Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Gospel of Non-Possession: Part II

Gandhi continues speaking on non-possession.

The highest fulfillment of religion...requires a giving up of all possession. Having ascertained the law of our being, we must set about reducing it to practice to the extent of our capacity and no further. That is the middle way.
Golden Rule
The golden resolutely to refuse to have what the millions cannot. This ability to refuse will not descend upon us all of a sudden. The first thing is to cultivate the mental attitude that will not have possessions or facilities denied to millions, and the next immediate thing is to re-arrange our lives as fast as possible in accordance with that mentality.
Love and exclusive possession can never go together. Theoretically, where there is perfect love, there must be perfect non-possession. The body is our last possession. So, a man can only exercise perfect love and be completely dispossessed if he is prepared to embrace death and renounce his body for the sake of human service.
But that is true in theory only. In actual life we can hardly exercise perfect love, for the body as possession will always remain imperfect and it will always be his part to try to be perfect. So that perfection in love or non-possession will remain an unattainable ideal as long as we are alive, but towards which we must ceaselessly strive.
Jesus, Mohamed, Buddha, Nanak, Kabir, Chaitanya, Shankara, Dayanand, Ramakrishna were men who exercised an immense influence over and moulded the character of thousands of men. The world is the richer for their having lived in it. And they were all men who deliberately embraced poverty as their log....In so far as we have made the modern materialistic craze our goal, so far are we going downhill in the path of progress.
How heavy is the toll of sins and wrongs that wealth, power and prestige exact from man!
To take something from another without his permission is theft of course. But it is also theft to use a thing for a purpose different from the one intended by the lender or to use it for a period longer than that which has been fixed with him. The profound truth upon which this observance is based is that God never creates more than what is strictly needed for the moment. Therefore, whoever appropriates more than the minimum that is really necessary for him is guilty of theft.
Secret of Life
Renounce all and dedicate it to God and then live. The right of living is thus derived from renunciation. It does not say, 'When all do their part of the work, I too will do it.' It says,' Don't bother about others, do your job first and leave the rest to Him.'
You may have occasion to possess or use material things, but the secret of life lies in never missing them.
The secret of happy life lies in renunciation. Renunciation is life. Indulgence spells death. Therefore, everyone has a right and should desire to live 125 years while performing service without an eye on result. Such life must be wholly and solely dedicated to service. Renunciation made for the sake of such service is an ineffable joy of which none can deprive one, because that nectar springs from within and sustains life. In this there can be no room for worry or impatience. Without this joy, long life is impossible and would not be worth while even if possible.
This does not mean that, if one has wealth, it should be thrown away and wife and children should be turned out of doors. It simply means that one must give up attachment of these things and dedicate one's all to God and make use of His gifts to serve Him only.

Have a sunny day. Fine Art and Jewelry.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Gospel of Non-Possession

Thought For Today: Gandhi's Thoughts.

The Gospel Of Non-possession
Key to Service
WHEN I found myself drawn into the political coil, I asked myself what was necessary for me in order to remain absolute untouched by immorality, by untruth, by what is known as political gain... it was a difficult struggle in the beginning and it was wrestle with my wife and--as I can vividly recall-with my children also. But be that as it may, I came definitely to the conclusion that, if I had to serve the people in whose midst my life was cast and of whose difficulties I was a witness from day to day, I must discard all wealth, all possession....
I cannot tell you with truth that, when this belief came to me, I discarded everything immediately. I must confess to you that progress at first was slow. And now, as I recall those days of struggle, I remember that it was also painful in the beginning. But, as days went by, I saw that I had to throw overboard many other things which I used to consider as mine, and a time came when it became a matter of positive joy to give up those things. And one after another, then, by almost geometric progression, the things slipped away from me.
And, as I am describing my experiences, I can say a great burden fell off my shoulders, and I felt that I could now walk with ease and do my work also in the service of my fellow-men with great comfort and still greater joy. The possession of anything then became a troublesome thing and a burden.
Exploring the cause of that joy, I found that, If I kept anything as my own, I had to defend it against the whole world. I found also that there were many people who did not have the thing, although they wanted it; and I would have to seek police assistance also if hungry, famine-stricken people, finding me in a lonely place, wanted not merely to divide the thing with me but to dispossess me. And I said to myself, if they want it and would take it, they do so not from any malicious motive, but they would do it because theirs was a greater need than mine.
It is open to the laugh at my dispossessing myself of all property. For me the dispossession has been a positive gain. I would like people to complete with me in my contentment. It is the richest treasure I own. Hence it is perhaps right to say that, though I preach poverty, I am a rich man!
Voluntary Self-denial
Our civilization, our culture, our lives depend not on multiplying our wants-self-indulgence, but upon restricting our wants self-denial.
Non-possession is allied to non-stealing. A thing not originally stolen must nevertheless be classified as stolen property, if we possess it without needing it. Possession implies provision for the future. A seeker after Truth, a follower of the law of Love, cannot hold anything against tomorrow. God never stores for the morrow. He never creates more than what is strictly needed for the moment. If, therefore, we repose faith in His Providence, we should rest assured that He will give us every day our daily bread, meaning everything that we require....
Our ignorance or negligence of the Divine Law, which gives to man from day to day his daily bread and no more, has given rise to inequalities with all the miseries attendant upon them. The rich have superfluous store of things which they do not need and which are, therefore, neglected and wasted, while millions are starved to death for want of sustenance.
If each retained possession of only what he needed, no one would be in want, and all would live in contentment. As it is, the rich are discontented no less than the poor. The poor man would fain become a millionaire, and the millionaire a multi-millionaire.
The rich should take the initiative in dispossession with a view to a universal diffusion of the spirit of contentment. If only they keep their own property within moderate limits, the starving will be easily fed, and will learn the lesson of contentment along with the rich.
Perfect fulfillment of the ideal of non-possession requires that man should, like the birds, have no roof over his head, no clothing and no stock of food for the morrow. He will indeed need his daily bread, but it will be God's business, and not his, to provide it. Only the fewest possible, if any at all, can reach this ideal. We ordinary seekers may not be repelled by the seeming impossibility. But we must keep the ideal constantly in view, and in the light thereof, critically examine our possessions and try to reduce them.
Civilization, in the real sense of the term, consists not in the multiplication, but in the deliberate and voluntary reduction of wants. This alone promotes real happiness and contentment, and increases the capacity for service.

Have a sunny day. Fine Art and Jewelry.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Gospel of Fearlessness

Gandhi's Thought For Today.

FEARLESSNESS IS the first requisite of spirituality. Cowards can never be moral.
Where there is fear there is no religion.
Every reader of the Gita is aware that fearlessness heads the list of the Divine Attributes enumerated in the 16th Chapter. Whether this is merely due to the exigencies of meter, or whether the pride of place has been deliberately yielded to fearlessness is more than I can say. In my opinion, however, fearlessness richly deserves the first rank assigned to it there, perhaps, by accident.
Fearlessness is a sine qua non for the growth of the other noble qualities. How can one seek truth or cherish Love without fearlessness? As Pritam has it, 'The Path of Hari (the Lord) is the path of the brave, not of cowards.' Hari here means Truth, and the brave are those armed with fearlessness, not with the sword, the rifle or other carnal weapons, which are affected only by cowards.
Fearlessness connotes freedom from all external fear-fear of disease, bodily injury or death, of dispossession, of losing one's nearest and dearest, of losing reputation or giving offence, and so on.
Attainment of Fearlessness -
Perfect fearlessness can be attained only by him who has realized the Supreme, as it implies the height of freedom from delusions. But one can always progress towards this goal by determined and constant endeavour and by increasing confidence in oneself….
As for the internal foes, we must ever walk in their fear. We are rightly afraid of Animal Passion, Anger and the like. External fears cease of their own accord when once we have conquered these traitors within the camp. All fears revolve round the body as the centre, and would, therefore, disappear as soon as one got rid of the attachment for the body.
We thus find that all fear is the baseless fabric of our own vision. Fear has no place in our hearts when we have shaken off the attachment for wealth, for family and for the body. 'Tena tyaktena bhunjithah' S is a noble commandment. The Wealth, the family and the body will there, just the same; we have only to change our attitude to them. All these are not ours but God's. Nothing whatever in this world is ours. Even we ourselves are His. Why then should we entertain any fears?
The Upanishad, therefore, directs us 'to give up attachment for things while we enjoy them'. That is to say, we must be interested in them not as proprietors but only as trustees. He on whose behalf we hold them will give us the strength and the weapons requisite for defending them against all comers.
When we thus cease to be masters and reduce ourselves to the rank of servants humbler than the very dust under our feet, all fears will roll away like mists; we shall attain ineffable peace and see Satyanarayan (the God of Truth) face to face.

I'd like to thankFish Hawk Droppings for recognizing my blog on his weekly top five.

Have a sunny day. Fine Art and Jewelry.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Prayer is a Confession

Gandhi Quoteof the day: "Worshipping God is singing the praise of God. Prayer is a confession of one's unworthiness and weakness. God has a thousand names, or rather, He is Nameless. We may worship or pray to Him by whichever name that pleases us. Some call Him Rama, some Krishna, others call Him Rahim, and yet others call Him God. All worship the same spirit, but as all foods do not agree with all, all names do not appeal to all. Each chooses the name according to his associations, and He being the In-Dweller, All-Powerful and Omniscient knows our innermost feelings and responds to us according to our deserts.
Worship or prayer, therefore, is not to be performed with the lips, but with the heart. And the prayers of those whose tongues are nectare but whose hearts are full of poison are never heard. He, therefore, who would pray to God, must cleanse his heart. God was not only on the lips of man, He was enthroned in his heart. He gave man exhaust less strength. In His strength he lifted the mountain and crossed the ocean. That faith is nothing but a living, wide awake consciousness of God within. He who has achieved that faith wants nothing. Bodily diseased he is spiritually healthy, physically poor, he rolls in spiritual riches.
The language of the lips is easily taught; but who can teach the language of the heart?God Himself seeks for His seat the heart of him who serves his fellowmen...
Repeating the same thing at prayer from day to day is objected to on the ground that it thus becomes mechanical. (However) the point is not whether the contents of the prayer are always the same or differ from day to day. Even if they are full of variety, it is possible that they will become ineffective. The Gayatri verse among Hindus, the confession of faith (kalma) among Muslims, the typical Christian prayer in the Sermon on the Mount have been recited by millions for centuries every day; and yet their power has not diminished but is ever on the increase. It all depends upon the spirit behind the recitation. If an unbeliever or a parrot utters these potent words, they will fall quite flat. On the other hand when a believer utters them always, their influence grows from day to day."

Today's thought:

Oh my soldier why
learn to kill
learn to die
Oh my soldier why.

Have a sunny day. Fine Art and Jewelry.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Favorite Hymns of Gandhi

Gandhi's Favorite Hymns and Songs.

Grant me, O Master, by Thy grace To follow all the good and pure: To be content with simple things; To use my fellows not as means but ends: To serve them stalwartly, in thought, word, deed; Never to utter word of hatred or of shame: To cast away all selfishness and pride: To speak no ill of others: To have a mind at peace, Set free from care, and led astray from Thee Neither by happiness nor by woe: Set Thou my feet upon this path, And keep me steadfast in it, Thus only shall I please Thee, serve Thee right.

This and this alone Is true religion-To serve Thy brethren: This is sin above all other sin, To harm Thy brethren: In such a faith is happiness, In lack of it is misery and pain: Blessed is he who swerve not aside From this straight path: Blessed is he whose life is lived Thus ceaselessly in serving God: By bearing others' burdens, And so alone,Is life, true life, to be attained: Nothing is hard to him who, casting self aside, Thinks only this-How may I serve fellow-men?

When the heart is hard and parched up, come upon me with a shower of mercy.
When grace is lost from life, come with a burst of song.
When tumultuous work raises its din on all sides shutting me out from beyond, come to me, my lord of silence, with thy peace and rest..
When my beggarly heart sits crouched, shut up in a corner, break open the door, my kind, and come with the ceremony of a king.
When desire blinds the mind with delusion and dust, O thou holy one, thou wakeful, come with thy light and thy thunder.

Have a sunny day. Fine Art and Jewelry.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Yesterday's Tears

Gandhi Quote of the day:"It is because we have at the present moment everybody claiming the right of conscience without going through any discipline whatsoever that there is so much untruth being delivered to a bewildered world."

Thought for today:Emmet Fox Speaks.

Yesterday's Tears
NEVER tell people about the fine thing you are going to do, but wait until you have done it, and then show them the completed article. Never point to an empty lot and say: "I am going to build a tower there"; but wait until the edifice is complete, and then if you like, say: "Look at the tower I have built." But when the tower is there it will not really be necessary to say anything at all, because it will speak for itself.
Talking about your plans before they have actually materialized, is the surest way to destroy them. It is a universal law of nature that the unborn child is protected from all contact with the world; in fact this is the real function of motherhood. Now the inspiration that comes to you is your child; you are its mother; and nature intends that you should protect and nourish that idea in secrecy and shelter, up to the moment when it is ready to emerge upon the material plane.
To chatter or boast about it is to expose it to the world and kill it. This applies to any new enterprise that you may be contemplating, as well as to a new idea. An important business deal, for instance, a large sale, the buying of a house, the forming of a partnership, should be protected in the same way. Don't discuss these things at the luncheon table, or anywhere else.
Keep your business to yourself. Of course it is quite permissible to consult experts, and to reveal your plan where it is absolutely necessary to do so. This is nourishing the idea, not exposing It. It is chatter, gossip, and boasting that are to be avoided. In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.

Have a sunny day. Fine Art and Jewelry.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Plato To Please

Thought for today: As he was about to drink poison, Plato wrote:

Let us reflect in another way, and we shall see that there is great reason to hope that death is a good; for one of two things--either death is a state of nothingness and utter unconsciousness, or, as men say, there is a change and migration of the soul from this world to another. Now if you suppose that there is no consciousness, but a sleep like the sleep of him who is undisturbed even by dreams, death will be an unspeakable gain. But if death is the journey to another place, and there, as men say, all the dead abide, what good, O my friends and judges, can be greater than this.What infinite delight would there be in conversing with them and asking them questions! In another world they do not put a man to death for asking questions: assuredly not. For besides being happier than we are, they will be immortal, if what is said is true.
Wherefore, O judges, be of good cheer about death, and know of a certainty, that no evil can happen to a good man, either in life or after death. He and his are not neglected by the gods; nor has my own approaching end happened by mere chance. But I see clearly that the time had arrived when it was better for me to die and be released from trouble; wherefore the oracle gave no sign. For which reason, also, I am not angry with my condemners, or with my accusers; they have done me no harm, although they did not mean to do me any good; and for this I may gently blame them.
Still I have a favour to ask of them. When my sons are grown up, I would ask you, O my friends, to punish them; and I would have you trouble them, as I have troubled you, if they seem to care about riches, or anything, more than about virtue; or if they pretend to be something when they are really nothing,--then reprove them, as I have reproved you, for not caring about that for which they ought to care, and thinking that they are something when they are really nothing. And if you do this, both I and my sons will have received justice at your hands.
The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our ways--I to die, and you to live. Which is better God only knows.

More Plato: "Then, I said, let us begin and create in idea a State; and yet the true creator is necessity, who is the mother of our invention."

"I can show you that the art of calculation has to do with odd and even numbers in their numerical relations to themselves and to each other."

"You cannot conceive the many without the one."

"False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil."

Have a sunny day. Fine Art and Jewelry.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Day With Kahlil Gibran

Thought For Today: Quotes from Kahlil Gibran.

“Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.

" When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth
you are weeping for that which has been your delight."

"Your daily life is your temple and your religion. When you enter into it take with
you your all."

" Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof."

" The obvious is that which is never seen until someone expresses it simply."

"Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too selfish to seek other than itself."

“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.”

"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars."

“It is wrong to think that love comes from long companionship and persevering courtship. Love is the offspring of spiritual affinity and unless that affinity is created in a moment, it will not be created for years or even generations”

" Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.”

Have a sunny day. Fine Art and Jewelry.

Monday, August 4, 2008

We Can't Make It Here

I have been keeping politics out of my blog these last few months , but at 4am this morning I heard the best protest song I've heard in years, so here it goes.

We Can't Make It Here by James Mcmurtry.

There’s a Vietnam Vet with a cardboard sign Sitting there by the left turn line Flag on his wheelchair flapping in the breeze One leg missing and both hands free No one’s paying much mind to him The V.A. budget’s just stretched so thin And now there’s more coming back from the Mideast war We can’t make it here anymore

That big ol’ building was the textile mill that fed our kids and it paid our bills But they turned us out and they closed the doors We can’t make it here anymore
See those pallets piled up on the loading dock They’re just gonna sit there ‘til they rot‘ Cause there’s nothing to ship, nothing to pack Just busted concrete and rusted tracks Empty storefronts around the square There’s a needle in the gutter and glass everywhere You don’t come down here unless you’re looking to score We can’t make it here anymore

The bar’s still open but man it’s slow The tip jar’s light and the register’s low The bartender don’t have much to say The regular crowd gets thinner each day Some have maxed out all their credit cards Some are working two jobs and living in cars Minimum wage won’t pay for a roof, won’t pay for a drink If you gotta have proof just try it yourself Mr. CEO See how far $5.15 an hour will go Take a part time job at one your stores Bet you can’t make it here anymore

There’s a high school girl with a bourgeois dream Just like the pictures in the magazine She found on the floor of the laundromat A woman with kids can forget all that If she comes up pregnant what’ll she do Forget the career, forget about school Can she live on faith? Live on hope? High on Jesus or hooked on dope When it’s way too late to just say no You can’t make it here anymore

Now I’m stocking shirts in the Wal-Mart store Just like the ones we made before‘ Cept this one came from Singapore I guess we can’t make it here anymore
Should I hate a people for the shade of their skin Or the shape of their eyes or the shape I’m in Should I hate ‘em for having our jobs today No I hate the men sent the jobs away I can see them all now, they haunt my dreams All lily white and squeaky clean They’ve never known want, they’ll never know need Their shit don’t stink and their kids won’t bleed Their kids won’t bleed in their damn little war And we can’t make it here anymore

Will work for food will die for oil Will kill for power and to us the spoils The billionaires get to pay less tax The working poor get to fall through the cracks So let ‘em eat jellybeans let ‘em eat cake Let ‘em eat shit, whatever it takes They can join the Air Force, or join the Corps If they can’t make it here anymore

So that’s how it is, that’s what we got If the president wants to admit it or not You can read it in the paper, read it on the wall Hear it on the wind if you’re listening at all Get out of that limo, look us in the eye Call us on the cell phone tell us all why In Dayton Ohio or Portland Maine Or a cotton gin out on the great high plains That’s done closed down along with the school And the hospital and the swimming pool Dust devils dance in the noonday heat There’s rats in the alley and trash in the street Gang graffiti on a boxcar door We can’t make it here anymore

When I read these lyrics I am reminded of my youth , in the streets protesting the Vietnam war, and how now we {US} are so quiet while the politicians and corporate America lead us down the road toward ruin. I also think of Mr. Gandhi and how he would handle such protest, remembering to hate the sin not the sinner. Tomorrow it's back to peace, love , and flowers. Thank you and have a sunny day. Fine Art and Jewelry.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Mother's Day:

Thought for today: Today's quotes will all be from Mother Teresa.

A sacrifice to be real must cost, must hurt, must empty ourselves. The fruit of silence is prayer, the fruit of prayer is faith, the fruit of faith is love, the fruit of love is service, the fruit of service is peace.

Before you speak, it is necessary for you to listen, for God speaks in the silence of the heart.

Little things are indeed little, but to be faithful in little things is a great thing.

Give yourself fully to God. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His love than in your own weakness.

Before you speak, it is necessary for you to listen, for God speaks in the silence of the heart.

When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.

Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of peace of the world.

If we really want to love we must learn how to forgive.

Fine Art and Jewelry. Have a sunny day.