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The Study of What If: Question of The Week
 

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▣ THE BEGGING BOWL

posted by admin on April 7th, 2012 at 12:15 PM

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We live in a metropolitan area that has a lot of wealthy people and some have so much wealth that they would have to live nine life times to spend it all if they lived at a moderately luxurious level. And then there is the individual who is wealthier than one of the Pharaohs of old Egypt or a Sheik of old Persia; but if you (or Barbara Walters were to interview him/her), there is always something else they desire.

 

A fable…

One day the wealthiest man in the city decided to go for a walk around the area and prove his magnificence. So out on to a city street he went and he soon came up on a man who looked like he was homeless and in dire poverty. This man was sitting on the park bench and in front of him was a bowl – the wealthy man assumed it was a begging bowl – 

 

 – which in this area would not be that surprising. So he stopped and asked the scuffed up man what he desired. Surprisingly, the scuffed up man said, “I desire nothing, Sir” and he went back to gazing at the flowers in the park. The wealthy man insistently said to the scruffy looking man, “I am the wealthiest individual in the whole city, and not to be modest or brag, I am actually the wealthiest man in the whole country. I can fill any desire you have. I, for example, can fill your begging bowl with gold coins and expensive jewels.” The scruffy looking man said, “I desire nothing, not your gold or jewels” and he went back to enjoying the flowers. This irked the wealthy man and he said, “I will prove my capabilities and fill your begging bowl.” He then had one of his employees bring out a bag and start pouring gold coins and rare jewels into the begging bowl; but as soon as they poured the coins and jewels, they just disappeared as if the begging bowl was a lot larger than it initially looked. The wealthy man was extremely agitated now as he looked into the begging bowl, he could see the sides and the bottom of the bowl. He was frustrated but said to the beggar, “I cannot be thwarted; I will fill your begging bowl.”

So the wealthy man called several of his staff and employees and told them to start pouring wealth into this begging bowl. The staff came and poured and poured, but the begging bowl never filled. The wealthiest man in the country was soon out of everything that proved he was wealthy; yet, the begging bowl was still empty.

Frustrated and agitated the wealthy man sat down beside the scruffy man and asked “what is that bowl made of?”

The scruffy man said it is made of material called human desires. It can never be filled nor can a human’s desires ever be satisfied.

[Caveat]


WHAT DO YOU DESIRE?

What is it you desire? When are your desires satisfied? The majority of people desire something in their lives; but as soon as they get it, they generate another desire. When your heart (in reality, your mind) gets used to a particular item, that item no longer fulfills your mental dream. For example, you get a new car and drive it for a year it or more, then it just becomes familiar and unnoticed. Another example, you get your current home and you decorate it with furniture, pictures and collectables; but if you are like most people, you are never completely satisfied – you want to upgrade the kitchen, the bathroom, the business/personal equipment, or replace the pictures on the wall. Though this may not always be true, let’s take a moment to reflect.  If you have been living in the same place for awhile, close your eyes and visualize all the pictures hanging on the walls. Can you get a clear description of each and every picture? It is unlikely that you will as you’ve become so accustomed to them that you start to forget the specific details. Now open your eyes to verify the specifics. Unless you have basically barren walls, you will most likely totally skip a few of the pictures. You can also go back to when you purchased your automobile - you loved it.  Now after owning it for awhile, you continuously think of each scratch, ding, and dent on the body and each stain on the interior. You no longer love your vehicle. When you first got your automobile or truck, you most likely washed it clean quite often and you did not eat in it for months to avoid stains and dropped pieces of eatables.  Now, even the exterior is often dirty and you can look beside the seats and find small strips of papers and even a French fry or broken potato chip.

ARE YOU DISCOURAGED LIKE THE PREVIOUSLY WEALTHY MAN?

You don’t have to be. The thing about tangible things; like a meal that satisfies you, a roof over your head, a family, etc., is that many of these things are beneficial to survival. So you can own them – and even a luxury automobile and an Ivy League University degree – but the trick is that they DO NOT/SHOULD NOT OWN YOU.

Say, you have a wonderful job/career. You are recognized by your peers and competitors as being one of the best in your field of endeavor; but to be there and stay there, you work every day of the week generally putting in 10 to 12 hour work days. Your job/career owns you. You have a family, but your spouse is having an affair because he/she wants someone to talk to; your two teenage children don’t even notice that you are not ever home and they are often in trouble at school, or even with the police. Rather than come to you for advice or help when they are in need, your children go to some street friends who are also often in trouble with the law.

In the above example, I used a job/career as the dominating factor, but it can be anything; a collection of antique cars, being the best at neighborhood watch patrol, being a pillar of your religious affiliation, etc.

Conclusion

Balance is the key.  First, do not let a thing or activity own you. Second, balance your time – the job, your family, your hobby, your religious affiliation, etc. Third, develop a budget and life/business plan.  

Keep in mind that people are always searching for someone, something, or the answer to making them feel complete or worthy.  Whether it is another person, a job/career, the perfect home, the fastest car, the excitement fades after a while, because no one and/or no thing can make you feel complete. The feeling of being unworthy and/or incomplete is the trick your mind plays on you that keeps you searching for you by keeping you focused on stuff outside yourself.  If you want to get to know the authentic YOU, the search must be an inside job.  Get to know yourself by going into the silence within.  It is within this inner sanctuary that you will be able to satisfy your hunger/thirst for completeness.  Get to know yourself!!!

 

CAVEAT…When we talk about cars, homes, etc., keep in mind that there are times in life when a house needs a new roof or the car breaks down and needs to be replaced.  These are not the times that we are referring to.  We are referring to the times when someone is driven by a belief that something is missing in their life and that one or more of these items will make them feel whole.  Our purpose for this post is to bring to your awareness that “things” cannot make you feel whole; you must know within yourself that you are complete and whole whether you have these items or not.

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last edited on April 7th, 2012 at 12:18 PM

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