MINISTRY OF WISDOM
SECRETARIAT FOR ETERNAL DILEMMAS
KING SOLOMON’S CABINET (SAY)
ORDINANCE No. XXII, of 30 of October (20)22
SINGLE ARTICLE: Vanity of vanities, everything is vanity.
§ 1st. – Coincidentally, before starting to write this text I came across the old cover of a leftist magazine complaining that the Bible had supplanted the Constitution. First I thought of telling Mino Carta that all the Constitutions of the Western world are influenced by the Bible. But it’s hard to teach truisms to old communists. Then I had this crazy idea of writing about Ecclesiastes as if it were an official document. As if it were a law, an ordinance, a decree. Anyway.
I – It is very likely that the training is in disagreement with the ABNT rules and, honestly, I don’t care. In fact, not I’m not not even there.
II – I thought : “Since we are living under a juristocracy with a strong positivist inspiration, nothing better than a text that looks like one of those documents that technocrats read with undisguised pleasure.” But it is not.
§ 2. – Before going into the matter itself, it is convenient to accept the editor’s suggestion and explain that no, nothing is missing from the title. ” because in an election it is implied that if someone wins, someone else has to lose. Nor did I write the name of the winner there because Ecclesiastes serves both for the victory and for the defeat of our favorite candidate.
I – It would be pathetic to play the exempt here. And even more so at a time like this. And on a day like today. Everyone knows who my favorite candidate is.
§ 3rd – About Ecclesiastes, there was a time when I read it every month. Really. a hard book. Arid. You have to walk a long way through it until you find some relief, some hope. For those who are not afraid of sunstroke or blisters on their feet, the reward is an overwhelming sensation of smallness that, I now realize, is in good agreement with the verses of João Filho that serve as the epigraph in this space: “Teach me, Lord, to be nobody./ May my smallness not even be mine”.
§ 4th. – Oh yes. You want to know what Ecclesiastes teaches. Well then. The most obvious message of the book (the closest oasis to the thirsty wanderer) is that everything in this world
is transitory. Including that happiness or sadness that you are feeling right now. Ecclesiastes gives us the exact dimension of our finitude, in comparison with the Eternity of God.
I – Vanity of vanities, therefore, it is a warning that our tendency contemporary time to care too much about earthly joys or misfortunes is nothing more than an echo of the pride that gave rise to sin.
II – I wrote nonsense. This trend is far from “contemporary”. It’s an older trend than moving forward. Or backwards. Or to the sides.
III – Does it make sense to talk about pride for a leftist? Reason says no. After all, progressive Marxism is pure arrogance. It’s thinking yourself capable of creating a better world than God’s. But faith says yes, it makes sense and it’s worth it. There is always a possibility that someone will actually listen. Or, in this case, read.
§ 5th. – A curiosity: a great friend and perhaps the most intelligent person I have ever met says that there are different translations out there for the famous adage “vanity of vanities, everything is vanity”. Some versions prefer “emptiness” or “futility”. But the literal translation, I think from the Greek, would be… “smoke”.
I – Smoke of smoke, everything is smoke. There. I liked it.
II – And it combines well with the atmosphere of the elections that motivates this chronicle.
§ 6º. – Another interesting thing is that Ecclesiastes is the favorite book of… atheists. In fact, I met an atheist who swore to everything that is more sacred than Ecclesiastes proved the non-existence of God. That’s what I call vanity. of superb.
I – Smoke.
§ 7. – Recognizing that everything is vanity, that everything is transitory and that there is nothing new under the Sun is often confused with apathy or resignation. I prefer to interpret the teaching as a call to contemplation and humility. And, since this text has to do with politics, you can read Ecclesiastes as a call to the conservative principles of prudence and temperance.
I – Nothing is more superb than the revolutionary spirit. Nothing more destructive. Nothing is more transitory.
II – One day even the most supreme of ministers will return to dust. And there is no TSE decision capable of changing that.
§ 8. – What I want to say, but I haven’t said it yet, is that regardless of who is elected president of Brazil, it is very likely that in the coming days we will be here discussing, analyzing, anticipating scenarios, arousing unfathomable feelings in each other, praising, cursing and, mainly, rubbing it in the face of the defeated friend: “I’m right!”. That is:
§ 9. – Vanity of vanities, everything is vanity. Solomon and countless sages after him already said. It is a truth that we insist on forgetting. But that, once in a while, is worth remembering. Today, for example.
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