Covetousness (Hoshii)

by Yoshikazu Fukaya

The use of the mind that "covets" is not in accord with God the Parent's intention.

There is no harm in thinking around mealtime: "Oh, I'm hungry. I want something to eat." To want something warm to wear in the winter is only natural. What Oyasama is warning us against includes the use of the mind that irrationally desires money without making real effort to earn it or offering any services in exchange and the use of the mind that desires things beyond one's means.

The mind that desires may gradually lose its sense of limits. It may get caught up in the desire for better things, the desire to have more fun, the desire for more wealth, the desire for higher status. More this, more that.

When one's efforts or virtues do not measure up to all the desires, one may fall into self-pity and misery.

The dust of "covetousness" is not restricted to the desire for materialistic things, social status, or power. When getting married, one swears to be faithful to one's spouse for a lifetime, yet there are those who allow themselves to be attracted to someone else to the point of feeling desire for him or her, ultimately causing their own family relationships to break down. To satisfy their own desires, predators abduct children. All of these are results of the mind of "covetousness." In many cases, the root of criminal acts such as theft, robbery, fraud, and even manslaughter lies in the mind constantly steeped in desire.

Although one might not be directly hurting or directly causing suffering to others, senselessly and excessively spending money while desiring things beyond our means does not live up to the expectations of God the Parent's will. This turbulent culture of disposability is causing environmental destruction and social problems as well as the sense of alienation pervading our societies. I feel we must humbly reflect upon these matters.

Oyasama taught that settling the mind in true contentment in all matters is of prime importance.