Don’t pursue things of the world, but, at the same time don’t deprive yourself.
… “I crossed over the flood without pushing forward, without staying in place.”
“But how, dear sir, did you cross over the flood without pushing forward, without staying in place?”
“When I pushed forward, I was whirled about. When I stayed in place, I sank. And so I crossed over the flood without pushing forward, without staying in place.” …
Crossing over the Flood
Ogha-taraṇa Sutta (SN 1:1)
This is a message that is also conveyed in the book of proverbs.
Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is needful for me,
lest I be full and deny you
and say, “Who is the Lord?”
or lest I be poor and steal
and profane the name of my God.
Proverbs 30:8-9 English Standard Version (ESV)
If you have excess wealth; above and beyond what you need to get by; give your excess wealth away to someone who does not have enough. If you have two coats–give one coat to someone who has none.
What’s given bears fruit as pleasure.
What isn’t given does not:
thieves take it away, or kings;
it gets burnt by fire or lost.
Then in the end
one leaves the body
together with one’s possessions.
Knowing this, the intelligent man
enjoys possessions & gives.
Having enjoyed & given
in line with his means,
uncensured he goes
to the heavenly state.”
Āditta Sutta (SN 1:41)
‘Few are those people in the world who, when acquiring lavish wealth, don’t become intoxicated & heedless, don’t become greedy for sensuality, and don’t mistreat other beings. Many more are those who, when acquiring lavish wealth, become intoxicated & heedless, become greedy for sensuality, and mistreat other beings.’”
“That’s the way it is, great king! That’s the way it is!
“Impassioned with sensual possessions,
greedy, dazed by sensual pleasures,
they don’t awaken to the fact
that they’ve gone too far—
like deer into a trap laid out.
Afterwards it’s bitter for them:
Evil for them
Appaka Sutta (SN 3:6)