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The soul of money

Money is a subject that interests almost everyone. People who are seeking spiritual counseling seek advice and prayers on the subject of money more than on any other subject. Once the concern about money is resolved, inner peace can be achieved.

Many books, seminars and lectures have been written about the acquisition of money, wealth and prosperity. The classic, “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoléon Hill is a perennial best seller. The subject of money, and getting more of it, is discussed in the developed world more than anywhere else on the planet. Why is that?

To be sure, almost everyone, including billionaires, wants to have more money. To most, money represents freedom: freedom from working for a living, freedom to do what we want, and freedom from having to answer to anyone else.

In developed countries, most people are living above the subsistence level but they grapple with the problem of the perceived lack of money. They do not actually need more money for basic survival purposes. Economists have argued that America’s poor “live better than most of the rest of humanity.”

There is nothing “wrong” with having more money … and there is nothing “right” about it either. In developed nations, having more money simply for the sake of having more money seems to be the prevailing drive of the masses. But if you surveyed 100 millionaires who acquired fortunes simply for the sake of having more money, you would generally find that their lives show an emptiness, a lack of purpose and fulfillment.

Conversely, those who have acquired great wealth by providing a valuable service to their fellow humans for the sake of bettering lives, materially and spiritually, will have (if they are not already self-actualized) a greater sense of who they are, their purpose and their true identity. They will seem happier, more peaceful and are more fun to be around.

Money is limited to the world of phenomena unless it is manifested with the consciousness of bringing forth with the experience of soulful growth. (Michael Bernard Beckwith)

Wanting more money can be a psychological trap.

Western society says that it is all right to want more money, but then it also judges the spiritual worth of an individual, not on their consciousness but based on how much money she or he has.

Society programs us to want/have more and more money. Once we reach a certain level of wealth, the satisfaction is short-lived. Soon we want more and it seems normal to have that desire. Again, there is nothing wrong with wanting and having more money. However, money can be an avenue for a more fulfilling life or it can lead to emptiness void of fulfillment and satisfaction.

I have observed that people who want more money for the sake of having more money are not so much lacking in money as they are experiencing a lack in some other part of their life. This lack can show up as disharmonious relationships, low self-worth, dormant creativity, untapped spirituality or lack of physical well-being. In these cases, if the individual can work on improving these other areas, often their financial picture will improve greatly too.

The key here is to take the focus of attention off the seeming lack of money and focus it on fulfillment in another area of life. The individual can also consciously refocus on the wealth that she has already achieved and then live in a state of thanksgiving, appreciating what she has already manifested.

Inner peace is not brought about by focusing on the lack of wealth or money but by soul-fulfilling personal growth in other areas of life – seemingly unrelated to money. When this is done, the money will follow.

Be at peace. The world is not broken.

Jim Hatton is the author (under the name James Apollonius Alan) of “A Spiritual Master’s Guide to Life.” Email 600- to 700-word articles on all aspects of inner peace to Sally McKirgan at innerpeaceforyou@outlook.com.