Everyone knows of the great importance of money for the functioning of our society. It plays an important and often decisive role in choosing education, profession, even (in some traditions) in choosing a spouse, in our decision to have children, etc. etc. In general, it can be said that much of life revolves around money.
But what does it represent?
We can view money as a form of energy that belongs to this natural order. It serves as an intermediary for the exchange of goods and services. People need different goods and services and have to make use of different material resources. At the beginning of our culture, in Greek civilisation, the philosopher Aristotle claimed that money is needed in order to have a good and moderate life. Socrates pointed out an additional aspect of our existence in saying: There is a sun hidden in each human being, and it’s our task to make it shine.
Is it not possible to combine these two aspects? Can’t we strive for a deeper sense in life and use money to help us with its material aspects?
In our time we live in economic systems where people can accumulate a lot of money that they cannot even spend during their entire life. It gives them power, a better standard of living and some certainty in pursuing their aims. Many people inherit tremendous wealth; others acquire it in their lives. Some, on the other hand, do not have enough money to even meet their basic needs. The fear of losing money turns many from its master to its servant.
Life on earth is characterised by inconsistency and perishability. The desire to accumulate disposable means turns out to be one of the illusions of matter. Our life can be regarded as a series of moments in the expression of the constant flow of life in an endless universe.
Money had its origins in the value of gold and silver. Gold was used as a favourite means of exchange. This precious metal was associated with the sun. Huge cosmic processes took it down to earth, like all the other elements.
There is always something lacking.
Money is part of our existence on earth. But in this existence there is always something lacking, we experience a constant shortage in many respects. We keep reading about the shortage of energy. The real energy we need is love. There is a constant shortage of love.
Spiritual traditions claim that the human being came on this earth and took on a material shape in order to make experiences. In the course of materialisation it lost its access to the abundance of energy and love in the spiritual world.
Now fear and greed have gotten the better of many of us. Who wants to live in need and poverty? There is nobility in us. We want to realize it. But how? So we try to accumulate money.
But it’s the wrong gold. The alchemists spoke of the gold of the soul. Money becomes a fake illusion if we allow it to go beyond its place. We can dig for the gold which we really need. It’s hidden in ourselves.
Money in the process of transformation
On a spiritual path we can realize that we exist and work in two worlds – the material and the spiritual one. This means that we have to deal with material and spiritual forces and substances. The human path is a path of constant transformation. We can therfore give it a direction towards the spiritual world. Then we are not only changing our own consciousness but also our way of living together. There is a deep connection between all of us. Feeling this and acting on it means love.
Money has its importance as a substance for exchange. Our real substance for exchange, however, is love. We are called to apply it for a sustained transformation. Love enables us to create the golden reality which is already present in us as the spiritual spark of our innermost being, as the sun hidden in us. And money can be our servant, as long as we are in need of him.