Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The benefits of being joyfully poor

I want to bring you another couple of passages from Marcus Borg's book, Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings, about the benefits of voluntary poverty or simplicity:
Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

-- Jesus (Luke 6.20)

Let us live most happily, possessing nothing; let us feed on joy, like the radiant gods.

-- The Buddha (Dhammapada 15.4)

How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.

-- Jesus (Mark 10. 23 & 25)

Riches make most people greedy, and so are like caravans lurching down the road to perdition. Any possession that increases the sin of selfishness or does nothing to confirm one's wish to renounce what one has is nothing but a drawback in disguise.

-- The Buddha (Jatakamala 5.5 & 15)

I think what all this is saying is to make sure you have your possessions and that your possessions don't have you.

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