Monday, January 12, 2009

Wealth and Goodness

The very same inquiry that concerns you also captured the interest of the ancients, including the writers of the Psalms.

They asked, "Why do the wicked prosper and the good so often suffer in poverty?" And why do "the good" often "die young"? Unfortunately, they had no answer, and their god Jehovah also had none.

With spiritual discernment, however, we can see the outworking of karma in every life: Many lives alternate between terrible poverty and great riches. So, if you are "too rich" in one life due to greed, grasping, and craving, you will be born in utter poverty the next time around. And many, especially those who embrace "voluntary holy poverty," are born into a society such as we have in the U.S., where almost everyone possesses the necessities of life.

But a person's material possessions are the least desirable among life's blessings. The very poor, or those who have never had enough, assume that a life of riches solves all major problems, and even brings bliss.

But sudden lottery-winners deny this, as do the wealthy of all history and all cultures: Money cannot buy happiness. The possession of money might not always be any kind of "blessing" from the cosmos, as we so often assume; it might also be a major karmic test or exam.

God is Love, not money. So, the cosmic Mind does not use money as a "reward" for goodness. No, It is much more sophisticated than that shallow illusion. It rewards people with much more profound and lasting "treasures," such as kindness, Love, compassion, goodness, high selfesteem, intelligence, artistic sense of beauty, the gifts of words, and similar interior blessings.

Often, but not always, the spiritual person is, in fact, contrasted, by mysticsages, with the wealthy. For the rich have already found their "god," and have named it "money."

Jesus said, "It is easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a sewing-needle than for a rich person to inherit the Kingdom." He referred to the interior "Kingdom" of Light and Love. Riches are not in themselves bad, but they become bad when they take timenergy away from concern (Love) for other people. To the rich, a dollar is often more important than a life. It is this horrible distortion that the masters of every culture warned against.

But it is undeniably true that the crooked and evil benefit from the world's economic systems. Indeed, their greed is part of their overall evil. Good people, by contrast, often use time to serve others.

The rich like to say, "Time is money." But they are wrong; time is much more valuable than money. It is the "gold" and "platinum" of the universe.

You can say anything that you want about yourself, but it is how you actually spend your time that proves or disproves the quality of your character.

Brother Francis, the famous mysticsaint, went so far as to glorify and recommend "Lady Poverty," for he knew that the rich (including his own bio-father) had not enough time to serve others. So, their loss was great, and terrible.

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