Spiritual Wisdom & Money

So what’s the psychologically healthy, authentic, spiritual wisdom based approach to money?

Well, here’s something, presented by philosopher, Ken Wilber, which I think makes perfect sense and also covers all bases.  It’s also completely in line with our notion of wisdom generally, as the wisdoms for each of the subject areas of life are merely applications of that same principle of freedom and non-attachment from identification with things, complemented with a full helping of common sense and whatever practical applications happen to be relevant.

So we’ll first look at the base, spiritual wisdom position on money…

Wilber relates the account of a student of the teacher, Suzuki Roshi, who was about to get married into a very wealthy family, and was concerned as to how that wealth might affect, or even counter, his spiritual truth.

“To be attached to wealth is a terrible thing”, begins Roshi, and the student exclaims his agreement and understanding.

“And to be attached to poverty is also a terrible thing”, Roshi continues.

“Ah! Okay, I understand”, replied the student.

Roshi finished with the conclusion;

“Good.  Now that you understand that, it’s better to be wealthy than poor.”

What is True of You?

So the question this prompts one to ask oneself is; are you attached to poverty?, and/or are you attached to wealth? 

Wilber continues to explain the point, and elaborates as follows;

“So, the secret there, is getting on the other side of attachment. And that does take often some kind of work – if you really do have attachment to money, or anything… and it’s a real attachment in a sense – that it’s something that is become part of your self identity.

“And under those circumstances it has to be transcended.  And there are ways to deal with that using both meditative techniques and psychotherapeutic techniques.  But if it’s something that really is an issue then it’s something that is worth looking into.

“The tricky part, and this goes for money, sex, power, seriously, anything… once the attachment is truly broken – and you can dis-identify with it… then you can inhabit it with radiance – as a vehicle to use. And under those circumstances, particularly in this culture – where money for example is a means of accomplishing goals, it’s a means of getting something done, then not to inhabit money with a great deal of intelligence is pretty silly.” 

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