Excerpt About Preferences
We are working here on essential realization, learning how to connect with essence, reality, spirit, soul—and now we have to give it up. You may think this guy Jesus expects a lot. You may think he was talking to poor people who didn’t have much to give up materially, so they had to give up something else. I think he is talking to everybody. The attitude of possessiveness, the attitude of havingness, is a central attitude of ego. You are somebody who has things. Can you imagine yourself being somebody who doesn’t have anything? Not having in this context means not having to have. It’s the willingness to be poor. It’s not a matter of becoming poor, although that might happen too. If that is what it takes for you to experience that you don’t have to have, then maybe you should not have possessions. So the easiest things to give up, to be detached from, and not to care about are the physical things—clothes, money, and so on. what is more difficult to give up is the inner domain. To be poor within means to give up your thoughts, feelings, wants, desires, likes, dislikes, preferences, opinions, beliefs, ideas. Being poor within is not holding positions about what is good and what is bad. If you do that, then you still have preferences, you still are not completely poor. From this perspective we see that everyone is very rich. We are all rich in spirit—full of ideas, preferences, opinions, beliefs, goals, and ideals. Surrendering our thoughts, feelings, judgments, preferences, and desires doesn’t mean that these things disappear but that we don’t have them in the same way. They just come and go. We don’t hold on to them as possessions. They are not vital for us.