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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Money Money Money...

                             Always sunny in a rich man’s world?

What is Life? This question has been asked since time immemorial, and has been answered in more ways than we can count. However, when one looks beyond the high sounding philosophical rhetoric, at the actual way that people live, even the philosophers, it becomes apparent that for the vast majority of humanity LIFE means THE BODY and nothing more. This is true even for ‘spiritual’ gurus whose lifestyle proves that their actions do not align with their stated beliefs. The very word LIFETIME means that life has a period of time allotted to it which is the same as the time that the body is alive. Therefore Life and Body are synonymous: LIFE = THE BODY
  • WHAT EXACTLY DO PEOPLE LIVE FOR? We live in a BODY – CENTRIC world. Look around you and you will find a world built around the worship of the body. This is easy enough to prove for the world only admires people with power (leaders), looks (actors, models) or physical prowess (athletes). These are the role models in this world with no regard whatsoever to their spiritual or moral condition.
A Body – Centric world is based on one’s belief that the BODY IS LIFE. If one truly believed that life was something other than the body, or at the very least something more than the body, they would surely spend a bit more of their time, and expend a bit more of their energy in nurturing that which they believed to be that Life. A Body – Centric world is the Natural World, literally the world of nature. In the world of nature survival of the body is the purpose of life, both for man and animals. The law of the jungle is merely survival at all costs. Like a beast marking out his territory that none weaker than him dare trespass upon, even of his own species, man too spends his days marking out as much territory for himself as he possibly can. If this were really not the truth, then man’s reason for existence would not be focused on the body. He would then understand that if his existence were to continue into infinity beyond the body, then at the very least he would spend as much time planning for his existence outside of the body as he does for the time he has in the body. If people really believed in life after the body dies, beyond the natural world, the word LIFETIME would have no meaning. The time of life would not be measured according to the age of the body; rather the time of life in the body would constitute a miniscule part of the whole of life, of the infinite existence of the person.

If it is really true that the sum total of man’s existence is the time he has in the body, then it is entirely justifiable for him to prolong that existence as much as possible and to make it as comfortable and luxurious as possible, at any cost. This Body – Centric belief of our existence is the prevailing view in the world and naturally creates a ‘Grab what you can while you can’ philosophy of life. It does not require Sherlock Holmes’ sleuthing skills to prove the fact that man is trained to ‘hunt’ from an early age, to be a survivor, to value himself in terms of material gains, to be selfish, think of himself first and the rest be damned. To ‘Make a Living’ becomes his purpose in life not to seek meaning in the life that he has mysteriously been given. From the time a man is born, the defining question of his life becomes ‘What are you going to do or what are you going to become’? This question is posed with such seriousness that the majority of people accept it to be the purpose of their lives without questioning this premise. The question is not intended to be asked in a metaphysical or spiritual sense but rather in a natural, corporeal sense. People take great pride in proclaiming that their offspring will BECOME a Doctor or a Lawyer or occupy some other position that is highly esteemed amongst mankind. What exactly is the reason for these hopes that parents have that cause them to place often burdensome expectations on their children? The answer lies in how this world defines SUCCESS.
SUCCESS in this world is inextricably linked to money; if anyone disagrees please show me one destitute person in this world who is considered to be successful! Show me one poor ugly person whose face graces the covers of magazines in the supermarket checkout line. Show me one homeless person who is on CNN or Oprah because of his or her intelligence or spirituality. Unless a person has proven himself, meaning he has made a lot of money, he is not considered to be successful. So for all intents and purposes SUCCESS means MONEY. It is for this reason that when a child is born, the parents almost never wish that the child will be a Godly person or a Good person, that he will be motivated to search for, and understand his existence, to seek out his ethereal purpose rather than live merely for his corporeal self. Invariably the wish is that he will be successful, meaning he will make lots of money.
The ‘Education’ system is not designed to teach children and young adults critical thinking but rather to equip them to hold a job so that they can earn money. The concept of money itself is a civilized method of enforcing the law of the jungle, of survival of the fittest. The more money a person makes, the higher up he goes on the food chain and the more territory he becomes entitled to in this world. Unlike the animal kingdom, where power is determined by physical strength, in man’s world power is determined by the amount of money he collects over the course of his life. The principle however is the same; it is one of selfish gain. Just as a crocodile stakes out his territory for selfish purposes, not caring one bit for those outside of his territory; so too does man collect money with little or no regard for others of his species. Money therefore is the ultimate tool of self gratification. And what else can money be used for except to buy things that are to be used for the body such as food, clothing, homes, cottages, automobiles etc.? Once the idea becomes established in a person’s mind that SUCCESS = MONEY; then the pursuit of money becomes the goal of a person’s life. It is in the acceptance of the purpose of life being how to be successful, earn as much money as possible that makes a person selfish, makes him a natural beast, a taker not a selfless giver.
And this belief is firmly rooted in the belief that the Life is nothing more than the Body. If one does not believe in Heaven, one cannot believe in laying up treasures in Heaven.
Matthew 6 v 19: Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.
 Since the ‘Body’ is Life for the vast majority, they do everything they possibly can to make their bodily existence as rich as possible, and this takes money. Money therefore becomes the purpose of life for the vast majority. If you disagree just got to the mall on a Saturday afternoon and see the number of people lined up to buy lottery tickets for the jackpot that they think will bring them freedom. The very word ‘Freedom’ is associated in most people’s mind with Money. Freedom does not mean the freedom to think for oneself, to worship as one chooses, to live as one chooses but it means ‘Money’, so that one can buy a lot of goods.   Ask people what the #1 thing they will need in this life and I venture to say that 95% or more would say MONEY. The high value placed upon Money by the majority is a direct result of their Body – Centric view of the world and their own existence. They do not realize that there are only so many bucks to go around (unless you own the Federal Reserve but that’s another story), and every buck that one person has comes to him at the expense of another person somewhere in the world being deprived of that buck. Though we easily deceive ourselves into thinking that we deserve whatever we have, the way distribution of money as calculated by the price of labor works in our world, few if any of the haves really deserve what they have. Distribution of money and goods, the price of money (exchange rates) and the disparity in the price of labor are topics for another time but the system is the law of the jungle. Whoever has the power gets the wealth, and people have been fighting and killing each other since the beginning of civilization to be the wealthiest and the most powerful. History books are written about wicked and evil men like the Alexanders and Caesars of this world, and people look upon them with admiration even to this day. Since people do not believe that they are a Soul rather than a body, admonitions such as that of Jesus have no meaning for them.
Matthew 16:26: For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 
The philosophy or religion of MONEY = SUCCESS that is based on a Body – Centric view of existence is the root cause of the enormous inequalities we find to be the norm in the world. Though Gurus and Swamis speak about ‘enlightenment’, their own hedonistic lifestyles betray that they are willing to share enlightenment as long as it doesn’t lighten their bank accounts. When I was in India recently there was a major scandal ongoing involving a ‘holy’ man who apparently has $50 million stashed away in a Swiss bank account. In the supposedly spiritual movie, ‘The Secret’ promoted by Oprah among others, we find people teaching us how to be successful by visualizing that they own that villa in Hawaii, that yacht in the Bahamas, that Learjet... Are they going to heaven in a Learjet? Though leaders of rich and poor countries spout clichés and even use rock stars like Bono to try and con us into believing that world poverty will soon be a thing of the past, I can guarantee you no one in Vegas will take a bet on such an outcome. The very banking systems that will supposedly end poverty are designed to rob and pillage, to take from the many to give to the few. That is the law of the jungle, the ones with power make the rules, and you can bet your bottom dollar that they make them for their benefit not for yours or the starving millions in Africa or elsewhere in the world. I have lived long enough on the planet to have a sense of Déjà vu whenever I hear politicians speak of ending poverty or bringing peace to the Middle East.
I remember Johnson’s War on Poverty and the great society he promised, I remember Carter’s peace accords for the Middle East, I remember Nixon – Brezhnev SALT treaties to eliminate nuclear weapons, I remember Reagan’s War on Drugs...and the list goes on and on. The stated goals never seem to be reached but seem to move further out of reach; is this mere coincidence or are the stated goals mere window dressing to hide entirely different agendas for the kings of the jungle? In a Body – Centric world it would be foolish to expect real philanthropy; even highly admired philanthropists are anything but philanthropic! In this world driven by selfishness and greed even philanthropy is driven by agendas, least of which being tax breaks for the wealthy. If man was capable of true philanthropy (love for his fellow man), we would not live in a MONEY based system – end of story! What the system would be I do not know but I know that one can either love money or one can love man, one cannot love both at the same time.
Matthew 6:24: No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (Money).
One of the foremost expressions of Divine Love is by being contented in one’s existence regardless of one monetary worth. We read in 1 Timothy 6 v 7: For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. If everyone lived by this simple adage the world could indeed become a paradise rather than a jungle. We have been sold a bill of goods as to the number of things we NEED (not want) for the body but the Bible simplifies the whole gamut to two: 1. Food. 2. Raiment (Clothing). If everyone lived according to this belief and calculated the value of their life in trying to understand their existence, rather than accumulate goods that none of us can carry out of here then the world would indeed be a different place. We would all have enough food, enough clothing, and enough shelter but more importantly we would all have enough time to contemplate Life so that we don’t spend our few days here like hamsters on a wheel going round and round, wearing ourselves out, yet going nowhere. God only knows the kind of world that would come into existence if the inhabitants of the world ever came to the understanding that there may be more to Life than the Body. That Money ≠ Success, rather Contentment = Success. True understanding lies in understanding that The Life is more than the Body, you are your Soul not your body, and the needs of your soul are very different from that of the body.
The Bible tells us that the very desire to be rich is a trap, once we fall into it may not just be difficult, it may be impossible to extricate oneself from that trap. 1 Timothy 6 v 9: But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. This money trap destroys lives, young lives on a daily basis. Young men kill each other just to have a few more pieces of silver than the next person. Young people, especially men, even boys, are sent to kill and to be killed in wars that despite the high sounding rhetoric are in truth about nothing more than the megalomaniacal dreams of modern day Caesars firmly ensconced in their ivory towers sipping champagne and eating caviar, even as young men in the prime of life, not to mention innocent women and children are butchered and mutilated in battlefields their leaders will never step foot upon. The money trap is a deadly and murderous one, of that I believe no one should need any convincing.
1 Timothy 6 v 10: For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. This scripture is often misquoted as Money is the root of all evil when the Bible clearly states that the LOVE OF MONEY is the root of all evil. Much good can be done with money but that would require a different view of life than is currently prevalent in our world. A believer in the BODY IS LIFE, a Body – Centric person can live no other way than for the pursuit of money; and that which one pursues, one loves and therefore the majority of people are lovers of money and encompassed by all manner of evil. The lives of the majority are ruled by jealousies, envies, pettiness, tensions due to too much or too little money and the list of sorrows goes on and on. How many people do you know that are truly contented, that have no money oriented goals? Are you?
The following Pink Floyd song titled Money sums up rather accurately the state of humanity in the 21st century, as it has been in all preceding centuries. Regrettably Pink Floyd themselves prove to be true what they sing in the song, “Share it fairly but don't take a slice of my pie”.
Money  (Waters) 6:32

Money, get away.
Get a good job with good pay and you're okay.
Money, it's a gas.
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.
New car, caviar, four star daydream,
Think I'll buy me a football team.

Money, get back.
I'm all right Jack keep your hands off of my stack.
Money, it's a hit.
Don't give me that do goody good bullshit.
I'm in the high-fidelity first class traveling set
And I think I need a Lear jet.

Money, it's a crime.
Share it fairly but don't take a slice of my pie.
Money, so they say
Is the root of all evil today.
But if you ask for a raise it's no surprise that they're
giving none away.


  1. Paul, you've written another very profound and, as usual, excellent piece. God has certainly gifted you with major insight, and the ability to convey those insights.

    I've e-mailed this piece to everyone I know. If I could only get that Pink Floyd song out of my head.

  2. "Just as a crocodile stakes out his territory for selfish purposes, not caring one bit for those outside of his territory; so too does man collect money with little or no regard for others of his species. Money therefore is the ultimate tool of self gratification."

    I see this mentality with coworkers all to often. The spin tricks individuals do to solidify their position and keep others from rising is painful to watch. I choose my career path because I felt it would allow me to focus on building things and avoid the entanglements of corporate politicking. To an extent this has been the case... yet it amazes me what others will do if they deem you a threat or hinderance to their advancement. One manager I watched as he pushed out a product lead and a VP of product by propagating failure and turning upper management against them. He did not seem remorseful nor even concerned how the firing may impact those individuals or their families. When victim to similar attacks I am at a lost as how best to handle the situation... sometimes I turn the other cheek or even allow it to continue. Other times and most often I confront it with the individual responsible. Yet it rarely stops. It comes off like it must be a game to them.

    I will certainly come back to this one... It has me thinking.

  3. Excellent article.
    Try being unemployed. It was actually the best time of our lives. Yes, we worked, but not nearly as much with a regular job. We had more time to play with the children, pray, go for long walks and rest. The LORD provided for our every need. Still is, now that we have a job. In the words of The Matrix 'there is no money'.