In virtually all cases, a man in his late twenties, no matter how bright and precocious, has not yet manifested his full wisdom, simply because he cannot have had sufficient life experience to mature his spirit. However, it is arguable that someone under thirty years old, or even under twenty, has the intelligence, sensitivity, and full capacity to see the truth, even if they have not had the time to fully experience it. In addition, a younger mind can - probably better than an older mind - function as a 'medium' for truth, or, Mozart-like, as a vehicle for that vast artistic impuls and capacity that we refer to, with great understatement, as 'talent'. It's common knowledge that Einstein's revelatory realizations were accomplished in his mid-twnties, and that the greatest chess masters usually perform their highest feats during this young decade also. That brilliance is the province of the younger brain is usually not disputed.That passage from The Three Dangerous Magi by PT Mistlberger is my epitaph for 2013, a year in which our losses included 76 year-old James DePreist - whose name, incidentally, is conspicuously absent from year end tributes elsewhere, Wolfgang Sawallisch (89), Sir Colin Davis (85), Henri Dutilleux (97) and John Tavener (69). It was also a year in which a 26 year-old was appointed music director of an orchestra, a 33 year-old mezzo-soprano received a New Year's Honour from the Queen, and a 7 year-old composed an opera. In 2014 may the scales tip back in favour of wisdom.
However, brilliance is not wisdom. The latter is intelligence seasoned by experience, based in large part on the deepened capacity to recognize and avoid blind alleys, wrong turns, and matters pointless to spend energy on. Wisdom could be defined as the capacity to both understand truth, and to efficiently enable the ways in which it becomes practical and actualized (as opposed to idealistic and ineffectual) - or, to use Gurdjieffian terms, the ways in which knowledge and being become joined.
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