That is how most perspectives that explore the importance of money in our personal and spiritual growth start off. The tone is apologetic, often a bit guilty. The writers seem to be battling an inner incongruence between their soul’s desire for growth and expression and the harsh reality of insurance premiums and EMIs. It is a painful recognition of the role money plays in our day to day existence versus the heart which knows it matters not at all.
The reality says “I am judged, assessed, measured, accepted, respected, often even loved on the basis of the amounts of money I have.” The heart says “Money doesn’t matter – it is the self that does. There are plenty of unhappy rich people around.”
It is important to explore the role money plays in our lives and make peace with it for once and for all. I hope this article will help you do that.
Of course, money is important.
It is very important to notice where, how and why money is important. I believe money is an enabler in the external world. The key word here is “enabler”. Money is an enabler. It enables us to do things we would otherwise not be able to do. Like “walking” for instance. Walking enables us to get from one place to another. Or “swimming”. Swimming enables us to stay afloat while in water. Money similarly enables us to do things we would not be able to do without it. It enables us to travel to meet our near and dear ones. It enables us to avail of medical facilities to cure our body when we are sick. It enables us to buy nutrition and education. It is a resource.
It is important to distinguish money as an external enabler. It allows us to do things in the external world. Our internal world is different. It is made up of our beliefs, values, attitudes, thoughts etc. Our internal world has absolutely nothing to do with money and this awareness is crucial. Our internal world is the essence of who we are. It is the ever changing, dynamic landscape of our “self” which is shifting, evolving and growing every moment of our lives.
It is when we mix up the role of money and start using it to cater to our internal world that it pollutes and corrupts us. It is when we try and substitute the amount of money we have for being generous or kind or courageous or loving or honest that we have literally “mixed up” priorities.
Self awareness, I-witnessing, Self observation, self discipline, self exploration are the currency of the internal world. Not money. You cannot buy these no matter how much money you have.
The role of ego is using this external enabler to fulfill our soul’s needs is undeniable. Ego – a healthy tool that facilitates the illusion of separation of “me” from everything else can prove to be the single biggest obstacle in our personal quest for growth. The ego, which sees money as an extension of itself – easily confuses money as a substitute for developing personal traits and qualities.
So, let us earn money, spend money, give away money, have fun with money. Let us celebrate money and be grateful for it. Just as we should hop and jump for the gift of walking and be grateful for it.
Let us be kind, generous, courageous, loving, grateful, good, soulful, happy inside – whether we have the kind of money we want or not.
What rules is not bits of paper with pictures of noble deceased on them.
What rules is how you choose to express yourself – everyday.
Am I being the best version of what I can be?
That, my friends – is the question!
I like money, but I would choose self-expression (or self manifestation) over money any day.
Like a film director said in an interview “I make money to make movies, I don’t make movies to make money”
That, I believe is self expression.