Nice, nice, niiiice! Says a part of me. Nice, nice, niiiice! Says the part of me that is connected to the eye, that is connected to hearing and seeing, to feeling and smelling, when looking at this beautiful sight: a half-timbered house, completely renovated, in excellent condition. In front of it, a pickup truck and a stylish small car. Two classic motorbikes under a canopy. Next to it, a gate, slightly open, revealing a complete craftsmen’s and vehicle workshop. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! It’s nice to hear the sound of the engines, to smell the burnt petrol from the old motorbike carburettors, to feel the wind, to lie on the back of the pickup and look at the stars, somewhere in the desert. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! It’s nice to smell the sawn wood or the old oil in the workshop and to return to your beautiful, cosy half-timbered house heated by a modern wood-burning stove, full of pride in yourself and your skills.
Nice, nice, niiiice! But what is the price? And above all: what is the price of what? another voice asks me. The second What, that is the external joy. The joy that can only arise in dependence on things. The joy of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and feeling, only possible through the use of things. Limited to the thing and one-sidedly directed towards the outside. The joy that always needs a counterpart – and always includes the fear of losing this counterpart at the same time. Prosthetic joy.
The first thing, the price of prosthetic joy, is bondage, enslavement by things themselves. For things demand attention, sustenance, acquisition (with all the consequences that come before acquisition). But what they really demand is a part of consciousness. And if one does not pay attention (who does, with a danger he does not know, does not recognise), then they take the whole. Then all is lost and man is enraptured and entangled in the machine of material existence and material joy. Because completely without joy, material existence cannot be endured. And then there is only prosthetic joy for him, because he does not know, does not recognise true joy. And he suffers and suffers and doesn’t understand why, when he has so many things to enjoy….
Nice, nice, nice… Thinks my consciousness. And I go on. The sight, the smell and the breeze still in my senses. And I smile and my consciousness thinks: Oh, I’d rather not. It is soooo nice the way it is. It can stay like that. The earthly part may dream its fantasies. But we won’t get to the point of taking them at face value. They would not survive a comparison with eternity and infinity….
Only a few saints can realise both. The indulgence in things and at the same time the deepest anchoring within, in the source of light. I am probably not called to do that. And those who believe they are, they are not these saints.