• Laura Grá

Greed or Pythagoras cup



One of many inventions in the antiquity is the Pythagorean cup, also known as the greedy cup – a wise and entertaining vessel designed to hold an optimal amount of wine, forcing people to drink sensibly.

If the user was too greedy and poured wine over the designed threshold, the cup would spill its entire content through the base of the cup and the precious brew would perish on the floor (according to the principle of the communicating vessels).

Greed is born out of constantly loss of happiness as an immediate outcome of life. It is possible for us to possess happiness, but sometimes, it could not be acknowledged by our guidance system that helps us to navigate through life.

Unattended happiness is easily lost. I have experienced that phenomenon several times in my life, not even being aware of its presence, but feeling the anxiety of its impermanence.

The flow, the rhythmic ebb of life has obliterated the illusory nature of my happiness, its changing fabric, its everlasting mirage. I needed happiness just to be myself, to follow my endless pursuit of a ‘’good life’’, without being able to put the finger on it.

In my fresh years of life, I had an erratic desire of collecting things in order to have a hold of myself, to build a materialistic strategy that could impress my peers. Money I lacked, so I mistook happiness for the earthly paradise of possessions.

My system of desires’ fault was not that of being shaped according to the missing parts of my existence, but the insatiable appetite for more.

This ‘’Oliver Twist’’ behavioural pattern was mentally draining both for myself and my family, albeit, I took that abstract aspiration to a vulnerable making behaviour that made me think of the futility of my world. And I grew inside, along with my hidden and unapologetic pleasures until I lived through them, accepting them as they were, sinful, reprimandable, denounced by my fearful conscience.

I embraced my dangerous cracks in my mind, starting to pay a benevolent fee to my pleasures. It was my pleasures that became the saboteurs of my life, so, I gave up on the language that could express them and I had been living them secretly, in the perennial fortress of my dreams.

Experiencing a sympathetic urge towards them, I decided to tame them, letting them linger on the verge of culpability and greed. Awareness of my internal attitude towards life led me to a state of ‘’letting myself know’’. That helped me to sacrifice my own soul irregularities and the best things in me that could be taken as benign.

You know what they say: ‘’the perfect is the enemy of good’’. This is the stage in our life when a good existence becomes insufficient and the state of moreness is murmuring first in total shyness in our minds and after a while, it’s growing in recurrent cravings for other things or experiences we have never had.

The sense of greed takes over our mind gradually for our pleasures outshined our inbuilt common sensical fair use of thoughts. The venality of greed was born out of our egocentric outbursts coming from our arrogant self.

Greed is like chocolate: the more you eat the more you want; once you experience this, you will build your own condition of mind glutton and you will find yourself in the situation of addiction.

How to tackle this unethical foe? I have been trying to create a moral imaginarium that could shape the humility of my thoughts without killing their audacity.

Building a healthy mythology of the self, one could attain the awareness of our faulty nature, learning to cherish our faults, not to eradicate them, for they give beauty to our life, in the purest form of joy.

Conquer your own nature by preparing the landscape of your being for the stormest weather, but still holding the sunny spells in the sky of your soul.

If you calibrate your inner space of pleasure, you'll find easier to hold the moment like it was priceless and take your time. I have tailored a similar experience not long ago and I was able to temperate my desires without suppressing them. It is called self fairness.

You can get this unknowingly, by practising the intransigence of your senses to the very threshold of greed. Do not fill your cup of pleasures, keep it half empty and for the rest of the time, make plans about the way you will fill it in the unfriendly times, but still cherish the light for the better moments to come.

I find easier to hold the moment like it was... priceless and take my time.

Thus, on the other hand, the greed gives birth to excess in a particular form of mind flooding and something always comes out from that. A sort of unexpected greatness..the greatness of wishes that lost their anchor.

In these circumstances, greed cannot be itself. It is tamed by this unforeseen greatness, by our need for limitations. As in the Pythagoras cup, our urge to movement brings us on the verge of our internal disaster, not being capable of touching the outcome of this coagulated greatness, because when it is too much, we are not able to see it, for it becomes part of us, overwhelming us with its shallow power.

So, the necessity for boundaries, for a mental threshold in order to make our greedy passions to behave, comes as a natural consequence of moving forward in life.

My humble advice in the matter is to grow peacefully, in deep thoughts of understanding, carrying your experience like a genuine human journey, by trimming its inequalities, its ‘’moreness’’ according to your internal threshold.

Enjoy your greatness but do not forget its elusive nature!

Less is more! Design your threshold! Do not flood your mind!


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