The 10th Commandment: “Thou shall not covet your neighbor’s house, nor his wife, nor his man-servant or his maid-servant nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is your neighbors….”
Well, we did it! We’re at the 10th WORD…do you feel as if you have accomplished anything? Have you learned anything?
I have. Researching these Commandments has been very interesting, but then I am very interested in Bible history and metaphysics, so I would be interested.
How about you? I’d love to hear from you…positive as well as, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!!?!?!?!
SO, what does this 10th Commitment, Challenge, Law mean…covet this and covet that…
The commandments, are from a moral standpoint, codes for improving conduct & changing character, but also hidden keys for modifying consciousness.
Covet means to wish for earnestly, to desire (what belongs to another)
Neal Donald Walsh asks, in his Commitment:
Covet your neighbor’s spouse? why would you want your neighbor’s spouse when you know all others are your spouse?
Covet your neighbor’s goods? why would you want your neighbor’s goods when you know that all goods can be yours, and all your goods belong to the world?
What do you think that means?
WE are all One…all together, everything.
And this goes back to “Thou shall not steal” does it not? We must have the consciousness for the things that are to be ours.
To covet means that you are missing the key to life: nothing can ever come to you or be kept from you except in accord with your state of consciousness.
Our Creator has an infinite amount of everything and will shower it upon you as your thoughts, words and actions are in alignment with your best self. In this case it’s simple – Don’t envy others.
Greed and covetousness stem from the mistaken idea that our good is limited.
Jesus told us that we should not be anxious about our daily needs; we should seek first God’s kingdom within us, and then all things would be given us. Our good, whatever it may be – health, harmony, friends, success or prosperity is God-ordained and God-sustained. It is inexhaustible, limitless. No one can take it away. No law, rule, or regulation can interfere with it. And so, we do not resent or interfere with the good that belongs to another.
Covetousness is a moral as well as a spiritual sin. This commandment is disobeyed as often as the first commandment, and as unthinkingly. Wars are fought because one nation covets what another has; families are broken up because someone desires the husband or wife. Greed, envy, jealousy, & selfishness are closely allied to covetousness.
As we grow in spiritual stature, we realize that we never need the good another has. All good is from our Creator, whose presence is constantly with us. Nothing can deprive us of it except our own inability to receive.
That’s an important thing…willingness to receive & do the work to prepare for receiving.
So, when is enough, enough? All sources agree that our tendency to covet, to want something someone else has, only leads to suffering.
Compare and despair is the inevitable result of breaking this commandment
Sr. Joan calls this the Law of Self-control
She brings up an interesting point…If we can’t see ‘covetousness’, is it wrong?
Just asking that question is the problem it shows how underdeveloped spiritually we are, our lack of moral maturity.
She says it’s not the behavior that results in covetousness, it’s failing to be satisfied…the disease of unbridled desire; the constant satisfaction of the senses, the inability to be at peace with the self, with life, that’s what makes it a sin of the soul.
And its Competition and comparison that are the engines that drive otherwise healthy people to covetousness where restlessness and dissatisfaction dwell.
It’s a contest we cannot win, because, however strong, smart or rich we are, we always lose to those who are stronger, smarter and richer…and that makes everyone a potential enemy rather than ally.
Covetousness is trying to get outside myself what I do not have within – peace, satisfaction, a sense of wholeness.
“We who are little less than gods, little lower than the angels” already have what the rest of the cosmos lacks; the ability to control ourselves.
The great tragedy of humanity is the delusion that life is lived from the outside in. Our whole conditioning from infancy onward is to believe that whatever it is that we may want or need is ‘out there’.
We are deluded thinking out there will bring acceptance, success, etc. but that very act of coveting shuts us off from the inner flow.
This is why Jesus insisted that the rich young man let go of his stuff or at least his willingness to do so for unless he could give them up he was possessed by them
Ask yourself, of your ‘stuff’- do I really have these things or do they have you?
Our culture is against us…telling us what to buy to be successful, to be noticed, to be liked…we don’t need that.
It’s about lust, about the insatiable need to not simply to have more than we need but to have more than is good for us; Failing to be satisfied with anything.
Lust is about power and control, not sex, or desire
John Lahr, American critic, “Society drives people crazy with lust & calls it advertising.”
We live in a culture that cultivates lust, the desire for what we do not own & do not need & cannot contain – & then wonders why so many are unhappy with life.
It isn’t what we have that makes us unhappy; it’s what we want that leaves us dull to the present, unaware of what we have.
Only God is enough. Only when we see beyond all things in which we are immersed, only when we learn to hold them all with a relaxed grasp, can we ever discover the One in whom all of them take their being.
The Hindus say it this way – the seeker who leaves all things to seek God
In Buddhism – the purpose of life is to achieve nirvana, the state of desireless-ness in which all suffering disappears & the seeker flows with the universe without expectation, without demands.
In Islam, the Sufi remind us that there is a life above what we call life where the Creator & created come to one heart, one mind.
The Israelites say – awareness of One God is enough, is all there is, is what life is really about.
In Christianity – if you put down your desires for everything other than God you will find God
And Judaism – we must separate from material world to know spiritual.
Detachment means – movement away from being possessed by particular things in order to make room in ourselves to be possessed by God—it is the emptiness that possesses the Everything there is in life of lasting value.
At that moment of genuine detachment that we come to know the core of spiritual life…we find God in everything and everything in God.
Most of us have everything we need. Greed is the compulsion to get more because we refuse to enjoy what we have.
John D. Rockefeller, “I know of nothing more despicable & pathic than a person who devotes all the hours of the waking day to the making of money for money’s sake.” Its not wealth, but why we make it & what we do with it that makes the difference.
“To work hard, to play well, to enjoy life, to give to others, and to be satisfied with what we have may be the only criteria we need to know whether or not we have really succeeded in life.”
Beware of what you value in life… shoes pg 131
What is it in my life that is the equivalent of Imelda Marcos’s shoes?
You must not look into the world for your good…the flow of good comes from within.
Pg 127 teacher holding student – water
Change our desire to have to a desire to be
Luke 12:32 reminds us: “There is a divine action within that is always working to reveal to us & express through us that which makes for prosperity & fulfillment Jesus “it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
Our desire for good is our intuitive feeling that it is already prepared for us if we just “let it”…having the consciousness for prosperity.
But when our mind turns to envy of others & to coveting what they have, the tendency is to frustrate the natural flow within ourselves.
Seek first to know who you are, to dis-identify yourself from beliefs in limitation & inadequacy, to get the realization that you are a child of God, heir to all the fullness of the divine flow.
Appreciate what you have & what you are as the best starting points from which to go forward to express more that is in you.
Plato –“the grateful heart is the great heart that eventually attracts to itself great things”
Count your blessings, have an Attitude of gratitude.
All of our experts agree…this commandment is about Felding – the way to feel good about what you have.
It addresses our desire for what we don’t have & our lack of appreciation for or dissatisfaction with what we do have – Comparing ourselves to others.
This adds to Insecure feelings & self-doubts.
Hebrew translation for this Commandment is – don’t hold as precious or as a treasured possession something that doesn’t belong to you.
‘the purpose of envy, when balanced, is to motivate us to move forward in life, to allow us to see & reach for the many possibilities offered by God’s creation or to celebrate our collective wealth & seek out a deeper relationship with the God of our understanding.
Pg 209 Zusya
There is psychological pain from desiring & comparing…
1. Envy increases your daily stress or anxiety levels ties & in to an underlying feeling of insufficiency or self-criticism. Raised with, “why can’t you be like…”; & then daily trying to still win their acceptance. Our families can have an idealized sense of what they wanted us to be; & we often cause the same distress by comparing ourselves to others.
2. Comparing & desiring leads to mood swings & physical symptoms.
3. Too many comparisons may affect those you love by being judgmental or impatient toward them.
Felding gives us some strategies to go along with those psychological issues….
1. Sometimes you need to take your envious feelings seriously & ask yourself, “Is this a wake-up call?” instead of suppressing the feelings, honor them & turn them into something positive like following through on a worthwhile goal; it might be a spiritual spark of intuition to work toward a dram w new passion purpose & commitment
Something that comes from the heart & is for a good purpose, there’s no harm in wanting it badly & working hard for it.
2. Sometimes you need to let go of the longing for what you don’t have & truly accept what is. Some desires can’t or shouldn’t be followed-unhealthy, self-defeating or unrealistic-we learn to let go of unproductive longings; simply isn’t meant to be yours (remember when w talked about stealing & having the consciousness for the item)
3. Sometimes you need to find a way to be patient & receptive in situations that aren’t clear yet or that simply require more time….how to remain open, receptive, & healthy even when we’re involved in a journey or project that is unclear or takes a long time. 3 good things; prayer changes the way you enter the situation
The way we deal with what we have determines the way we deal with everything else around us. It also measures the quality of our souls.