Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Metaphisics of Money and Things

So, are we spirits with a physical body or are we animated material bodies with a spirit?
The little voice inside my head is screaming “I am a spirit, you dummy!” but my lower back pain is killing me – old story :) – and it is damn hard to ignore the pain no matter how enlightened I think I am.
So I’ll have to leave the answer to Ted Bagley – he seems to know better than anybody who and what I am ;)

Either you are a spirit or not, you can’t ignore the things around you.
We depend on things, we need and buy things, we crave and desire things, things are a necessity, they are part of our life and like it or not, they define us as individuals and as species.
We are humans because we are the only animal that can make and use things. Right?
It is only when we started to build and use tools that the human civilization took off and brought us where we are now today.
Some will argue that is the brink of extinction but nobody will argue that the human success as a species on this planet is due to our ability of making things.

But what are things and why do we need them?
Things are “Enhancers” they amplify, magnify, expedite, intensify, speed up and multiply.
Cars, trains and airplanes are nothing but things that make us go faster.
A gun is nothing but a human killing amplifier.
Although cars in USA are killing more people than guns and that might put a hole in my theory – hey lets ban the use of cars! - just a brain fart :)
But you get the idea. Things are making our life easier in a way or another.
At least in theory :)

What about money?
Money is a piece of paper to hard and too small to even wipe your ass.
Why and how is money so important and so good and evil at the same time?
Money is a thing that can be anything, therefore its “enhancing” power it is not limited to one thing; it could be speed if you buy a plane ticket or shelter if you buy a house, it can even be unconditional love. No not a hooker... I was thinking more like a puppy :)
Because of this potential money has, it makes it into an amplifier of your whole life, of who you are as a person.
Hence, a nice person will be 10 - 100 time nicer if he has money while an asshole will be 10 - 100 times a bigger asshole if he has money.

This little metaphysical trick was used by some charlatan guru – I don’t remember his name but I know he had one Rolls Royce car for every day of the year.
So this crook promised to make you happy if you renounce your money – and obviously give it to him.
The truth is that he did not make anybody happier but rather by removing the magnifying power of the money, his victims just felt less miserable.
You can see the reverse of this power on people that win millions of dollars on the lottery.
Within a year from the big win 99% of them are worse than before!
Money does not lift them up out of their misery it is the other way around, it makes their misery even bigger!

So now here is the answer many have asked since the invention of money:
Why God doesn’t help me with money when I am down, bitter, unhappy and miserable?
Because God loves you! That’s why.
And also:
Why does God suddenly blesses me with all this money when I am happy and content with what I have and my life?
Because God loves you! That’s why.

So before you ask God for money ask yourself.
Am I happy? Am I content and at peace within and without?
Because if your house is on fire you are just asking God to pour some gasoline on you!!!
Yep, be careful what you wish for:
– You might get it :)


SandyCarlson said...

"Am I happy?" is a great financial mgmt. question.

Psiplex said...

This dream of existence at certain times is so dense and inscrutable, it is a body/mind maze, but ultimately does not affect the changeless, eternal spirit. All our desires and needs are based on this body/mind level and the spirit is enriched and engaged by the Source, needing no 'thing' to make it complete. This is most difficult to live through when stuck in traffic, trying to get to school to pick up your child and having a negative bank balance.

So much can be used for instruction, but it takes a a surrendered spirit to accept what is and dissolve (by Grace) the falseness of what we think we desire or need as they are just concepts playing on the screen of reality.

Money has nothing to do with the worth of the spirit and its eternal presence in the Absolute.
Just my two pesos.

One Love

Chatty Crone said...

I guess it's kind of like when we have to say no to our children - we know more because we have lived it and know the future. We are protecting them although they don't believe it right then.

Ted Bagley said...


Ted Bagley said...

We are protecting them although we don't believe it right then.
Chatty Crone, ain't it so true!

Liara Covert said...

Believe it or not, you are always happy. You simply selectively forget based on an underlying hope to learn. Every experience is helping you grow. You work to transcend falseness, lies and illusions and reconnect with your true self. You are always loved.

molly said...

I am happy, and content.

But God, could I have some more money?


This Brazen Teacher said...

Less than 12 hours after finding out my car needs 1300 dollars worth of work to become driveable...

I find this post to be a big "Hello-oooo!" from the universe. Thanks for being the middle-man :-)

Michelle - Lifeposter said...

Thank you for visiting my blog

I love this post, God loves us regardless of everything and anything.
Money is energy, it flows in and out of our lives but if we spend too much time and effort focusing on it we interfere with that flow.

I am far from wealthy but I am rich. I am rich health wise, I am rich with knowledge, I am rich with talent, I am rich in love and I am rich in life.

God gives us just what we need, I have never gone hungry a day in my life yet I have been broke.

Thank you for making me think and laugh.


Aggie said...

I am a mix of material and spirit and so it is with money. Sometimes we can't/don't get the balance right. As I get older, I am content with less money as long as my basic needs are met and bills paid.

Ted Bagley said...

The debate on good desire or bad desire just says that there is desire that is not good while ignoring bad as the reference point. An either/or that is really the same choice. Back to our friend Nietzsche.
The alternative, third choice, would be the choice of neither/nor that would be the no choice of no good desire. The either/or is the truth of choice, or the revealed conflict of choice itself.
This might be what the Three Grave precept are pointing to. They read differently in a circular manner as apposed to linearly as a list.
Thank you for your angst.

Anne Partain said...

Hello Buddha:

Asking myself how I'm feeling is a great question anytime. And of course following what feels the best.

I agree with you, money just magnifies whatever is there. Happiness or problems.

Just a thought.

The Acolyte Tao said...

All I know is, I could live in a world without obsessive* materialism. Not without materialism completely, because who doesn't like strawberrys, icecream and sunsets? Material objects, so everyone likes something about the physical plane just I could do without cars and computers etc. but I have them, so I might as well use them or else you would be pretty dysfunctional in the world and not to mention they can be fun!

Ted Bagley said...

Thoughts are materials, too.

Buddha said...

@ Sandy – Happiness is the measure of success!

@ Psiplex – Thank you! Now I am two pesos richer :)
I have to point out that there is a difference between desire and need.
EG: We need to breathe to live. It is neither a concept or a choice.
Give another two pesos :)

@ Chatty – Well, Jesus referred to God as “my father” didn’t he?

@ Liara – You are right: Life is a learning experience. If we chose to enjoy it or not is up to us.

@ Molly – I’ll talk to her about that.

@ Brazen Teacher – I’m just a schmuck – big J was the middle man.

@ Michelle – “Money is energy” I never thought about that. See, I’m learning something too.
BTW – My older daughter middle name is Michelle :)

@ Aggie – Isn’t that the truth! By the time I’m dead I won’t be needing anything :)

@ Ted – Have you had the curiosity to read Nietzsche’s biography?
Dude! Under the “Angst” definition there is a picture of him.
Taking advice from him on “desire” is like taking dating tips from a rapist!
Thanks but no thanks!

@ Anne – Don’t ask! Feel whatever you want.
You are creating your feelings not the other way around.
Think abut it!

@ The Acolyte Tao – I love strawberries! Strawberries are enlightenment!

@ Ted – Materials are thoughts too!

Ted Bagley said...

A rapist is, after all, not doing what it looks like.
It's not easy being the Devil's advocate, is it?

Ted Bagley said...

I actually implied that you were back to Nietzsche with your comment of being stuck in the either/or. I was leaving him behind with my response after that.

Talon said...

The amount of money we have (whether an abundance or a lack) is not who we are...and that's very easy to forget in a society that equates success with how much stuff you have.

Good reminder, Buddha.

lol @ Molly!

Giovanna Garcia said...

Am I happy? Is the most important one should ask themselves. In the end it is all about were you happy.

Thanks for the post.
Giovanna Garcia
Imperfect Action is better than No Action

Lydia said...

Your concept of "enhancers" is wonderful. Very thought-provoking!
Oregon's lottery seems to be in some trouble because there's a new law forbidding smoking in bars now. Since that's where a lot of lottery games were played...well, you get the idea. So the state is having a big St. Patrick's Day lotto. (It pleases me to honestly tell you that I didn't pay attention to what the grand amount is!) I bought one ticket for $10. If I won there is so much good I'd do with the money. I would still ask your advice, however. ;)

Jane Doe said...

A very insightful post. So many believe that money will make them happy and when they receive it they are more miserable. The more things you have, the more you have to worry about losing them, etc.

Mark said...

Yes, we must be very careful what we wish for! We rarely think the wish all the way through. Money is a tool, it can be used for good, it can be used for evil. The amount of money one has or does not have does not make us happy or miserable. Our happiness is internal and if we believe it is external and we chase after it in any form, money, success, etc, we are chasing an illusion which will bring misery. We must first know the love that is us and then and only then will the external have any real meaning. The interesting thing is when you are at this point, the meaning of the external is not what you once thought it was.

Vivi-Mari Carpelan said...

Sounds about right... how else explain it. Though I'd rather be miserable at the back seat of a limousine than on my bike ;-)

Illusions said...

Hi there :)

FABulous blog! I really enjoy your style of writing and sense of humour! :)

Thanks so much as well, for leaving a comment in my blog - I rEAlly appreciate it! xxx

Ted Bagley said...

That was very cool!

Buddha said...

@ Ted - It looks like you know better. - I’ve never been a rapist :)

@ Talon – Absolutely! – Money is not a measure of success.

@ Giovanna – You are welcome!

@ Lydia – I am sure you would use your money wisely.
You may ask my advice any time :)

@ Jane Doe – money brings out the best and the worst in us!

@ Mark – You can not separate yourself from the external world and live in a bubble. I mean you can, but is that enlightenment?

@ Vivi – I’ve never been miserable on my bike :)
@ Illusion – Welcome to our friendly group!
Please enable your access to your profile so people can find your blog.
You will never have comments on your blog if people can not find you :)

Ted Bagley said...

Have you never been a rapist because no one has called you one or does one just think that being a rapist would be a good thing to be someday and you haven't thought so yet?
Or, if taking advice from Nietzsche is like getting tips from a rapist is desire then like dating where you're in conflict about what the date means to you?

SandyCarlson said...

Thinking about this again, I am reminded of a lesson a friend who is a Buddhist monk explained about being on retreat and being required to tell the food server how much he wanted. He took just less than he really wanted and found it was all he needed! And he was happy....

C. Om said...