What We Possess

The desire to possess is inherent in the thought of humanity. The infant reaches out to take possession of anything that attracts it and to it possession means material holding. The adult comes to think of possession in more mental terms, terms of figures, of capital and balance, of power, authority, of prestige. To be effective in the eyes of his fellow men he knows that possession must be supported by material evidence; he must be, in fact, considered as a man of substance— material substance.

The writer of Ecclesiastes had felt all these things were necessary: "I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards," and so on. But this "me" which bought and built, collected and administered, looked for satisfaction, and did not find it. It found, instead, only vanity and vexation.

September 4, 1943

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