If a man keeps dwelling on sense-objects
attachment to them arises;
from attachment, desire flares up;
from desire, anger is born;
from anger, confusion follow;
from confusion, weakness of memory;
weak memory—weak understanding;
But the an who is self-controlled,
who meets the objects of the senses
with neither craving nor aversion,
will attain serenity at last.
Bhagavad Gita, tr. Stephen Mitchell
This is the “trick” of right response to material things. Material things are not intrinsically evil, but they can be a trap, luring us into a kind of dream state. The issue is right response to the beautiful world around us. It would be wrong to say that the stand is indifference because that would imply that you did not care at all about what happened to it. Rather the response is detachment—not allowing yourself to become so bound to the material things that their fate becomes your own. This is true of causes and ideas as well. It is good and well to support what is right and good to the extent that you can. What is not good and well is to be attached to these causes to such a degree that every setback fills you with anger and every triumph with a kind of vicious victory dance. The proper response is detachment so that whatever happens you have peace about it and can carry on, if carrying on is required, or you can retire to some other item or issue of concern to all. It’s a tough place to be. But it is possible as saints and holy people in all traditions throughout time have showed us.
Holy abs. *falls down*
Tower of Books - by The Slovakia-born artist Matej Kren - The installation is created with hundreds of books and mirrors to create the illusion of an endless book abyss. Currently on display at the Prague Municipal Library