Friday, April 1, 2011

Readings: The Virtue of Wisdom

: St Mark the Ascetic, “On the Spiritual Law”

79. I have seen unlearned men who were truly humble, and they became wiser than the wise.

80. Another unlearned man, upon hearing them praised, instead of imitating their humility, prided himself on being unlearned and so fell into arrogance.

St Mark the Ascetic; early fifth century (?); a desert hermit, probably in Egypt or Palestine.

The wisdom of this ancient monk has outlived his biography; a state of immortality to which we should all aspire.

It occurs to me that the corrosive anti-intellectualism so rampant today in our conservative political class might find its antidote in the wisdom of item "79" above...