“The way a book is read — which is to say, the qualities a reader brings to a book — can have as much to do with its worth as anything the author puts into it…. Anyone who can read can learn how to read deeply and thus live more fully.”
~Norman Cousins

Writing is where we truly learn. Join the Journey.

I read from my scriptures (book), but you can find scripture reference here.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Who Is Wise? Ecclesiastes 8 P

Ecclesiastes 8

Who is Wise?
Who is as the wise man?
Me. I am as the wise man.
When I practice my turn to
figure out a problem, interpret a solution,
and to know the root of all wisdom.

There is wisdom that flows through me
as I break down my piece of life
one section at a time, trial upon trial.
I find a great boldness that causes
me to begin to shine forth.
It changes my countenance.

God placed on this earth a government
that brings peace and prosperity
to my daily commune.
Who is wise? I am. In my obeying
my king's command as he obeys
the oath of our God.

I can practice wisdom when I choose to
forgo my hastiness and stay close
to my king. My king's wisdom
and power of word gives him cause to do
whatsoever thing he pleases.

But he, like me, must face the
same time and judgment
when spirit retains spirit
For no matter my loyalty,
This war will claim all.

But my king with power over me
I have wisdom to know that he is
no better than I. Yet his vexation
increases and my freedom decreases.

And I have wisdom to know that
yet I seek it
I cannot find it.
Yet I know it.
I cannot have it.

Who is wise?
Anyone who thinks he is
must consider how he became such and
realize that to consider this shows
that he is not.

Yet we all can impart bits of wisdom
We all can feel the joy of touching wisdom
And know the change that comes upon us
when but for a brief moment we feel
the power of wisdom surge through us.

Who is wise?
He who seeketh to interpret.

Whenever I have figured something out, it brings great energy to my soul. When I read this I think that Solomon is asking us to think about what it takes to be wise? And asking if we have ever had the experience where we have known just a small bit of wisdom?

I once watched my son, (age 12) figure out a song he was learning on the piano. He played through it once so to learn the notes. Then he learned the harmony. (left hand) Then he learned the dynamics. And then two hands together.Finally, he began to polish it off and make it sing beautifully. Now he was beaming. Eventually he dissected every part of this song and could play it with his eyes closed. I enjoy listening to him as he masters the many different parts of the song.

I enjoy watching him feel happy as he learns to use his wisdom to interpret the song.
The joy that came from interpreting the one piece of music to his own understanding was written all over his countenance. But mostly it was written in the way he played.
He knew that he not only understood the piece, but that he had interpreted it correctly and played it with his soul. When we learn to dissect a problem the way he was able to dissect this beautiful song, we too will play beautiful music.

The thing about learning to play a piece of music is that there are certain rules you must follow in order to unlock the beauty that lies written on the page. You must learn to read the music notes, dynamics, style, tempo. etc. You must learn to practice it correctly. I have heard him practice a song foolishly thinking that if he played it anyway he wanted, his fingers would forget how he practiced it and find some magical formula when it came time for performance.
When we keep the commandments the way we learn to play a piece of music, we find that we are able to progress with greater ease and speed.

Speed seems to be something that my son likes when it comes time to play his pieces. He loves playing fast. Sometimes he ruins his songs. The most memorable songs I have are the ones he has played them with melody, emotion, and the interpretation of his soul. He seems to forget this often and simply try to be "hasty" and quickly be done with his practice. I am trying to help him learn to discipline himself and not "do whatsoever pleaseth him."

The power comes to him when he learns to follow the instruction of his teacher and the interpretation of his soul. The power of a king comes from his word that follows the oath of God. The power of a good pianist comes from his word that follows the oath of instruction and practice.

When my son is able to "keep the commandments" of piano practice he is able to finish in a timely manner and work through each piece with focus and safety from mistakes. When he does not focus there is a fear of the evil thing. Having to repeat, repeat and repeat.

When unraveling the wisdom of a problem, Solomon tells us that a wise man discerns both time and judgment. When playing a piano piece well, a wise piano student will practice his piece with time and judgment. Time comes with rhythm and the part of the day he sets aside to work on his problem piece. Judgment comes with the choices he makes that daily helps him improve his performance and find strength in his skills.

The thing about problems is that we don't know when or where they will crop up upon us. Like playing a piano piece for someone we meet, it is important to practice daily study so that when the opportunity comes to play (problem solve) we are ready to preform without mistakes. Our fingers are strong, our form is solid, our hands are relaxed and we need not fear. We simply practice what we do every day. It becomes natural to us.
When we practice wisdom, this happens the same way. like playing music.

Solomon does not speak about playing the piano here. But rather he speaks about learning to keep the laws of our land and honor those that govern over us. He helps us see that they too must die, but even still they deserve our respect, even when they rule to our hurt. We are all human and even though we have wisdom, we also lose our wisdom.

Wisdom is something that must be practiced and maintained, and even then it is difficult to hold onto. It changes us. It is always changing. It is truth. It is the inevitable. It is knowing the tomorrows and not knowing what to do with what we know. It is learning to bridle the tongue and keeping our knowledge to ourselves unless invited to share. For some are ready to hear what we may impart and others will find pain by our words.

Wisdom comes from those that seek it. We all have that ability. We must search this not only in study but in practice. How wonderful it is when we are able to but touch it, it touches us with its energy and power and changes our faces to that of a shining smile.

Words and phrases

vs 1 - who is as the wise man? - We all can be wise in our own way. We all have our perception of life that will cause others to see what their views cannot.
vs 2 keep the king's commandment - obey the laws of our land.
vs 3 stand not in an evil thing - don't forgo obedience to the laws to stand in evils way, but rather find wisdom in being obedient to the laws of the king.
vs 5. A wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgement - the wise have a sense of time concerning the problems they are working on, as well as a judgment of good and evil.
vs 6. the misery of man is great upon him - the king who must execute judgment of his law must face the misery of those whom he must judge.
vs 8 power over the spirit to retain the spirit - we all will die. Even the king. No man of great earthly power can escape the heavenly law of death.
vs 8 no discharge in that war - we all must fight the battle of death and we all lose.
vs 9 to his own hurt - when we obtain power we all find a way to abuse it. We face frustration, jealousy, etc. and must find a way to overcome the desire to hurt others.
vs sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily - it takes time for the evil work of the wicked to come to light.
vs 16 I applied my heart - give it all your heart to know a problem, a challenge, a task and it will become clear, strong and sure to you. When we seek wisdom we will find it, but it will also be elusive because of its nature and size.

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