In This Chapter

♦ Learning how to recognize the many traps and snares of life that can blind your senses to the more important task of self-actualization

♦ Discovering ways in which you can combat materialism and lead a more spiritually satisfying life

♦ Exploring the nature and good offerings of this world and death without regrets

♦ Understanding Rumi's conception of life and how it differs from materialistic philosophies

There are many kinds of triumphs and failures in this world. If you traced the cause of each back to its source, you might be surprised to find that nearly all of them are rooted in our physical needs, wants, or desires. In other words, if you closely examined all the challenges, aggravations, joys, and sorrows found in the average person's life, you might find that the majority of those results have to do with the person's success (or lack thereof) in acquiring physical items or experiences—whether because the person can't do without them, or because he or she really wants to have them.

The more esoteric teachings found in every religion are oriented toward instructing people on how to live with less, not more. Of course, this flies in the face of conventional wisdom that says the more you acquire, the more successful a person you have become. Yet, when a person's daily needs are met, what will more possessions bring to the quality of his or her life? This is a wide issue, and Rumi wrote extensively on it. In this chapter, we'll explore some of what Rumi had to say about materialism and its dangers. In the end, you may find that you'll look upon your own possessions with a slightly different eye.

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