Friday, June 25, 2010

Degrees of Sagacity

In an earlier post today, The True Sage, I made the point that I was of the opinion that "the only true sages are dead ones." In response, reader Iktomi "for me, i don't really understand what the big ho-hum is about being a sage anyway. a sage means someone who is wise, yes? well, every human being is wise in some way or another, and no human being is wise in all things!"

I certainly agree with the tenor of her statement. Each of us has moments of sagaciousness; moments when we exhibit keen insight and wisdom. In a manner of speaking, when we show that we're acting, speaking or thinking from sagacity, we are exercising the sage-ness within our being.

However, the main thrust of the earlier post is that -- within our world beset with competing egos -- there are many people who hold themselves out as possessing profound sagacity. They foolishly believe they have won the battle with their ego and declare themselves to be a sage, a guru, a leader, a prophet or, in extreme cases, a messiah.

While there may be no question that such individuals possess keen insights into particular aspects of life, I haven't met (personally or virtually) ANYONE who stands above other humans in that they utilize sagacity in all areas of their being. For example, one person may exhibit wisdom in simplifying their lifestyle, but when it comes to relationships or compassion, they fall far short of the mark.

My underlying message -- one that I believe echoes Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu -- is to be always suspicious whenever you encounter a self-defined sage. As I've pointed out numerous times before, a true sage would not identify themselves as such. So, when you meet someone that does bestow that sort of title on themselves, you can be assured that they have yet to attain the capabilities needed to make it so.

Besides, while another individual's wisdom certainly can aid each of us in our own life's journey, the wisdom we should rely on the most is our own. Just because x, y and z have worked for the self-styled guru DOES NOT mean it will work or be as effective for you or me.


  1. such a wonderful blog....I never miss your posts(I'm not on the agreeing front!!!).I hope you keep posting regularly in future too

  2. Sandeep,
    Welcome! We do post quite frequently here. :-)

  3. According to Wei Wu Wei (who's dead)

    "The Saint is a man who disciplines his ego. The Sage is a man who rids himself of his ego."

    Which means you've found a load of blogs by modern day saints. And we all know the mess saints can make!


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