arrogance cancels the
out of their money
King MidasOnce Dionysus' schoolmaster and foster father, the satyr Silenus,
became drunk on wine and wandered away.
Silenus was found by some
Phrygian peasants, who carried him to their king, Midas.
treated him hospitably, entertaining him for twelve days and nights with
politeness, while Silenus entertained Midas and his friends with stories and
On the thirteenth day King Midas brought Silenus back to
Dionysus offered Midas his choice of
whatever reward he wanted.
Without thinking King
Midas asked that whatever he might touch should be changed into
Dionysus warned him that once
granted the boon could not be removed but, again without thinking, King Midas
King Midas picked up an oak twig and nothing happened.
Then he thought - perhaps it must touch bare flesh!
removed his glove and picked up a stone and it miraculously turned into
King Midas was
overjoyed so he ordered his servants to prepare a feast.
tried to feed himself with the now golden glove on but found it impossible to
grasp the food.
So he had the servants try to feed him but as the
food touched his lips
it became inedible turning instantly into
Suddenly King Midas
jumped up from the feast table and in so doing brushed his most trusted servant
with his bare arm.
Instantly the man turned into
Confused King Midas
took a walk in his garden touching the
flowers whose heavenly scent he
had enjoyed so much previously only to watch them turn to
King Midas had a
servant hold a flower up to his
nose but it brushed his lip turning instantly to
King Midas began to
weep as the tragedy that had befallen him
became readily apparent.
King Midas' daughter returned from an outing
and was apprized of the situation.
Taking pity on her father she went
to the garden to comfort him.
apart from each other as King Midas was terrified at the prospect of turning
his daughter into gold.
King Midas now had all the gold any man could ever want but
realized to late that although gold was pretty its only true value
was as a vehicle of trade.
King Midas grew thirsty and hungry. As the
emaciated King Midas grew weaker he became fatigued. As his mind weakened
rapidly on the third day unable to think he attempted to wipe a tear from his
daughter's check and accidently turned her into
At this point King
Midas lost his mind and flung himself into
the garden pond which
instantly enveloped him as it turned into
King Midas, now
encased in gold, had more
gold than any one man could ever
want but had found out the hard way that man can not live on
"We are making the insane but rational
choice to incinerate our
natural, social, cultural, and
spiritual common wealth
Amazingly, this end was foreseen thousands of years ago by
the originator of the story of King Midas,
whose touch turned everything to gold.
Delighted at first with his gift,
soon he had turned all his food,
his loved ones into cold, hard metal.
like King Midas, we too are converting natural
beauty, human relationships, and
the basis of our
very survival into money.
Must we, like King Midas, find ourselves
marooned in a cold, comfortless, ugly, inhospitable world before we realize
we cannot eat our
money?" - Charles Eisenstein
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