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Bob Marley

on Material Things



When I look at earth, I know people live off of false pretences, and I judge them you know. And I say: we don't have to suffer the way we suffer. Not because of material things, but in some way material things become an object that I make for myself and then I suffer. And through the people and the teaching that they get. And they then want to come teach us the same teaching. And we show them the truth today, and so they fight against the truth, because they say, because of self-pride and respect, that people shouldn't come tell them something which they should have known a long, long time ago. So you use false pride and fight me down because, when I tell you about Rastafari, through your long experience that you have from time ago about the teaching, you get so you can't see this anew. This not in a new wine [biblical reference], this is Creation, you know? But you can't see something which you are not taught; you only have to see what you are taught. So I am not angry and all that, but it's just truth, you know, and it has to burst out of a man like river.


If you check what money is, then money doesn't make you suffer, and money doesn't make you not suffer. Everything really rests in your mind you know, because dig this - I am a farmer you know. And I don't live with money. Nobody ever gave me a penny, I say. But again I can play music and I am not afraid of the earth, so I play music and if money comes out of music, make money come out of music.  I know myself directly, my heart really opens wide and bleeds blood to get money. You know? For the thing is, Selassie I is the King of Kings upon earth. Now which guy upon earth is rich like the King of Kings? So my father is the richest man upon earth so I man a rich, rich man! But our minds make us suffer on, because it is not material things make you suffer, because Jah says He never gives man more than he can bear.  I mean, it is pointless telling me that just because a man doesn't drink tea he won't drink tea today, because I know if the man wants to drink tea he could drink tea. So it's mind things, you know.


The only law which is law is the law of life. The law how to live. Now dig this. A man builds himself a city and he says he wants these people to run it, and he want these people to live in it. Now I don't want to get involved in talking like a politician. I just want to talk about righteousness. Jah is earth's rightful ruler and He doesn't run any wire fence.

I've come to realise how they really do divide us into classes. Yes, and it is true. They try to divide us into classes, which I don't agree with. Because it is wickedness. You can't divide people. How can you divide the people?


Jamaica is a little nice great place. I really love Jamaica, because I have walked plenty of stony land in Jamaica and plenty of hills. But I think we really need a direction. Not a big old signing up of this and signing up of that, but a direction in our own country. About what is to happen to the earth. And sure, we have to till the soil. But it doesn't call for slavery to do that. It just calls for understanding.


Taken from an interview conducted by Neville Willoughby, 1973.  For ease of comprehension, the extract has been rendered from Jamaican English.