The moment you possess anything, you do not allow it to be, you spoil its beauty. I will tell you to experiences of mine, and why I think “To possess is to spoil”.
Story 1: Possessing spoils the beauty
Yesterday I went to a shopping mall. I had nothing to buy, but I just wanted to visit. It was a new shopping mall, it was beautiful. Nice colors all around, various colorful posters, new shops advertisements – the feeling was good.
I came across a shop which was selling mobile phones – all the latest ones. You know that shops which sell electronic gadgets are kept very clean to avoid any dust etc (especially in India, because there is a lot of dust around and to keep this devices clean, these shops or showrooms are utterly clean). The shop was new, beautifully decorated, all glass showcases displaying the latest variety of mobile phones.
I was attracted to the showroom, anyone would be. It was a beautiful shop. As I was going through the mobile phones which were displayed, desire arose. I started thinking of buying one of them. Though the cell phone that I was using was not very old, I was still thinking of buying another one.
I suddenly came across a phone which was the same model that I was using. I could not recognize it because it was sparkling, without a single scratch, it looked beautiful in the light, every key in the key board was absolutely new and the every alphabet and number in the keyboard was distinctly visible, even though they were small they were visible distinctly. In the showcase, there was hell and heaven difference between “My” phone and the one that was still not “possessed”. It did not even belong to the shop owner, he has the responsibility to just preserve it “as it is” so that some buyer will one day “possess” it.
I took out my phone and compared with the one in the showcase. I placed it right beside the new one. I felt very ashamed of myself. “What have I done to my phone. I have spoiled the beauty of this beautiful device – it was someones creativity. It was someones genius, but look what have I done to it”. I was ashamed of myself. My be I paid for it, but it was someones creativity, I did not make it, I did not design it. I did not but the “Creativity”. Some very creative person must have created it. I had no right to do what I have done to this device.
This is what happens. The moment you possess something, you do not give any respect to it. That particular thing loses respect. It is as if we have all the right to do whatever we want with it. The moment we pay for it, we feel that it is ours. We should have at least respected the creativity of the person who designed it.
But the moment we possess, we forget everything about it. We mishandle it. As if this is nothing. Have you ever wondered, why the device looked so beautiful in the showcase in the showroom. It was because it was not possessed by anyone.
The shopkeeper was much better than me. He understands that it is not his, it is someone else’s property, he respects it. He has understood his responsibility. But I did not. After paying, I spoiled it. It was so bad of me.
Story 2: Desire to possess also spoils the beauty in your own eyes.
One day I driving home. I have a small car. In India, the roads are filled with small cars – because they are fuel efficient, less costly and lesser parking problems.
I too have a small car. It is a Suzuki made – In India it is called – Zen Estilo. I was happily driving home. I was waiting in the signal, it was a crossing, and suddenly a BMW 750 came from behind and stood right beside me. I was spell bound for a moment. It was beautiful. Then suddenly desire arose. I wanted to possess that car. There developed, for some kind of a enmity with the beautiful BMW, because I did not have it. Then suddenly the feelings changed. My focus went from the car to my mind, I started thinking about how to own that car. The car was no longer beautiful. It became a enemy. It was whether I have it or I don’t have it. I was, for that moment, not feeling very happy with my own car. There was no happiness. It was stress inside. The desire was shouting at me that “You are worthless because you do have have this beautiful BMW, and the car you are driving is utter shit”
Then suddenly I became aware of this desire of mine. I came out of this desire. In that very moment, when I looked at the BMW, it was very beautiful again. What a car it is. I looked at the car very carefully because now there was no enmity with it. It had beautiful shape, the contours were wonderful, the color was wonderful, the head lamps and tail lamps were also beautiful. The car was shinning in the sun. The feeling was wonderful.
When the desire ended, the enmity was no longer there. What actually happens is, when you desire, you do not look at the object of desire. Your eyes get clouded by desire and you become blind. Then “You” become important. Your thoughts rush and your eyes are clouded. It completely spoils the beauty of the object or whatever the thing is .
The same is with life – we are full of desire and we want to possess. We try to possess people, things, objects and everything, we want to own. But the moment you own, the thing or person you want to own, loses its respect. It becomes your slave, you take away its freedom. Nothing can be beautiful, if the freedom is taken away.
When you desire, you become a slave of that object. You lose your freedom. And nothing looks beautiful to you. Life become heavy and pathetic. Live become that of a slave.
So when you possess or try to possess, you make that person or object into a slave and when you desire, you become the slave of the object or person.