Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Wealth and Fear


One of the blessings of getting older is that I don't feel quite the same need I used to have for more and more and more. I find myself thinking less about what I don't have and more about what I do have. Gratitude ensues.

Believe it or not, this is one of the reasons I feel sorry for the wealthy of the world. Jesus was right when he said it was easier for "a camel to go through the eye of a needle" than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God. I don't think he was talking about wealth. I think he was talking about fear. A fear of the future. A fear of loss of control. A fear of powerlessness. A fear that nobody can be trusted.

Wealth allows for control, and control allows for power, and power allows for security -- which is freedom from fear. We think money can free us from fear. Jesus saw that this is not so, and so he pitied the wealthy because their fear makes it harder for them to open their minds to the presence of [God, Tao, Allah, etc.] -- even though it's all around them and constantly welling up inside them like a spring.

Wealth can spread fear, or it can spread compassion. Great wealth can spread great fear, or it can spread great compassion. My hope is that the wealthier we are, the more compassionate we become.


7 comments:

Galen Pearl said...

This post reminded me of a question billionaire Rockefeller was asked in an interview.

Question: So how much more money do you need to have enough?

Answer: Just a little more.

HK Stewart said...

Galen:

I like that. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes about money: "If you took all of the money in the world and divided it among the 10 richest people in the world, there wouldn't be enough to go around."

I'm so glad you're reading and commenting. Thanks.

H. K.

Galen Pearl said...

Ha! So true.

Painting Demos by Brian Rice said...

I feel the same way HK about having enough, I am thankful for what I have and I truly do feel that in many ways according to Tao --more is less and less is more.
That verse "its easier for a camel to get through the eye of the needle then for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven" is a very strong metaphor. I read that the eye of the needle was a very small gate in a walled city in Jesus's time. I looked it up recently and it may be accurate. It makes sense. The camel had to be unloaded, all baggage taken off its back and then it had to get down on its knees and crawl through the small opening. The more baggage we carry around in this life, the harder it is to kneel down in humility and lighten our load. We can be encumbered from entering into this narrow gate that leads to the heavenly state of consciousness,by the multitude of our earthly attachments, the clinging to the egoic mind set and the complete lack of humility. This is such an important lesson for our culture who think more of every-thing is better when true happiness is not found in things at all.

HK Stewart said...

Brian:

I've heard that description of Jesus' "eye of the needle" image, too. Thanks for posting it here for others to find if they haven't encountered it before.

"True happiness is not found in things at all." So true.

Thanks for reading and posting.

H. K.

Painting Demos by Brian Rice said...

I am starting to get more interested in the Jesus teaching once again , especially the ones that are authentic on his "kingdom of heaven". I noticed that many spiritual teachers are refocusing on the Jesus teachings also. Ayhashanti is one of the non-dual teachers who recently wrote a book called "Resurrecting Jesus"

HK Stewart said...

Brian:

I now see two gospels in the New Testament instead of one. The gospel I grew up with is the second gospel. That's the one ABOUT Jesus. The first gospel is the gospel OF Jesus, and that gospel is all about the kingdom of God. (I posted a short piece about this called "First Gospel" back on August 13, 2014. It's still in the archives if you want to read it.)

I, too, have come back to Jesus in my later life, and I like this Jesus a lot better than the one I was given when I was younger.

As always, thanks for reading and writing. It's good to hear from you.

H. K.