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Money and Happiness

Money and Happiness

I have never accepted that money was the root of all evil. Yet the way of peace has to face the current dominance of greed.

Some liberal Christian theologians have tried to soften Christ’s apparently blanket condemnation of riches by saying that what he really meant was that love of money is at the root of all evil. The semantic difference is that in the first statement money causes evil while in the second it is only associated with it.

The issue of money and spirituality has changed since Saint Francis of Assisi formed a band of impoverished brothers. Saint Francis took literally a Biblical passage in which Christ says to his disciples, “You have received the Gospel without payment, give it to others as freely.”

Begging monks were a tradition that was already centuries old in India and China.

The basic problem with money seems obvious: It pulls the mind toward worldly things, it fills up one’s hours with business and commerce, it distorts the true values of spirit by replacing them with pleasure and possessions. To me, this doesn’t say that money is evil or nonspiritual. It says that money is a distraction, and sometimes so powerful a distraction that people fail to go beyond it.

The failure here is to unite spiritual and material values, but I believe the way of peace shows us that this is not only desirable but totally necessary.

If you live as though money brings the only happiness, clearly something has gone wrong. Without holding moral judgments against money, I must accuse riches of being a terrible distraction. They hold us in the grip of a false self-image, that of being creatures whose purpose on earth is to be prosperous and secure.

Our real purpose on Earth is very different, as every spiritual tradition recognizes.
We are here to evolve and grow.
We are here to discover who we are.
We are here to transform our surroundings in keeping with who we really are.

Great spiritual teachers have said that we are ultimately here to transcend matter, to worship our maker, to appreciate the infinite creation and learn humility before it. All those things may emerge once we know who we really are. That is life’s central mystery, and money doesn’t come close to answering it.

Adapted from Peace is the Way, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 2005).

Read more: Deepak Chopra's Tips, Money, Peace, Spirit, , ,

Adapted from Peace is the Way, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 2005).

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Deepak Chopra

Acknowledged as one of the world's greatest leaders in the field of mind body medicine, Deepak Chopra, M.D. continues to transform our understanding of the meaning of health. Chopra is known as a prolific author of over 49 books with 12 best sellers on mind-body health, quantum mechanics, spirituality, and peace. A global force in the field of human empowerment, Dr. Chopra's books have been published in more than 35 languages with more than 20 million copies in print.

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4:12PM PST on Dec 27, 2013

"a healthy person without money is half sick" said once J.W. von Goethe ;-)

2:34PM PDT on Apr 28, 2013

Money is not the be all and end all.... but when you are without it it can make happiness unattainable, not because you would love that new car but because you may be living pay-check to pay-check trying to pay bills, rent, food etc...... It is not everything but a little helps every now and then!

6:33AM PDT on Mar 28, 2013

thank you

5:33AM PST on Jan 29, 2013

These two things are not really directly related

6:54PM PST on Jan 28, 2013

Thank you

6:10PM PDT on Sep 26, 2012

Well, money is great if you used it a good way, it means if you share it with the people that need it, or you can help your family, friends and children, because money is necessary to get a finantial freedom to share your life with your family, otherwise you are salve of your debts and problems you can not solved it became a sad person. So money ig good to get more time to share with the others and get good life.

3:18AM PDT on Sep 20, 2012

Thank you

11:32AM PDT on Sep 18, 2012

Ask any person starving to death or living on the streets what money would do to their lives.

11:29AM PDT on Sep 18, 2012

Money doesn't have to mean a pull to worldly things. Money can be used to help those less fortunate. My husband and I have always said if we won the lottery we'd give away most of the money. What money would do for us is get me the medical help I need. There is nothing wrong with's how you view it and use it.

9:48AM PDT on Sep 18, 2012

well worth thinking about carefully

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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