The available history tells us that most of the spiritual masters were never concerned much about wealth. At their times, the competition for resources was less and people were not bothered much about their livelihoods. But nowadays, there is a race for grabbing resources and one has to earn for himself and his family with due consideration of unexpected events. My question is – Will accumulation of wealth or desire for more savings for any purpose become an obstacle in our spiritual progress? How to deal with it?
Thank you for your interesting question.
Our perception of wealth has changed in time. That spiritual master perhaps wasn’t concerned about having kids and paying bills, thus he did not need much to live by himself.
“History” has recorded male “spiritual masters” only. Very little is known about female counterparts, and that is because of the mindset at that time.
Therefore, it is safe to go with was is “now”.
Someone who is busy, who has a busy schedule of things to “do”, is not ripe yet for self-realization. Granted, that person may have a great intellect, he may have convincing ways, a great ability to speak/write spiritual things, etc. but unless you have plenty of time to be alone, by yourself and I mean PLENTY; your time hasn’t arrived yet.
By hearing this many may decide to quit their jobs and live in a cave someplace by themselves. That is very silly. That is the way many religious followers have interpreted to be the “right” path to enlightenment. To DO this is artificial.
Life and not a religion, a belief or a desire will put you there when you ARE ready.
Our minds have been conditioned to be greedy. Competition is out there as a way of Life. That is the air around the “office world.” Thus, greed increases and the desire to accumulate for tomorrow is always there. The same ideal is extrapolated in “spirituality”. Be greedy about Paradise. Your wealth in this world is not eternal. Make sure that you accumulate eternal things. Donate your wealth now to build a temple or a church so you accumulate points with God in the afterlife. People will call that as “helping others”, they may even label you as a saint; but truly is about your greed in obtaining Paradise.
There is nothing wrong if someone has wealth or if your job or any legal activity will bring you wealth. The problem is the mind. The constant desire to accumulate, (greed) that is the issue. The mind is set in the future. You “need” a boat, a mansion, 7 cars for each day of the week, 7 kids, 5 pets and 2 wives.
You’ve got those? Good! Now maintain them. Make sure the wealth flow is there, for someone can take it away from you, and your acquisitions will be gone. You will be “nothing” without them. Thus, ego will fiercely protect those assets.
That person is not ready for self-realization. He is too busy with things to take care of. Although he may read spiritual “bestseller” books and listen to Guru’s classes. He may have quitted his addiction to tobacco thanks to the local priest, thus he has “improved” his spirituality, in his view.
“Spiritual progress” has nothing to do with DOING or HAVING. It is about BEING.
That BEING is openness through inner acceptance of the different scenes that Life will show us. You can DO what you want to DO in Life. You can HAVE everything you can imagine in Life. What you ARE will change through those experiences.
Embrace the ideal of being “good” and you are doomed to be “bad”.
Embrace the ideal of rejecting greed and you will never know generosity.
Accept that you are greed through your own observation and you will have the opportunity to go beyond it. Not by denying that you shouldn’t accumulate things or that you shouldn’t DO certain actions, but by BEING AWARE that your mind is running the show in your Life through an ideal, through conditioning; that is how freedom from the duality of greed/generosity will appear and what you ARE will no longer be driven by moral standards of what to DO, but you will notice that you ARE already what your mind is pushing you to DO artificially through fear and conditioning. You ARE “spiritual” already. Just allow the layers of conditioning to go by being aware of them.
Spiritual “improvement” is not driven by externalities. It is not driven by embracing/rejecting dualistic concepts such as greed/ generosity. It is driven by AWARENESS and CAPACITY to go beyond the “reality” of duality through complete acceptance of it.
This is to be “REAL” in the “now” and not to be caught up with ideals, beliefs, concepts and conditioned morality.
The above is known as Tantra. Thus, it will be misinterpreted. Some may say:” Tantra says that if you are greedy, that is OK… if you are bad, that is fine. Embrace it.” They forget the AWARENESS deal. They have not experienced what is AWARENESS; for if they had; none of the dualities could be an issue, a “problem” for them. They wouldn’t be asking questions such as: How do I conquer greed? How do I become generous? and all of that… but if they do ask those questions, then tell them: Greed is bad. Generosity is good. “Practice” Generosity. Have a distaste for greed. That… they can understand, although those words are completely senseless once we know that we cannot embrace one side of a coin and get rid of the other, without destroying the coin. 🙂
A virtuous life is the one lived with oneness.
Oneness in our personality. Oneness in our emotions. Oneness in our relationship with life.
Any sort of perceived separation and thus, rejection; will take us away from that Oneness.
The above is not a matter of belief. It is not a matter of being a “selected one,” it is not a matter of being an intellectual full of information.
It is a matter of being empty of all those things, which create a personality ready to reject, to separate, to analyze to live in duality, to live in the perception of a wall of insurmountable dichotomy.
Rejection of a religious group. Rejection of moral views. Rejection of people due to some belief. Rejection of any being, which we find “ugly,” “no good,” “despicable,” “abominable,” etc.
Rejection of any circumstance that is surrounding us at any moment in time.
When there is no rejection, then enjoyment is and in that enjoyment, oneness appears.
A collective consciousness which is fragmented, will see a set of virtuous living behaviors: Generosity, detachment, love, toleration, friendliness, compassion, contentment, joy, etc.
All of those dictionary words represent a fragment of Oneness. A particular person may exhibit what we call “generosity,” but that is a ray of Oneness in the vacuum of darkness of the fragmented self.
Love is a misunderstood feeling.
It is not a romantic trip to Disneyland where the lovers could love each other forever… A person exhibiting a fragmented personality cannot know what love is.
It doesn’t matter if the object of that love is the world, another person or God.
A fragmented personality is not able to become one… that means; to be empty of all beliefs, emotional traumas and fears.
How on earth a person could know about oneness, about love in that condition? 🙂
A typical person only knows about the “master and slave” relationship. It is “me” over you. It is “me” under you. That is all. There are no equals, because to be equal means to be empty.
Empty so we could listen. So we could provide emotional comfort to another, so we could harmonize… so we could be intimate.
Otherwise, our fragmented personality will not allow us to experience oneness with someone, with God or with the world, with life.
The above is not a religious belief. But it could be for those who are not looking to understand themselves, with honesty and with their whole hearts.
That is with passion.
When someone does not wish to understand himself, then to be lost in another is desirable. Whether that is God or another person, or a belief, the aim is for someone else to “drive” the car of our destiny.
The interesting thing is that nobody can do that for us. Not even God.
We live in fear.
Fear of tomorrow. Fear of the past. Fear of that person. Fear of God. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of pleasure. Fear of dying…. Fear of living life.
And then we wish to know love… 🙂
Isn’t that contradictory?
Love is Oneness.
Mathias, the wise tree; was sharing deep things with his friend Ananda. Going to the depth as only Mathias and Ananda know how to do.
Mathias: What makes a being imperishable?
Feel.. an answer from your heart…
Ananda took his time and answered to Mathias.
Ananda: To belong to what is imperishable.
Mathias: To belong gives you permanence?
Mathias: My friend, to what do you belong to?
Ananda: To everything that exists… and also to that which doesn’t exist…
Mathias: Intellectually speaking we could say : “yes” and “no,” but in reality from your heart, ask yourself: What is that which you belong to?
Wait for the answer. It is something non-intellectual. It is not the answer which everyone believes to be. Observe your own roots before replying.
Ananda: The response that came was “love.”
Mathias: Do you belong to love, then?
Ananda: Yes… crazy answer… 🙂
Mathias: Let me be crazy, then… 🙂
Ananda: A response without reasoning.
Mathias: Are your intentions in your actual existence hand in hand with love?
Ananda: Yes … but not completely.
Mathias: Where do you get love, my friend?
Ananda: It is there.. it is like the drop of water belonging to the Ocean.
Mathias: Do you feel full of love, then?
Mathias: What is needed then to experience love?
Ananda: well…that my inner wall goes away…
Mathias: What wall?
Ananda: The internal wall which has been placed there to give me an identity. To make me believe something… what I am.
Mathias: In which moment do you become aware or conscious of that wall?
Ananda: when I wake up.
Mathias: and before that what is in there?
Mathias: and in that emptiness, what do you place?
Mathias: Then.. in that emptiness there is a need to place love.
Ananda: Yes, for emptiness makes up a “form” and through that form, I relate.
Mathias: What inspires that love in you… what makes it happen?
Mathias: What is beauty?
Ananda: something which inspires….
Mathias: Today I will give you a secret formula, my friend… Are you ready?
Intensity is in your heart. Reasoning kills your feelings. Tell that to everyone.
When you open your heart, when the wall goes away… simply think of this and then feel. People think more than what they feel.. and it is the opposite. More time is needed to feel and less time to think. More gratitude and love comes from that exercise.
Reasoning calculates. Reasoning does not measure based on the common good. Reasoning many times is subjective and it depends on the influence of the surrounding environment; that means that it only knows how to read the limited intentions but not the bottom.
The bottom is like the eye of the hurricane. It is there where the secret resides. All yours. Explore, submerge yourself and then come out bringing the gem in your hands… and then smile, because then, you found the path to your own freedom.