The bitter fruit
Materialism is not only doomed to end in frustration, it is also a denial of our true nature. Only in Spirit can spirit find rest. As Saint Augustine said: “Our hearts are ever restless until they find their rest in Thee.” Material objects simply do not satisfy our inner craving–they only distract our attention for a while until it asserts itself with even greater intensity. This is the experience of any person who will pause long enough to consider it–something our rapid-paced culture renders nearly impossible to the ordinary person. But we are not ordinary.
Possessions give us a touch (and a false one, at that) of the feeling we will have when we have gained our kingdom of infinity through oneness with the Infinite, when we will have found our ultimate completeness through perfect oneness with the Absolute. “The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory,” of which material possessions, however vast, are a pitiful substitute, is to be ours. This we intuitively know. Our egoic minds may not know this, but our inmost heart does, and it will never let us come to rest until in truth we rest in Him as part of Him.
How will we live?
Does this mean we should live in a beggarly manner? Not at all, but we must keep a correct perspective on material possessions. Most of all, understanding the law of karma, rather than tormenting ourselves with frustration and jealously over the success of others, we should learn the laws of positive prosperity (which do exist and ought to be applied) and reshape our karma so as to reverse our lack and turn it into sufficiency according to the cosmic laws. Once we grasp the universal principle that we reap exactly what we sow, then envy and jealousy are seen as abysmally stupid, and covetousness is recognized as moral laziness.
We cannot truly have what is not ours, but covetousness blinds us to this sensible fact. We must earn our way through this universe, and those who try to cheat only end up in penury, blaming everyone but the right person–themselves.
Simplicity of life is wisdom not to be repented of. The wise have always followed this principle, even when living in palaces.
In conclusion, the covetous person is forgetting the wonderful declaration of God in Genesis: “I am your exceedingly great reward” (Genesis 15:1).
Putting all these precepts together, we can see that the Ten Commandments are not just principles of behavior, but are the active means by which we withdraw ourselves from the lefthand current or path. However, that is not enough. We must then establish ourselves in the righthand path (not that the process of withdrawal and establishment cannot take place simultaneously). Otherwise we will simply be zeros. This is a common state among the adherents of non-esoteric religions, including Fundamentalist Protestantism. Their “righteousness” is based solely upon what they do and do not, rather than upon their actual state of spiritual evolution. Indeed, spiritual evolution is a concept utterly alien to them.
In the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches theosis, divinization, is theoretically considered possible for all, but the unspoken attitude is that it is only for the special or unusual–the saints being looked upon as reverend and inspiring, but still not normal. Yet Saint Paul wrote, without making any exceptions or qualifications: “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification” (I Thessalonians 4:3).
So let us get busy.
Read the next article in Gnosis of the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes: Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.