Stories & Reflections
According to the dictionary: deep knowledge of things, natural or acquired; erudition; rectitude.
According to the New Testament: For God’s folly is beyond the wisdom of men, and God’s weakness is beyond their strength. For consider, brothers, what happened when God called you. Not many of you were what men call wise, not many of you were influential, not many were of high birth. But it was what the world calls foolish that God chose to put the wise to shame with, and it was what the world calls weak that God chose to shame its strength with (Corinthians 1: 25-27).
According to Islam: A wise man arrived at the village of Akbar and the people lent no importance to him. Except for a small group of young people, the wise man was of no interest to anyone; on the contrary, he became a object of irony for the inhabitants of the city. One day he was walking down the main street with some of his disciples when a group of men and women began to insult him. The wise man went up to them and blessed them.
When they left, one of the disciples remarked: “They say terrible things, and you answer them with nice words.”
And the wise man replied: “Each one of us can only offer what he has.”
According to the Hassidic (Jewish) tradition: When Moses ascended to Heaven to write a certain part of the Bible, the Almighty asked him to place small crowns on some letters of the Torah. Moses said: “Master of the Universe, why draw these crowns?” God answered: “Because one hundred generations from now a man called Akiva will interpret them.”
“Show me this man’s interpretation,” asked Moses.
The Lord took him to the future and put him in one of Rabbi Akiva’s classes. One pupil asked: “Rabbi, why are these crowns drawn on top of some letters?”
“I don’t know.” Replied Akiva. “And I am sure that not even Moses knew. He did this only to teach us that even without understanding everything the Lord does, we can trust in his wisdom.”
In the animal kingdom: The centipede decided to ask the wise man of the forest, a monkey, the best remedy for the pain in his legs.
“That’s rheumatism,” said the monkey. “You have too many legs.”
“And what do I have to do to have just two legs?”
“Don’t bother me with details,” answered the monkey. “A wise man just gives the best advice; you have to solve the problem.”
A scene that I witnessed in 1997: Hoping to impress his master, a student of the occult whom I know read some manuals on magic and decided to buy the materials mentioned in the texts. With considerable difficulty he managed to find a certain type of incense, some talismans, a wooden structure with sacred characters written in an established order. When we were having breakfast together with his master, the latter commented:
“Do you believe that by rolling computer wires around your neck you will acquire the efficiency of the machine? Do you believe that by buying hats and sophisticate clothes you will also acquire the good taste and sophistication of those who made them? Objects can be your allies, but they do not contain any type of wisdom. First practice devotion and discipline, and everything else will come to you later.”
Before Alexander: The Greek philosopher Anaximenes (400 A.C.) approached Alexander the Great to try to save his city.
“I received you because I know that you are a wise man. But you have my word as king that I shall never accept what you have come to ask me,” said the powerful warrior to his generals.
“I just came to ask you to destroy my city,” replied Anaximenes. And in this way the city was saved.