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  • Doug Belshaw 1:30 pm on March 31, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: appearance, Baltasar Gracián, deceit   

    Look beneath the surface. Things are usually very different from how they initially appeared, and ignorance, which didn’t look beneath the surface, turns to disillusion when it penetrates the interior. Falsehood always arrives first; it drags along fools with their endless vulgarity. Truth always arrives last, and late, limping along with Time. Mother Nature wisely gave us two ears, and the sensible always have one listening out for truth. Deceit is very superficial, and the superficial soon encounter it. Insight retires into itself so as to be more esteemed by the wise and the discreet.

    Baltasar Gracián

     
  • Doug Belshaw 11:30 am on March 31, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Baltasar Gracián, , troubles   

    Don’t expose your sore finger, or everything will knock against it. Don’t complain about your sore points, for malice always attacks where our weaknesses hurt most. Getting annoyed will only serve to spur on someone else’s enjoyment. The ill-intentioned are searching for a pretext to get your back up. Their dart-like insinuations aim to discover where you hurt, and they’ll try a thousand different ways until they hit upon your most sensitive point. The circumspect pretend not to notice and never reveal their troubles, whether their own or their family’s, for even fortune occasionally like to hit where it hurts most, and always cuts to the quick. You should therefore never reveal what causes you pain or pleasure, so that the former may quickly end and the latter long continue.

    Baltasar Gracián

     
  • Doug Belshaw 4:30 pm on March 30, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Baltasar Gracián,   

    Talk as if you were making your will: the fewer words the less litigation.

    Baltasar Gracián

     
  • Doug Belshaw 10:30 am on March 30, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Baltasar Gracián, listening,   

    If to talk to oneself is folly, it must be doubly unwise to listen to oneself in the presence of others.

    Baltasar Gracián

     
  • Doug Belshaw 2:30 pm on March 21, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Baltasar Gracián, remedy, spring, waiting   

    The art of leaving things alone. Especially when the seas of public or personal life are stormiest. There are whirlwinds in the affairs of men, tempests of the will, and it makes good sense to retire and wait things out in a safe harbour. Remedies often make troubles worse. Let nature or morality take its course. The wise doctor needs to know when to prescribe something and when not, and often the art lies in not applying any remedy at all. Simply sitting back can be a way of calming the whirlwinds of the mob. Yielding to time now will lead to victory later. A spring’s water is easily muddied; you will never make it clear by trying to, only by leaving it well alone. There is no better remedy for disorder than to let it run its course; it will then disappear on its own.

    Baltasar Gracián

     
  • Doug Belshaw 8:30 am on March 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Baltasar Gracián   

    Do, and appear to do. Things don’t pass for what they are, but for what they seem. To be of value and to know how to show this is to be doubly valuable. It’s as if what isn’t seen doesn’t exist. Reason itself isn’t venerated when it lacks any semblance of reason. The devices are far more numerous than the alert; deceit is rife and things are only judged by their exterior. There are things that are very different from how they appear. A good exterior is the best recommendation of a perfect interior.

    Baltasar Gracián

     
  • Doug Belshaw 6:30 am on March 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Baltasar Gracián, , favours   

    Never complain. Complaining always brings discredit. It incites the passionate to disrespect you more than the compassionate to console you. It paves the way for anyone who hears it to follow suit and, learning of the first person’s insult, makes the second feel theirs is excusable. By complaining of past offences, some people create the basis for future ones, and seeking help or comfort, they encounter only satisfaction and even disdain. A better policy is to celebrate the benefits received from some so others will imitate them. To enumerate favours received from those who are absent is to solicit them.from those present; it’s to sell the credit due to the former to the latter. A circumspect man never makes public either slights or flaws, only the marks of esteem received, for those serve to maintain friends and restrain enemies.

    Baltasar Gracián

     
  • Doug Belshaw 6:30 am on March 11, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Baltasar Gracián, fashions,   

    Live according to common practice. Even knowledge must keep in fashion; when it’s not, you need to know how to appear ignorant. Reasoning and taste change with the times. You shouldn’t reason and debate in and old-fashioned way and your taste should be up-to-the-minute. The preference of the majority sets the standard in all things. Follow it while it lasts, and move towards eminence. A sensible person must adapt the trappings of both body and soul to the fashion of the times, even if the past seems better. Only in matters of goodness does this rule of life not apply, for you should always practise virtue. Telling the truth and keeping your word are unknown today and seem like things from the past. Good men, though always loved, seem relics of better times, and so even if there happen to be any, they’re not emulated because they’re not in fashion. The misfortune of your century, that virtue is taken as unusual and malice as the norm! Let those with discretion live as they can, if not as they would prefer, and consider what fortune had given them to be better than what it has denied.

    Baltasar Gracián

     
  • Doug Belshaw 12:30 pm on March 3, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Baltasar Gracián, honour, integrity   

    Always deal with upstanding people. You can put them under an obligation and be under one with them. Their very rectitude is the best guarantee of their behaviour, even in disagreements, the they act as the people they are. Better to fight with honest people than to triumph over bad ones. There is no honest dealing with the dishonest since they feel no obligation to integrity. This is why there is no true friendship among such people, nor is their courtesy genuine, although it may seem so, because it’s not rooted in honour. Shun entirely someone without honour, for the person who doesn’t value honour, doesn’t value virtue. And honour is the throne of integrity.

    Baltasar Gracián

     
  • Doug Belshaw 4:30 pm on February 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Baltasar Gracián, , perceptions, retirement   

    Don’t hang around to be a setting sun. The sensible person’s maxim: abandon things before they abandon you. Know how to turn an ending into a triumph. Sometimes the sun itself, whilst still shining brilliantly, goes behind a cloud so nobody can see it setting, leaving people in suspense over whether it has or not. To avoid being slighted, avoid being seen to decline. Don’t wait until everyone turns their back on you, burying you alive to regret but dead to esteem. Someone sharp retires a racehorse at the right time, not waiting until everyone laughs when it falls mid-race. Let beauty astutely shatter her mirror when the time is right, not impatiently and too late when she sees her own illusions shattered in it.

    Baltasar Gracián

     
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