Fika (Fee-ka) is a Swedish word describing a mid-morning or mid-afternoon break in the day. It’s also a concept, a state of mind, an attitude. For more on fika, read my introduction here. Grab a cuppa and something sweet and delicious. Even better – do it with someone else. Enjoy the story. Let it be the beginning of a conversation – with someone else, or yourself. Head over to my website and leave a comment if you want to. Enjoy.
“True Satisfaction” – by Anthony de Mello
A Quaker had this sign put on a vacant piece of land next to his home:
“THIS LAND WILL BE GIVEN TO ANYONE WHO IS TRULY SATISFIED.”
A wealthy farmer who was riding by, stopped to read the sign and said to himself, “Since our friend the Quaker is so ready to part with this plot, I might as well claim it before someone else does. I am a rich man and have all I need, so I certainly qualify.”
With that he went up to the door and explained what he was there for.
“And art thou truly satisfied?” the Quaker asked.
“I am, indeed, for I have everything I need.”
“Friends,” said the Quaker, “if thou art satisfied, what dost thou want the land for?”
This story is published in The Heart of the Enlightened: A Book of Story Meditations by Anthony de Mello. (Doubleday, 1997)
Within the Christian tradition, Ignatian spirituality emphasizes the value of desire. For Ignatius, desire was a positive quality placed by God in the hearts of the faithful – desire for closer union with the Holy. To borrow from process theology, it is similar to Divinity being the “lure” which draws humanity forward.
This suggests to me that all desires are not created equal. Ignatius’s and Mick Jagger’s understandings of “satisfaction” are probably quite different. I wonder how might we hold the both/and of occupying the present moment, where there is almost always enough; and cultivating desire – not for the satisfaction of our small self, but for the satisfaction of our soul.
How do you, unlike the farmer, cultivate a genuine attitude of sufficiency, so that you rest – even for brief moments – in the knowledge that you, and the world of which you are part, are already enough?
How might you hold such a deep sense of satisfaction with what is alongside a Holy desire for greater union with the Ground of Being and a world more reflective of Love?
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