Human beings define wealth and what it means to be rich by a wide variety of views. For some persons, to be rich means having millions of dollars. For other individuals, nothing less than qualifying as a member of the exclusive B-Club will suffice; thus, to be a billionaire. The majority of persons consider themselves rich, indeed, if they have clean drinking water and enough food to feed their families. Others base their definition of wealth upon health and family relationships. This article is not intended to challenge any of those views or judge them as right or wrong. My view of wealth, which is spiritual in nature, relates to the following quote by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj in his spiritual classic entitled I Am That: “Your begging bowl may be of pure gold, but as long as you do not know it, you are a pauper.”
It’s easy to understand that environmental conditioning plays an important role in determining what we define as symbols of personal wealth. In our early years, it’s highly likely that we were conditioned to believe that wealth is related to tangible things; therefore, external to us. The child who receives a tricycle or bicycle on a birthday serves as a fitting example. Just look at the gleeful expression on the child’s face when he or she receives such a gift. This pattern is reinforced through our coming years.
If we desire a relationship and find that special partner, we deem ourselves rich. If we get that job that rewards us with financial abundance, we decree we have made it. If we own a home, investment properties, and a stock portfolio, we proclaim that we’re ascending the human ladder of wealth. If love of family is our definition of wealth, we consider ourselves rich when family are gathered together, or at least emotionally close. The problem with these types of wealth is that they are dependent on circumstance. Beneath all of them lies a trapdoor waiting to spring open. If we believe ourselves to be rich only with these signs, such implies that we will feel very poor, indeed, without them. The following passage from The Gospel of Thomas relates to wealth of a different nature:
Jesus said: If those who lead you say to you: See, the kingdom is in heaven, then the birds of the heaven will go before you; if they say to you: It is in the sea, then the fish will go before you. But the kingdom is within you, and it is outside of you. When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will know that you are the sons of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you are in poverty, and you are poverty.Saying Three, Gospel of Thomas
Literally billions of Beings have as yet to discover their true wealth. By definition, we could not truthfully state that it is a type of wealth; for such wording implies that it belongs in the categories of human wealth and, thus, shares their nature. The wealth to which I point via this article is unique; it is God’s wealth; thus, ours by birthright. Unlike human riches, this wealth is everlasting in nature. To find It, all that is necessary is to look within and investigate our essential nature. Upon recognition of true Self, we realize that we have always been rich, for we are children of God. When we discover That, we have found wealth beyond compare.
Dare to dream (and care for one another).
With heartfelt regards,
Copyright © – 2021 – R. Arthur Russell
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