The Spirits' Book
Book Four - Hope and Consolation
Chapter I - Earthly Joys and Sorrows
Relative Happiness and Unhappiness
923. Is it true that a luxury for one becomes a necessity for another and vice versa, depending on circumstantial differences?
“Yes, according to your material ideas, prejudices, ambition and all the absurd notions that you gradually shed as you come to understand the truth of things. Obviously, people who once earned an income of 50,000 consider themselves very unfortunate when that income is reduced to 10,000. In this case, they perceive themselves to be less impressive to others since they can no longer maintain their status, keeping good horses, employees, and gratify all their tastes and passions. For them, these deprivations represent a lack of the very necessities of life. However, should we pity them while so many others are dying of cold and starvation, and do not even have a warm place to sleep at night? Those who are wise compare themselves to what is below them, never to what is above, unless it is to raise their soul to the Infinite.” (See Q715)