Updated: Jan 10, 2022
"I am the ruler of thought, not ruled by it, because the builder is ruler over the building. " - Rumi
Money is the God of the World. Is that too dramatic?
Not literally, of course. How could it be that? It is inanimate, inert, insentient. So what then does that really mean?
God is a word that points to the ultimate power or the ultimate governing influence in our lives. It is that force which is the determinant of all things.
For most of our history that force was simply nature. If the food was there we ate. If it wasn't we didn't. It held absolute sway over the basics of human life. When we went from hunting and gathering (primitive shopping) to agriculture we certainly had more control over things. We could store food and so reduce the scarcity of winter and drought.
None the less, the basic ability to survive was determined primarily by forces outside of our control and certainly forces that were not of our making. For the agrarian, it was rains or drought, locust and other crop eaters, marauding bands of other humans. Forces that had to be contended with but could not be controlled.
But things are really different now.
You and I are not dependent directly on the rains. I can head over to my local organic market in the midst of torrential rains and find my fresh kale and marinated tofu waiting for me. We may experience the occasional minor inconvenience but we are not directly dependent on the forces of nature. But we have become dependent on something else that controls most every aspect of our lives and increasingly the lives of everyone on the planet.
That is money!
No longer the gods of the harvest or fertility, rain or wind, money wields the same power over us that nature did not that long ago. But there is a really big difference between this god and all of the gods of the past.
Yes, the gods of old did not exist as sentient entities manipulating the rain, the harvest, childbirth or fire. Yet those were real forces to which we were subject. We did not create nature. It created us. We really did have to play by her rules or we did not survive. Whether our methods for gaining favor were educated or naive, we were at her mercy. She was and is real and absolute.
Our modern god, this powerful force that directly controls or at least influences absolutely everything, was completely an invention of the mind. Money did not announce itself as an absolute authority. The paper did not shape itself into that familiar form and draw faces and symbols all over itself. We made it. Then, like the ancient Israelites with their Golden Calf, we bowed down to worship the creation of our own hands.
In other words, money is quite literally nothing other than what we believe it to be. Ah, but therein lies the rub and this brings us to the extraordinary Power of Mind that I have been talking about.
“It is your mind that creates this world.” - Buddha
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