Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I confess!



I'm thinking about the seven deadly sins this morning. Well, not all of them (though I definitely have suffered from all of them at one time or another). Should also say that in Hebrew, the word for "sin" means "miss the mark." So - I'm not thinking I'm doomed. My thoughts are more about what works and what doesn't.

Today's featured deadly sin is greed. Oh yeah. There are somewhat noble forms of greed I suffer from, like the greed for understanding: of the world, God, my fellow humans, etc. Actually these forms might be more about pride than greed, but whatever you want to call it, it's not the most heinous sin, eh?

Less noble, but still rather innocent (according to the cosmology of Reya) is simple greed. For instance, I want an ipad. I really do. I don't need an ipad. But I want one. I'm talking here simple greed for stuff.

The worst kind of greed involves wanting something that, if attained, would cause harm or suffering for others. I think of my feelings for Prince Charming as a great example. Once upon a time, long ago, Prince Charming was my boyfriend. I stupidly moved away from the city where we both lived at the time, relegating our passionate love to long distance friendship. What was I thinking? Oh yeah I was young, immature, fearful. Oh yeah.

Prince Charming is suave. He is debonaire. He has a great voice, looks fabulous in his incredibly beautiful clothes. He is smart, funny, sexy, manly - yet sensitive. Oh man. He works in the food/drink business, so whenever he visits DC, we are wined and dined by restaurant and bar owners as if we were royalty. I'm Cinderella in my glass slippers when he's visiting. When he goes home to New York, my coach turns back into a pumpkin, and I become a gray haired, middle aged lady again. Le sigh! He is also a very happily married man, hence my feelings of greed about him fit more into the heinously off-the-mark category of greed. Or maybe lust is a better category of sin for this particular attachment. Ya think?

Over the years I've figured out ways to manage my feelings of greed for Prince Charming, a Very Good Thing! You see, I think the seven deadly sins as well as the seven virtues, and many other qualities, too, are a part of being human. Both the "good" and "bad" qualities are there to help us become more fully realized, more compassionate. All of them offer us juicy opportunities to become more ethical.

Sins and virtues are grist for the mill, the stuff of our complicated humanity. When I'm doing or feeling something that misses the mark, eventually I need to adjust, make changes so as to not cause more harm than necessary. Of course, figuring out how much harm is necessary is a whole other kettle of fish, yes? I say yes.

I think about things like this all the time. What do you think?

20 comments:

jeanette from everton terrace said...

What do I think? I think I always have a whole lotta thinking to do after I read your posts. Doing the least amount of harm is a good way to go about things. I like "miss the mark" so much better than sin.

willow said...

It's hard not to catch the bug of greed when it's rampant in our society. You make me think and sort though kettles of fish. I like it.

Reya Mellicker said...

The bug of greed. Oh yeah!!

ellen abbott said...

Yes, that's how I try to live, doing the least amount of harm. I don't think about the seven sins or virtues so much as the concept of evil. How there are no absolutes. An event can be good for some people and bad for others all at the same time.

Meri said...

Among other things, I think the first photo is wonderful. It makes me feel shivery and really effervescent. And I did feel a little Ipad lust when Monica was showing hers off at book club a couple of weeks ago, but I think it has passed.

Reya Mellicker said...

Blogger is eating my comments all over the blog world today. I find that exceedingly annoying!

Reya Mellicker said...

An event can be good for some people and bad for others all at the same time.

Yep. Almost every situation is good for some, not good for others. Ethics are so important!

Linda Sue said...

"think"- I try not to.

Nancy said...

I think about this kind of stuff all of the time, too. Right now I'm wondering about connection. How much is good, and is there too much? I think I'm very greedy for knowledge, for knowing answers that are not easily known for a pleb like me. I need to sort through the kettles of fish.

You are a wonderful person, Reya, to do no harm. Especially when it comes to things we want, but shouldn't have.

Reya Mellicker said...

Didn't say I've never done harm, oh no. And sometimes ... "harm" ... (need a better word) leads to the better way, opens up stuckness in relationships, awakens people to what they really love and want.

Sometimes stirring the pot (or kettle of fish) is enlivening. Sometimes. How to figure out when it's appropriate and when it isn't?

Elizabeth said...

Your first phot stuns and stuns


Greed.........hmmmmmm
I'm greedy for lots of stuff
but luckily not so much as some people
I'm beyond greedy for BEAUTY
and books
and warmth
and love

so come to NY to go on the High Line again

oxox

Tom said...

not so much. i eat too much chocolate. sorry, i just like it. a lot.

Angela said...

Blogger just ate up my comment, too, because I said it was mean and stupid. But I`m repeating it here, bleah!
All my other wise words are gone, though.

Cyndy said...

I think the Golden Rule pretty much sums it all up for me. The Ten Commandments and the Seven Deadly Sins provide some very important details, but it all pretty much still fits into the "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" category.

I'm glad that I don't know what's so great about an iPad because then I'd probably want one too!

steven said...

i like the feeling of wanting what i can't have. it brings my dna to life. i feel the helix coil inside me. i look and think what ifs and what evers and look away before anything hits the fan. sometimes i carry regrets. no i ask them to visit to be really honest. then i can replay the past becoming present. i live now to bring goodness. that means i have to assess moves, possibilities. just once, i think i'd like someone else to do that for me and move me on as you mention in your post. unlocking! steven

Sandra Leigh said...

I had my first i-Pad experience last month. I watched my four-year old granddaughter expertly bringing up her favourite games and playing them. It was humbling. Now, having played with the i-Pad for a while, I find that I'm not lusting after one quite as much as before (though turning the pages on an i-Pad e-book is such fun, it still tempts me, just a little).

Kerry said...

Well. I knew, pretty much, what the 7 sins were, but I actually had to google the 7 virtues. How did I get as old as I am without knowing about them? I read about them and decided that you are quite solid with at least 5 of the 7. And you are working on "Chastity" and "Temperance" so really, Reya, you are better off than most of us.

I am not saying how many I need to work on.

Steve Reed said...

There's nothing wrong with desire, only with attachment to desire, or to an expected outcome. That's where desires become destructive. The fact that you feel desire for Prince Charming seems totally human to me -- just don't expect anything!

I love that bottom photo. "Epic." LOL!

Reya Mellicker said...

Chastity? Temperance? Uh ... I'm not really a seven virtues kind of gal. Though I have been working hard with the idea of respect.

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks, Steve! To me, that last sign says "Stop one way epic."