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Money as Ego

March 7th, 2010 at 06:01 pm

So had a delicious hot bath last night - maybe a 90 min soak :-) It's beginning to become a Saturday night habit of mine...

Anyways have been giving attention to quieting my mind and turning off the constant mental chatter that normally fills my head.

I feel like I'm making progress. Last night, in the bath, I had a sort of minor transcendental moment while reading a poem called Tintern Abbey by William Wordsworth.

It's main theme is that our true essence is at one with nature. And that once we realize that, we can call on that union with nature to sustain us even while in the middle of a city/crisis.

Our thoughts do not supply any happiness for the most part - most are concerned with worry or fear of some sort - or of avoiding future bad events.

I love the idea that we are not born INTO this world (i.e. come from somewhere else) but we are born OF this world - like a wave that comes out of the ocean and that will return to the ocean.

Given that money is either:

1. Pieces of paper that we all agree to subscribe value to.. as opposed to candy wrappers.

2. Electronic numbers in a Bank Account that have no basis in reality outside the Bank's computer system.

3. A status symbol - a way of differentiating one human being from another.

Doesn't money and financial planning just take us away from our true selves and away from the present moment ? Isn't our Divine Nature that is inherent in all living things our biggest asset ? I mean, when we start retirement plans and take on mortgages, are we just taking up our share in The Western World Incorporated and turning a blind eye to the joy of living - just living ?

Yes... if I lose my job, I would like to have a big Emergency Fund... but even if I didn't - you know what - it wouldn't be the end of the world - why not ? Because at least I'm not a soldier in Irag dying before my time or a man watching his children suffer in Haiti.

Money has become so personalised that it is almost part of who I am.

Money seems to be a favourite tool of the Ego. "When I have a million euro, I'll be so free and happy" so attention is took away from this moment (that will never be repeated) to some future moment (when I've a million euro) that may never happen.

Oh... I'm just tired of living in financial clothes that are too small for me, with the hope that all this under-spending will yield financial "liberty" some day.

I mean money is not evil in and of itself. But the time spent thinking about it takes away from this second right here right now that when I'm 90 years old on life support I won't be able to "buy back" with all the Tea in China.

Sorry if I'm rambling.. just trying to clear my mind a bit... :-)

8 Responses to “Money as Ego”

  1. PauletteGoddard Says:

    This is one beautiful post. Here I am, whipsawed between a retreat for asking for grace to overcome disordered attachments (Western World Incorporated) and recognition/acceptance of material and spiritual abundance, and checking the pantry to make meals for a week. And you write of a ninety-minute soak and a classic Romantic poem: frugal luxuries that remind us of the joys of being alive.

    After my spiritual attunement exercise, and meal planning for the week, I do believe I shall soak my gritty pale bag of bones in a hot bath to slough off the cares of the day and have a further taste of the divine. Aaah.

    But yeah, seriously I'm finding in this nine-day programmed retreat the following -- money as ego is a common theme in the assigned New Testament readings: drop the money, drop the attachment to transient and evaporative materials and pleasures, drop the ego, and find the kingdom of heaven, or bliss, within. By sharing my experience I don't mean to proselytize: I'm just sharing with you love of hot baths, transcendental poetry, and frugal luxuries, and validating the conceptual truth of Divine Nature.

  2. baselle Says:

    "Doesn't money and financial planning just take us away from our true selves and away from the present moment ?"

    It might. It might. Its been my experience that money doesn't take away but instead is a magnifying glass to the ego. If you strive for a million euro and get it, the likely next thought is not "ahh, success, I'll be happy" but "1 million? Naw, now I need five million". Its not the money talking.

    The idea is to plan for money, but not overplan it. And I love a hot bath too. Maybe its time to take a dip and finish up my thoughts.

  3. Apprentice Bliss Hunter Says:

    PauletteGoddard - I feel like we could talk for a long time on this topic :-). I've never been to a retreat but would love to go on one. I'm not aware of any close by in this part of Ireland - I did read about a Buddhist Retreat on an island off Scotland - I'll try to research a retreat I could go on later this year.

    I had an amazing moment in the bath - I was re-reading a section of the poem and I just closed my eyes and emptied my mind... just focussed on the life inside my body.. Then I heard my mental dialogue coming in... and suddenly the dialogue just dissolved... It felt like it slipped out of my hand and into a well... It was weird- It was like "What was that thought about again and where did it go". But then I just quietened my mind again and felt peaceful. Then.. an idea came out of nowhere for the screenplay I'm putting together.

    Today is Monday. Last Saturday night was a great night. Last night (Sunday) I was planning to go out on the town checking out girlz but felt tired and didn't go in the end... and for 3/4 hours my ego made me feel isolated/useless with women... but then I watched Eckhart Tolle on Oprah and the ego quickly shut up !:-)

    baselle - Great point you make. Eckhart Tolle explains it as the structure of the Ego. For example if my ego longs for a million euro now and then gets it next year, it will not be satisfied next year. Why not ? Because the need for more money is a structure of the Ego and that structure doesn't change so once I get the million, the Ego still wants more... and more... and more..

  4. momcents Says:

    Interesting post! Last night my twelve year old I did an marathon group read (2.5 hours) of the "Griffin and Sabine" trilogy. One thing that struck *E* was the description of London as a grey and depressing setting, and all the other places as light and airy and wonderful. She said to me, "I have been happiest on the beach at the Pacific Ocean." And my daughter then went on to say that wouldn't it be interesting if heaven is really just this world without all of the bad things (which included murder and crime and pain and jealousy) and everyone reaches their greatest potential for love and peace? I thought that was pretty deep for my 6th Grade Catholic school girl!

    ETA: I also believe that the discussion about the Ego might fit well into Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs with self actualization being at the tip. Because once you achieve what you believe your ideal is, you will want more, thus the never ending pursuit of happiness (or ellusive nature of happiness) and/or self actualizaiton.

  5. PauletteGoddard Says:

    My retreat is happening right in my city. I wanted to go to a metropolis having a post-Olympic nap, but I can't do that without borrowing from next month. I spend about 90 minutes a day on my retreat.

  6. Broken Arrow Says:

    Wonderful post indeed!

    If I may play Devil's Advocate though, my personal focus isn't so much on money itself, but rather on the lack of it. Big Grin It's a different side of the same coin, but the difference is that I am motivated by my need for it, not by greed. Even if I were to believe it is a status symbol, well, I haven't achieved that yet.

    I too hope that, some day, I will achieve a level where money will mean very little to me. For now though, I do need more of it just to make ends meet.

    In the meantime, a hot bath sounds like a wonderful idea. I haven't had one in ages. Perhaps even some candles, aromatherapy, and light music would be great too.

  7. Jerry Says:

    OK, intriguing philosophical points aside... baths are the best! We just moved to a new apartment after a year without a bathtub, and my wife said that it leads to an immediate improvement in her quality of life. (She's seven months pregnant, so any insurance I have of improving her quality of life is well worth it...) In the words of the estimable Joan Jett - "You don't know what you've got til it's gone." =)

  8. buy and writing english essay on website Says:

    I first heard such an idea about our birth in this world and I think that such an opinion is quite justified and has a place to be.

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