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I wish -

As soon as things touched my hand,

after the sweet pall of desire

drenched me for days -

they wouldn't explode into insignificant dust.

Pointless,

gormless.


I don’t know how to enjoy life,

when nothing I buy

beg

borrow

or steal

can stay with me

in feelings of satiety,

now.


I'm overwrought.

I hoped that these desires

would absolve me

of that emptiness

that leers time and again

out of my own soul -

into the mirrors that people hide,

along doorways and patios -

always slightly open.

Unnerving glares.


I'm caterwauling.

Is it water that I hold

as the contentment

that can’t even reach my shores

without dragging away bits of me,

piece by piece,

till I am once again

smooth and empty,

gazing into skies

that only seem to add color

to this thieving water?

Bluish nothingness.


Nothing lasts.

In my hands.

Or rather

the minute it touches my hands,

its transformed into

something of nostalgic ease.

Almost vulgar,

in its tradable non-exclusivity.

Is it my coarse hands

that turn things to dust?

Or my mischievous mind

that plays tricks on me,

constantly screeching for more?

Only to reject it for more.

And then reject that

For more.


There's no most.

There's no end to these things.

I do not know

anymore

how my heart will ever be satiated

and my open hands,

secured.


Even desire doesn’t consume me in full.

Always regurgitating some.

Keeping half of me at the edge

of its moist lips,

Half within.

Neither half knows

where it stands,

and the whole doesn’t recognize itself anymore.


It is more that I chase,

with bile rising in my mouth.

I'm foaming

with the poison

I need to spit to pay for

More.


It's more that I covet.

Maybe just a little more,

I'm desperate now.

Anything that fills this hollow.

Are there any takers?

Any givers?

Any one that insures for, guarantees or assists in

an escape from this fever?


I can pay,

I still have my soul.

Picture Credit: Pieter Bruegel The Elder


Of the Seven deadly sins that have been popular amid both philosophers and artists across centuries now, a rather uncertain one is greed. General discussions about the origin of greed peg it to the classic tug of war of survival between the individual and the collective. There's a branch of philosophy that believes that not only is greed good, but is also essential for self-preservation. As Thrasymachus (Plato's Republic #1) argues - "justice requires us to sacrifice our own good for the sake of others, while injustice allows us to pursue our own good at the expense of others. If greed promotes one’s self-interest, how could it be irrational?" A thinker, that logic. Yet very refutable, as Socrates proves through the rather winding "greedy craftsperson" argument.


As always, psychology interjects an interesting perspective: Greed is believed to be akin to addiction - it exists possibly due to deep-rooted mental health issues. For people insecure in their own selves, having enough or more than enough is a means of overcompensating for what they are insecure about. Not just that, people with disproportionately high wealth/power exhibit higher levels of narcissism, entitlement and lack of empathy. However, contrary to logic and popular opinion, greed is reinforced in our society as a positive achievement (for the individual) - probably the reason why we recall the World's top ten most influential people, top ten most wealthy people, top ten businesses, top economies, and probably not even five of the Nobel peace prize winners. There's a vast expanse of literature on greed to cater to each individual reader's perspective, and the prose above is my humble addition to it.


This prose is about an everyday person and their everyday struggles with everyday greed. What's your relationship with desire and greed? If you were to seek an escape from greed would that be absolution or immersion or..? That's a thinker apt for this day, and as always, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Sunday!

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Amazing Read, as usual! :) On the opposite spectrum of greed/desire is the Buddhism - advocating to conquer your desires by stop desiring! :)

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