Brian Wilcox. 'Stillness Settles Over The Land'
"Where is my heart?" is a most important question you can ask yourself. Where your heart is, this will decide whether or not you live a joyful life.
A sad man said, "I'm always sad, but you're always joyful. Why are you always joyful?" Said the Sage, "Why not?"
* * *
A man had a dream. In the dream, an angel told him he was soon to meet a wandering holy man. The holy man would have a precious gift for him, making him a rich man.
A few days later, the dreamer met a wanderer on the road. The holy man wore tattered clothing, had a long unkempt beard, and was thin; he had taken a vow of poverty. He seemed much at peace, a slight smile on his face, a face which shone. The dreamer could not fathom the wanderer had any riches to give.
The dreamer said, "I dreamed, and an angel told me I would meet you. He said you would have a gift of riches for me, and I would be a wealthy man." The wanderer replied, "I know of only one thing I could give you, seeing I live a life of poverty as a sign to the world and in praise of my God." He pulled out a large stone from his knapsack and gave it to the dreamer. The latter held it between his fingers, placing it up into the sunlight. To his surprise, it was a huge diamond. The elated dreamer gave thanks and left.
The dreamer found a huge tree and sat in its shade. He gazed on the diamond until nightfall and fell into a deep sleep. Again, he had a dream. The angel told him he would never be able to enjoy the diamond, though the wanderer had enjoyed it much. After waking at dawn, he held the diamond in his hand, looking at it. He knew the truth of the angel's words. Even now, only the day after, he had lost happiness in the diamond. So, he set out to find the holy man.
After many days, he found the wanderer. He held out the diamond to give it back to the holy man, "Please, take this back and, in its place, share with me the riches that allowed you to give this to me so freely in the first place."
* * *
Anthony de Mello:
"True happiness is caused by nothing."
Jesus, in the Gospel of Matthew 6.19-21:
Don't be treasuring up treasures for yourselves on Earth. Here nothing lasts, and people steal. Rather, be treasuring up treasures in the heavens, where it lasts, and no one can take it from you. For where your heart is, there your treasure is also.
Can the dreamer enjoy the diamond? Yes. Can he enjoy it as the wanderer did? Yes.
The wanderer's poverty is a sign of emptiness, an emptiness whereby he does not find joy in things, so, thereby, he enjoys things. As we say, "His heart is in the right place." He is at-home in the world, knowing he owns nothing, that nothing belongs to him, not even himself. His heart is in the heavens: here, not meaning a place, but that placeless-place of Spirit. He had learned inner poverty is the way of riches. Knowing the wellspring of joy, Spirit-of-joy, he knows things cannot bring gladness. This lesson the dreamer is to learn, and one we may need to learn. If we learn this lesson, we will never be in want, and we will live in joy like the wanderer.
* * *
"Why not?" replied the joyful Sage to the sad man. Yes, since we naturally want joy, "Why not?"
I held her tight
to have her I must
her love fled
I let her rest
like feather in arms
her love came close
* * *
©️ Brian Wilcox, 2020
*Quote from Anthony De Mello, in Rediscovering Life.
*Brian can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org; his book, An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love, is available through major online booksellers, including Amazon and Books-A-Million, or via the publisher, AuthorHouse.