To people who practice earth-centered spirituality, the “material world” is not separate from the Divine, much less is it evil. Why, then, should we harbor attitudes that money in some way degrades what is spiritual?
There is no doubt that, whatever our spiritual path may be, for many of us, our relationship with money is very conflicted. Like the generations in Victorian times who subverted, repressed, and hid their sexuality, it has been suggested that the people in our own day are caught between deep desire and repulsion when it comes to money and wealth.
We look with a mixture of envy and disgust at people whose main claim to fame is their wealth. We watch with horror and satisfaction as the Paris Hiltons and Anna Nicole Smiths fall from grace in spectacular tragedy. In our age, we give celebrity to people who seem to have no particular talent or originality, other than the antics their money seems to inspire.
And the conclusion seems to be, “You see? That’s what happens to rich people.” It’s not surprising that so many people consider money dirty, tainted – ‘filthy lucre,’ we call it. And a favorite theme is that great wealth is a curse.
Yet at the same time, even though it is not nice (or evolved, or enlightened, or spiritual), we secretly long for it, and believe that, rather than bringing sorrow, it will magically bring us happiness.
What a dilemma!
To begin to sort it all out, let’s start with the suggestion that money is simply energy made tangible. It represents the energy of labor; a commitment from one person to another, so that the value given their labor is transferable.
The rap group Wu-Tang Clan made up the acronym: C.R.E.A.M. to describe how the world works. It stands for Cash Rules Everything Around Me. Whether we love it or hate it, money makes the real world go round.
But wait. I thought that LOVE makes the world go round.
What if they are the same thing?
More about this heretical thought in the days to come.