Summer Short 5
Finding the Golden Egg
One day a countryman going to the nest of his goose found there an egg all yellow and glittering. When he picked it up, it was as heavy as lead. He was going to throw it away because he thought a trick had been played upon him but on second thought, took it home instead only to discover, to his delight, that it was an egg of pure gold.
Every morning the same thing occurred and he soon became rich by selling his eggs.
As he grew rich, he grew greedy and thinking he could get all the gold eggs the goose could give, he killed it and opened it only to find nothing. – Aesop
We want it all. But being human, we can’t have it all.
It is easy to fall into the trap of the seed of lack. Of always having one eye on what we have and one eye on what we don’t. Greed is not restricted to money. It can work its appetite on anything. When caught in this mindset, no amount of travel is enough, no amount of love is enough, no amount of success is enough, no amount of approval enough, no amount of attention is enough.
Feeling like we are missing something or that we’re being left behind, we suffer from wanting to experience more than one person can and wanting more than we need. The tension this creates, between what we have and what we don’t, can lead to an insatiable search where our passion for life is stirred but never satisfied. It is this constant searching that blocks our experience of being fully alive. Feeling like our lives are insufficient is the true beginning of living a life of poverty.
Jim Carey said, “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.” So what is the answer? On some level, we all know nothing outside of ourselves will ever make us feel whole. The thing we don’t have will not fill in our pain. What we haven’t tasted will not be the thing to bring us alive. On some level, we all know the golden egg lies within the lives we already have.
It is a constant struggle to stay with the miracle of what is and not fall into the black hole of what is not. As the sufi poet Ghalib said centuries ago, “Every particle of creation sings its own song of what is and what is not. Hearing what is can make you wise, hearing what is not can drive you mad.”
As you can see, this is an ancient challenge we are up against.