“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal,
but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust consumes
and where thieves do not break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
~ Matthew 6:19-21
“For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle
than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”
~ Luke:18:25 ; Matthew 19:24
“Fools follow the desires of the flesh
and fall into the snare of all-encompassing death;
but the wise, knowing the Self as eternal,
seek not the things that pass away.”
~ Katha Upanishad 2:1:2
“Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold;
happiness dwells in the soul.”
“Wealth consists not in having great possessions,
but in having few wants.”
“What really counts in life can’t be counted.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“Possessions, outward success, publicity, luxury – to me these have always been contemptible. I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best for both the body and the mind.”
~ Albert Einstein
“The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. The trite subjects of human efforts, possessions, outward success, luxury have always seemed to me contemptible.”
~ Albert Einstein
“The most precious things in life are not those one gets for money”. . . . . Money only appeals to selfishness and always irresistibly tempts its owner to abuse it. Can anyone imagine Moses, Jesus or Gandhi with the moneybags of Carnegie?”
~ Albert Einstein
Seek More Than Meets The Eye
Do not cherish
that which will perish.
Do not treasure
fleeting pleasure –
Or what you can measure.
Do not believe
what you perceive;
And do not seek
what you can speak.
Seek the ineffable
and it is inevitable
That you will know
the Unknowable –
That you will find –
Beyond your mind –
Ron’s audio recitation of Seek More Than Meets The Eye
Ron’s Explanation and Dedication of “Seek More Than Meets The Eye”
The foregoing poem, “Seek More Than Meets The Eye” was inspired by Jesus’ teaching to lay up “treasures in heaven”, rather than earthly treasures. [Matthew 6:19-21].
Before discovering that scriptural passage, my midlife spiritual awakening had apparently revived previously subdued ascetic propensities – perhaps from other contemplative lifetimes. So, I had begun following a life-style much simpler and more reclusive than during my married years. And I became evermore convinced of the wisdom of living a simple and virtuous life, largely detached from worldly pleasures and treasures, while focusing on infinite spiritual riches within.
Hence after discovering Jesus’ teaching about forgoing worldly treasures I was inspired to poetically share its essence, which was consistent and harmonious with my deepest intuitions and tendencies. And soon I found many more inspiring parallel teachings in all other enduring wisdom traditions, like the quotations (preceding the poem) about renouncing worldly wealth.
These perennial teachings are especially important today in affluent corporate-capitalist societies where people are importuned and ‘brain washed’, via insidious advertising and marketing techniques, to greedily seek unneeded things and experiences, as our species insanely and unsustainably pillages, plunders, and poisons our precious planet’s finite resources crucial to sustaining life on Earth as we’ve known it.
But pleasures from such possessions and experiences are always fleeting, and can never bring enduring happiness and peace of mind.
As the Dalai Lama observes:
“Physical comforts cannot subdue mental suffering, and if we look closely, we can see that those who have many possessions are not necessarily happy.
In fact, being wealthy often brings even more anxiety.
So the foregoing poem and quotes are offered to remind us to lay up “treasures in heaven”, rather than futilely pursuing transient earthly possessions and pleasures.
May they help us discover that the enduring happiness we all (knowingly or unknowingly) seek is never in superfluous possessions or pleasures, but ever in our sacred hearts and souls.
And so shall it be!
Living a virtuous life, detached from worldly pleasures and treasures, may be more important now than ever before in modern recorded human history.
On January 23, 2020 the ‘Doomsday’ clock of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists was reset to 100 seconds to midnight, symbolizing potential human destruction by nuclear catastrophe or climate collapse as nearer than ever before.
“Humanity continues to face two simultaneous existential dangers—nuclear war and climate change—that are compounded by a threat multiplier, cyber-enabled information warfare, that undercuts society’s ability to respond. The international security situation is dire, not just because these threats exist, but because world leaders have allowed the international political infrastructure for managing them to erode.”
“Public engagement and civic action are needed and needed urgently. Science and technology can bring enormous benefits, but without constant vigilance, they bring enormous risks as well.”
May the foregoing “Seek More Than Meets The Eye” poem and wisdom teachings inspire our enhanced collective vigilance and awareness that the enduring happiness we all (knowingly or unknowingly) seek is never found in superfluous diversions, possessions or pleasures, but ever abides in our eternal hearts and souls.
And so shall it be!