Essays

Peas

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My wife tells the story of the time when she was a child that she was served overcooked, canned peas as part of her dinner. To exacerbate the problem my wife didn’t like the color or texture of peas and didn’t think having them swim in butter made them any more appetizing and exclaimed, yuk!, refusing to eat them. As parents sometimes do, her father decided that she was going to eat the peas whether she liked them or not. Not only that, he insisted she would eat everyone’s portion of peas. She was to sit at the table until she finished her peas. At eleven that night when everyone was going to bed Connie was sleeping at the table with the peas. Her father told her she could eat the peas for breakfast. When breakfast time came she was still sleeping at the table with the peas and still would not eat them. Her father went to work and she went to school. Connie is in her mid-fifties now and never did eat the peas. Her mother and father have long since passed and probably never got to see her eat peas. Can you say stubborn? The comical part of this is the other day I was preparing my lunch and set aside a fresh pod of snap peas that was in among the snow peas. Connie quickly picked it up, snapped it open and ate the peas exclaiming, yum!

Today I was talking to a man who also refused to eat his peas, in a manner of speaking. Over the years I’ve met hundreds and perhaps thousands of people who wouldn’t eat their peas. Some, like my wife Connie, eventually did when the peas were presented in a more appealing way. Others dug their heels in and made their lives about avoiding peas. You may have figured this isn’t really about peas. It’s about whatever life serves us that we don’t feel like eating. Because we acquire so much from life there are things for which we acquire a liking and things for which we acquire a strong disliking. Life doesn’t really care what we like or don’t like so it just keeps on serving what we need. How do I know life serves us what we need? The truth is I don’t. It just makes my life easier to believe that my Being attracts my life. When I surrender to that powerful, positive idea life is transformed from a mindless pain factory to my wise and patient teacher who always knows what’s for my highest good. There are times when the peas life serves are gray, cold and wrinkled. My choice is to push them away or to eat them as gracefully as I am able. Over the years I have learned to eat what I don’t like first.

The purpose of my life is to grow, develop and unfold into a higher order of being than that which I was born. Holding that idea above all others enables me to see life as my teacher rather than a vacation resort. It helps me to keep my requirements to a minimum while I continue to train myself for something higher. As with any school, there is a time to work and a time to play. Life is not all about work and it’s not all about play. What it’s about for
you is what you say it’s about. If you won’t eat your peas it’s because you have some other agenda than inner development. Because we are self- developing organisms we must eat our peas willingly. It also helps to eat them happily no matter how long it takes us to get happy about eating them. Agree with life quickly and you’ll move forward more easily and quickly. This is it! This is as good as it gets right now. You can fight it or you can surrender to your teacher and learn whatever it is you have to learn. That lesson may simply be that you don’t like peas. Fine. Don’t like them gracefully and with equanimity as you eat them so you can move on to something more pleasant.

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About Esoteric Talks

"No good deed goes unpunished."

The person most frequently credited as the originator of the phrase is playwright Clare Boothe Luce. Also credited have been playwright Noel Coward, writer Oscar Wilde, journalist Walter Winchell and the late Washington Post writer Bill Gold. The original idea is probably an ancient proverb.

Appearing cynical on the surface, a closer examination of human nature reveals the False Personality to be incredibly vengeful and petty due to its hubris.

Plato has Socrates say, "An unexamined life is not worth living." The reason no good deed goes unpunished is because most people are living lives not worth living. If you feel a sting that probably means you.