Welcome to Becomning Closer! 

Letters from an Ancient Mind

My dear young friend,

I quite agree. It is the petty injustice that has the bitter sting, and you have been done a petty injustice.

All the same, one should expect it. It is no different in our time. When the rich man approaches the palace his welcome is sure. The minor clerks of the government are swift to see that his every desire is met. So you see, you inherited all this from us. I do apologize.

The rich man always has a friend at court. I gather from your letter that these few changes to your modest dwelling take an enormous toll in paper and taxes. The taxes I understand; the paper I have never understood. But the nature of the clerks has not changed either. That his vast plans meet with swift approval while your small one idles from one clerk to the next—I can but say our clerks are of the same breed. Their bloodline does not bear close examination.

Consider, however, if you really wish to strive to be rich: Is this man truly rich, or merely attached to great possessions? There is quite a difference. A man may have little and yet be rich. How? Simply thus: a man is rich when his possessions exceed his desires. He is poor when they do not.

So you see that possessions are a mask! They conceal poverty often enough. If the desire of a man’s heart is always for greater wealth, could he ever be satisfied? Could he ever be rich? It cannot be done.

How strong are the chains of greed! They bind a man in this life to his possessions, and in the life to come they bind him in hell itself. Flee from them; there is nothing good to be gained by such a desire.

You might well ask, “are you not a rich man?” Indeed by the world’s test I am. My estate is fruitful. But I am a rich man because my desire for more has been tamed. Over many years I have discovered God’s truth in this. If you will consider the little or much you have to be a trust from God, and use it as best your wisdom and prayer direct, he will always provide whatever you lack.

The human heart causes poverty—not lack of money. Tame your desires, bring them into God’s holy will, and you will soon see them satisfied.

I wish I could tell you that this will also remove the petty injustice in the clerk’s office. It will not. But God’s mercy extends to all who will come to him. Perhaps some day it will extend to your rich man—or even unto your clerk.

As pleased with clerks as you are, I remain,

Isaac the alchemist

Previous     Home     Next