Sunday, January 22, 2012

More vs ENOUGH from Ecclesiastes to Talmud To New Testament

More vs ENOUGH – January 22, 2012

The More fat, the More disease. The More possessions, the More worry. The More wives, the More rivalry. The More maids, the More frivolity. The More butlers, the More theft.
Rabbi Hillel, Pirke Avot 2:8

The More you have
The More you have to maintain
Ecclesiastes 5:10

I have seen a great heartache in this world;
you hoard your wealth to guard against the future
only to lose it all in a deal gone bad
Ecclesiastes 5:12-13

If you are clever in the ways of finance
yet lack the capacity for contentment (enoughness – jds)
are you at all superior to the financially ignorant?
Is a contented pauper less than a discontented financier
Ecclesiastes 6:8

Once there was a rich man who lad lots of money and he said, ‘I willinvest my money so that I can sow, reap, plant, and fill up my silos with crops so I won’t lack anything’ So he thought, but that night he died.
Gospel of Thomas

If you are clever in the ways of finance
yet lack the capacity for contentment (enoughness – jds)
are you at all superior to the financially ignorant?
Is a contented pauper less than a discontented financier
Ecclesiastes 6:8

More, better, now becomes less, worse, later
Jim Schwartz

Money can’t buy happiness but it can’t buy you poverty either
Ellis Schwartz

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mephistos, More, Enough, Wisdom & Folly - A Jewish (Cobbled) Tail (With A Bite)

Mephistos, More, Enough, Wisdom & Folly
A Jewish (Cobbled) Tail (With A Bite)

(My first pair of Mephistos shoes bought in 1973 – soled and resoled – 3 times – finally died today -a tear in the leather- at the age of 38. There was nothing MORE I could do. Another sole is lost. I feel like a ‘heel.’ Nothing is permanent.)

I bought MORE field hands and house slaves, MORE stewards and maids, MORE cattle and sheet than anyone who lived before me. I hoarded coins both silver and gold, raided the treasure houses of kings, and stripped caravans of their precious cargo. I filled my homes with singers and musicians. I piled crate upon crate stuffed with the most prized luxuries. I grew wealthier than any of my predecessors in Jersusalem and yet none of this satisfied me, nothing but wisdom alone
Ecclesiastes 2:6-9 Rabbi Remi Shapiro Translation
Fonts by Schwartz

I bought slaves – male and female – and I acquired stewards; I also owned MORE possessions, both cattle and sheep, than all of my predecessors in Jerusalem; I amassed even silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and the provinces; I provided myself with various musical instruments, and with every human luxury – chest and chests of them. Thus I grew and surpassed any of my predecessors in Jerusalem; still, my wisdom stayed with me.
Ecclesiastes 2:7-10 Stone Edition Tanach (Orthodox)
Font by Schwartz

I bought male and female slaves, and I acquired stewards. I also acquired MORE cattle, both herds and flocks, than all who were before me in Jerusalem. I further amassed silver and gold and treasures of kinds and provinces; and I got myself male and female singers, as well as the luxuries of commoners- coffers and coffers of them. Thus, I gained more wealth than anyone before me in Jerusalem. In addition, my wisdom remained with me
Ecclesiastes 2:7-9 JPS Tanakh (Conservative Judaism)
Font by Schwartz

And here this writer use to mock The Rabbi Establishment with ‘where there is a Rabbinic will there’s a halacha (legal) way’ when the above ‘renderings’ are at best interpretative translations rather than literal translations. At a minimum, these interpretative translations should have a Judaic Warning label ‘Translation May Be Hazardous To Your Conclusions.”

The above stipulated, there is a common thread between these interpretive translations: that wisdom is preferable to MORE MORE MORE.
But even the wisdom balloon bursts with:

• If the fool’s fate is the same as mine, has wisdom any lasting advantage? And I concluded that wisdom, too, is empty (Ecclesiastes 2:15, Shapiro)
• So I realized: “The fate of the fool is also destined for me; to what advantage, then, have I been wise?” And I came to the conclusion that that (wisdom) too was futile” (Ecclesiastes JPS 2-15)
• So I said to myself: The fate of the fool will befall me also; to what advantage, then, have I become wise? But I concluded that this, too, was futility. (Ecclesiastes Stone Edition Tanach 2:15)

But neither MORE, the folly of ignorance is bliss, nor wisdom can overcome the ephemeral, impermanence, the emptying (hevel)!

In the end both wise and foolish are forgotten
The death of one is identical to that of the other
Ecclesiastes 2:16

Thus, when the game is over, the king, pawn, the wise, the foolish all go in the same box.

Is it any wonder most (99%+ see self interest past entry) have continued to seek t MORE MORE MORE better now financially (despite denials to appear selfless) and or continue to pursue MORE MORE MORE better now in other currencies (awards, knowledge, wisdom etc) despite MORE MORE MORE yielding in time LESS, WORSE & LATER foolishly repeated. Why – it is what we know, and this hardwiring is culturally reinforced by ‘hope & the pursuit of happiness’ which palliates the delusion or hole in the soul. MORE as Enough merely reminds of the impermanence – hevel of all including wisdom and folly – which at least initially depresses with in the face reality of ‘what next if not MORE MORE MORE?

Continuity, certainty, permanence is futile.
But this life – futile – no it’s a matter of accepting the ephemeral with equanimity (rising above the good and the bad) while holding to the faith that this life is a soul curriculum exercise for character development to merit to a-gain for again.

In the interim, if lucky, we are blessed with dogs -Ambassadors from God, Chaverim (friends) of The Soul- during midterms and finals easing the ephemeral, the impermanent, and the uncertain

Well, ‘enough’ of this‘sole-ful’ rendering. Like the physical demise of my 38 year old Mephistos – that’s shoe business – a hit today, tomorrow in the recycle bin.

I give you good leather, it’s up to you to make good shoes

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

More Than A Mouthful: Fetching More vs Enough

More Than A Mouthful: Fetching More vs Enough

Despite repeated efforts, over and over and over and over again, each day and every day twice a day when we play fetch, Goodie attempts unsuccessfully to put not only the ball thrown for her into her mouth but also Moses’. And with each attempt to place two balls into her mouth, pawing, pushing & batting as she might, Goodie inevitably drops the ball already in her mouth and is frustrated.
More than a mouthful is a waste in ‘more’ ways than one.

In seeking more, more, more it’s not unusual to the drop the ball we already have. More better now has a habit of becoming ‘worse, less, later’ whether in Goodie playing fetch, in personal financial planning or other life experiences.
One ball never seems to be ‘enough’ for Goodie (regardless of frustration) nor is enough seem to ever be enough for us in personal financial planning or life in general as if ‘there’s got to be more.’

MoreOnic behavior.

So we sacrifice what we need for what we don’t need.
Why do entrepreneurs make it lose it make it lose it – ad infinitum -despite advice to become independent of their independent businesses by having ‘enough’ in diversified passive protected assets regardless of their entrepreneurial ups and downs?
The question is why?

Having enough would cause an assessment of finding meaning IN one’s life?
More is hard wired and reinforced culturally to become habitual?
More validates in an external comparative sense to others?
More diverts, deflects from dealing with fear of extinction (which most identify as their physical body) while palliating through acquisition?

When Ben Franklin rhetorically asked ‘what is rich?’ and answered himself with ‘he is who is content,’ followed with the question, ‘who is that?’ and answered himself, ‘nobody!’

And so, again today, in attempting to secure both balls in her mouth, Goodie paws, pushes, and bats to no avail – and neither ball is secure in her mouth.

Yes, more than a mouthful is a waste.