We blame these little pieces of paper for so much. Does it deserve the blame? Money doesn’t have a brain, malicious intent, greed, or even a plan. It’s just paper. Problems only start to occur when people enter the scene so I don’t think we can blame the paper. Money is also a necessary as a means of exchange for goods and services. The modern world without money would cease to function causing chaos.
So as a meditator, what is the function of money in my life? The path leads us to live more and more like a monk, and a monk must live without money, so should we try to distance ourselves as much as possible from money? No. As a householder it seems imperative that we take care of ourselves and maintain our independence. If we are irresponsible regarding our personal cash flow we will become beggars which seems irresponsible if one can help it.
So what is right livelihood? What is the difference between work and service? There are so many jobs that perpetuate ego; these jobs are simply about making money by selling your time. Then we have service jobs where people expect to earn less money because part of the compensation comes from feeling good about helping others. Through this same logic, people who have jobs that harm others tend to get paid more. That seems strange.
It seems we need to purify our understanding of money. We give money way too much power and forget that we control the money not the other way around. If you call money evil, your calling the people who hold it evil. This is a complicated subject and this post only touches upon it without any real solutions. Maybe I’ll revisit some smaller piece of it again in the future. For now, I simply feel that we need to stop blaming money, start helping people break their addiction to wanting money without, and begin respecting the important role money plays in our society. What do you think? Time to meditate.