So far you’ve heard mostly from me on Dragons. But the literature is vast, broad, and deep with Heroes who have gone before. Let us now begin with the Sage of Treasure, Solomon.
He may not often be thought of in connection with Dragons: in truth, his father is far more famous for a Kill. But to the son was granted a double-portion of Wisdom and his record on Treasure is unparalleled, including but going far beyond the magnificent Houses he built to bring together the religious, civic, political, and military in his day, drawing celebrity guests from around the world.
His Wisdom is not just valuable for the task at hand: it also sheds light on what newer Heroes may call the “meta”, the question-behind-the-question, the philosophy of it all. He, in fact, provides justification for why his Ancient Wisdom still works… and it is not only because Ancient Dragons still walk the Earth.
- There is nothing new under the sun. “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again.” While this comes up in the initial context of the meaningless of a cyclic life, that begins and ends and not much changes, this truth is an Anchor that ties an uncertain Future to a recorded Past. In short, History repeats, and therefore we have a Guide.
- A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. Similar to the first, this may be depressing at at first brush. There’s nothing more? But it is also liberating. The simple pleasures are the great pleasures. Therefore, one should make it a habit to find joy in the here-and-now, and one can make it a habit, and one need not worry about those ahead of oneself. It’s about the journey, not the destination… though of course the direction of the journey makes a world of difference.
- Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind. Work is no mere means to an end that should be fully exploited; the aspiring Hero must be circumspect to avoid burnout and maintain the highest Code of conduct. One must actively engage yet cultivate a tranquil spirit.
- Whoever loves wealth is never satisfied. We always want a little more. And sometimes, that next bit betrays us with more glimmer than Gold. This guy should know—he’s had more of it than any other Hero you could think of, and had a severe case of Hoard-sickness to go along with it. On the other hand, he was pretty creative and very extravagant with his Treasure-transmuting so he was somewhat able to self-inoculate. “As goods increase, so do those who consume them.”
- The more the words, the less the meaning. Remember this next time someone is trying to sell you Hero gear. Possibly also why Dragons talk so rarely—a sign of their Subtlety.
- Money is a shelter. This sounds downright Dragonish! “A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes life merry, but money is the answer for everything.” I think the point here is that money can put on a feast and buy wine and many, many other tools. Yes, there is a way money can buy happiness, and this elusive goal is the heart of Treasure-transmuting: taking mere Gold and turning it into something that guards and heals the soul of Man.
- Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, “for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.” And this speaks directly to the Smith vs Hero question considered before. We cannot see all ends, so it is best to be prepared and have multiple irons in the fire. “Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again. Give portions to seven, yes to eight, for you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.”
His Wisdom—there is much more—is worth looking into. “The wise heart will know the proper time and procedure” sort of annoys us, isn’t the point of writing to tell us how? There is “eternity in the hearts of men”—this hint surprises the scholar and demands to be thought on. We aren’t immortal like Dragons, are we? “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” seems germane to one’s gear selection, but I think something else is being said here as well. Take a look.
All words in bold and quotation come from Ecclesiastes (1984 NIV), written by the Sage of Treasure himself. Solomon also wrote Proverbs, guest-posted Psalm 72, 127, and possibly more (uncredited). He is no longer writing, having retired long ago.