Never Enough

Here’s another of Steve Taylor‘s poems, expressing aptly the accumulative tendency of the ego. The rich man never has enough money, always tries to make more; he wants the biggest yacht, or to get to Mars, or to control another company. The tyrant at the centre of Empire always wants more land, more people under his personal control. The espoused lover of freedom wants no obligation, no attachment to others, no rules, no common good. You know who you are, and who they are. But it will never be enough…

Steve’s poem expresses it so well.

Never Enough

All the possessions that you collect
and all the wealth that you accumulate 
will never be enough. 

All the success that you achieve
and all the attention that you attract
will never be enough. 

No matter how far your empire stretches 
no matter how absolute your power grows
it will never be enough.

Desires never sleep for long. 
Once they’re satisfied, they rise again, like waves,
faster and stronger than before. 

Every new desire is more difficult to meet
and brings more shallow, more short-lived fulfilment 
until eventually we become numb to happiness
and feel nothing but a raging frustration 
that consumes us inside and makes us hate the world. 

It will never be enough
until you give up the outer search for happiness 
and turn inside yourself. 

Beneath the restless surface of your mind
there is a natural harmony –
the radiance of pure consciousness 
softly vibrating, glowing with warm vitality 
like the freshness of a forest in spring. 

The harmony of your deep being 
never fades or slips out of reach. 
The more you attune to it, the more intense it grows.
The more you touch into it, the closer it moves. 

It can’t be exhausted because it’s immaterial
as intangible as air or light.
It can’t be exhausted because it’s eternal
and endlessly renews and refreshes itself.

Be still, and rest inside yourself.
Let your mind settle, and your thoughts slow down
until desires and fears dissolve away.

Then you’ll enter the deep space of being
and harmony will immerse you –
always present, and always enough.

The eye of the needle

The recent issue of Positive News contains an article on ‘The multimillionaire who gave his fortune away’. Daniel Garner was worth hundreds of millions of dollars, but one day he realized that he was obese and unhappy. He gave away his money, moving from the ‘top of the top 1%’ to the ‘bottom 1%’, lost weight became part of a community and environment, and gained contentment. Some of his quotes are worth repeating:

“My life is [now] so much richer in every single way because I’m connected to life itself: to the people and to the environment around me… I’m truly alive.”

“It’s not just dollars that define wealth: it’s also power, linkages and the ability to make much more money. You end up forming a cohort of other extremely wealthy people and become tremendously disconnected from society.”

“When I was incredibly rich, my heart was completely closed to everyone around me. How can you maintain wealth when you see someone who’s starving and eating out of a garbage can…”

Yes there are so many stories we hear of rich and powerful people who exploit others and care little for those around them. Yet also, some extremely rich people find solace and connection through philanthropy that channels their riches to benefit others.

Eye_of_the_Needle_Black_Hills_1987
Eye of the Needle, South Dakota, US

No, I’m not writing this post to knock the rich, just to highlight that large amounts of money do not bring fulfilment, but do bring incredible responsibility for wise use of that money. After all, most of us in the West are rich by the standards of most developing countries. Are we using that richness wisely, and are we truly fulfilled?

Jesus once said “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:24, King James). He wasn’t joking.

Featured image courtesy Ron Clausen via Wikimedia Commons.