17 of 31 Questions for Reflection. Today’s question is inspired by reading Dṛg Dṛsya Viveka: An Inquiry Into the Seer and the Seen alongside a story by Gyӧrgy Dragomán called “The Puppet Theater”
What questions arise when I focus on the “scarcity and abundance” as objects of Vedanta meditation?
Olgika takes the narrator by the hand and leads him through an outer courtyard then an inner courtyard to a big, iron door. She pushes it open, telling him that she is going to show him something he has never seen before, something quite extraordinary. They walk through a large space with old puppets hanging from the ceiling and crates stacked on top of each other. Then they get to another door. They greet the godmother, and she pushes them into a huge space with endless shelves stocked full of packaged food, candy, chocolate, toilet paper, coffee, canned fish, etc. etc. etc. They stand in awe at all this abundance, especially after years of living with stores that had empty shelves, food items had been so scarce. Human beings would murder each other that one tin of fish. So when the godmother is able to offer the younger generation all of this abundance, she feels overcome with emotion and love. The godmother and Olgika embrace one another while eating chocolate; the crumbs fall to the floor. Meanwhile, the narrator feels compelled to tear open every package, knock items off the shelves, toss the abundance in the air. The narrator feels a strange sense of wanting those abandoned puppets, the horse, the owl, the bird to carry him away from all that abundance that seems to him too sweet, that easily turns nauseating.
Meditating on scarcity and abundance, a Jnana yogi might ask, “When scarcity arises then dissolves in awareness, how can this prevent hunger? When abundance arises and dissolves in awareness, how can this prevent over indulgence? When we see once-starved godmothers bestowing over-abundance upon young people, does identifying with illuminating consciousness reveal oneness or variations? How does this set us free?”