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Beard and cloak do not make one a philosopher. (German Proverb)

Free from lice, beard and cloak do not hinder it either - The main thing is getting wise, ancient scriptures maintain.

What comes out of a human outside the bathroom could be a good sign of its likely value, but perhaps not any title. Learn from flowers:

Flowers do not remain, however nice they are, they usually pass over into fruits and berries and seeds in the great cycle of a plant's total life manifestation. Seeds sprout later again, and again, as long as circumstances and other influences are suitable.

To make sensible idea flowers work in humans lives, learn from little flowers in the wild so as not to mar, or so as to mar as little as possible. Ideas first get sown or appear "by themselves" and sprout later, often helped by being artistically expressed. Steiner schools apply such cornerstone principles by other words.

Dirty clothes

Big names often stand on small legs (American proverb).

There are some overlooked facts in life. That dirty faces could help us to get time by ourselves may be an overlooked finding. Another: Christ was a Norwegian American, and he wrote letters too. Christ was his first name. (Zempel 1991;1985-91).

If the British proverb "The wind in one's face makes one wise" is taken to be good enough to act by, we get wiser by troubles we overcome. Taken figuratively, it suggests that adversity, misfortune, and hardship can make you wise if you survive the hardships, learn well enough from them, and make able use of it.

Many ancient scriptures tell us to treasure and gather wisdom here on earth. However, there is a higher form of wisdom than a wind-in-your-face sort. This insider wisdom, called gnosis in Greek and jnana in Sanskrit, is very much thought of in Hinduism, Buddhism, and "Hebrewism", where it is "Wisdom makes you cheerful and gives you a smile," says Ecclesiasthes 8:1 (CEV). That could very well happen. In Hinduism it is called essential knowledge had by meditation, and in Buddhism it stands for pure awareness. The term jnana has a range of meanings.

Now, to gather wisdom, should one reek of garlic, wear dirty clothes and look foolish? Such means to get wind in one's face may lend time to oneself. However, the price for it may be high and should definitely be taken into account. Prefer neatness to it. But facts or biographies remain: Marpa, Milarepa's guru, did much to pass as a drunkard. [Tm]

Living more or less alone may be attainable - time to meditate and gain wisdom, jnana, gnosis. But there are many other ways to look not attractive and not be all used up by others. Chuang Tzu speaks of how smart it could be to seem useless, even though in some cases it may get very risky, he also tells. [More][Still more Chuang Tzu about it]

Education at its best is largely for gathering what others have learnt and come up with in the school of hard knocks (life), so as to escape hundreds of errors, if not more.

The Hippopotamus

You may find significant reasons for dauntless confidence in the riverhorse lifestyle with its waterbed rest and fearless sleep.

To become like a remarkably polluting hippo leader, some go for management schooling that leads to much pollution against cooperative, future living, and get an entry into the heavy-weight class and circles. Few things may be as hard as that, deep within. It costs to be a faded celebrity too, and most celebrities fade.

Much Trickery

You can get crushed by much trickery. So it may pay to clarify things before much gets out of control, as "The head lost means everything lost" [German proverb, Sl 31]


We should bulwark against things that may cause sorrows. By circumspection and traditional customs and decrees, some manage to bulwark against considerable sorrows. Merely to talk far and wide may help common man next to nothing, whereas "The good example is half the sermon." (German, Sl 142]


What is polite? Lack of candour is hardly polite to one's sense of worth, one's inner being. Frankness is one of the noble assets. If you are not allowed to be free-flowing yet polite, maybe you have come across someone that passes on his largely-stunted-and-stunting problems. There are many such fellows. Really good manners are not for covering your sincere nature; to the contrary. Try to bulwark much and often, to preserve your assets and fair play. At least try to be fair and to the point. It could pay in the long run.

A nice conclusion may help somewhat. We have to judge and ascertain many things on our own, much and often. On top of such a long process, "There is nothing as practical as a good theory," - Kurt Lewin. [Sop 11]. Some proverbs are called loosely "folk theories", in part to test out, says Jerome Bruner.

A show of humility is not the best show in town

Those who make a show of humility, lack sincerity, and a fool seems unable to change his mind.

It is possible to instruct a letter-writer in how to go about in a straight, fair and ordered way, also in the face of uncertainties.

To get it better, study under someone to respect, and take notes of highly important points, to be a better student and get it better after the formal education is got.

Gentlemen with tapeworms

A gentleman insists on being himself, as well deserved. The true gentleman is not fond of spiritual tapeworms. Tapeworms seek to get it warm and cosy with no or few extertions and expenses. The tapeworm spiritual is not really afire, and gets outsmarted in all likelihood. Against it: Earn and learn.

It is a mistake to be fond of well sheltered, soaking and sponging followers and other tapeworms. Passive-aggressive, over-submissive offenders could be worse than frank and unpretending guys.


Flowers, gnosis, passive-aggressive, essay, Literature  

Zempel, Solveig, ed., tr. and introduction. In Their Own Words: Letters from Norwegian Immigrants. Oxford: University of Minnesota Press, 1991.

Ap: Mieder, Wolfgang (main ed.), Stewart A. Kingsbury, and Kelsie E. Harder: A Dictionary of American Proverbs. (Paperback) New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Sop: Smith, Eliot R., and Diane M. Mackie. Social Psychology. 2nd ed. Hove: Psychology Press, 2000.

Sl: Beyer, Horst, und Annelies Beyer. Sprichwörter Lexikon. Weyarn: Seehamer, 1996.

Tm: Evans-Wentz, Walter Yeeling, ed. Tibet's Great Yogi Milarepa. 2nd ed. London: Oxford University Press, 1969.

Harvesting the hay

Symbols, brackets, signs and text icons explained: (1) Text markers(2) Digesting.

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