The wisest man I know right now is a 75 year old Vietnamese emigre. The second wisest is a Vietnamese Emigre in his early 50's. The wisest man I know is not a man, she is my wife, whose wisdom is such that I know all I need to know in recognizing how wise she is. The smartest person I know is maybe 17 or so men and women who happen to be smart. The best person I know I can't say. Over my limit. Okay more than 17 - probably about 30 really smart people, and certainly mostly women. The wisest woman is as I explained the wisest person. The second wisest may be too though I have no proof.
I was reminded yesterday to empty myself, as I knew well just a week ago and was practicing with success. Then the world and all the riches of experience intervenes and you are full, and perhaps neglect to take out the sweet-smelling trash of your plausible charm.
But these is no second route once you have emptied yourself in faith and await in faith, and it is not my fault that time and time again you are renewed with a passion in situ - being placed in a passion, or passion being made to surround your shoulders, like a cloak. Like human clockwork - an admixture of muscle, iron, and the stars - the life surrounding you makes sense without your having to make sense out of it, which is good as, you know, that simply does not work.
Is life like this, society, politics? Insofar as it is made of people not yourself, I couldn't say, though there are strong indicators. These are your brothers and sisters dotting the landscape or meandering along the highway or warming the seats of the automat. When you forget they are that - brothers and sisters - you have lost what you cannot afford to lose. Time to take out the trash.
I love you not for what you write or believe or for how you vote. I love you as I write that I love you. Goodness knows what I will be feeling when you read it.
It would be lovely and not life if one could make sense of love or have love make sense, such that one could explain it to oneself or to others, or create a formula, a procedure. I believe that true love not only is given by God but goes through God. I do not believe that one has to believe that one believes in God to know love. That would be silly. But I should say it because even my opinions should make sense and, as I confessed, I love you so I want to be understood.
I am not interested in impressing you, though that is the standard cultural form - for liberal and conservative. To impress who you love to be loved. Well, as I mentioned, I believe love goes through God. It is an equal opportunity grant where you can love me right now and receive the gift of love.
But once I try to impress you, to win you over, to point out the bad guys or show how you and I are the good guys; once I say what is right or what is wrong; in doing these things I am not feeling or showing love. So, what can I afford to do?
Well, what I believe I do (it seems this way) is to proceed as if everyone were here with me, or that I am with everyone where they are. I then address what requires address under the challenge of love. This leads directly to politics in saying "yes" to what is right and "no" to what is wrong. But it does not lead to saying "no" to anyone in particular or in mass formation. It leads I think to a politics of show, not tell.
Having ideas is good. Leading with ideas is hard, but learning to lead is necessary to getting those ideas across in a way so that they have a chance in this world. Do you have an idea for improving the world? I want you to succeed. But to succeed you will need to learn some things that may appear at first glance to conflict with your ideas. Do not despair. Perhaps your idea is a trifle over-broad or has been charged with a kind of ethical imperative that may not serve your purpose. You will have to make some decisions if you want to lead.
If you love your idea enough, you will learn to accommodate its needs in order for it to succeed. For ideas need love too. They need your time and patience and a willingness to accept them for themselves in their strengths and weaknesses. We cannot afford to simply project our egos or hurts onto our ideas.
If your idea is simply an assault on other ideas, you will fail. That the rewards of love and thought are in doing so truly, and need not be reciprocated, there is no doubt. What else is needed in demonstrating that this life is a gift?
I hope you will succeed in all you truly love and what holds your thought.