I watched a program on PBS the other night about the Buddha’s death. Even in his last words he encouraged his disciples to seek the light within themselves rather than mourn him, their teacher. The Buddha attained enlightenment; he was “The one who woke up.” He encouraged his followers to realize that life is an illusion and to let go of attachments to it.
In a similar way, Jesus told his disciples that they would have trouble in the world but to be cheerful because he had overcome the world.
I’ve read many books & articles about mind over matter, further emphasizing the concept that the illusions of life can be manipulated. Rhonda Byrnes’ “The Secret,” Richard Bach’s “Illusions: The Adventures Of A Reluctant Messiah,” Mary Robinson Reynolds’ spiritual “MasterMind” program (not to mention the Bible) and others have all had an effect on how I perceive my life and money’s role in it. Studying and practicing visualization, too, has taught me that I can certainly affect my circumstances (read, “Infinite Possibilities” by Mike Dooley).
I can’t help but wonder if those who struggle with connecting to and dealing with their finances are actually aware of the illusion of them and merely don’t want to play along. Perhaps they know that riches, while pleasurable, do not bring happiness …so why waste their time on them?
Most financial people don’t discuss the illusion of money; they talk about stock market performance, budgeting, interest rates, hedge funds and all that but few, if any, acknowledge that money is merely a form of energy and that we earn, save, invest, and share it based on many other illusions in our lives such as approval, adventure, fear, security etc.
The reason why I wrote my book “Living Inspired and Financially Empowered: Aligning Our Spiritual and Material Lives” is because I find people believe material abundance and spirituality are mutually exclusive. The truth is you can experience a rich spiritual life and apply that spirituality to the material aspects of life (like money), but you have to work through the illusions first.
The truth is, our world economy exists because we, as a society, agree that is does and agree to the components of it (such as what a dollar will buy, what interest rate we pay on mortgages, what a position will pay etc.). We mutually agree to the illusion.
My concern is that if you are not a willing and active participant in the illusion, you are left out of it, by choice or not by choice. If you’re living in the type of environment that you don’t have to make financial decisions (like being a monk) it’s probably not a big deal, but for the rest of us living in the world, making conscious financial decisions is just another part of life.
Be enlightened, and bring that enlightenment to your financial life.
If interested in purchasing my book, review my webpage http://www.lauberfinancialplanning.com/2258/living_inspired_and_financially_empowered.aspx
Photo sketch of the Buddha courtesy of ClipArt