Wednesday, September 21, 2005

good times and money

Yesterday, wealth was the light of our day,

Today the world is lit by burning flames.

A pity that in my life's book, the times

Write: "This is one day, that another day."

#1881: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

Search word: wealth

Yesterday, I took some action that left me one thousand dollars richer. I was filled with the glee of wealth so easily gained. In fact, I had worked hard and come well prepared and, really, I fully deserved this achievement. I decided to seek out Rumi's thoughts on wealth. And once again, he does not disappoint. I love the ambiguity of the last line: Should his life have been more consistent then? Is it a pity he took so long to get around to the burning flames? Since flames are what you find in hell, should he have stuck safely to the wealth? My own reading of Rumi here is that his life's book could have contained the word "BOTH" writ large. Wealth and passion yesterday, wealth and passion today, wealth and passion tomorrow and forever.

Expressed simply, this means the ideal is to live while Doing Work You Love, as in the title of Cheryl Gilman's neat little self-help book which gives concise and unpretentious advice. This author is one of many now who strongly advocate joining together the enterprises of work and love: make money from your hobby, create no boundaries between work and play, let your whole life be your love and your work, and so on.

Here are a few of my favourites:

One of the reasons I see the current school system dying is because it perpetuates the myth that one should or one must do unpleasant things called "work" which is meaningful and good, while it is at best OK or tolerable that one find time to do pleasant things called "play" which is frivolous and often bad. One can marry the two or rather, one can keep the two together from day one if the question relates to the bringing up of children.

This is a pretty radical suggestion. After all, the Bible tells us that our first parents sinned and were ejected from Paradise. It suggests we all must go down the same path: start out in a state of bliss, discover shame and work, and only if one is lucky and/or very wise can one return to this original bliss, this original union or companionship with deity.

Genesis 3:8 (KJV)

And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

We should rewrite this story so that Adam and Eve greet this God as a friend, as just someone else enjoying this garden. Greet this Lord and invite him to share some food with them, maybe some barbequed meat grilled on skewers and served with a crispy side salad. Add a glass of good red wine and this Lord would remain jovial. It would never enter his head to throw anyone out.

Oh well! There's no law against dreaming...


Post a Comment

<< Home