Is money compatible with spirituality? Negative beliefs about money.
We often hear the saying that spirituality and money do not mix well together. That money has nothing to do with spirituality because money is associated with materialism and therefore evil, as opposed to the spiritual, which is good. There are a lot of negative beliefs towards money in general, but when associated with spirituality it becomes even worse! These negative beliefs have their roots in our Judeo-Christian Western culture. To understand them, we must go back in time and take a look at our History.
A bit of History…
It is in Christianity, the most widespread religion in the Western world, that we find some of the foundations for the negative beliefs linked to money.
There is of course the episode of “the Cleansing of the Temple” in the New Testament. When Jesus enters the Temple he gets angry and expels the merchants, their clients and money exchangers out of the Temple with his whip. He accuses them of turning the Temple into "a den of thieves" through their commercial activities. Of this episode we remember that Jesus couldn’t stand to see his “Father’s house" turn into a place of commercial activities.
We also remember his famous quote: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich person into the kingdom of God”.
There is a difference between what Jesus said and what was transmitted in the Gospels, and even more so the interpretation that was made of it.
Jesus’ message in this quote is that the pursuit of wealth and accumulation of material goods is not an end in itself, it is not the purpose of an incarnation on earth. Because when we return to the “kingdom of God” we do not take anything material with us.
Another quote about money: "If you wish to be perfect, go sell your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
This quote tells us that it is through generosity and sharing of wealth that we find our true nature and joy. By giving unconditionally, we receive in return. Moreover we are expressions of Source (sons and daughters of God) and we possess all the treasures of Heaven already.
He also says:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”.
Sometimes this quote was transmitted as “Blessed are the poor” instead of “poor in spirit”. This of course transforms the message completely. This quote reaffirms what I’ve just mentioned: never mind the poverty state (in spirit or else), never mind our woes, our fears and our doubts. By following the path of return to Source, the one of spiritual awakening, we realize that everything is already given to us because we are the All that is manifested. Ultimately Source is wealth, consolation, justice and love for the mourning souls coming home.
In the Bible, wealth is a way of serving God, wealth is a means and not an end. But during the course of our History, the Church has moved away from the initial messages of Jesus and what they meant. Money and professions linked to money were condemned; the Church has used these messages to preach poverty as a spiritual virtue. This is quite ironic because as we know, during the colonization of the Americas, the conquistadors backed by the Church rushed towards the gold of the Aztecs and the Incas, plundering their temples and palaces. Later on they did the same with the mining resources and precious gems of Africa when they colonized the black continent. Missionaries would also preach to the colonized how detaching from the richness of their land, and making vows of poverty would guarantee them an entry to the “kingdom of God”.
Vatican today is the smallest state in the world but also the wealthiest on this planet! It stands on a 2 ton reserve of gold, real estate, a huge art collection, monuments, tens of millions of euros of annual profit, money laundering, stocks and bonds...Without forgetting about the numerous secret treasures that have yet to be discovered.
So yes, the Church doesn’t want us to accumulate money because it’s bad for us, it’s better if we get rid of it and give it to them. They surely know what to do with this devil’s tool! The Church simply understood that money could be used as an instrument for power and control.
Regarding Judaism, one of the most widespread anti-Semite argument is that Jews are greedy and profiteers. Let’s look at the origin of these beliefs as well: the Church has decided that professions linked to money like loaning with interest are bad and the activity of the devil (because it’s a direct threat to their wealth accumulation project within the Church). Christians were not allowed to work in the field of finance.
Jews have been heavily discriminated since Antiquity. During the 4th Council of Lateran in the Middle Ages, the Church sets the trade of money and usury as heresies. Jews and non-Christians do not have the right to own land (and therefore can’t farm), they do not have the right to exercise political functions and most liberal professions. Professions linked to money like loaning are all that’s left. Rabbis were also against them but since Jews have no other choice professionally they surrender to it. Jews have therefore become the loaners, usurers and bankers. Throughout the centuries they became very good at it. This is how the myth of the Jew obsessed with money was born.
There is a fundamental difference between Christian and Jewish texts regarding wealth. In the Old Testament, wealth is seen as a blessing. In the 10th century BC, during the inauguration of the Temple, King Solomon declares that the Jewish people must only enrich themselves to enrich others and that it can only be happy if those who surround them are as well. He also says: “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle”.
For Jews being blessed by God is to be wealthy, but it is not an end in itself as it is only temporary. Judaism doesn’t condemn wealth but condemns poverty, for Christianity it is the opposite.
In the 16th century, Christianity splits and Protestantism is born. Its influence still prevails in most Anglo-Saxon countries today. Protestantism allows the loan with interest (once associated with Jews as I explained), it also reinforced the idea of the individual and glorifies the values of work. It is said that Protestantism is the basis of capitalism, in any case we understand why the Anglo-Saxons are much more at ease with money in general.
Money and spirituality today
We can see through our History how these negative beliefs about money were passed on from generation to generation. Even today wealth and wealthy people are often seen as something bad (especially in Latin countries such as France!).
In the spiritual and self-help field we are often seen as charlatans when we ask for money for services that are not materially tangible. For others, working in this field means to sacrifice ourselves in the name of Love and Light like Jesus on the cross. Asking for money in return of a service in that field is seen as a sort of heresy!
But all work deserves to be rewarded. We are leaving the Age of Pisces; we are done with sacrifice and martyrdom. Working for free is the equivalent of sacrifice or slavery. Moreover when we know the fundamental laws of the Universe, we know that the original state of the Universe is abundance, and financial abundance is part of it, since money is still a medium of exchange. When we follow our passion and find a work that is aligned with our life purpose and our soul, it is only natural that abundance becomes a positive consequence of that state.
Let’s take a baker for example; his passion is to make bread. He wakes up every night at 3am to make his bread and sell it in the morning. We don’t enter a bakery saying: “But since it’s your passion to make bread, you can give it to me for free, no?” . So why would we expect someone who works in the spiritual field to work for free? When we go to see a medium we ask him a service, this service is to come in contact with the deceased. When we go to see a healer, we ask him to help us heal. When we go to see an astrologer we ask him to study our chart and share his review. All of these are service businesses that require work and energy and are therefore rewarded.
Yes, charlatans and pseudo-gurus do exist, I’m not denying it. But usually when we have a little intuition we can spot them from miles away: exorbitant fees, flashy misleading advertisements, fake promises, manipulations, etc.
Let's also take a look at traditional societies: the shaman is the spiritual guide of his community, but also the intermediary between the physical and the spirit world and the healer. A shaman will never ask for anything in return of his services, but the community will always reward him in one way or another with food or clothes for example. In some indigenous tribes this natural way of exchange still prevails today, it just goes without saying.
In our society money is the medium of exchange. Money is often seen as something filthy; because it is true it has been used in less than benevolent ways. But money in itself has nothing to do with it. Money is a neutral energy; it’s what we do with it that determines its negative or positive impact. For a long time the value of money was based on metals such as gold or silver. We would exchange gold coins but as they were heavy and not very handy the ancestor of the bill was created. Gold and silver are produced naturally upon our planet, are these metals intrinsically bad? No. So why would money be bad? It has been created by Source like gold, diamonds, or pearls…
When we have negative beliefs about money, we must dig deeper and investigate. It is often a coping mechanism to compensate the powerlessness we feel when we can’t earn enough money or by doing something we love. There are very few wealthy people or people aligned with their purpose and passion in life that have negative beliefs towards money. The problem when we have these kinds of beliefs is that we consequently block the natural flow of abundance of the Universe (see my article on the Law of attraction), which creates even more frustrations and negative manifestations…
On a personal level, I’ve come a long way on that subject. I grew up in a family where money was taboo. In some families sex is taboo, in my family it was money. When I asked questions about money growing up I’d be told: “We don’t speak about that, it’s none of your business!”. Money was unconsciously seen as something bad and shameful. My family was not poor, more like middle class, but when my father retired my parents were the victims of a bank fraud and lost all they had. A couple of years later my mother (who had to find a job again though she was in her 50’s) got kidney cancer and had one removed. Kidneys and the lower back zone are connected to the fear towards security, survival and money. In French there is a saying that says:” To have solid kidneys” which means to have enough resources. My grandmother (God rest her soul) who lived comfortably most of her life, died penniless. Negative beliefs about money (even unconscious) have manifested financial dramas in my family. I had to work my way through all those beliefs (and am probably still working on them).
In the United States, the spiritual and self-help field have become a billion dollar business. Americans are totally shameless when it comes to money and there’s nothing wrong about that. But we sometimes witness big spiritual shows that feed spiritual egos in the business. It leads to certain questions - as to know if in the end it’s still about helping people in a sincere way or just about making big money instead.
I am for the Middle way: with on one side the billion dollar business in America and on the other the French mentality where when we ask for money in exchange of an appointment, workshop or book we almost have to ask for forgiveness and repent…in between these two extremes there is a happy medium. At the end of the day, the important thing is to work with sincerity to help others compassionately while following our joy and passion to do so.
That being said, money and the monetary system as it exists today (that is money created out of thin air by banks and not based on gold reserves) is going to disappear, because it has been used as a way of controlling people. We are at the dawn of a global economy collapse and in the coming years we will invent new economies and a new taxation system. I feel and I hope that we will adopt a universal income so that every human being can live decently on this planet, making the choice to work or not. But when we find our passion and follow it, is it really still work in the end?
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