“Feed a man one plate of vegetables, and you feed him once. Teach him how to grow the vegetables, and you feed him for life!”
Permit me ‘Literary Licence,’ because the biblical statement mentioned fish, and I am a vegan! This is my attempt at humour.
In my life I have made and lost two fortunes, I have also been poor and everything in between. Money never made me happy, on the contrary, it brought its own price to be paid, that came in various forms of torment, which includes the following;
- I worked up to eighteen hours a day to make the money, which gave me a physically comfortable life that was devoid of the joy of living. The people who enjoy making excessive amounts of money do so to satisfy some psychological need that includes a dysfunctional ego, in many cases. I should know, as my ego was way out of control.
- Money is all that counts! Bring home the money and life is wonderful. Wrong! Sufficient money buys you nothing other than the physical requirements to live and have fun. Excessive money provides nothing more, but the cost is way higher.
- Money buys love! How stupid of me to have ever thought that was true.
- Money buys security. Security from what? I made a fortune only to lose it overnight due to a property crash in England.
- Money buys you freedom! Wrong! As soon as you have lots of money you are worried someone will take it off you. You employ accountants and lawyers to protect your money, you open off-shore bank accounts, and are suspicious of those who profess to like you, not knowing whether they like you or like your money. Money can make a devastating prison without walls, that will incarcerate you securely. However, it can bribe officials, or pay for a bail-bond.
- Money buys you status! This is true, but anyone who is preoccupied with status either feels insecure, inferior, or has a big ego. In this case money is handy, but what kind of life is that when one seeks status in order to live?
- Money buys health. Wrong! It may buy you the best doctors, but, if they are Allopathic Western Medical doctors, I am not so sure. Western medicine is poor on diagnosis, and poor on treatment, because it treats the symptoms and not the cause. Steve Jobs of Apple Computers died of pancreatic cancer, even though he was a billionaire. However, the money will help you find, and pay for alternative medical professionals. How did one get sick in the first place? Did the money buy you intelligence to take better care of yourself? Did it buy you more conscious awareness so that you can make better health choices in your life?
- Money buys happiness. Wrong! I have met more poor happy people than rich happy people. I have seen more happily married couples who were poor than I have seen rich happily married couples.
Am I saying that money is bad, the source of all evil? Absolutely not! Money has no power other than the power people give it, and if you do give it power, that power will be exerted over you, detrimentally. Money has a great use if one has the consciousness to use it wisely, which I did not have when I made and lost my two fortunes. Losing large sums of money were, in fact, the best thing that happened to me, considering my state of consciousness. Now in the winter of my life, during which I learned a huge amount, money has no power over me at all. I enjoy it for what it is and I am indeed grateful that I and my wife have sufficient money to live on. Actually, with all that I have achieved in my life on a personal level, I feel extremely wealthy. I am rich in knowledge, life experience, and in the way I can be of assistance to others, which brings me great joy. I have healed many of my inner wounds, resolved many of my personal issues, and released many of the learned, limiting beliefs, patterns of behaviour and programming that I accumulated over the years and other lifetimes. You cannot buy this, you can only earn it.
Do I have the required consciousness to successfully wield and employ a large sum of money now? I do not know, and I am ready for the test, knowing that if I have learned this great lesson, I will retain the Self-Empowerment that I have earned in my life. Equally, I also know that if I have not learned the required lesson and have not developed my state of consciousness sufficiently to be unaffected by a large sum of money, I will probably destroy myself this time. However, I feel secure that I did learn, and my consciousness is sufficiently developed to handle such money. Money is merely a tool to acquire that which is desirable to live a reasonable, balanced life. It can allow one the freedom to be oneself, rather than be enslaved by the money, or even the lack of it.
I once had a very interesting experience in India, where I was sojourning for four months. I stayed in a salubrious part of town, where the people had money, lots of it, and who all lived in grand, large homes. In between two such homes I discovered a small group of people living in dire poverty. Their dwellings were hovels. One day I approached them, and with some help we communicated, and I asked them what they felt like, living next to the wealthy people. They told me that they are working off negative karma they had created for themselves in previous lives, and they are very happy to resolve whatever karma they are to encounter in their present life. On a separate occasion I asked some wealthy people what they felt like, having the poor people living next door to them. They told me that were very happy to have the poor people there because they were constantly reminded to behave correctly, so that they do not incur any negative karma. Each group served the other in a symbiotic manner. The poor people were free because they were happy to work off their karma, and the rich people were happy not to have negative karma. Of course, this was in India, and not all Indians think or conduct themselves that way, but this is a great attitude, do you not think?
So, what is money? I see it as a wonderful tool to help facilitate comfortable living in the physical world, and has little effect on the spiritual, meta-physical world. It can provide for the poor and hungry, and to be honest, it is better used to help people than to sit in a bank vault gathering dust. This is not a statement inspired by socialism or communism, it is just a fact of life. We can all help each other, if we all were more balanced in mind and heart.
What is money not? I see money as not being the root of evil or the root of good. It neither offers any peace, well-being or happiness, nor does it have any power to buy security, or good health. After all, as I mentioned earlier, even Steve Jobs (Apple Computers) could not buy good health, and he died of pancreatic cancer, even while being a billionaire.
Why do humans long to have money, at least most humans seem to have that desire? The interesting fact is that most people do not have the consciousness to handle large sums of money, and this is borne out by those who win huge sums of money with the lottery. I have read of quite a few accounts of such winners losing, or spending all their money in a very short time. Some became drug addicts, some got divorced, some died prematurely for a variety of reasons. It takes great balance, common sense, intelligence and courage to successfully handle money without it effecting you in a negative manner. There are many billionaires who are the most unpleasant people, and who feel superior to everyone, and who have developed the need, the addiction for more money and much more power over people.
I do not remember the exact statistics, but I understand that 1% of the wealthy, around the world, possess about 45% of the world’s wealth, which amounts to about USD$142 trillion. The 26 richest people on earth in 2018 had the same net worth as the poorest half of the world’s population, some 3.8 billion people.
I further understand that the vast majority of the people of this planet are extremely poor, and of those far too many do not have a bed to sleep in, or knowing whether they are going to eat that day. I also know that providing for them, like giving them food and money does not always work that well, because, in too many cases, those who handle the money for them steal it, and those who deliver the food contributions also steal that. However, we also know that there are sincere people who do help the poor, but it still seems to be a big challenge.
I know that not everyone can be financially successful, and by that, I mean rich. Not everyone is a millionaire or billionaire, because they do not have that ability to be that. Each of us has a job, a destiny to fulfill, and we succeed and are prosperous according to the measure of our ability to be so. In philosophical terms, each has a role to play in life, and it is for each of us to make whatever choices are required for us to fulfill our dreams, our purpose and to live a good, happy, healthy and successful life.
Let me discuss what a happy, healthy, successful life could be;
- Happiness is when you are content to be in the Now Moment, and are able to flow to the next Now Moment, without due concern, or anxiety.
- A healthy life means to me one who does not see doctors, who is not ill, does not take medicines to survive, and has made sufficient life changes to support the good health of their mind and body.
- A successful life, in my opinion, is when you are at peace with yourself, having met your true and authentic Self, and is not sucked into the Trauma Drama of the issues, trials and tribulations of others. Success is in learning how to play the game of this life with poise. It is the comprehension that we are all here to learn the life lessons we came here to learn, and that you have learned many of them.
On a personal note, without going into detail, I have had a very difficult and challenging life, having made many mistakes for which I paid dearly. I have been to ‘hell’ and back more times than I care to remember, I have dealt with death of a loved one, and when I lost my second fortune. I was absolutely penniless in a foreign country, where I was a beggar for food. I have been abused, misused, and discarded like an unwanted rag. There is much more to my odyssey than I care to mention, yet I survived it all, emerged stronger and wiser, and I even prospered. I learned, I grew in consciousness and conscious awareness, I healed myself, resolved my issues, at least many of them, and now I live a quiet life with my wife and two cats, in a little house in a beautiful environment. I regard my life as a success!
Do you feel your life is a success? If so, I applaud you, for this is by no means an easy feat to accomplish in this world, during these tumultuous times. If you feel your life is not a success, do you know why? What are you required to change in order to improve your life? Are you willing to make appropriate life changes? Do you love yourself, I mean your total being, body, mind and soul, and I refer not to the ego, or vanity? Are you doing what you love and love what you are doing? Have you looked at yourself to see what your attitude is, your perception, whether it is limited or expansive?
Wealth is seen on many levels, and it is a wise, balanced individual who can enjoy such wealth on all levels, in a Divine and Perfect Way.
Anthony Altman is an author of books on Self-Empowerment, Self-Help/Improvement and Self-Healing, and also provides lectures, workshops and seminars on these subjects. For further information and contact, please visit his website.