The Seven Roles > Sage

Positive & Negative Traits of Sage

(1/5) > >>

How great is the difference between a sage that is a good story teller and one that is a tactless bore? Is this a large divide or a fine line?


I think it must be a fine line, since people often seem to cross over it and back again with ease   :D

John Roth:

--- Quote from: Wayne on April 22, 2011, 05:26:12 AM ---How great is the difference between a sage that is a good story teller and one that is a tactless bore? Is this a large divide or a fine line?


--- End quote ---

Sages have three inputs, one of which is the Audience. A bore's best audience is always himself.


John Roth

Bore I must be, and James Joyce, and Buckminster Fuller, and Willam James and William Blake, and Spalding Gray and Marshall McLuhan, and H.L.Mencken and ee cummings and Li Po and Frederick Hegel and Liebnitz and Einstien and Bohr and and and William Carlos Williams, one of the most revered 20th century poets, who said: "A good writer writes for an audience of one, himself." (as did every one of the above  .  .  .  interesting  .  .  . when art doesn't imitate life  .  .  .  hmmmm  .  .  . they must not be Sages.)

So Wayne, let me ask you a question, since I dropped the ball and was inadvertantly rude to you in answering the first question which to me you posed.

(COMMENT NOT INTENDED FOR WAYNE: that IS the proper way to say that,look it up);{>

What is the difference between an Artisan that is an acclaimed success in their own lifetime, only to be later excoriated in critique down through History (like Milli Vanilli, or Rod McKuen) and an Artisan who labors to produce Art understood by no-one in their mileau, only to be revered by the retrospective acclaim of all critics (Van Goch and William Burroughs, to wit)?

This is a Zen koan, BTW, no 'right' answer.

Speaking from personal experience as both a "good" or "bad" Sage (I must have been a 'good' one in one lifetime, at least) I offer to you, and crew, the story I call:

"The Arjuna Argument"

It is said that one night, on the eve of a great battle, the Prince Siddhartha was unable to sleep, so he walked to his chariot to make sure it was ready for the morning's battle.  When he arrived he found his charioteer, Arjuna, asleep nearby.  Arjuna awoke, but, unbeknownst to the Prince, the Lord Vishnu had possessed the man's body and he arose and asked the Prince what troubled him, that he could not sleep.

Siddhartha sighed and said: "My friend, I have perceived a subtle but monumentally important "truth", that I believe has the power to free all mankind from suffering.  I wish to leave my current life, and try to explain it to as many as I can, but I do not know if I can communicate it well enough for anyone to understand it as I do, and even then, I may be wrong or no-one may wish to listen. Then I will have abandoned a life wherein surely I may be able to do some small good for a small number.  I cannot resolve this choice, what are your thoughts?"

Then Vishnu (as Arjuna) smiled the biggest smile the Prince had ever seen him smile, and he said: "I think people are like lotus flowers, growing in a pond. They all start out from the bottom and strive upward.  Your "truth", to me, seems like a few rays of sunlight shining on that pond as the flowers grow.  Some flowers, too far below the surface, will never be reached by your rays.  Some flowers, already having bloomed above the surface, will just wilt as you touch them. But, if, as you believe, this 'subtle truth' you speak of might, just might be what you think, and your rays reach ONLY one flower, struggling to break the surface, and give it the strength to bloom in the light, your decision to leave your current life to selflessly try to help a world that suffers is justified, for all time. This even Gods avow."

The Prince, at peace now with a confidence he barely understood went back to his tent, slept, won the battle in the morning, proceeded to the city of the King, his father, renounced his worldly life and went forth, never doubting his decision again.

This is the power of "The Arjuna Argument":  To me, it means if I help just one person, one time, in any one lifetime of mine, help them to free themselves or someone else from suffering, for that life at least, I've been a 'good' Sage! To me, nothing else truly matters.    - Jondalf


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version