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The Court Jester Stanczyk Receives News of the Loss of Smolensk During a Ball at Queen Bona's Court (Matejko,1862).

“I see no reason to turn down any DerivedWisdom, especially if I discovered it myself.”

This week, I wrote essays which garnered 504 individual views, on a curious variety of topics, totaling just over five thousand words if I don't count the individual introductions. What do you suppose those words meant? I mean really? Individually, I might summarize them like this:

•I spoke of how I could not honestly swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, even with the intercession of an insistently supportive god. (

•I then switched to speaking about my long and largely uninterrupted twice-daily meditation practice, admitting that I feel no closer to enlightenment (whatever THAT is) than when I started, but how I still feel enormous pride in and deep satisfaction with my discipline. (

•I wrote about the inequality money seems to inject into our justice system, perhaps disclosing how little I understand about gilt and the nature of G(u)ilt. (

•Then, I spoke of Appreciations, which sparked some conversation about skills, which spawned some fresh appreciations, and reinforced a continuing a mystery for me: What in the heck qualifies as a skill? (

•Then, in some frustration, I spoke of the cult composed of those who believe that ends justify means, suggesting that for me, means mostly validate ends. (

•Which somehow led me to speak of GodSends, blessings which might first appear as curses, or al least elicit curses from me when they first appear, and the absurdity associated with believing that I could ever initially distinguish between blessing and curse. (

•Finally, I ended the week by describing how our kitten Max has been teaching me elementary physics, including primitive string theory. (

Still too many words to actually guide any living by. Were they just ephemeral entertainment or something more meaningful? In today's posting, I'll attempt to demonstrate how I go about DerivingWisdom.

Like everyone, I live forward but make sense by reflecting backward. What am I to make of my week’s writing? What might it mean in reflection? I admit to struggling with rereading and editing my finished pieces. Once done, they seem genuinely over for me. I write more to expel, perhaps, than to tell any more eternal anything, but still these pieces might hint at a broader story, one with perhaps a longer shelf life than any individual past breakfast might have originally had. Let’s suppose that over the past week, I somehow uncovered The Seven Pillars Of Wisdom, that the underlying, hidden plot disclosed some fundamental understandings about life, and not just my life, but about human life here in today’s world. What was what I said really saying?

Though I scrupulously try to avoid telling anyone what to conclude, convinced that telling people what they should believe serves as one of the least effective ways of influencing anyone, I could engage in a little game, maybe just for giggles. I’ll propose The Seven Pillars Of Wisdom For The Week Ending on Friday, November 22, 2019, just as if this distillation meant something significant. Here goes:

1- My Truth trumps The Truth.
2- Meditation mumbles a mantra only the meditator ever hears.
3- We are neither created nor judged as equals.
4- Appreciations serve as their own reward.
5- Means might always matter more than ends.
6- Each apparent curse might hold a blessing inside.
7- Watching anyone learn serves as the best teacher.

Had I intended to impart these simple truths, I would feel proud to have proclaimed them, for these truths, while perhaps not self-evident to anyone but me, fairly describe some of what I consider to be necessary knowledge, essential understandings for living sanely here today. Your mileage probably varies and I’m not selling encyclopedias or bibles, but just trying to demonstrate how one man’s wisdom emerges. First, by exposition, by, as our Homeland Insecurity friends continually remind us, seeing something then saying something. They do not remind us to reflect upon what we might have not even heard ourselves saying, though. Any odd mumble could serve as a meaningful mantra, but only, it seems to me, after some concerted reflection. My rules for living my life seem no more apparent to me that your rules probably seem to you. I didn’t know I knew until I peered through the accumulating fog of utterances to discover what I might have been hacking toward all along. In real life, plot lines emerge after experience, and never by clever premeditation. We live and learn, but only, for me, after considerable, sometimes painful reflection produces an Oh, So That’s What That Meant Experience. As my reader, or, more significantly, your own reader, you’re free to conclude whatever plot seems to work for you. I cannot tell you what your meaning means.

All of this particular expression seems to support my originating intention when I started writing and posting these daily expositions, that a pony might actually lurk in there somewhere, though any deeper meaning might not come prancing off of any particular page. Deriving meaning seems a lot harder than sharing even an uncomfortable secret, for making meaning seems to demand discarding the carefully crafted stories in favor of some distillate, a derived concoction with perhaps no more than presumed healing properties. None of us will live long enough to prove any proposed truth to have proven eternal. Next week, reflecting back from as-yet experienced space, I might well derive a completely different set of Pillars Of Wisdom, this week’s batch having lasted for a week’s small eternity, but probably for long enough. Today’s derived understandings might well survive only until sundown. I see no reason to turn down any DerivedWisdom, especially if I discovered it myself.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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