There is a great deal that is said that about money not being everything in life. This is so true. And, following up on this is the statement that, “money doesn’t make you happy.” And yes we know that this too is true.
Religious leaders have always established a strong connection between the state of our financial affairs and our connection with the transcendent.
What do you believe is the relationship between wealth and spirituality? Is there a connection between the two?
For years I feared that the pursuit of wealth would hamper my spiritual life, distract me from my spiritual path; that was one of the limiting beliefs I had that prevented me from succeeding. But I realized somewhere in my early thirties that that belief, like all others, wasn’t true in itself. There is no conflict between wealth and spirituality, unless you create it in your mind. I can pursue financial success and still have plenty of time as well for my spiritual life. And, ultimately, they’re not even two separate things: My spiritual life encompasses every moment of each day and night.
Teilhard de Chardin said one of my favorite quotes,
“We are not physical beings who may
have a spiritual experience,
we are spiritual beings having a physical experience.”
We are physical beings with physical needs, emotional beings with emotional needs, mental beings with the power to fulfill our needs, and spiritual beings, every moment. Acknowledging the spiritual in ourselves and in others gives us purpose in life, and puts everything into the proper perspective.
We are not here just to become wealthy, isolated individuals. We are part of a great, mysterious, wondrous whole, and we are here to love and serve ourselves, humanity, and the whole planet, the whole environment. That’s the right perspective; that’s what is important in life.
The single most brilliant phrase I ever heard was from Ramana Maharshi, one of the greatest teachers in India in the last century. He said:
“The end of all wisdom is love,
That’s what is important in life. If your education doesn’t result in love, for all of humanity, for the whole worldÂ then your education hasn’t been complete. Marc Allen
There are a couple of key points I think that this interview brought out:
- That our physical and spiritual selves are intrinisically connected
- There is a connection between our physical and spiritual realities – They affect each other
- Fulifillment and happiness on not dependent on wealth
- It is always nicer to be rich and fulfilled than poor and fulfilled. But both can provide a satisfied life.
- Our modern world has confused consumerism with happiness and is the poorer for it because we have not explored our spiritual journey
Ultimately it is love that will prevail – As Paul says it is what will last forever and no matter what else we do and say if we haven’t loved then we have nothing.