The seat of mockers is a dangerous resting place. Contempt is among the most corrosive and self-destructive of human postures, particularly because of the power with which it seals off its subject from course correction or guidance from outside her bubble.
Contempt decredentials all comers before they have had opportunity to make their appearance, let alone their case. Because it is potently anti-social, those whose circumstances or choices permit them to evade the company of the contemptuous are called blessed.
Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
If contempt is most damaging to its subject, it is at the same time a painful whip upon those who are closest to her and who absorb its venomous lash.
It is not so difficult to be parried, countered, even out-witted. This, at least, bears the pleasure of having encountered a worthy opponent and the half-open door that leads one from the brisk airs of adversarial encounter to the warm sitting room of friendship.
Contempt leaves no doors open, no exchange of airs, no intimacy, indeed no relationship. Its mocking laugh cuts like a knife. Those who fall under its self-intoxicating derision know the pain of curt dismissal, the violent designation of unworthiness.
Contempt is not easily sidestepped. There are no techniques that draw its sting, no hunched-down practice that neatly sidesteps its blows.
Like most folly but with greater energy, contempt destroys is practitioner with relentless, evil prowess. It ruins community before it can named, stomps on the tender buds naive or purposeful enough to have pushed their way out of Springtime’s warming soil.
Blessed, says the psalmist with veteran knowledge, is the man who can remain distant from its icy, deathful glare.