among the humble is wisdom. » i.
In Hebrew, the word « humble » derives from the verb צָנַע, to hide, to humiliate oneself. A more literal translation might then be possible: « But among those who hide is wisdom. »
humble are hiding. So is wisdom, hiding.
idea of hidden wisdom is old. It is found in many religious, exoteric
or esoteric traditions.
speak to you, O Nacitekas, heavenly Agni, who knows how to obtain the
endless worlds and the sojourn. O thou, know it, [this wisdom] is
deposited in a secret place. » ii
secret is first and foremost a “place”. And wisdom also is a
to this secret “place” is akin to a “revelation”. To
penetrate the divine secret is to penetrate this divine place, and to
plunge into the abyss. When you enter it, you lose all balance, all
connection, you leave everything to go beyond the human.
he meditated, applying himself, on the union with the supreme soul,
on the God who is difficult to perceive, who has penetrated into the
secret, who has settled in the hiding place, who resides in the
abyss, – the wise leaves aside joy and sorrow. » iii
everyone can imitate the wise man. The Holy of Holies is a very
empty, solitary, place.
revelation reveals anything, it is that nothing sheds light on the
mystery. It only deepens it without measure, always more so.
Mosaic or Christian “revelations” are in a way an “unveiling”.
But this unveiling brings in reality many new veils, many questions,
throwing inconceivable, unexpected perspectives.
them: any divine revelation threatens the state of things and life
itself. How many prophets stoned or crucified for sharing their
vision? Death is the companion of their truth.
Isaac of Acra comments: « When Moses our master said: « Show
me your glory » (Ex. 33:18), it is death that he asked for, so
that his soul may break the light of his palace, which separates him
from the wonderful divine light, which she was eager to contemplate ».
union with the Divine presents an extraordinary challenge: death.
in other traditions, it is called dissolution. It is compared to a
drop of water in the sea. « As pure water poured into pure water
becomes like it, the soul of the discerning wise man becomes like
same image can be found in the Jewish Kabbalah: « The soul will
cling to the divine Intellect and the intellect will cling to the
soul (…) And the soul and the Intellect become the same thing, as
when a jug of water is poured into a gushing spring. This is
therefore the secret of the verse: ‘A fire that devours
fire’. » (R. Isaac of Acra).
of water in the spring. A fire that devours the fire. Wisdom is well
hidden. Why is she concealing herself, shying away from glory, from
passage from Paul can put us on the track. « Should we boast?
It’s not worth anything, though. (…) For me, I will only boast of
my weaknesses.» v
« angel of Satan » is in charge of blowing Paul so that he
does not take pride. If Paul asks God to remove this satanic angel
from him, God answers: « My grace is enough for you; for power
unfolds in weakness.» So the blows continue.
Paul concludes: « That is why I take pleasure in weaknesses, in
outrages, in distress, in persecutions and anguish endured for
Christ: for when I am weak, it is then that I am strong ».vi
strange (and maybe inaudible) in our modern times, to hear that
weakness, distress, persecution,, may be a « strength ».
and power in effect veil and muffle everything. In the noisy storm,
in the midst of the devastating hurricane, only the humble, the wise,
have a little chance of hearing the zephyr, which will follow, in a