Rich Men and Attachments

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”  Mark 10:25

Anthony DeMello, in The Way to Love, comes as close as anyone can to making sense of this troubling passage.  “The rich man cannot enter the kingdom of joy not because he wants to be bad but because he chooses to be blind.”  He explains that what the rich man fails to see is that his possessions are not, per se, the issue.  Rather the issue is his clinging to them, or in DeMello’s terms, his “attachment” to them – “attachment” being defined as “an emotional state of clinging caused by the belief that without some particular thing or some person you cannot be happy.”

By way of example, mine, not his, the thought that I can’t be happy unless “my team” wins that big game this week is simply foolishness.  If one thinks on it, the reality is there are likely an equal number of people on the other side thinking the same thing about the opponent, and and many, many more whose emotional well being will not be altered one bit regardless of the game’s outcome.  In this I am reminded of one of my work mentors who, as the pressure rose over the resolution of a given issue, would note: “There are millions of people in China who aren’t even aware of this problem and who care not one iota about its resolution.”  He, of course, was and is correct.

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