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The Price of Greedy Eyes.

  looking at life with greedy eyes

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We were walking around the OMBR field when Celia remarked: “Sometimes we are only looking at what we can get out of something. And that gives us less.”

Hmm... Wow... Yes... Hell, Yes...

The other day our maid came around and started praising Love Marriages. Were we a Love Marriage? She asked. {This is a term understood in many traditional cultures. Do you find your partner out of love, or is someone culturally appropriate brought for you?}. Anyway after many compliments about how close Celia & I are, and how our relationship is as close as a mother & child’s {Her idea of the epitome of a relationship}, she proceeded to ask us for a loan. We would have given it either way. But now her attempt to manipulate our emotions, makes the connect, less of a connect. And that is sad, for she is a remarkable woman, smart, intelligent, worthy of respect... putting her son through a fine education on a maid’s salary... and with so much to her... for example, she for a few years had a ‘husky’, yes that once rare breed of arctic dog, that breeders charge thousands, even lakhs for... more about that later...

We all know when someone matlabi comes around and asks for something. We may give it, but we know, we all know, we are dealing with a lessened relationship, we have been cheated...

But should we look without wanting?
However, that said, does it mean we have to be non-wanting, non-desiring? According to Adam Smith, the great power behind an economic system is mutual need. Can a relationship exist without want, desire? Can the world exist without want? Is the want for God, the cosmic, not a want? No, that is not what Celia is suggesting. It is when we only look at what we can get out of something that is a problem... We can look at our neighbour’s mango tree and see its branches filled with mangoes and ask for a few, tacitly, or explicitly. That is fine. That is good. But if we talk to the neighbour only to get a few mangoes we are cheating ourselves.

The driver whose short-sightedness cost him dearly...  
“After my father died, my mother was thinking of giving her car to the driver who had looked after my father with dedication. All that she asked was he continue looking after the car, for 6 months before she returned home. When she returned home, {My father had died at my sister’s}, my mother was appalled to find fungus in the car and the battery drained. The Driver hadn’t bothered. My Mother realising The Driver was treating the relationship myopically, short-sightedly, having loyalty to the dad, and no respect for her, she quietly cancelled the gift to the Driver. He probably doesn’t know how much he has lost.”

Just like this driver, we are cheating ourselves of Life.

So many look at people and see only FB likes. So many meet famous people and only think autographs. Before the Mahabharat, Lord Krishna offered The Pandavas and Kauravas a choice. They could have his armies, or they could have lord Krishna in their chariot, {but no in the chariot, he wouldn’t lift a bow, or wield his sudarshan chakra that could end the war in an instant}. What would they choose?

The Money Dilemma Briefly Discussed...  
Money cannot be carried beyond the grave. And so many Spiritualists disparage it. But wealth can also mean real wealth. For the willingness to reverse a cruel fate, to not be stopped by resources, the willingness to extract water from a stone, are virtues. For God himself is ‘nothingness’ that births every-thingness.

Let us be clear, God does not despise power. For ‘he’ is power untrammeled. But he despises fools who think money is the only power. Real power is not worship of power. Real power is discovery of the self.

By converse being poor is not a crime. In fact one of the wealthiest people we have ever met was ‘an underpaid’ executive. Tony 20 years ago was a computer operator of ours. His take home was Rs 3,000/-, or 30-35* $ a month. in today’s money Rs 5000/-. By exchange rate his US salary would be 35 $ a month. With 35 $ a month he had to take care of a wife and a child. And yet his work was exceptional. And more magnificently, every week he’d go to a neighbourhood destitute, old people’s home, and give a lunch for 20 elderly people! {Valuing his work and example, we doubled his salary. But more significantly, we were humbled. For we had met one of the richest men on earth. Addendum: We last met Tony 10 years ago. But by then he had branched out on his own. And is earning, 10 times what he was paid as salary.}

Tony typifies what real wealth looks like. Even when scraping by, his work had dignity. Even when he had little, he was generous. 20 years ago he was not well off, no longer.

Having great wealth, also presents intense moral dilemmas, will wealth turn to arrogance? Marie Antoinette had immense wealth. That was not a problem. But her arrogance cost her, her head. Arrogance is a price that may trip the mighty, but is also a ‘price’ carried beyond the grave.

The Price of Greedy Eyes is Climate Catastrophe...  
By looking at life with eyes that see only what we can get out of something, we lose. How terribly we lose, is just beginning to hit us.  

Many look at trees and only see wood, not realising we are cheating ourselves of oxygen. Far more precious than wood. And it is this way of looking at wood and missing the trees that is responsible for planet earth trembling on the edge of environmental catastrophe.

And so there is another way of seeing that we need to practise. The seeing that first looks, just looks. A look without agenda. A look not rimmed by dollar signs. A look where a wild boar is not 50 kgs of sausage. A forest is not just 40 tonnes of teak.

As we look... just look our blinkers come off... we see clearly... That comment in a meeting is not a criticism, but the other is a veiled barb... That Bison in the forest is content, that beast is nervy. That darkness in an aura scan is just temporary, the other life-threatening... 

A different kind of seeing, and a different life...  
And as you practise a deeper seeing... your automatic reactions are no longer automatic... And so conversations can step beyond the rut... Actions can open new frontiers...

For example, at one point of time Divya had a great host of ‘ghosts’ that troubled her. To the extent they’d tug her hair in the bath. When she told us about it, we promptly said we’ll remove it. She answered “But Tarun... But Celia, where will they go? Who will talk to them?” Her compassion for the ghosts touched us. {Besides not all her ghosts, were ghosts, 3 were. One was a past life persona. One was a future child. The rest were fragments from her mind, tattered relationships from childhood}.

Divya channelled a new technique with her Goddess using fruit. Kinder, gentler more earthy.

As we look appreciative... accepting... neither ‘gooding or badding’... not judging, not reacting... something shifts... through you, the person who looks, a deeper you emerges... Also that which is looked at changes... people finding your eye kinder are less defensive... But the very atoms begin to respond differently...

And as we look with fullness of the soul, the clearness of the mind, we will live in a world where there are more trees, more friends, more joy... 

-- Celia & Tarun Cherian

   
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