Will you give information about the spiritual dimension of generosity and courtesy?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Giving gratuitously

Not being aware of this major dimension of humanity and spending a life time by chasing after temporary physical pleasures as animals do is deprivation and a waste of human traits.

One of the traits best loved in people is generosity and courtesy. Everyone likes to receive gifts and bounties, and gets a pleasure proportionately. This pleasure has a momentary material dimension - which also exists in animals, and a timeless non-material dimension that is specific to human beings. For example, the greatest pleasure in a box of chocolate given as a gift is not the temporary pleasure that occurs in the taste buds while eating the chocolate, but rather, the permanent pleasure that occurs in the heart while receiving the gift which carries with it meanings like love, thought, and appreciation, and renews itself as it is remembered and as the memory is stirred with thought. Otherwise, rushing to open the box and attacking the chocolates inside is virtually animalism. A bouquet of roses is probably nothing more than an instant of eating pleasure for a cow.

But the same bouquet of roses is an endless pleasure for a human being because of the meanings it carries – although it offers no material pleasure to taste buds. Not being aware of this major dimension of humanity and spending a life time by chasing after temporary physical pleasures as animals do is deprivation and a waste of human traits.

When viewed from a materialistic angle, giving without receiving anything in return is against the interest of the giver, and henceit is a foolish act. And this is totally against the materialistic philosophy, which views the purpose of life as ‘common interest’ and the basis of relations as ‘mutual interest’. On the surface, it looks like the one who gives is at a loss and the one who receives is at a gain. However, beneath the surface is a spiritual pleasure called ‘the pleasure of giving’ that generous people receive as they give. Generosity is one of the noblest feelings in people. The food of this feeling is to give without expecting anything in return. This immaterial stomach nourishes and grows by giving, and it becomes an endless source of pleasure for the person. The pleasure that the giver gets out of this human trait is probably far greater than the sum of the pleasures of the receivers. For people with a well-developed sense of pleasing others or a large stomach of humanity, giving and making others happy, even if it is with a mere pleasant word or a smile, is a source of permanent pleasure and happiness.

Generosity is one of the noblest feelings in people. The food of this feeling is to give without expecting anything in return. This immaterial stomach nourishes and grows by giving, and it becomes an endless source of pleasure for the person.

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