Today we ask you to examine your beliefs about money.

For many people, money is a central obsession.  The whole purpose of existence is the accrual of money.  Money is equated with security.  The more of it you have, the more secure you are.  Money creates lasting security for you, and your heirs.

Of course, this is not true.

The billionaire is not more secure than the beggar.  Why is this so?  The billionaire is no less prone to sickness and suffering than the beggar.  The billionaire may certainly be able to afford expensive medical treatments, but this does not guarantee that his life will be prolonged.  Accidents and diseases kill billionaires as surely as they do beggars.  The billionaire may experience as much stress as the beggar.  Nor can the billionaire ensure the security of his heirs.  They may be happy or miserable.  They may die young or old.  Ultimately, their fate is not determined by wealth — or, rather, wealth itself is neutral.  It can create joy or misery for people depending on the people themselves.  History is rife with miserable princes and princesses.

So wealth does not create security.

Wealth is neutral.  In of itself, it is neither good nor bad.  Money is neither the root of all evil, nor the fountain of youth and delight.  It is neutral.  It is neither good nor bad.

Individuals respond to money in different ways.  Again, money itself is neutral.  However, in certain individuals, the concept of money can have a very poisonous effect.  When saying money is the root of all evil, one is looking in the wrong place.  Money is neutral.

It is the human ego that has a complex relationship with money.  By ego, we are describing the part of human consciousness that perceives itself as separate from others, that is obsessed with power, status, control, and superiority, and that is prone to fear and aggression.  That is what we mean by the “ego.”  We could also describe it as the Fearful Self.  Every human possesses this part, but in some humans it is more active than in others.  In most humans it is quite active.

It is the Fearful Self that can have a toxic relationship with money; that can, in fact, go quite insane in regard to money.

It is perhaps a good analogy to say that money is like a painkilling drug.  The drug in itself is neutral, and can be very useful.  But in the hands of an addict, a painkilling drug can be highly destructive.  The drug itself is neither good nor bad.  It is neutral, and can be very useful.  But the individual can misuse it in a self-destructive way.

Money can be very useful.  In the right hands, it can be used for great good.  To give is a wonderful thing.  It can help to create freedom, health, and beauty.  It can help to create joyful experiences and expand human consciousness.  The money itself is neutral.  But individual human beings can and do use money as a tool to create great good.

For other humans, it is terribly destructive.  They become obsessed with hoarding it.  They become addicted to consumption, believing that happiness lies in the accrual of objects.  Some humans can be quite warped and damaged around money.

Again, it is not the money itself.  It is the human ego, or Fearful Self, that has the problematic relationship with money — the way alcoholics have a problematic relationship with alcohol.  Liquor itself is neutral, and for many people it can create a pleasant experience.

So: money cannot create security.  It is neither the root of all evil, nor the fountain of youth and happiness.

It is neutral.  It is a powerful substance, the same way a drug is a powerful substance.  Like a drug, it can be used to create good or ill depending on the individual.

If you have a problematic relationship with money, it is not about the money.  Look inward.

Money is like sugar.  Sugar can create a delicious treat.  But with people who do not understand the proper use of sugar, it can create disease and suffering.  Sugar itself is neutral, and can be very pleasant and create joyful experiences.  So too can money.  That is the proper use of money — to create joyful experiences, for yourself, and others.  

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