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Buddhists often refer to this same teaching as "emptiness." Here, they mean that nothing exists in itself, so everything in itself leans on everything else, and nothing, since all is part of constant change, will continue as it now is. Even you and I, as we think of ourselves, are in constant change.
Still, many persons want to project an afterlife where we have another place to cling to and enjoy things, a place where we are finally free from all change. Yet, where is the evidence for this? The logic for it? Would we want another place where nothing changes, a place made of things in ceaseless duration of time? Would that be Paradise? Heaven? Nirvana? Does not seem so to me.
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So, back to our rabbi and his meager furniture. We are all visitors, or pilgrims, here. The spiritual calling is to enjoy the world as a means of Glory, to employ things as means to celebrate Life and care for one another, including to care for this Earth. We can do this, which is not a rejection of the Earth or things, in a manner that frees us to place our heart Elsewhere and learn the joy of an unbounded spaciousness free of attachment to stuff. And whatever is not of Spirit, is stuff, whether a body or thought or feeling, and this comes as good news.
*Brian Wilcox. 'The Light Celebrates (no.3)'. Flickr
*Merton quote in A Search for Solitude, from Paul A. and Karen Karper Fredette. Consider the Raven's.
(C) Brian K. Wilcox, 2019