Some verses offer a richness and depth that allows them to stand alone, without the need to add context to understand. It is interesting to me that you could further reduce the four verses below to the final verse and we are still left with wisdom deserving of slow digestion.
Let those find fault whose wit's so very small,
They've need to show that they can think at all;
Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow;
He who would search for pearls, must dive below.
All for Love by John Dryden
The pearl is used in literature as a metaphor for that which is most uncommon, the hidden treasure and that which is most rare and prized. The pearl is described as something valuable not to be shared with one incapable of recognizing it’s great worth, one that might lay it to waste, or mock and diminish it's value. It serves as a symbol for a sacred or holy treasure as taught in Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount. Secured at the bottom of the sea the pearl of great price stays a myth to both the unbeliever and to he who would wish to acquire it with money.
This is where diving below to find pearls becomes important. It becomes obvious that the quote is a reference to the true value of the pearl being found in our search to find it. Perhaps the pearl is indeed the wisdom obtained along our search for it. Having the pearl given to us diminishes it’s true worth because we have no understanding of it's rarity or the depth of it’s nature. The required search for the pearl filters out all those unwilling to pay it's great price, which is not measured by money.
|Immersing myself in my surroundings with a camera doesn't just turn down the noise of life, it powers it off completely. -Ryan Henke Studio|