Letting go of material desires

Devotee: I know I must take a distance from this world that I’ve grown up in and at the same time I feel I must love it. How do you bring those two things together?

Guru: Right, now let us go on a nice shopping expedition in our minds.  

You have entered an amazing shopping precinct. Your bag is full of money and cards and you can just pass anything and everything. You arrive in the shop and say to yourself, “Gosh, I’ve got so much money, I’ve got so many credit cards. I can go boom, boom, boom!”

Now let us be two people inside you. One is the human being who just has no control and buys and buys and buys, which is the average human being. You arrive there and he says, “Isn’t that lovely, a beautiful plant. I’ll have that.”

You don’t even take it home. You put it on an account so that all the stuff you want that you think is wonderful and beautiful and that you want in your house, will be delivered. Can you imagine, by the time you have gone through the entire precinct of little shops?

Let’s say there are two hundred little kiosks and from each one of them, we buy one item. There are thousands more but [we buy] just one item and we ask them to deliver it to the house.

The other [person inside your mind] arrives with the same amount of money with all the credit cards she’s got but she knows what she wants for her living. [She will not buy things] to go into competition with other people, or [buy the same things] that she’s seen in other people’s houses. She will buy what she wants on a day-to-day basis for living.

Only buy what you really need

You go into the shop. You walk past all of these things, for they are but tinsel and trash. They are dangled in front of your eyes to tantalise you so that you want them. But in your mind there is a person who is [walking] through that shop, realising the element of impermanence.

For everything, this is the panacea I would give to you. Your cure, and your way of life. All is impermanent.

[We can think to ourselves,] “I will only have what I need to have, for living and for my family. I will not complicate my life, my home, and my house.”

Those two hundred things that the other individual [inside our minds] would have bought, [they would have done so] through mindlessness.

This heightened awareness, this acute sense of responsibility for yourself enables you to say, “No.” You will have that feeling inside you, “No, I don’t want it, this is not for me.” Develop that feeling inside. I know it is difficult because you are pressured.

Television encourages us to buy

Remember, from the moment you get up to the moment you go to sleep if you watch that television set it will insidiously plant a vibration in your mind to register in your mind’s eye to tell you what to buy, and how to associate that item with your life.

[It will tell you] how important it is that you must have a particular gadget such as a tin opener. Even if you’ve got twenty more tin openers in the cupboard [you will think] that tin opener transcends all others.

See the funny side of it. My advice to you is don’t watch that television set. God has given you intelligence – use it. God has given you the power to discriminate – discriminate. God has given you the power to say to yourself, “This is not for me, I don’t need it.” That’s when you begin to change your lifestyle.

Enjoy yourself when you go shopping with friends. You must have a sense of humour, and when your friend says to you, “Isn’t that lovely, don’t you think it would be nice in my house?”, you should say, “Yes. I’ll tell you there are other things as well.” Tell her I’ll pick them up for you but by the time the person goes through the shops, you show the person through action and awareness, that buying is all a fantasy that is being created by the mind.

Don’t allow yourself to be carried away by fantasy. See the funny side of it. Have a sense of humour in your life, don’t be too serious.

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