A miser hid his gold at the foot of a tree in his garden. Every week he would dig it up and look at it for hours. One day, a thief dug up the gold and made off with it. When the miser next came to gaze upon his treasure, all he found was an empty hole.
The man began to howl with grief, so his neighbors came running to find out what the trouble was. When they found out, one of them asked, “Did you use any of the gold?”
“No,” said the miser. “I only looked at it every week.”
“Well then,” said the neighbor, “for all the good the gold did you, you might as well come every week and gaze upon the hole.”
This is from The Heart of the Enlightened, a book of spiritual stories by Anthony de Mello.