The Great Pyramid and the Sphinx
What is wisdom save a collection of platitudes? Nonetheless, they embody the concentrated experience of the race, and the man who orders his life according to their teaching cannot go far wrong.– Norman Douglas
Doesn’t the wisdom in folk sayings make you feel better? They reaffirm truths we believe in. We like how they capture so much in a few words, laugh at their humor, respond to their poetry. A few minutes with the world’s best maxims is like a refreshing dip in a quiet pool after a hectic day.
And what could fit more naturally into the Twitter generation’s lifestyle than these short, punchy one-liners? Our craving for catchy sound bites and concise bumper stickers can be soothingly satisfied with a collection of the world’s timeless adages.
Even better is the luxury of time to focus on them, digging beneath their obvious observation to the deeper truths they hint at. Truth has many layers, and proverbs that withstand the test of time hold an element of it. There’s more to them than meets the eye.
The same truth echoes through different times and places. Christ said, “If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.” The Bulgarians: “If you can’t serve, you can’t rule.” And in Yemen, “The master of the people is their servant.”
As you sift through these wise words, you realize the most perceptive can be traced to the unusual human beings who uttered them. Some originators are lost in antiquity, so many proverbs are anonymous, or identified only as Chinese, Latin, biblical. But names like Aesop, Socrates, Confucius, Christ, Shakespeare, Lincoln, Franklin, Gandhi, Twain, the Dalai Lama or Mother Teresa crop up enough to make you suspect some wise and learned individuals originated most of these treasures.
Whatever their origin, we are grateful for these pithy reminders of what’s good, beautiful, and lasting in our collective experience of the last several millennia. Lemurian students find the wisdom in folk sayings echoes some of the ancient wisdom we study in the Lemurian Philosophy and help us affirm connections we know exist among people everywhere, even when you discover these apparently clear and concise statements of universal truth can be interpreted very differently.
During high school study hall I dug into a dictionary looking for more obscure sayings. A French one, “a bon chat, bon rat,” translated as, “To the good cat, the good rat.” I thought this meant something like “The early bird gets the worm.” But later, I had a chance to try “a bon chat, bon rat`” on a French speaker. He responded immediately, “Oh yes: ‘The cart before the horse’!” (Maybe it was my accent.)
It’s true that any two of us may find a different meaning or a new moral, because we each have a unique experience background. And that’s where we really start to learn from others.
It’s interesting and just plain fun to talk over these sayings together, compare our own experiences with the truths they convey, drawing closer in our understanding of each other. You will find them scattered through these blog articles and related to the universal principles they encode. We hope you enjoy this mental and spiritual recreation as much as we do. Send us one of your favorite quotes!
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