“The wise ones serve on the higher, but rule on the lower. They obey the laws coming from above them, but on their own plane, and those below them, they rule and give orders. And, yet, in so doing, they form a part of the Principle, instead of opposing it. The wise man falls in with the Law and by understanding its movements he operates it instead of being its blind slave, just as does the skilled swimmer turn this way and that way, going and coming as he will, instead of being as the log which is carried here and there—so is the wise man as compared to the ordinary man—and yet both swimmer and log; wise man and fool, are subject to Law. He who understands this is well on the road to mastery.” ~The Kybalion
The Wise Man
There are many opinions about what is a wise man. Some think that having a good education makes one a wise man (or woman). It doesn’t. There are, unfortunately, many fools who are well educated. Likewise, there are wise men who have little formal education, yet they know more than those who do.
A simple way to put it would be to say that a wise man is one who knows the truth and acts accordingly. He doesn’t act based on opinions, or on what he wishes to be true, but on what actually is true.
The Fool and the Ignorant
The foolish person is not the same as the ignorant. The ignorant person is simply one who doesn’t know enough to make good choices. They can be forgiven just as you forgive a small child that puts her hand on a hot stove because she doesn’t know it will burn her.
The fool is the person who has enough knowledge, enough education, to know better, but chooses to ignore truth and follow his own path believing that he doesn’t have to follow any rules. We see these people on the television quite often these days. They are the ones who get rescued when they go swimming despite the warning signs on the beach about rip currents. They are the ones who wear bright colored wetsuits when surfing as if they want to attract sharks. They are the ones who drive out onto a water covered road and get carried miles down a river.
The Wise Man and the Law
The wise man, or wise person, recognizes first of all that law exists, and on several levels. There is the lowest level which is man-made law, and these laws are breakable, though there may be consequences for doing so.
The next level of law is that of Nature. The need to breathe is a law of nature. The need to eat is a law of nature. The need to treat all of nature with respect is another law of nature, but one rarely recognized by fools. The laws of nature can sometimes be broken for a while, but eventually it will catch up with you.
Finally, there is Divine Law, the Law of God. This is the highest level of law and it is this level that the quote from the Kybalion is primarily concerned with. The fool, even the well-educated fool, either thinks this level of law doesn’t exist, or that he is somehow above such restrictions. The wise man knows better. Just as with that swimmer who knows when and where to swim to avoid getting carries away in rip currents, or eaten by sharks, the wise person knows that she should operate with the Law rather than trying to oppose it or ignore it.
By knowing how to function within the Law, the wise man can accomplish much. But knowing the Law is key to this, so the wise man and the wise woman seek to learn the Law, and there is only one way to do that. We can speculate on what God’s Law is, or we can claim God has been trapped in a book and all He has to say can be found in its pages, but that would not be the wise thing to do. The wise man and woman awaken their immortal Souls and through those Souls, gain the Divine Knowledge that allows them to know with certainty what God’s law is and what God’s Plan is and act accordingly.