(16.15). ( Some people think…) I am wealthy and well- born! Who can rival me? I will show my greatness by giving alms and making public sacrifices. I will rejoice in my glory”. Thus they boast, befuddled by their own lack of wisdom.
(16.16). Addled in thought, caught in a spider’s web of delusion, craving only sensual “delights”, they sink in life , and even more so after death, to a foul hell.
(16.17). Vain, heedlessly obstinate, intoxicated by pride in wealth, hypocritical in whatever sacrifices they perform, careless of scriptural injunctions….
(16.18). egotistical, ruthless, arrogant, lascivious, prone to fits of rage, these evil- intending persons despise Me, though for all that I dwell in them, as in all beings.”
My take: Years ago one can imagine the man or woman in the street, reading the above and thinking, “It can’t apply here! It’s inconceivable. Collectively, we are well- governed and rational, on top of the world. Yes, there are important things that need fixing, but in general the country is moving in the right direction”.
In 1963 I hitch-hiked round the US. y car and airplanevisiting 48 States and encountering rich and poor, black and white – a cross- section of the population, getting temporary jobs as I went. Hardly a day went by when I wasn’t told, “Isn’t this just a great country?”. They meant it and it was; and very open and generous, too.
Epicurean peace of mind? Not today.