the present qua unseemly and palatial

I think the literal interpretation of Matthew 19:24 is in general probably the best: that having a lot of money is not liable to lead to good things in an eternal or spiritual sense… But is Schopenhauer asking us to consider in this passage [World as Will and Representation, sect. 68.] that all of us who experience the present are “rich”? That the present is a sort of unseemly palace of luxuries we escape from only very reluctantly, if ever at all?

“At times, in the hard experience of our own sufferings or in the vividly recognized sufferings of others, knowledge of the vanity and bitterness of life comes close to us who are still enveloped in the veil of Maya. We would like to deprive desires of their sting, close the entry to all suffering, purify and sanctify ourselves by complete and final resignation. But the illusion of the phenomenon soon ensnares us again, and its motives set the will in motion once more; we cannot tear ourselves free. The allurements of hope, the flattery of the present, the sweetness of pleasures, the well-being that falls to the lot of our person amid the lamentations of a suffering world governed by chance and error, all these draw us back to it, and rivet the bonds anew. Therefore Jesus says: ‘It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.'”

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