Wednesday, May 09, 2018

TERRITORY AND STEWARDSHIP

I came into the world as a child. I have been looked after; from this I learnt to look after others.

I am a child of Mother Earth. Not satisfied with the milk and food she has given me for my daily need, I, Man, Nature's youngest child, and now the eldest, have only learnt eating, grabbing, pilfering, and not a bit of the love the Mother has shown me. The Great Mother has made me out of Her body and given me the means to grow, and the means to be delighted with her creations, and as the eldest and cleverest, to look after her creations. But, I have become like her first brainless children, a great eating machine, and today there is no beast on earth who has greater appetite and greed; I have become the cleverest eater and my whole brain is employed for the purpose of plundering the earth for my sole food and enjoyment.  


Let me examine myself.


I walk from here to the post office. I see nothing, hear nothing, and my whole wonderful, complex brain is employed with the single miserable question - will there be a letter for me. I go there with blinkers, and there I have to wait, for there is some delay. I stand under  the glorious sky, under this beautiful tree, and the birds flying about, and much besides, but my mind is filled with impatience and annoyance, for the whole world has been reduced to the one miserable fact of receiving a letter.



"Appearance of sky for weather forecast, Dhaka, Bangladesh", Mohammed Tawsif Salam - Wikimedia commons


Thankfulness and wonder have been shut out, and I feel bored and angry with the world, for I am too small a fellow for this wonderful gift given me - great complex radio, TV, telegraph, telephone, recording, playback, receiver, transmitter, amplifier, air conditioner, and a thousand other things combined into one compact machine called my body. Truly I must be a miserable little wretch, if this vast machine given to me was just for a meal, or receiving a letter whose ultimate basis is for a meal or some form of gobbling up something or other.

That tree, that wonderful sky, this beggar and that dog become wonderful only if I see them on the TV, and then too I have to feel happy because I can afford this TV and my neighbours cannot - and all the while, this machine of mine is ticking away, burning itself out. 


I, Man, have evolved as the highest, to be a real master, a steward, and not a mother-killing monster. All I am, all I see, hear, feel, think and imagine is my territory, and I am the master, the steward of all this immensely rich territory I must look after. I shall wither and dry up if I am given all the food, and no one loves me, and nobody has any need for me, nobody has any pleasure in me; so the trees, animals, things and others.


I live because my Mother loved me and loves me. Let me learn to love and give joy, and the first thing to do is to give attention to all that comes to me. Let me get away from the greedy child's habit or the dog's habit of only keeping attention on the sweets and bones.


A farmer cuts channels to bring water to the field and the trees. The channel for love is attention, and love is the origin of all manifestation and the supporting energy behind it. Love is the first of foods.



Dammed water channels in a field near Scamblesby
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Chris - geograph.org.uk/p/3904975

A modern factory manager sits in his office with telephones, TV facilities and all sorts of other gadgets around him so that he can monitor and control the many aspects of his factory or territory, to be able to personally look after it.

Like that I am the steward for my earth, and I have been give a huge office for that purpose, equipped with a rich machinery which no one can duplicate. Only, I, small fool, child or demon, am in charge only on the lookout for grabbing, earing or burying the bones, not for looking after.


Truly I must be an idiot not to know the power of love as a sustainer of life and strength; for I know how I feel when I am liked and loved and how I feel when hated and despised. I need not spend days and years doing penance, reading scriptures to know the power of love. Let us say that I have a bad skin disease, even friends and relatives stop coming near me even just to say hello from a distance, what condition of mind I shall be in, how depressed and suicidal I must feel.


So in so many ways I have personally benefited from attention of love. Why then do I doubt its power!


Well, I may be told that human beings can respond to love. Animals, trees and objects do not.


Then, excellent! Start with human beings. Then, I shall cultivate the capacity to transmit love, the love that seeks no return, and the art of paying attention - the channel, how deep and wide it should be, what type of water and so on, for which plant etc. For love is like water and has its laws, and one gains experience as one goes along; whether the channel should be wide or narrow, whether it should be by thought, word, deed or gesture and so on. Later I can see by this experience what might be the result on trees etc.

Let alone a tree. See what happens to your bicycle if you pay no attention to it for a month; and then meditate on the power of love and attention.

I am the steward of my territory and I must look after it, and must become a skillful manager.  Despite this vast kingdom, if I get bored with life, then I must know who I am. Next time, when I pass a tree, or beggar, a friend or enemy, let me not pass without directing a kind word, thought or feeling or sheer joy as the case may be, and my purse is never empty for the bank account for love is inexhaustible; the more you spend, the more you receive. 

It is said of the Buddha that he used to go for alms, not to get a meal, but as one excuse for meeting people and things and transmitting the vibration of love.

The world is in such a sorry state, not because of black marketeers or others, but because most of us have learnt to receive the benefits of love and hold on to them, rather than how to transmit it; and we die early with too much love we receive but do not give out, just as surely a man will die if he only breathes in and not out.

Referring to the biblical story of Esau and Jacob, the Mother commented that it is man's birthright to be the son of God and to be like Him, the Master, but man sells his birthright for a mess of pottage.


Giovanni Andrea de Ferrari  (1598–1669); Esau and Jacob, oil on canvas

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