Life is so unfair to all. It alarms me that I can become a billionaire today then one day die to leave all that my blood, sweat and tears of hard-work behind. Of course it’s a commendable that I live enough to my generation since the wise understand the necessity of one giving their progeny shoulders to step upon and go forth to conquer the world and achieve their dreams.
When all is set and done, we more often than not spend all our lives accumulating material attainments that don’t matter at all in the afterlife and leave the Soul in us to die in agony of abandonment. The deprived soul is, fortunately very patient but, as in maths and other sciences, the equation has to balance in the end of it all. It is possible to be a billionaire in one life and yet be born in abject poverty in the next.
Zen: Immutable laws of causation
A rich man asked a Zen Master to write something down that could encourage the prosperity of his family for years to come. It would be something that the family could cherish for generations. On a large piece of paper, the Master wrote, “Father dies, son dies, grandson dies.”
The rich man became very angry when he saw the Master’s work.
“I asked you to write something down that could bring happiness and prosperity to my family. Why do you give me something so depressing like this?”
“If your son should die before you,” the master answered, “this would bring unbearable grief to your family. If your grandson should die before your son, this also would bring great sorrow. If your family, generation after generation, disappears in the order I have described, it will be the natural course of life. This is true happiness and prosperity.”
The Master was just mocking the rich man so that in that instance he could realize how death levels out everything. His subtle message to the man was that over and above his worldly accomplishments he should make effort to search for that which doesn’t die – that which brings immeasurable benefits in the afterlife.
The Master tried to make the man understand that lack of propitiation opens the door to hell regardless of the material abundance or lack thereof while still in the body.