Saturday, May 29, 2010


Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has, the more one wants.
- Benjamin Franklin

Of all the opportunities for learning that our world has to offer us while we are here, I think the issue of “money” offers the most diverse and controversial aspects of all. It seems like people put an awful lot of time into thinking about it, for as many reasons as there are people on this planet. Each of us finds call to think about money in several different ways, unless one is fortunate enough to have someone trusted to think about it for them.
It’s all so strange.
Sometimes when I think about the complexity of the money issue, I feel like I am contemplating something ridiculous.
Really, it is just a pretend stage production we all play. There was a time on this planet when it wasn’t a factor. We have allowed this macabre tune to suck us in and we dance to it as though we have no choice. The world we have built around us makes it too difficult to exist without playing a role, so most everyone gives in.
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I worked late last night and when I got home I turned the on TV to a favorite show, sat down with my laptop and was reading email when I just keeled over on the sofa and fell asleep. I woke up after midnight. There was a popular televangelist giving an intimate seminar on 7 Laws of Success and he actually sounded interesting, so I listened for awhile. I like to hear different viewpoints because it opens my mind. What he was saying sounded kind of New Age, kind of Law of Attaction-ish, which was fascinating considering how fundamentalists have feared and reviled those areas of thought.
Some of what he was saying sounded incredibly wise for a televangelist. I continued to listen, took some notes even, because I was getting excited that all these people in his audience, all his fans, were getting this great information from a source with a history of narrow minded fundamentalism. These are the very people with whom I could never feel comfortable discussing this way of thinking coming from my sources and foundations. The people who listen to this guy would plug their ears against Louise Hay, Deepak Chopra, or Eckhart Tolle. These folks think Oprah and Marianne Williamson are bad people.
He continued in his charismatic and charming way and after awhile he was talking more and more about money. The focus was no longer about finding your vocation in service to God and the world. It was about money. How to amass more money. How he acquired money. He was basically, in a sideways kind of way, telling people that if they pledged to send him a certain amount of money they would become magically debt and mortgage free because he had a special message from God. I was so disheartened. All these people, worried so much about their fragile souls that they’ll only listen to someone who systematically invokes their particular chosen dogma, getting a small amount of sensible Law of Attraction philosophy only to have it used to lure them into a trap. There is the possibility, however, that it might just open the awareness of a few people who would normally be closed off to a different speaker providing much of the same information (excluding the send money part.) Maybe some of them will discover the power of intention and learn to just flow. Teachers come in all forms.
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The money issue, though. Why do some people feel like they must have so much? Why have we created a world where money rules so much of what we do? Our biology dictates that we have to participate in a system that has been building to this point for thousands of years, at least in some capacity, because we have to eat and have shelter. Those basic needs are capitalized upon by others who think it is okay to amass large fortunes of money and hoard it. The important thing about money: if it isn’t flowing, it isn’t doing what it was created to do. A multi-millionaire with most of his money socked away in Switzerland is just another man with a mortal body housing a soul that doesn’t benefit at all from millions of dollars. It’s all an illusion.
Is there a point to all this ranting about money? It’s so complicated. I only know that I wish it wasn’t the way it is. I’ve managed to get by with a decent life just by trusting the universe and because I was lucky enough to be born in the United States. I have to keep a watch on my thoughts so I don’t get drawn in to the money dance. But I dream of a gentle life where everyone has what they need and feels equally important. It could be that way. The world is a beautiful and abundant place with way more than enough for everyone to live out their time here in peace and comfort and amazement. I’m doing my part by living with a plan for increasing simplicity. If we all work together, humans can build a world where money is no longer something to fear or revere; a world of love and safety.

Imagining that world is the first step.