Cunning

Knowledge without justice ought to be called cunning rather than wisdom.

Nature is sanitive, refining, elevating. How cunning she hides every wrinkle of her inconceivable antiquity under roses and violets and morning dew! Every inch; of the mountains is scarred by unimaginable convulsions, yet the new day is purpose with the bloom of youth and joy.

After such knowledge, what forgiveness? Think now history has many cunning passages, contrived corridors and issues, deceives with whispering ambitions, guides us by vanities. Think now she gives when our attention is distracted and what she gives, gives with such supple confusions that the giving famishes the craving. Gives too late what’s not believed in, or if still believed, in memory only, reconsidered passion. Gives too soon into weak hands, what’s thought can be dispensed with till the refusal propagates a fear. Think neither fear nor courage saves us. Unnatural vices are fathered by our heroism. Virtues are forced upon us by our impudent crimes. These tears are shaken from the wrath-bearing tree.

Man’s unhappiness, as I construe, comes of his greatness; it is because there is an infinite in him, which with all his cunning he cannot quite bury under the finite.

False wit is a fatiguing search after cunning traits, an affectation of saying in enigmas what others have already said naturally, to hang together ideas which are incompatible, to divide that which ought to be united, of seizing false relations.

Cunning is the dwarf of wisdom.

Drop the mind and the divine. God is not an object, it is a merger. The mind resists a merger, the mind is against surrender; the mind is very cunning and calculating.

The art of using deceit and cunning grow continually weaker and less effective to the user.

If the believer has his troubles with evil, the atheist has more and graver difficulties to contend with. Reality stumps him altogether, leaving him baffled not by one consideration but by many, from the existence of natural law through the instinctual cunning of the insect to the brain of the genius and the heart of the prophet. This then is the intellectual reason for believing in God: That, though this belief is not free from difficulties, it stands out, head and shoulders, as the best answer to the riddle of the universe.

I believe that cunning is not only morally wrong but also politically inexpedient, and have therefore always discountenanced its use even from the practical standpoint.

Is it not a fact that a learned physician is better equipped to diagnose and to cure an illness than a layman or the medicine-man of a primitive society? Is it not a fact that epidemics and dangerous individual diseases have disappeared only with the beginning of modern medicine? Must we not admit that technology has made tremendous advances since the rise of modern science? And are not the moon-shots a most and undeniable proof of its excellence? These are some of the questions which are thrown at the impudent wretch who dares to criticize the special positions of the sciences. The questions reach there polemical aim only if one assumes that the results of science which no one will deny have arisen without any help from non-scientific elements, and that they cannot be improved by an admixture of such elements either. "Unscientific" procedures such as the herbal lore of witches and cunning men, the astronomy of mystics, the treatment of the ill in primitive societies are totally without merit. Science alone gives us a useful astronomy, an effective medicine, a trustworthy technology. One must also assume that science owes its success to the correct method and not merely to a lucky accident. It was not a fortunate cosmological guess that led to progress, but the correct and cosmologically neutral handling of data. These are the assumptions we must make to give the questions of the polemical force they are supposed to have. Not a single one of them stands up to a closer examination.

Ostensibly polite, you nourish the cunning of the fox in the hollowness of your heart.

Malice, in its false witness, promotes its tale with so cunning a confusion, so mingles truths with falsehoods, surmises with certainties, causes of no moment with matters capital, that the accused can absolutely neither grant nor deny, plead innocent.

Malice, in its false witness, promotes its tale with so cunning a confusion; so mingles truths with falsehoods, surmises with certainties, causes of no moment with matters capital, that the accused can absolutely neither grant nor deny, plead innocence nor confess guilt.

The easiest way to be cheated is to believe yourself to be more cunning than others.

He who devises evil for another falls at last into his own pit, and the most cunning finds himself caught by what he had prepared for another. But virtue without guile, erect like the lofty palm, rises with greater vigour when it is oppressed.

A great movement of apostasy being organized in every country for the establishment of a One-World Church which shall have neither dogmas, nor hierarchy, nor discipline for the mind, nor curb for the passions, and which, under the pretext of freedom and human dignity, would bring back to the world the reign of legalized cunning and force, the oppression of the weak, and of those who toil and suffer.

The great movement of apostasy being organized in every country for the establishment of a One-World Church which shall have neither dogmas, nor hierarchy, neither discipline for the mind, nor curb for the passions, and which, under the pretext of freedom and human dignity, would bring back to the world (if such a Church could overcome) the reign of legalized cunning and force, and the oppression of the weak, and of all those who toil and suffer… Indeed, the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries, nor innovators: they are traditionalists.

It is a remarkable circumstance in reference to cunning persons that they are often deficient not only in comprehensive, far-sighted wisdom, but even in prudent, cautious circumspection.

My breast I am smiting,
My own sins indicting.
How then canst Thou draw me
To strife and thus awe me,
And bring Me to judgment?

My branch hangeth ailing,
My eyelid is failing,
My aims to derision
Are turned by the vision
Of Thee bringing judgment.

The creditor calleth,
The dread decree falleth,
The awful day breaking
God’s creatures sets quaking
In fear of His judgment.

Through Thy attributes preaching,
Almighty, and teaching,
O weigh aberration
In the scale of salvation,
Nor bring us to judgment.

In Thy merciful fashion
Award us compassion,
That man who but dust is
May handle with justice
The haters of judgment.

Like a vapour evanished,
Man is melted and banished,
His birth is coëval
With a harvest of evil,
’Tis Thou must bring judgment.

We await—O behold us—
Thy love to enfold us.
Did Thy warning not hasten
Our impulse to chasten?
For the Lord loveth judgment.