One of the Junaids’ followers came to him with a purse containing five hundred gold pieces.
“Have you any more money than this?” asked the Sufi
“Yes, I have.”
“Do you desire more?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Then you must keep it, for you are more in need than I; for I have nothing and desire nothing. You have a great deal and still want more.”
from “The Way of the Sufi” stories collected by Idries Shah
I must want it all.
Is that even possible?
Where would I put it?
“Storing up my treasures” on earth….storing them up.
Now, I could blame the media. I could blame all the images that I tend to pay attention to….the ones of wealth and abundance, fun and frivolity beneath the material world’s moon….I could blame what other people put in my path.
I couldn’t blame the pictures of need that I skim over.
They don’t inspire me in the same way.
I can’t look at all that suffering.
I know that it’s all me…I make my choice and go with the Cheez-Wiz popular culture…I pay attention to the flashy and affluent. It goes down easier than “want and need”. It’s all me….
It’s easier to watch Katy Perry spin in day-glo hair, singing something forgettable…with the rockets red glare in the background…for a crowd excited to be patting each other on the back….than it is to think about anyone else’s real needs.
What have I read? That you can’t receive if your fist is clenched around what you already have? Hah!! You can’t even GET MORE if you can’t learn to GIVE…
I don’t know…there must be a lot of bitter people in the world, watching what we have on some small, cast-off black and white television….seeing all this bounty and craziness, all the excitement and serious concentration over something that really shouldn’t matter as much.
No wonder they want to kill us sometimes….Katy Perry never sings for the Taliban…
I do need to be entertained, though….
NOW ISN’T THAT KIND OF A HIGH AND MIGHTY BUMMER?!! WHO AM I…UP ON THIS HIGH HORSE?!!
I don’t know….I don’t know….hey!!! I REALLY DON’T KNOW!! That’s kind of liberating to realize that.
I don’t carry the weight of the whole world on my shoulders….and sometimes….“I don’t know”.
I sure can still want, though.
I had the Billboard Music Awards on last night.
On the television set.
I love music.
I don’t know that the show I watched was only about music….or, really, even about music.
Too much hype…too many people trying too hard…too many explosions.
It gave me pause to realize that the harness that they used to fly Katy Perry around on (I must have been paying attention to the weirder moments) probably cost 10 times what our house cost….no, that’s too low a figure…..ah……I’ll go with that….no….maybe twice what it cost…arghhhhhh, who knows? That thing looked expensive….flying around. All this money spent trying to one-up the spectacle of the previous year….and I can’t remember a single bit of music from that show.
Not even John Legend almost making his model wife cry with a tender love song. Not even that.
I watched some of a documentary about Levon Helm, of the Band, on Netflix called “I Ain’t in it For My Health” that was a different sort of show.
That show was about music…and about life.
I liked that show.
I like Levon more than I like any of those guys on the other show.
He’s a real person…not some day-glo cartoon.
But…I still want.
I want a lot of things.
And watching these people…even though it’s sometimes entertaining…doesn’t help me “not to want”.
I am so impressionable.
“Give It To Me” J. Geils Band