In the book The Power Of Now: A Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment (1999), Eckhart Tolle illustrates the situation that many people are in with the following story about a beggar. One day a man walked by a beggar, who was sitting in the street. Out of habit, the beggar asked, “Spare any change?” The man replied that he could not, but asked about the box that the beggar was sitting on. “Oh, this thing? It’s just an old box I’ve been sitting on for a long, long time.” The man asked if the beggar had ever taken a look inside and found that the beggar had not, assuming there was nothing. The beggar decided to have a look, though, since this man was so curious. Upon opening the box, the beggar found that it was filled with gold!
Most of us are in the same situation as this beggar. Our true wealth is right here, yet we do not know this because we assume we are not perfect and vast enough to hold such wealth. Eckhart Tolle states, “Those who have not found their true wealth, which is the radiant joy of Being and the deep, unshakable peace that comes with it, are beggars, even if they have great material wealth. They are looking outside for scraps of pleasure of fulfillment, for validation, security, or love, while they have a treasure within that not only includes all those things but is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.”