Money suggests freedom and relaxation, having luxuries, comfortable conditions, exotic adventures, time off from dreary work schedules, prolonged relief from stress, and all sort of possibilities for creativity. It’s about spending and possessing, about making up for lost time and opportunities, about having what we never had or thought we could have. In the end it’s all about “me”, about recognition and reward, a means to get what we think we can’t get otherwise.
Money brings up all kinds of feelings. At best, it is a panacea that solves all our problems. Our minds wander to winning lottery tickets or to mysteriously inheriting riches from an unforeseen benefactor. At worst, we resign ourselves to whatever lot we have, and convince ourselves that money is an unattainable fantasy where we find refuge from reality.
You have money or you don’t; either way it is not comfortable. Like a jealous lover that requires a tremendous amount of attention, money demands a tenuous and stressful equilibrium of forces. It also raises, subliminally, issues about exposure, fear and impotence. Very few people are content with the wealth they have, for fear of losing even the little they might have, or the power it guarantees. Anything might happen. Somehow we know that it will never be enough to fill the inner void, but still we want it. If not for ourselves, then for another, we say. The rest of life remains on hold: “if only I had money I would…”
Deep down we are as afraid of money as we are of truth, or love. Most people believe they don’t deserve it, or feel overwhelmed with all that having it entails. As it happens with wealthy persons, its shadow forecasts gloomy realities: others might seek advantage, or love us only for our money. One cannot really hide from money; it is a constant presence within or around us.
Responsibility for money, having it, generating it, keeping it, circulating it… weighs especially heavily on those who awaken to spiritual values.
People who have made money have an intimate sense of it. To them it is a living entity. They develop a kinship with the energy surrounding it and cultivate the sensation. It is a priority, occupying time and continuous attention. This relationship is very different from the rapport others have with money. For most people, the dominant feeling is one of worry and need, and both of these exert a similar intensity that either banishes or forcefully binds friends and circumstances temporarily and arbitrarily, disallowing it to grow as it might in an intimate relationship.
The usual worry associated with money is very similar to the preoccupation of those who, in the name of love, constantly fear for their loved ones. Their concern acts as a rebuff, limiting any possibility of ease, and furthermore instigating problem after problem. It becomes addictive.
Money is a mystery to those who do not have it and a purpose onto itself for those who already do. It must be understood that this purpose is not the love of money per se; it is the attraction to the forces that produce it through our bodies, minds and feelings. Power. And this brings up a very important truth: to connect to money you need to relate to physical matter and the three-dimensional world. This leaves out most people who pursue the spiritual path. Which is why so many men and ambitious people intuitively avoid committing to spirituality.
We can neither make nor keep money without a corresponding energy source inside of us that draws it to us and also acts as counterpoint. Worry and fear are antithetical to power; they weaken the source.
Money doesn’t just fall into your lap for no reason at all. The magnet that draws it is a mixture of ambition, self-acknowledgement bordering on ego-centeredness, exuberant vitality, and emotional stability often synonymous to insensitivity. Money is fickle and always goes to the sexiest bidder. Like attracts like in the way honey attracts bees. In future it will be different, but now, unfortunately, money circulates exclusively among a few fiercely aggressive bees. Before this kind of generated momentum, the spiritual seeker doesn’t stand much of a chance. Unless he or she learns to generate, manage, and builds the necessary resistance to that kind of competitiveness, with commensurate inner force. We are on it.
This begins with the body. Without physical energies set off and sustained in the body, there is not much that we can do in this world. We cannot think, feel, or correspond with elemental or cosmic life. We cannot evaluate, relate, and project desire, because without the allegiance of physical substance there is not enough energy for third dimensional activity. Mind, feelings, and activities all use up vitality.
Without emotional resources that allow for depth and joy, we do not have the flexibility that sustains the highs and lows of everyday life. We would never make it in the marketplace without shutting down completely. We couldn’t feel others or ourselves. Without mental or intellectual resources, we have poor impulse to design, speculate, transform or orient ourselves. To own or possess something one needs to desire it, want it. Being that it is a living flow, if one has it, one needs to learn how to keep it. That means moving along with it.
For money to love you back, you’ve got to know how to befriend, feed and beguile it. This is not as easy as it might sound. To make friends with people you’ve got to like them and be at the same level as them, maintaining a flexible and yet light stance. To make money you need to want it, meet with it, love it, play with it, and give it time and attention. This translates into sustaining a certain surface contact without dropping to dangerous depths. This implies learning the art of superficiality, controlling or matching feelings, and establishing an ability to skim surfaces as one skillfully shifts away from emotional triggers.
Physical vitality and money go together; in fact money and sex (as physical exchange) are closely related. Money creates links. It ties in bonds of interaction, if not dependence. If there is no circulation, it stops. Just like life stops without vitality, and as friends withdraw when interest is diminished.
A popular person who is also successful is not necessarily a nice person, but one who knows how to use people and remain afloat. Such a one knows how to get what he or she wants through deflection and subterfuge, never directly. The same dynamic applies to our relationship to money. Few spiritually sensitive people are able to live in the world of finer sensitivities and perform well at the stock market, retreat into Nature one day and the next dance wildly at a fashionable discotheque. And yet, there is no reason why they could not.
Use and Misuse
Money, like vitality, like perception and life itself can be strictly limited, appear in overwhelming surplus, or be just the supply we need. Physically, this energy can be encased in layers of fat or flaccidity, be anemic, ill or robust. Like money, it can lie stagnant in a bank, rot before TV or the computer, remain linked in properties, in fixed investments, or it can be readily available to us. One can overspend, risk, multiply it, or lose it all. Whichever way, it spells courting peril and insecurity. Faced with another sort of imbalance – such as that created between matter and consciousness on the spiritual path — it is no wonder that some people would rather do without it.
For the personality, there is a strong connection between power and guilt, and this is where the problem lies, in the selfishness of the personality. Our way of thinking can be based on extortion, egoism, or altruism. The first two are grounded in fear and the last upon trust in higher forces that are managed from the perspective of conscious thought held at a very different frequency of tension.
The amount of resources that we have at our disposition actively, that which we dare spend, enjoy, and if left over can invests and circulate, responds to the right tension between the way we think, feel, intuit, and the way that we relate to the material world. We are interested or we are not interested. The point of tension can be extreme, dense and heavy, it can be along a higher range of subtle frequencies, or balanced anywhere in between.
The only way to live in both worlds is to develop the full range of Consciousness, learning to handle both spirit and material power. A fully conscious personality is needed. For that to happen we need to view personality as an instrument and not a liability. When control from the ego-self shifts to the Self, personality becomes the tool of spirit.
Aspiration and Ambition
The outcome of any endeavor matches the quality of force exerted by the individual through his personal “I”: either ego-self or a consciously managed personality. Right management of personality makes for a successful life in both worlds.
A spiritual person, just like any materialist, needs to realize that nothing is ever free. Neither grace nor divine providence applies to material reality. Each functions under wholly different laws. Here and now we reap what we sow. We see this in our world, experience it through the quality of our friendships, see it tangibly in our goods, and witness it as material success or failure.
Life revolves around a focus of Consciousness in the same manner that planets do around a sun. In the human being, it responds to the frequencies emitted through thought, feeling and doing, catalyzing a vital vibrational return in our personal and collective worlds. Like every other need, material or spiritual resources respond to the impulse or aspiration that we ourselves produce.
We are and we have that which we believe we are and deserve. If there is no fullness inside, how can we manifest abundance outside? If there is hopelessness inside, how can hope manifest? If there is no faith inside, how can the universe ever have faith in you?
The spiritual initiate possesses a special affinity with subtle energies. To capture, generate momentum, and use these energies, tremendous vitality is consumed. We could even say it is commensurate to the tension and intensity generated in making and keeping money. However, the keynote here is “balance” not an “either-or” attitude. It is unfortunate that the prevailing spiritual mentality about money resembles defeat, justification, and resignation.
The modern seeker battles absurd beliefs about what is spiritual and what isn’t. It is amusing that when spiritual people wish to manifest wealth, they invest their desire with all kinds of noble-sounding intentions so as to excuse what they fear is ‘greed’. As a result, spirituality and poverty are hopelessly cast together.
Understand what happens when a person is unable to make more money than is strictly necessary. In these cases, which are the most common, the rhythm is balanced between making and spending in equal measure. If there is a greater margin, it is slight. The way of thinking is undoubtedly limited to its level of tolerance, such as a juggler who can only manage a minimum of objects in the air. This is how profit is proportional to the level of psycho-physical resistance, and to the degree of integration with its Presence.
It is not that material and spiritual success cannot coexist simultaneously, or that one cannot reflect the other. Spiritual purpose cultivates a different sort of force that attracts as inspiration; it is aspiration. As force goes, there is little difference between ambition and aspiration, except in the quality of the personal “I”. The CEO and the university dean who hands out MBA’s know what it takes. “Lead”, “Be positive”, “Exercise”, even if the level and manner in which it is applied is completely different from that of spiritual practice.
In ancient times, masters taught the equilibrium between matter and Consciousness, how to “walk the talk” in the world. Spirituality requires the deliberate conscious effort of the individual who manages his or her world in a balanced way, a point of tension that involves not only the administration of matter but that of intention, attention, and right tension, in order to bring wealth, prosperity, success and material abundance.
Besides a receptive discerning Consciousness that functions globally, if a person understands and follows the lineal process of resource management, including those of his or her body, it will create a concrete world independently of the dictates of the collective. This is freedom. And this is possible.
Do you want to have money? What are you willing to pay for it? What resources, disciplines, and awareness do you have that will allow you to generate it?