No Ulterior Motives

A zen-like mindfulness story told by Rabbi Michel Twerski titled "Pure Intentions":

The Dubner Maggid was once sitting and his wife came in and said that she needed money for something, I don't know, to buy food or something, and he didn't have any money so he told her that he didn't have any money, and when he realized that he couldn't help her he gave a "Krechtz". (in English, he sighed)

That sigh, for a person of his measure was considered something that was very serious. For righteous people the measure of judgement is very exacting. And he heard this divine echo saying: "You lost your portion in 'Olam Ha-ba'." (in English: the next world).

So at the first moment he was saddened, and then he suddenly became ecstatic. When they asked him about the change in mood, he said: "I heard this divine pronouncement saying that I have no portion in the world to come."

So he said, "That's terrible. It's catastrophic, but", then he said, "I realized that any time I do anything in spirituality, I pray, and I fulfill a commandment, learn Torah, whatever it is, I always question myself: Do I have an ulterior motive?" So he said, "I realized now that since they took away my reward in the next world, I don't have any more ulterior motives. I'm not gonna get anything — and I was so excited about the fact that now I could fulfill the commandments without an ulterior motive!"

"Unfortunately," he said, "when I began to experience that joy, I heard another pronouncement saying, 'OK, you get it back!'"

(cf Giving Up Hope (2014-09-01), Enlightenment Is Not (2015-07-06), No Goals (2016-06-08), Just Zazen (2017-01-29), Nothing But Mu (2017-04-22), Mantra - No Hope (2017-12-28), ...) - ^z - 2019-10-25