With Wealth Bondage and the Will of God, and the discussion of related posts, we almost reached the next plateau in our discussion of the themes of this blog, and its corporate sponsor. We saw that the themes treated in the book itself, by two very intelligent highly educated authors read the wisdom of the ages from within a framework the book did not interrogate: the vulgar,prereflective libertarianism of Wealth Bondage, the esteemed funder of my blog too. The well qualified authors of the potted summaries of spiritual traditions, condescend to both the audience and some of the greatest moral and religious thinkers in history, implicitly proffering as "gospel" the gospel of wealth.
We also saw with humiliating clarity what real scholarship looks like. Tom reminded us, showed us, and with good humored ease, reduced the corruption of learning to the corruption of learning. That is not hard to do, frankly.
Tom keeps learning alive not in a Dumpster, but in a public library, with his fellow close readers. He does keep wisdom alive, he and his cohort. Again, maintaining high standards among educated people who have devoted decades to mining a tradition, one book at a time, those books including The Book of Job, Paradise Lost, The Paradiso, and who are reading for the sake of understanding and appreciation, who are reading to grow themselves, is difficult but also it is known science. We know how to do that. When all that is at stake is taste, ethics, and wisdom in a public library, sequestered from the world of wealth and power - how hard is that? Very hard, but still possible in Sarasota, and anywhere a few like minded educated folks can find a quiet place to talk.
The question you have to ask of Tom and others who have kept the faith: What would you do if you were working in Wealth Bondage with those whose decisions will shape our world? How would you convey wisdom into the minds of wealthy, proud, addled, and ignorant figures who have taken a knack, craft or product big time, but who as human beings have often very little else to offer? How would you negotiate that position, knowing that the Bank of Wealth Bondage is not interested in excuses. The Bank wants results. And results are driven by assets under management, and by wealthy ultra high net worth clients, and their heirs being totally delighted. Wisdom they want! Wisdom they shall have! Tom, how would you meet this demand?
Answer: "I would never put myself in the position of being such a whore." Agreed, Tom. I, on the other hand, read Wealth and the Will of God with other eyes. I see it as the best book that could be written by a former Jesuit, a classicist, or by me on company time, or within the shadow of the Home Office. Even then, having written it, I would expect to be out on my fanny, since the bottom line is served by the book - yes, but not as well as it could have been served by a book even more vulgar, popular, and crass, or by a video, or maybe a rock band. That is the better part of wisdom. Schervish and Whitaker could hold their own in the Sarasota great books club. You could hold your own as a Wisdom Consultant in Wealth Bondage. But the names change, the roles remain. As Hildy Gottlieb says, "People do what the system leads them to do." How then, dear Holy Spirit, will we re-engineer not the public library, but Wealth Bondage Home Office? Perhaps, Hildy is saying we keep hope alive in our own practice, meet in small groups, and suffer when the suffering comes, but it won't of course, because we hold a positive thought, as did MLK, shot through the head. I expect the suffering will come. I overheard Glenn Beck laughing in the Situation Room with my ultimate superior, Candidia, yesterday. Honor! Rally for honor but leave your guns at home! Martin Luther King does not belong to the black people alone! The world spirit is stirring and wisdom will take awhile to work its way to victory. Those who have the most compelling dream are often demonic, and they serve as useful idiots to those whose status quo is never discussed since it is the frame within which all else happens. Not that I am complaining. I appreciate the generous grant from the good people at Wealth Bondage that makes this blog possible. I speak subject to correction. Wealth Bondage and the Will of God is on sale in the lobby.Two cents of every dollar will go to build libraries, a signature initiative of Wealth Bondage Global for deep social impact, in sub-saharan Africa.