E for Envy

E for envy. Envy is the second of the 7 sins. Perhaps a sin, but we are all human. I think that we all have the full spectrum of feelings. It is not a matter of refusing to feel something: that does not work well. My minister speaks of when we feel very virtuous and raised up, that is when we are most in danger of treating others badly, and he quotes Luke.

Luke 11:43 “Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. 44″Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. 45″Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.”

Is the unclean spirit a feeling that we think is a sin or a feeling we interpret as bad or evil? That could be one interpretation.

In contrast, Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi in The guesthouse says:

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!

And why welcome and entertain them all?

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

—–translation by Coleman Barks

So: envy

noun, plural envies.
1. a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, success, possessions, etc.
2. an object of such feeling:
Her intelligence made her the envy of her classmates.
3. Obsolete. ill will.
verb (used with object), envied, envying.
4. to regard (a person or thing) with envy: She envies you for your success. I envy your writing ability.
He envies her the position she has achieved in her profession.


I did Gallery Walk in our downtown on Saturday. We are blessed with artists and there were many pieces that I liked. I did not buy any. I ended up in a small shop with singing bowls. The owner sells them but he also has a set that he keeps. He started to play the bowls, each on it’s small cushion. I have three bowls, smaller ones, that I have bought over the years. I love the ring and the resonance and the held note. But I learned something new: he used the felted end of the mallet and could make the bowl sing another way. I have never seen this before. Some bowls sing a different note with the felt. I covet the large deep bowls: I bought the largest one I could afford five years ago. But his are gorgeous in sound. I looked at a price tag. Ten times the cost of the one I bought.

He also explained that different notes are used for healing and for the different chakras. The size and the thickness of the bowl affects the note, whether it is high or low, whether it rings. The metal affects it as well and he has a bowl with meteorite. A full set would be seven, though many people use sets of three that sing together.

I bought mine separately, so I came home to try whether any would sing with felt and whether they are tuned to each other. They are tuned, but I cannot make them sing with the felt yet. I will take them to him for a lesson…. I am envious of his bowls….

And the photo is my daughter, at the end of a twelve mile mountain bike race Sunday. She does not even look tired! I am envious of how in shape she is: she swims three to five miles six days a week during swim season and exercises most days. I am just starting to build back up, but I am unlikely to catch up with her! Envy… I am hoping that it will motivate me to exercise more….