Ariel Ben Avraham – Ecclesiastes: The illusion of vanity and the reality of love (XVIII)
“There is a grievous evil that I saw under the sun; riches kept by their owner for his harm. And those riches are lost through an evil design, and he will beget a son who will have nothing in his hand.” (Ecclesiastes 5:12-13)
We have to identify what harms us and what protects us, and what are the real riches we must pursue in life. Once we fully assimilate that goodness is the cause and purpose of God’s creation, it becomes our most valuable asset; instead of the other things we believe or feel are better to us based on ego’s fantasies and illusions.
“As he left his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and he will carry nothing with his toil that he will take in his hand. And this too is a grievous evil that just as it came so shall it go, and what advantage does he have that he toil for the wind? Also all his days he eats in the dark and he has much vexation, and sickness and wrath.” (5:14-16)
Materialistic desires derived from ego’s fantasies and illusions are destined to be lost by the futility of their nature. This compels us to appreciate, value and cherish goodness as the true inheritance for our children and generations to come.
Goodness is what we must toil for and to devote all our efforts so we “eat” in its light for the greatest fulfillment of all, and separate ourselves from the vexation, sickness and frustration of having a meaningless life.
“Behold what I saw; it is good, yea, it is beautiful, to eat and drink and to experience goodness with all his toil that he toils under the sun, the number of the days of his life that God gave him, for that is his portion.” (5:17)
Goodness is the portion God has given us to fully enjoy all His creation. This means that goodness must accompany all aspects, facets and expressions of life, as we “eat and drink and experience” it in all we think, create and do in the material world.
This verse tells us that goodness must encompass all the days of our life, making it a complete part of the existence that God has granted us.
“Also every man to whom God has given riches and property, and has given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice with his toil, that is a gift of God. For let him remember that the days of his life are not many, for God is testimony of the joy of his heart.” (5:18-19)
We are reminded again that the joy of our life (“heart”) is goodness as God’s ruling principle of His Creation. Goodness is God’s testimony in us, and we are commanded to be it and have it as the essence of all the possessions and power that we may acquire while toiling under the sun, for it is God’s gift to enjoy constantly regardless of the numbers of days we may live.