If men meet each other, then – even in a more spiritual setting – it’s often about their own car. Sometimes I force the issue myself when I’m curious about who has arrived with which expression of their individuality parked in front of the door. Moreover, I then have the opportunity to also tell about my car.

Now that I’ve brought the subject to the table, I’ll take this opportunity now. My current car is an old Fiat Panda. A small white tin box with a 34 hp engine. For those who don’t know what to do with it, there’s hardly a small car made these days that doesn’t have at least 120 horsepower and is at least twice the size of a Panda. Just for comparison.

I tell then – and also now – how it came about that I bought this car.

It was at that time that my new life began and the Spirits shook me through and through.

I had actually just made it in terms of my vehicle at the time. I owned a beautiful anthracite-colored sporty Volvo station wagon. A lifestyle station wagon, as the salesman assured me at the time. I had somehow arrived. On the highway, other anthracite or black or dark gray station wagon sedans made way for me as I drove up. I wasn’t being tailgated. I was part of the large mid-size fleet that glided along our highways day after day and whose drivers could tell at a glance the model and equipment level of the vehicle in front of, behind, or next to them in order to deduce how they treated this road user – – and whose vehicle color was always based on resale value. Black, dark gray or anthracite.

I had this car, was professionally self-employed but otherwise not particularly wealthy. In the words of John Steinbeck, „I wasn’t poor, but I didn’t have any money at the time.

It was a time of mental upheaval. If you expand your senses, this inevitably leads to a different perception of reality. I noticed how my lifestyle station wagon was becoming a burden to me. How owning this „thing“ captivated so many of my thoughts and even caused me quite a bit of worry! The paint had stone chip damage on the hood that I hadn’t paid attention to when I bought it. Rust! I drove from garage to garage to get opinions on how to fix this inexpensively. The car had to go to the TÜV and I felt that the exhaust had become louder. The thought of how I was now going to manage this financially haunted me into the evenings. I also needed a new set of tires in the front after driving into a nail. Car wash! Oil change, And, And, And…. Last but not least, I parked the car on the street, since the shared parking lot of our apartment complex was full, and went on vacation with my wife in her diesel (fuel cost!) for a few days. When we got back, my Volvo had two nice scratches in the paint. One on each side of the car and each from the rear to the front fender. Other cars on the side of the road had the same problem.

I had been aware of the burden aspect for some time. But now the time had come to act. The car should go. More clearly could hardly be a sign. No worry and no negative thought should bother me because of this damage! Therefore, this damage left me cold and led only to the fact that I posted in the evening directly an advertisement for sale. Something similar happened with my motorcycle. It tipped over twice for me. It felt so incredibly heavy. A huge lump of iron. During one ride, the lights failed at night, so I had to pick up the bike with a trailer. A minor repair meant that I had to take half the engine apart, and after youngsters hit another dent in the tank with a bottle, the fate of my Kawasaki was also sealed: Gone! At any price! Away with the ballast! Liberation of my thoughts and my actions from this nonsense! Away, away, away!

I sold both vehicles below price. The buyers thought I was naive and unfit for business. I just wanted to keep it simple and not negotiate. I was happy for them. Not for the load they had now acquired, but for the good buy they had made for themselves. The Volvo was bought by a young student. When I let her have the car at her price and said I wanted to buy something smaller, a Polo perhaps, she smiled at me smugly and mockingly, „A Polo. So…“ Thinking, „You must be going downhill, you old wimp.“

But now I still needed a vehicle (It’s true, you can also take the train. Or bicycle. But everyone should follow his own dogmas). And so I looked for the smallest, most inconspicuous and humble vehicle I could find. It became this little Fiat. It took me out of the family of the bourgeois average. Made me a plaything on the streets and demanded from me self-discipline and – just – humility. I was – and am – flashed at, honked at, cut off. No one gives me any more room when merging onto the highway. Get in line, weakling! That’s what they say. I haven’t even really started at the traffic light yet, when everyone already wants to overtake me. Instinctively.

What a difficult path that was. In this vehicle I learned a lot of humility, inner peace and the distance to external ego-related inanities. That was probably the inner plan that drove me to buy this car. The plan that was not so clear to me – at that time. The plan was also that I bought this car in a workshop that otherwise earned its money with the repair of American sports cars! So, in the midst of fiery red and with flame decorations decorated horsepower bolides, a huneyset workshop master screwed grumpily and me no look worthy the license plates brought by me on my white shoe box – „Old Schlappi! This already gave me an inkling of what was in store for me on my rides. It was an anticipation of future lessons in humility and reduction of the ego.

But each spare part somehow costs a maximum of €25 and so keeps me worry-free. If the Panda once gives up the ghost, he has fulfilled his services wonderfully as a Zen master. I thank him already for that!

And so then still a not small amount of men flinch when I say that my car has something to do with humility. „Howeee? Deee-muuut?!!“ Humility is somehow not so hip. And that’s exactly why I sometimes like to bring up the subject of cars.

Pain must never be allowed to guide us. Our actions grow out of the fearless knowledge of our security in the meaning, of our soulfulness and of the eternal unity of everything. We always act in love for everything and everyone. There is no inner separation. Pain alone must never guide us.

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