It would be well to take a few moments to settle into ourselves : to meditate, to contemplate, to intro- and/or outro-spect, or to pray – to actualise our connexion to the Force and to come together in the spirit of our unity …
May the Force be with you …
Greed, yet Generosity
“… for it is giving that we receive ;”
This phrase, though remarkably simple, is perhaps one of the least understood in the entire Creed ; it calls to both our senses of Generosity (giving) and to our Greed (receive).
It also very likely refers to the elements which bring about the Pardon spoken of in the following line, but that matter is for another Sermon … ;)
“... for it is in giving that we receive ;”
What do we understand by this line ? We see the close relationship of 'giving' to 'receiving', and may perhaps reason it as a linear progression 'give > get'. But is it ?
One must be cautious not to mis-understand this counsel, lest one fall into the trap of 'giving' in order to 'receive'.
After all, that is what investment bankers and speculators do : investment is sort of 'giving' with the expectation of a large return on the investment.
Political campaign contributors do this too – 'giving' so that their particular interests are served.
These are really not the sort of 'giving' that we're on about here.
This mis-understanding of the giving/receiving reflex is a pretty common trap ; not only for bankers and political supporters, it can happen with any of us – we must be very careful about how we practise our Generosity. If we help – whatever the method – in order to render loyal or beholden someone, or even if it is simply to gain the reputation for being Generous, then it is merely Greed in disguise.
We cannot 'give' what we do not have to share. It is not 'giving' if we are “robbing Peter to pay Paul”, either in the sense of giving goods or giving 'of oneself'.
“... for it is in giving that we receive ;” in itself does not imply any lapse of time or any cause and effect dynamic. It is the 'giving' itself that IS received. It is not necessarily 'what' is given, but the act of 'giving' itself that is the gift one 'receives'. The 'receiving' the 'giving' are contained in one another.
Alors … this brings us back to 'what' are we to be giving that represents this wondrous gift in itself to 'give of' ? And how do we get it, in order to have it to give ?
According to a reasonably modern maxim : 'you cannot give what you don't have' (very similar to 'you can't get blood out of a turnip' – but that is usually in a different context)
One reflexion on the question would be to say it is by the giving itself that we receive what we then have to give … But that can get us into the trouble of trying to get what we don't have and thus generating a spiritual budget deficit. It is not virtuous to live on 'spiritual credit' ...
Another reflexion would point to some very mindful gratitude : of keeping an accurate inventory of what gifts we have already received and thus knowing what we can offer to others …
Ergo, since the giving/receiving phenomena are mutually arising then they must be a flow ; clog up one, and the other gets shut off too.
This holiday season whether we're celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas, Yule, Saturnalia or any other feast or festival of gift-giving, let's not be too led astray by the tinselly trivialities. It is the giving/receiving of our Empathy, our Compassion, our Love that is the real economy of Generosity~Greed. And that management comes with experience and training – hence the bookkeeping gets a bit easier when one can be one's own auditor.
Please greet this in contemplation, as we recite together our Creed :
I am a Jedi, an instrument of peace;
Where there is hatred I shall bring love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
I am a Jedi.
I shall never seek so much to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
The Force is with me always, for I am a Jedi.
May the Force be with you all …