We are not possessed by evil spirits. We are possessed by our possessions. The more we have, the more we think about what we have. Note Jesus’ attempted exorcism of the rich young ruler, whom he loved. It didn’t work.
Our desires are narrow, specific, repetitive and opportunistic. We conform to them, not they to us. There’s no benignity in a desire. After a while we start to look like what we want.
Selfishness continues to be humanity’s most besetting sin. According to this convolution, the rich deserve to be rich and the poor deserve to be poor. Am I selfish? Of course not. Not me.
Wars, more wars, rumours of war. Protests, counter-protests, divorce courts, the Second Amendment. Conflict devours incomprehensible amounts of energy. And it all derives from a single source: the idea of me and mine.
The thing to which we cling most tightly is our identity. Now our personal identity is micronic, a puff of spore. Eckhart Tolle calls it the dash between two dates on a headstone. But we fear losing it. Being good boys—conditioned and conventionalized—we hit the ground running in a race to acquire as much as possible, so help us God.
“In a world of fugitives, the person taking the opposite direction will appear to run away.”