We are constantly unconsciously putting meaning and value onto the world – the external materialism and people whom we come in contact with. And the meaning we give unto them is how we experience our relationship with them.
I was chatting with a loved one online today and he mentioned how he realised he is now able to identify which friends stand him up, and those who stand by him. When we eventually discussed on the subject where a friend was to borrow money from us, his point of view was that it depends on the ‘storyline’ the other is able to come up with and that will determine if he wishes to lend money to the other. While that is indeed the practice of most, many fail to see the intention or motivation behind such action. It is common for people to reason that they will loan money to friends because of ‘friendship’. Unfortunately, while that seems true, the truth is we loan money to friends because of guilt and pity.
If a request has been made, why the need to justify why the money is to be given? All kinds of concepts come into the picture – it’s my money, are you worth the amount of money I am about to give you?, will I get my money back and etc etc. If that is such a case, it is a clear case in the mind that one doesn’t wish to comply with such request. But what happens next is that we will proceed to ask probing questions like – why you need the money, when can you pay me back, how will you pay me back. Seldom do we question why the need for justifications of loaning or giving away money in order to change our minds. Likewise, if we are truly giving the money to someone, why is it that there is a feeling of incompleteness until this person pays us back the money, or at least acknowledge that we have done a good deed for him?
So some say that the amount of money must be within vicinity of their means, which again will serve as verdict whether or not the money is to be given or lent to friends. A Ringgit or a million Ringgit, what is the difference, except for the meaning we give to the amount and also to the friend? In that, value is ascertain if a friend is ‘worth’ that amount of money that we are about to give up! If it was our loved ones in trouble, we’d probably go to the extent of borrowing from someone else or selling our assets just to free our loved ones from such worries. Please don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with either or. Only, we seldom consider that all these arise because of the meanings we give to a friend, a loved one, money or anything else in the world. And that ascertains the extent we would do for someone or something.
Attention is constantly given to the external world; the difference is the level of attention focused on the objects. For instance, I may put more attention to my parents because I have this idea that they gave me life, they brought me up and nurtured me, I love them and it is my duty to put them in priority; but for a touch and go friend, I might not put so much of my attention onto him because this person doesn’t ‘mean’ so much to me and there the derivation of meanings I give to each of them thus creating the experience of how I relate to them each. But consider again, what difference is anything or anyone in the world except the meanings, thus value that I give to them?
It is indeed of wonderment to those who have seen this. I myself was also marvelled at my own recent experiences. The other day, someone blurted out jokingly, “give me a hundred Ringgit”. Without qualms, I took out a hundred from my purse and gave it to him. He was somewhat shocked before shyly accepting the money. He said, “I will pay you back” and I told him that if the money was meant to come back to me, it will. End of story. And another day, a girlfriend text me and asked me to loan her twenty dollars urgently. It was only twenty dollars, but the whole request didn’t feel true to me so she did not receive the twenty dollars from me. End of story. But if I were to go on expecting that the money to be given back to me, or to justify why I ought to lend the money to my girlfriend e.g. it was only twenty dollars and I didn’t do it, I might as well be on the fastest train straight to a self created hell. Is there a difference between the two people who asked me for money? There was none, except my experience at that point in time.
First, we give meaning to the world then we are restricted by the meanings we perceive the world gives us which is in truth, also another meaning we give. And then we feel guilty and try to find an external reason to cover up the guilt. It is like I created this game of my own in the mind, and then I run away from it. How absurd!
Sin has no real existence, it is you yourselves who create it when, as in the nature of adultery, you are unfaithful to your true nature and act within the habit of your corrupt nature. – J
Lest you realise the meaning you have given to the world, you will find the meaning you have given to yourself. And there you find all sins, which in turn is not a single sin at all.