
- sir francis bacon, of wisdom fo a man’s self
in seeking wisdom then art wise; in imagining that thou hast attained it, thou art a fool.
- rabbi ben azai (aze)
the moving finger writes; and, having writ,
moves on: nor all thy piety nor wit
shall lure it back to cancel half a line,
nor all thy tears wash out a word of it.
- omar khayyam, the rubáiyát
the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.
- the Bible (esv), proverbs 1:7
the words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one shepherd. my son, beware of anything beyond these. of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
the end of the matter; all has been heard. fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. for God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.
- the Bible (esv), ecclesiates 12:11-14


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