If one eats the cake first, then one is not going to have the need of having it. That riddle was easily solved, I wonder why I never understood it as such before. You can’t have both, they say. But that’s not the kind of relationship we are talking about here. I will only understand this problem – the problem of not being able to both eat and have the cake – if I think I would ever want to have it there, just in case I want some cake. If I know on the other hand, that if I eat the cake, the very thought of wanting to have it would make me feel a little bit sick, then I will see it as a given: I eat it first, and then I will be satisfied.
Most of us aren’t taught that we get to spend our lives filling ourselves with this kind of sweetness unapologetically. We might have learned that it is selfish, greedy, that I might eat someone else’s share of the cake, that if I don’t save it for another day I will regret it, that someone might steal my cake. There are endless ways to install this idea in us, that we aren’t provided for in life. Perhaps we were taught this from an early age, and have then experienced life accordingly. The one who is greedy doesn’t trust that they will be full and satisfied after having finished the cake, nor that there will be other cakes to be baked tomorrow. If they are looking out for themselves they might hoard the cakes, therefore. There are others who will starve themselves on the false premise that them eating cake will prevent another to access it. This may be so, if there are people out there hoarding cakes, but not if everyone eats until they are actually full. Because there is an abundance of finite resources that are enough when we ask for and allow what we actually need and not more that we are capable of digesting.
So many people in our world are suffering from “too much” – too much stuff, too much information, too many tasks to do, cluttered homes, etc. – and despite this we often still think we need more. If we learn to appreciate the gift of emptiness and the abundance of cleared spaces in our lives, we might be able to re-programme ourselves and experience a knowing that one cake is enough sweetness for us, and that it will sustain us until the next day.