Call Nothing Your Own

We live happily indeed, not hating those who hate us! Among men who hate us we dwell free from hatred! We live happily indeed, free from ailments among the ailing! Among men who are ailing let us dwell free from ailments!
We live happily indeed, free from greed among the greedy! Among men who are greedy let us dwell free from greed!
We live happily indeed, though we call nothing our own! We shall be like the bright gods, feeding on happiness!” ~The Dhammapada

    How can it be done? How can we live among hateful people, and not hate others also? How can we live among those who are sick (spiritually), and not get sick ourselves? How can we live in a social order based almost entirely on greed, the rights of the greedy, and the ridiculous belief that the greedy are somehow benefiting the rest of us by being greedy, and not fall into the trap of greed ourselves?

    The key is in the last part of the above quote: we claim ownership of nothing! Yes, it is a very difficult thing to do, especially in this age of greed and materialism, but it has been done by others and it can be done by us. It is what Jesus was talking about when he told the wealthy man that in order to become one of his inner circle of disciples, those to whom His true teachings were revealed orally, and never written, he would have to sell his property and valuable and give the money to the community (“the poor” being a term often used in those days for an Essene community because they individually owned nothing but pooled all of their resources for the benefit of the community). But that isn’t absolutely necessary. It is possible to “own” property, valuable, things, from a legal and social point of view, and still have the understanding that you don’t really own anything because you are not the creator. Even if, in a sense, you did create something such as, for example, you built your own home, simply remember that if it can be taken from you, or destroyed without your consent, then you don’t truly own it. Also, if you die some day, at least on the physical level, and you can’t take those things with you into the spiritual worlds (let me assure you that you cannot), then you never owned them at all. Not really. 

    Once we all realize this, we will be able to live together in peace and abundance (without greed, there is enough for everyone) and be able to do the work that really matters which is saving our souls, the souls of others, and our world.

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