It’s all over the Internet this month. An ice cream cone with chocolate, gelato, fruits and gold flake topped with 24K gold leaf– selling for £99. You’re practically eating money at this point.
We seem to be measuring everything in money, and we have lost a taste for other tastes. That’s making us very poor.
I’m writing about #LivingDeeply this month, and today is Day 18.
I like eating Indian food, but when I am face-to-face with a vegetarian Hyderabadi Biryani, I begin to sweat just looking at it. The taste of mirchi (chili peppers) is so strong that I can no longer taste anything else. The tongue burns, and the rest of my digestive system sends a burn report as the food travels along to it’s flaming end.
Money has become the only taste for our society. The monetary value of the trees in the forest. The monetary value of the experience of having a kid. The monetary value of great food, great jokes, and great lives. XYZ is the richest man in China, for instance. A good college education is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. A great piece of art is worth millions of dollars.
Money is not the only source of value. We understand it, but we are so used to measuring everything with money that the full impact of this is lost on us. Oscar Wilde said a cynic was someone who knew the price of everything and the value of nothing. We are all cynics now.
The Taittiriya Upanishad said,
रसो वै सः raso vai sah.
All existence is rasa, or happiness, or taste. Rasa is the quintessence of things, the inherent substance of everything.
We have to cultivate our non-monetary taste buds again. Taking pleasure in singing to ourselves. The small joys of art, a quick turn of phrase. A well-cooked meal. The fragrance of winter’s first flowers. The touch of silk. The texture of the tree bark.
The artistry of a skilled sportsman. The skill of the subtle showman. The satisfaction of a well written book when had with a warm steaming cup of coffee. The smile of that street kid. The tinkling of the temple bells.
These are not things that must be measured in money. These are tastes that give us pleasure. We can’t eat money and be satisfied, so we must learn to enjoy the beauty that hides before us in plain sight. It’s the only way to be rich; the Billionaire Soft Serve is a pauper’s dream.