Shakespeare said that fool thinks he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool. This also means that a wise man knows what and when to speak. In this respect, simulation and dissimulation according to English Philosopher and statesman Francis Bacon is wisdom providing you with a strong heart to discern the opportune time to tell truth and to do it in protect of yourself against derisive remarks and false opinions on you by whom you talk to at work and any other social occasions. In Other Words: you take false shadows for true substance lest you should lose yourself under the misapprehension that revealing all of yourself will develop rapports for socialization.
In this “Express Yourself” era that lionize glory of show-it-all and tell-it-all in the form of memoirs and selfies, vying for a legion of followers cossetting juvenile mentality of the authors, Bacon’s tenets of veiling yourself may be deemed anachronistic and unreconstructed. However, it would contradict the importance of self-respect if we let ourselves peddled by the melee nitpicking someone’s weaknesses. That said, the advantages of simulation and dissimulation and how to do according to Bacon are as follows:
- To quiet opposition and to surprise
- To reserve a fair retreat to yourself. By concealing yourself to a certain degree, you can protect yourself in a situation that you fee inappropriate to you.
- The better to discover the mind of another by letting the other party open him/herself without sacrificing yourself to disclosing your inner thoughts that might be incompatible to the other, and that will generate a false impression on you.
- Have openness in appearance, such as smiling countenance and civil manner of listening to another.
- Keep your true feelings and thoughts to yourself. I have read that the former British Prime Minister David Cameroon was good at being canny enough not to speak of his opinions on politics during his university years, lest he should ruffle other students of different political opinions.
- Pretend to be what you are not if there seems to be no other way than to speak your mind in a setting where your true opinion will be unwelcome.
The aforesaid may seem boring or passé, but then there’s good reason why a wealth of wisdom shared by great minds of history still ring true, resounding through the leaps of time and borders of nations and boundaries of cultures. The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves and speak their minds when their ripe judgment of Reason deems the time apropos. Maybe it’s high time we got off the bandwagon of “Follow Me” and took a nice long walk alone around in romantic solitude and reflection thereof.