Unnecessary wings

There is a story by Mark Twain about a man going to heaven. When he arrived, he was given a pair of wings and a harp, and for a few days he used the wings as a way of moving about, and plucked on the strings of the harp trying to get some celestial music out of it. Both were pretty much of a bother, and finally he realized that in heaven you don’t actually need wings to go anyplace; and simply by desiring heavenly music, the celestial musicians appear and commence to play. So he put down the wings and the harp, and began to enjoy himself. Similarly, we sometimes limit ourselves by preconceptions of purity and happiness. We burden ourselves with unnecessary wings or halos or harps thinking that happiness consists of having certain things or acting in a certain way. When we leave aside our limited views it is possible to open up to deeper experiences of joy.

Joseph Goldstein

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