Hubris And Greed

And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”

He said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Scripture Reading
Luke 12:15-34 (NRSV)

The Narcissistic Spectrum:

From the moment we are born, we humans feel a never-ending need for attention. We are social animals to a core. Our survival and happiness depend on the bonds we form with others.

If people do not pay attention to us, we cannot connect to them on any level.

Some of this is purely physical. We must have people looking at us to feel alive. As those who have gone through long periods of isolation can attest, without eye contact, we begin to doubt our existence, and to descend into a deep depression.

But this need is also deeply psychological. Through the quality of attention, we receive from others. We feel recognized and appreciated for who we are.  Our sense of self-worth depends on this.

Above that halfway mark is what we shall call “the functional narcissist,” where most of us reside.

We also are self-absorbed, but what prevents us from falling deep into ourselves is a coherent sense of self, that we can rely upon and love.

It is ironic that the word “narcissism” has come to mean “self-love,” when it is in fact the case that the worst narcissist  have no cohesive self to love, which is the source of the problem.

Contemporary Reading
The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene

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