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VIDEBIMUS

How many shameful moments in humanity's history were accompanied by this exclamation, "We shall see!" How many already molded, wonderful opportunities were cruelly and mercilessly broken by the opportunism of this "We shall see." In most diversified languages, in every manner, in all intonations this deadly saying was pronounced. If margash or manana are said instead, these expressions also will denote the very same opportunistic expectation.

Many rulers of countries, pontiffs, and leaders did not find it difficult to speak this word aloud. And they probably never considered that in tins manner they pronounced a verdict upon themselves.

Who, then, trying to evade, will say, "We shall see"? Only he who does not know the way and wishes to cover himself by extraneous conditions. Moreover, everyone who so evades does not altogether know what he wants. It is impossible to build something solid on an unforeseen confluence of extraneous circumstances. It would be more just and honest to say simply, "Let us delay this matter." But he who says, "We shall see," wishes to catch something extraneous and make use of it.

He who receives such a pharisaic answer as, "We shall see," can justly say, "You're a fisherman!" or "You're a masquerader!" He will be quite right in using such appellations, because his companion probably wanted to gain time so as to either cover up something or fish out something irrelevant.

Isabella d'Este sent to Cesare Borgia a gift    one hundred masks. This significant gift revealed all her sharp resourcefulness, and remained in history as a just description of Cesare Borgia. Likewise, in one of the Eastern narratives it is related that a certain ruler sent a fish as a gift to his treacherous neighbor with the accompanying words, "Caught for you." Thus was shown knowledge of cunningly conceived plans.

"We shall see, we shall see," says he who wishes to delay some decision.

"All right, all right," remarks he who wishes to change the conversation. There is nothing whatsoever "right" in this desire to hide, to avoid, only for the purpose of delay. People even invented a self-consolation, "What is delayed is not lost." But, usually, what is delayed is already lost. And how much of the useful, timely, and necessary was delayed for the sake of absolutely unfitting considerations.

In order not to delay and thus spoil something, one must also have a heart's spark. We had occasion to hear of a wise ruler, who when learning of something undelayable and useful, confessed that he experienced a sort of tremor passing over his spine; his hair stood on end, as it were; of course, this was not because of a feeling of terror, but from a tremor of true feeling. It meant that the hearty itself was knocking and reminding that not even a moment should be lost.

The daily routine most of all disposes toward delay and neglect. So many small routine-like circumstances arise, that each new creative process appears to be abstract and ephemeral. How, then, to conquer the burden of circumstances? The sparks and flame of the heart will indicate the true path.

Byzantine emperors carried a special emblem, an amulet with a bag containing earth sewed in it. It was called the akakia [goodness] and symbolized the personal acceptance of the earthly burden. Apparently there was an echo of something most ancient in this custom which also reverberated peculiarly in the myth about Antaeus, and in other legends of different nations. But should the earthly burden be oppressive, or does being charged with it comprise an affirmation of a foundation? The emblem, in its meaning, could not be just a symbol of a burden. It could only be a sign of affirmation. Likewise, anyone who knows duty and responsibility and his path will not plunge into the evasive debris of "We shall see." He knows his path and therefore is not in need of any conditional terms. He will say, "I see" or "I do not see," but never will he humble himself by avowing his blindness and hoping that circumstances created by others will help him out.

In history whole political systems are known based upon "We shall await" and "We shall see." But these epochs were never marked by a renaissance. In the course of such policies a chance for existence could succeed for a while, but each powerful structure demands a responsive affirmation.

If a ruler is in possession of some reliable facts for some reason as yet unknown to his companion, he will say, "I shall wait." There is no need for him to scout and look around. He will simply need a certain period of time for the maturity of the seeds already sown.

All this is relatively the same. Somebody will say, "What difference is there between "I shall wait" or "We shall see"?" But there is a vast difference. In the first instance there is a responsible affirmation, and in the second    a conventional avoidance. One can respect unknown causes that make one wait; but the classical, "We shall see" will always fill you with doubt as to the quality of the intentions of your companion.

Your companion, in the latter case, says, as it were, "If you are successful, I will be with you." Such a union is not worth much.

What kind of architect would he be who would say at the start of the construction, "We shall see what will be the outcome". Such a building would inspire little trust. Some will say, "Will it not be just a quibble to make an issue out of a casual expression, insisting on its unfailing meaning?" Yet words exist for the purpose of expressing a definite concept.

And so, not "Videbimus," but "Vide."

Tzagan Kure

May 16, 1935

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