Money is everything – right?

Posted on November 26, 2014

www.stepsonmyroad.org

Money is everything – right?   Headshake

Lots of drama.   People kill for money, get killed for money, die for money, and live for money.  Um. What’s wrong with this picture?

Dammit, it’s just a tool.  If I told you: “Hey, buddy! Guess what? I’m a MILLIONAIRE!! Yep, I got me a warehouse full of ONE MILLION tools. I got me screw drivers, hammers, drills, chisels,  soldiering irons, rivet guns, nail guns, toilet plungers, measuring tapes, mallets, sledge hammers, wheel barrows… Dude! I got a MILLION of them! That makes me a MILLIONAIRE!”

Well, you might be forgiven for looking a bit surprised, and asking:

“Err… that’s real nice, Francis. But… what are you going to DO with all that stuff…?”
It’s the same for money. So somebody’s got a million dollars cash in the bank. Big whoopety-doo. What’s he gonna DO with it?
You can only eat so much apple pie…  

     If your house has a bathroom with a toilet, is the experience of, ummm… pooping,  that much more enjoyable because you are doing it in a diamond encrusted commode? With gold handles? Surround sound and incense? I doubt it.
As long as you have a roof over your head, is the experience of going to the toilet that much more enjoyable, because you left your three bedroomed semi, and moved to a twenty thousand square foot 30 bedroom behemoth with all the mod cons? Indoor swimming pool, indoor theatre, massage parlor, wine cellar, and don’t forget the quintuple heated garage? Who cares. Now you’ve gotta take a cab to the bathroom. Or a bicycle.  Bloody nuisance, when you’re in a galloping hurry, after that funky curry you maybe shouldn’t have had.

     The essential quality and thoughtfulness of our lives… is not affected in any meaningful way by having lots of extra money. Maybe the reverse, eh?
I enjoy Buddhist thought in this regard.  There’s a dude called Bill Porter, a.k.a. Red Pine, and he has translated some of the old Chinese Poems. I have three of his books lying right here on the table. I find it humbling, that you can go back and read words that were written over a thousand years ago, and are as valid today as they were then. Seriously.

Exhaust your mind for profit and fame
A hundredfold greed to enhance your body
The transient illusory snuff of a wick
Buried in a grave does it still exist.

In the “Collected Songs of Cold Mountain”, Bill Porter translated the works of a wistful, feeling, mischievous, very much alive Chinese hermit by the name of Cold Mountain. Here is number 188. Written twelve hundred years ago!

Someone sighed Cold Mountain Sir
Your poems possess no sense
I said for the Ancients
Poverty was no disgrace
To this he answered laughing
Such talk is poorly reasoned
Well sir then be as you are
With money your concern.

So, money is important as a tool. It’s a measure of efficiency, and a storage of reserves for hard times. We respect it, we try and be careful with it, but as the “be all” and “end all”, it hardly qualifies.

There is another great book called “Hard Times” by Studs Terkel.
He interviewed survivors (and their descendants) of the Great Depression.  So we can read about the impact of it all through the words of many different people, from different social classes. Something that stood out for me, was the high rate of suicides amongst the formerly well off. There were lots of much more humble folk, who hung on and survived. Money is just… money.  Important, yes. The beginning and end of Meaning?   Hell, no.

go back to list of possible Stepping Stones Across?   Fly

go back to Index?   Smile

Last edited by Francis Meyrick on November 28, 2014, 10:43 am


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