money

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it’s all in our heads

Last week we touched the surface of the Hebrew understanding of the spiritual and the material in our world. I started with the Hebrew, because that is where I come from and who I am. But as some of my readers have probably realized by now, I don’t try to convert anyone to my religious beliefs. I do believe there is only one truth in this world. But also, that there are many paths to approach that truth. And that it is not for us to completely know that truth. We can approach it. We can become comfortable with it. But there will always be so much more than we can understand.

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this is a poster of a citron, a local citrus fruit which is native to our land. It is used in ceremony, representing a human being at its best

I believe that god has spoken to all peoples in this world, and to each in his own language, and according to his own nature. Nowadays it is fashionable to believe that all people are the same. Though there are similarities, still, each human being is unique. To me, an individual is a parable of a people and vice versa. And we are different, even though we nay be brothers, or members of the same people or nation. Yet we always have something to learn from others. This is true in spiritual learning just as it is true in science and technology, and farming, and sailing the seas. I have learned from many sources, and ultimately, having learned from some foreign wisdom, was often able to go back to my own culture and religion and find what I had learned also existed in my own backyard.

yin and yang
the symbol of yin and yang

And so, to understand the meaning of money, I would like to use the symbol of the Tao, the yin and yang that we know so well, that comes from China and has influenced a number of religions and cultures. Though not formally accepted as monotheism, Tao teaches us to understand that there is a ‘whole’ and that it includes everything we know. And that we too are part of that whole. Anyone who has studied this religious philosophy knows that it isn’t easily understood… not in an hour nor in a day. But we will be brave here, and touch the surface, knowing that the depth is deep… very deep. From my very Jewish perspective, I see the yin and yang as two fishes embracing each other, and each of the fish has an eye which is of the color of the opposite fish, and represents its opposite. And so, the eye of the yin is yang, and the eye of the yang is yin. Now, for our purposes we will associate spirituality with yin, and materialism with yang.

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this is a 50 shekel bill, legal currency in our country, and designed by a personal friend of mine. It displays our greatest modern author, Shai Agnon, and his personal library behind him.

For us, our home, our car or bicycle, our furniture, our food and clothing, and our books and jewelry and toys are all part of the material world. And our love, and our faith, and our joy and sadness, our transcendence and our peace are all part of the spiritual world. But each side of this equation has an eye that belongs to the other side. On the side of spirituality, we may have wine and wafer, or a cross, or the church building, or incense, or rosary beads or a present to our lover that represent our love and faith. They are the white dot on the black yin. On the side of materialism, it is money that represents all those physical possessions that we love. That is the black eye on the white yang. Money, associated as it is with everything material, is in fact a spiritual entity, which by itself would have no special value without the belief and faith of all the people who employ it. It is a convention, accepted by almost all. And though it may be nothing more than a piece of paper with a picture on it, and some printed letters, I have heard that money talks.

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this is a display representing the head phylactery, worn by Jews during prayer, showing the side where the letter shin has four arms. This letter has a mystic importance, and its symbolic meanings are very deep in our culture.

Now some of us get so caught up in the church building, or having the right incense at the right time, that we forget the essence of faith. And others of us get so caught up in the accumulation, investment, and dispersal of money, that in our passion, we sometimes forget that it exists in this world as a symbol with which to buy shoe laces and tomatoes. My teachers have said, ‘who is a rich man? A man who is satisfied with what he has’. On the most basic level, this means to me that if I don’t have the money to pay my mortgage on my home, I should leave it, and find a single room to rent. And if that too is beyond my means, I might sleep under a tree. On the other hand, when I do have food and clothing, and a roof over my head, I have no further need to accumulate more and more money. Though if it rains on me… and sometimes this happens, I can use it to further those things I love or believe in. Freedom is one of the sweetest of human experiences.

All the images in this post deal with the importance of symbolism in our understanding of the world around us.

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73 responses to “money

  1. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    This is such a well rounded, interesting and valid article, Shimon – just excellent.

    How amazing your friend designed that money – wonderful, talented friends.

    All that you say, I so deeply agree with – one truth, one God and many paths to, and God has spoken to each in his own language, and then about the money itself, the excess and then the just enough or not enough.

    EXCELLENT article, Shimon. I really believe something like this should be freshly pressed to the greater audience.

    • Thank you very much for your very positive comment, Noeleen. I have great doubts about the advantages of being exposed to a greater audience. One of my articles was freshly pressed more than a year ago, and I found it embarrassing. The article they chose was not one I would have chosen, and in fact it drew quite some people to my blog, but this was for a short while and then it passed. I think the experience is over rated.

  2. Yes, informative and reflective all at once. Thanks.

  3. I very much enjoyed this creative way of looking at life and truth. I agree especially with your first paragraph – it reminds me of T S Eliot’s words, that we find ourselves going back to where we started, and know it for the first time.

  4. Thank you, Shimon; I’m especially attracted to learning about the symbols identified with a people and with individuals, in order to better enter their frameworks of meaning and worldviews. I suppose that is connected to my love for art as well, the language of symbol and metaphor…and I appreciate your perception that the immaterial and material, the profane and transcendent are connected and form a “whole.” For me, this also calls me to tend to the balance I maintain and honor in my life. As always, I value your thoughts and unique photographs.

    • I’ve known many people who were attracted to the symbols of different cultures and different systems of faith and values because they were looking for secret keys to wisdom and understanding. In my studies, I’ve learned that the symbols are usually there to remind us of things we were taught or believe in, very much like the rhymes of a poem help us to remember a text. Always enjoy your comments, Kitty.

  5. Thank you dear Shimon, this is great touches, I understand and also I agree with you too. You are so nice, I always need to read your thoughts and wisely experienced life in words. Blessing and Happiness, have a nice weekend, love, nia

    • Glad you enjoyed the post, Nia. I think of you so often, and wonder what is happening among your countrymen, but for some reason, there isn’t much news of that in the papers recently. I do hope all is well. Best wishes.

      • police in Istanbul today attacked with water-canons a wedding party in the streets (1000 guests). The couple had found to each other during the demonstrations. But gathering people seem to be very dangerous for Erdogan …

  6. ‘. . . (W)ho is a rich man? A man who is satisfied with what he has. . .’ Your teacher was a wise man.

    Satisfaction with what we have is a demonstration of faith in God Who provides for us what we need when we need it. Being dissatisfied with what we have demonstrates the opposite.

    Thanks for making me think through this.

    • Yes, I was very luck in that I had good and wise teachers, Rick. And it doesn’t surprise me that you have found similar values. Very good to hear from you.

  7. Wonderful post, Shimon. I’m currently reading a wonderful book, “The Soul of Money,” by Lynn Twist. It mirrors much of what you say here. In it she challenges the reader to question: What is enough? What is sufficient? I appreciate your take on the yin and yang of money and spirituality. it makes a lot of sense.

    • I have heard wise men say that in every period of time, there are different principles that have to be emphasized. Of course, if we have a solid system of values, we don’t have to change the rules from time to time. But in this period, we all have been suffering from ‘run away’ commercialism, and consumer mentality. And it seems to me that this is destructive to the society at large. Glad you liked the post, Cathy. Enjoy the book!

  8. Ah yes….My father’s house has many mansions….I like the comment about the different roads, and I enjoyed the symbols.

    I agree about the money, I don’t understand why people keep needing more…..I think sometimes, some people forget to appreciate the basics and enjoy the natural world which is stunning and free.

    A great post Shimon, really interesting.xxxx

    • Ah… people don’t really keep needing more, Dina. But consumer mentality has turned from being a harmless hobby to an obsession. And the 21st century technology seems only to encourage such behavior patterns. Like yourself, I believe that one can find true happiness with the basics. Thanks for your comment.

  9. Totally agree that there is one truth but many roads that lead there. It is our choice which road we take.People must learn to be happy wherever they are with whatever they have and not always be wishing for something else.

    • Yes, we agree completely, Bev. Unfortunately, those who want to sell more have whipped up a storm of dissatisfaction… and yearning, in the public minds. And it seems as if some people are already coming to the realization that happiness does not depend on material possessions. Thanks for the comment.

  10. Personal, thought-provoking, and rationale … well, more like Shimon being Shimon! As always, outstanding analogies. Love your respectful approach to other religions, plus I concur with your thought of one truth, but many paths … something that I’ve believed in for a long time.

  11. The greed that now dominates our western culture, the pursuit to maximise profit at the expense of quality and customer service is ultimately self -defeating and I think we are seeing the begining of the end of capitalism. It is simply not sustainable. I was recently told by a company with profits of $4.5 billion, that they couldn’t donate a prize (something that would have cost them nothing in reality) because things were a bit tight. With companies no longer having a sense of community in this way, with no sense that they have a responsibility to put something back, to provide service and quality, they will ultimately fall but because all that matters is the bottom line in this quarter or this year and the share price to satisfy the corporate banking shareholders, they cannot see it. That eye of spirituality is missing from the material in this sense. It is all out of balance and so, not sustainable.
    I hadn’t thought of this issue in terms of material and spiritual but it makes perfect sense of what is wrong just now.
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post Shimon and am grateful to you for the insight.

    • I’m hoping, Chillbrook, that you are wrong in your assessment that we’re seeing the beginning of the end of capitalism. Though I concur with you as to the negative aspects of the bloated commercialism that has enveloped us, having seen a number of different systems at work in my lifetime, I still believe that there are advantages to capitalism, insofar as providing a comfortable way of life to a majority of people. But sometimes, even good people/systems get sick. And there is a malaise of greed in modern society. Let’s hope we live to see the patient survive. Always good to hear your thoughts. Thanks for the comment.

      • “…there is a malaise of greed in modern society…”

      • I hope so too Shimon for the reasons you mention but the pursuit of the expanse of wealth, be it multi-national companies or governments obsessed with expanding their economies, has been done at the expense of those manufacturing high end electrical goods for near slave labour rates of pay for example or whole nations having their natural resources stripped by multi-nationals who did deals with corrupt government officials to allow it to happen as well as whole sections of these apparently wealthy western economies being excluded from the good times. This is clearly not sustainable.
        Already there are signs that the average Chinese worker is starting to ask for a larger slice of the pie that they of course, deserve.
        Balloons cannot be continually expanded without bursting and nor can economies. Recession is just the tip of a potentially very scary iceburg. The sort of redistribution of wealth that will have to come will not happen smoothly.
        There are moves amongst European Union countries to ensure that multi-nationals like Starbucks start to pay the right amount of tax. I think in the last 15 years, Starbucks paid just £8 million pounds in tax in the UK despite sales of £3bn here. The reaction of the multinational is not to cut profits of course but to cut wages and jobs so who pays? The already economically disadvantaged. The violent demonstrations that have been witnessed across Europe in reaction to austerity measures applied governments that have fallen disproportiately on the shoulders of these same economically disadvantaged, will only get worse. Capitalism will be seen as the cause and the enemy which of course opens the door for other political isms to gain the upper hand. People have very short memories and the disasterous consequences of communism for the majority, for example, will be forgotten in the clamour for a more just system. Equally at the other end of the political spectrum, facism might be seen as the answer.
        I hate to paint such a gloomy picture but the multinationals and the banks that hold the shares are not likely to say, ‘OK we’ve had a good run, we’d better start becomming a more responsible presence and employing local people once more despite them being a little more expensive and while we’re at it, we’ll start paying a proper price for the raw materials we’ve been getting so cheaply up until now and we’ll also start paying all the tax we owe too.’ anytime soon. I’d like to think it might happen that way but I can’t see it Shimon.

        • I agree with you, Chillbrook, that there are many serious abuses on the part of the capitalists, and unfortunately, they’ve managed to manipulate many state officials and politicians in the free world. This is no less than stealing from the public, and we definitely have to put a stop to that. And I agree too, that there will be a redistribution of wealth, and I’m afraid it’ll be very painful for Europe. For when the Asian people will start enjoying the products of their labor, there will be less riches for the wealthy European countries and the USA. That too is part of globalization. We will have to lower our sights, somewhat. I do hope that we won’t see a return of fascism or communism, because we have already seen what a tragedy that is for humane society. No one likes to pay taxes, but in a healthy society, that is the price for freedom. I believe the banks and the industrialists will be forced to pay.

  12. “A man who is satisfied with what he has”… “Freedom is one of the sweetest of human experiences.” Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

  13. “…when I do have food and clothing, and a roof over my head, I have no further need to accumulate more and more money…” – this for the material part. And the other half? What at least? Camera, internet connection, guitar?

    • or to choose more non-material terms for the other, the spiritual side:
      – freedom of speech (and writing, publishing)
      – dignity, sovereignty
      – the right to do things slowly?
      – the right to say no, to escape, to block?

      • Shalom Shimon,
        me, breeding on your inspiring thoughts at
        http://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/2013/07/21/basic-rights/
        of course with a link to you 🙂

      • You are bringing up a very interesting point, my dear Frizz. From my point of view, free speech and writing and publishing are basically political issues. I believe in freedom and dignity, but in your country, there is a song, that came from Switzerland, “Die Gedanken sind frei”, and that is already in the area of the spiritual. Sometimes, certain parties use free speech as a political lever, denying the free speech of others.

        • Shalom Shimon,
          DIE GEDANKEN SIND FREI = thoughts are free (like the wind) – indeed is a well known song lyric – but the reality is always worse than the goals – we say WOLKEN-KUCKUCKS-HEIM / LUFT-SCHLOSS = a wish that cannot come true.
          Today I made a photo from all my money – and was thinking about your article:
          coins

          • In the case of ‘thoughts are free’, I believe that that is the reality, and not a wish that can’t be realized. I did take a look at your picture of the coins you like, and enjoyed them. Thanks, Frizz.

    • Certainly, camera and guitar are part of the physical reality, even though they dance along the border, bringing spiritual joy as well. But I would never buy such things on credit. I don’t like to go into debt to pay for my luxuries.

  14. Pingback: Basic Rights | Flickr Comments

  15. Money is also a language, a means of exercising power over the less fortunate, and thus a weapon – one that’s used nowadays as a “soft” way of harvesting natural resources from less well off countries. Sadly a lot of companies that have the most money also have no conscience, and this is why we suffer damage to the environment and to our societies. They set a very bad example. Very interesting post, Shimon!

    • Yes Richard, money is also a language… and a lot of things can be used as a weapon in this world. Certainly we can say the same thing about modern technology, and I’ve read about a sect in the US where they still sit in their homes at night with the light of candles, and go from place to place on foot or on horseback. Everything can be misused, and money too. But that is the problem of the evil inclination of human beings. It doesn’t make much sense to blame money for all the evils of the world. A knife in one hand is a weapon, and in another, another chance for life… and in still another, an eating utensil. Thanks for the comment.

  16. The acquisitive nature of our society objectifies daily life. The simple thought you offer on happiness becomes very complicated when applied. Yet, presented in the way you do it, it could sell itself up to a point.

    Thinking about the content of this post, I see it as a presentation of the foundation building blocks to life.

    Very interesting.

    • Almost everything in this world has to be seen and understood within a given context. We can’t ignore the conventions of the society we live in, though sometimes we can choose to live according to slightly different values. And it’s true, that in our time, rampant commercialism, and consumerism dictate life styles for a lot of people, especially young people starting out in life. I try to offer, occasionally, alternative perspectives for those who are looking for a more rational life style, or a more spiritual approach. But I know that in most cases, these ideas won’t be taken personally. Still they can broaden horizons. Thank you for your comment, menhir.

  17. Hand in hand we go. I stand in awe.

  18. Ah, Shimon. We are old. We understand because we have seen. You are more enthusiastic than I and more optimistic too. I no longer bother myself to discuss such philosophy. Again, I agree with you. This is getting very strange. Say something contentious next time. 🙂 You write so very well. Did I say that before?

    • I’ve often wondered about optimism and pessimism. I’ve heard that it is a matter of strength. It could be that mine was inherited from my mother. My life started out very bad, and got better… much better. And I learned to appreciate human beings, and other living things. Maybe that’s what made me optimistic. Though there are some things, I’m pessimistic about. I suppose it’s a question of attitude. Thank you, George.

  19. As always Shimon, an open-minded-hearted and insightful view. Your messages are often universal in nature… yet your approach and positioning are unique and surprising. It is a pleasure to sit down and read your thoughts again.

  20. Interesting that I should finally get to read this as I sit in a hotel room in Las Vegas, where money rules! Some people seem to worship it here, and others throw it away. If ever there was Yin and Yang in regards to money it is here. It is nothing more than a piece of paper, but people have put a value on those pieces of paper.

    • Yes, Angeline. You have found a very interesting perspective with which to look at this subject. I will never forget my own visit to Las Vegas, many years ago. It was a source of inspiration. I don’t believe that people come to worship money there. My impression is that they come to test their gods, or lady luck, or fate. On the other hand, the casino owners have built a reality within their casinos which is completely isolated from the natural world as we know it. One has to pass two doors to enter or leave. Sunlight is never seen within. Nor is there time there. No clocks on the wall, no day and night, no seasons of the year. Looking forward to reading your thoughts on such a visit.

  21. Compelling article and commentary, both. I don’t have anything to add but my gratitude…. Thank you, Shimon…it is always a pleasure visiting with you.

    • As it is a pleasure visiting you, and sharing the pleasures of the mountains, the green valleys, and the artwork on the urban walls of your land. Very glad you enjoyed the post, Scott. It is always a pleasure hearing from you.

  22. What you wrote near the end of your post reminds me of something my grandmother once explained to me: “If you earn $30 and spend $29, you’re rich. If you earn $29 and spend $30, you’re poor.” I wish more people today knew that.

    • Good to see you Steve. I was reminded of your love for languages, when I posted my thoughts to the blog last week, and included a thorn flower in your honor. The post is called ‘the wind and the rain’. Hope you like the thorn flower. I remember that you expressed interest in the thorns here in Israel.

  23. The concept of yin and yang dominate our lives, consciously and unconsciously. The yin 阴 (feminine, relating to the moon) and yang 阳 (masculine, relating to the sun) concept is very abstract. I know very little about it, but I’m trying to explain what I know.

    Food: In everyday life, for example, in food, Chinese would consider a balanced diet is a balance of ying and yang. A cabbage dish is fried with ginger, as the nature of cabbage is cold (yin) in nature, and ginger is ‘hot’ (yang) in nature.

    Yin food includes: cabbage, spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, banana, watermelon, sugar cane, etc. Yang food includes: garlic, ginger, spring onion, salty fish, potatoes, etc.

    Traditional Chinese Medicine: Chinese medicine doctors would prescribe medicine based on the ‘nature’ of the body, and tell their patients to take or avoid yin or yang food. For example, if the nature of your body is cold (yin), then you will be advised to take the yang food. Chinese medicine focuses on a holistic view of the body, and a healthy body keeps a balanced yin and yang.

    Death: The universe where we live in is considered a Yang universe, and when one dies, he goes to a Ying universe, and therefore in Chinese there’s an idiom about separation of death — i.e., separation by yin and yang. It’s an euphemism for death.

  24. Yes, money talks. The basis of our culture is a picture on a coveted paper note. That always struck me as symbolic of who we are.

    This is a thoughtful, interesting post, Shimon.

    • Glad you found it interesting, George. I think the pictures reflect what is important to the leaders of any particular society. But to me, the worth of the money is what is most symbolic.

  25. I really enjoyed reading this, Shimon. You explain things simply and clearly.

  26. Shimon … I will apologize up front for my late reply. I have come back to this, several times, to read through it and try to open myself up to what you are sharing. I recognize that my own weight of attachment to the idea of money has done a more-than-adequate job of trying to block the simple truth from what you are sharing here. Put another way, it was as if I’ve never learned that money (materialism), and the spiritual, are connected; and even worse, I forgot to learn that as with everything, it is necessary to strike a balance between the two.

    Perhaps the single most effective message that came through for me was this: “Money, associated as it is with everything material, is in fact a spiritual entity, which by itself would have no special value without the belief and faith of all the people who employ it.” It took me several times of hearing those words before I could finally grasp the message shared within, and once the words had finally found their way into my consciousness, it was as if someone had finally turned on a gentle light in a very dark room.

    And then, because I am determined to be a good student, I had to reverse the equation, and that brought me to this idea — if money is a spiritual entity, (with no special value without the belief and faith of all the people who employ it), then it must also be true that spirituality is a monetary entity, (and our personal riches are determined by the act of attaching value based on our ability to have belief and faith).

    Which to me, translated to a very basic message, which speaks of much more than just the concept of money or spirituality, and how the two are connected, and how they are balanced against one another. It speaks to the essence of faith. We are only as rich as our ability to believe and have faith.

    Put another way, if we are feeling poor (spiritually empty), then no amount of money (materialism) will fill us up, or set us free. And perhaps it is freedom, above all other things, that we crave as human beings. I’ve always operated under the assumed notion that I’ve been chasing peace, when what I’ve been seeking all along is freedom.

    That’s a lot of information to disseminate, (from one short message about money and spirituality), but that’s exactly why I keep coming back, again and again. If I open myself up to hearing what you share, in your quiet and gentle way, I often end up quite surprised at where it leads. We start in one place, and end up in another. By answering one question, you’ve cleverly managed to answer the question that wasn’t being asked. The question that is the mirror image of the topic of conversation. The yin, for the yang. Because, as you said yourself, “we will be brave here”.

    One final thought … usually, before leaving a comment on any of your posts, I enjoy taking a leisurely stroll through your comments section, but this time, I knew better than to allow myself to get distracted, at least until I had finally heard what your were saying. Now that I feel that I finally heard you, I can take some time to peruse the comments section, and see what else I might learn. So many riches. Thanks for sharing.

    • I can’t seem to help myself from adding this thought (even though I’ve only managed to work my way through about half the comments section).

      In the back of my consciousness, I realized I had forgotten to complete a sentence: “Put another way, if we are feeling poor (spiritually empty), then no amount of money (materialism) will fill us up, or set us free. And perhaps it is freedom, above all other things, that we crave as human beings. I’ve always operated under the assumed notion that I’ve been chasing peace, when what I’ve been seeking all along is freedom.” I should have thought to add this: “Of course, I’m already free, and am simply chasing something that is already within my grasp.”

      This post really has my brain swirling, so thank you for that. In my corner of the world, Sunday is usually reserved for honoring God, (or our idea of what God represents), and this might be the first Sunday in a very long while that I’ve felt satisfied that my intention and my actions have merged.

      Laughingly put another way, for the first time in a very long time, I feel unencumbered by a need to define my relationship to God, but rather, find myself simply accepting what already exists. Embracing the freedom.

      Again, the wheels keep churning. Somehow I’ve always associated spirituality (or religion) with constraint, or bondage, or captivity. It’s no wonder that someone who lived through circumstances where they often felt trapped and imprisoned might resist such a concept. In order to really lean into my ability to believe and have faith, I have to learn how to associate spirituality with freedom.

      You just have no idea how important this underlying message will be in my ability to expand on what I’ve learned so far in my fifty-something years. In some ways, I feel like today is a graduation day of sorts, and now I can take a seat at the next table, and begin the discussion. My eyes and ears are open, and I can choose how far I want to go down this path. How much freedom would I like to experience?

      • My dear N, I see that because of the engineering on this platform, my first response to your comments will appear after this response. But here, I am responding to your second comment, regarding ‘chasing after something that is already in your grasp’. I hope that you understand by now, that the chase scares away the object of your chase. I am honored by the fact that you chose to spend your Sunday with me… and yes, it is truly sweet to embrace freedom. I do believe that religion is a key to freedom, though the framework does often appear as constraint or bondage. Unfortunately, some religious leaders have chosen to emphasize the framework rather than the masterpiece within that framework, and this only strengthens the misunderstanding. But in fact, your description of spirituality as freedom is entirely correct. I can’t tell you what joy I feel at reading of your enlightening thoughts on the subject. And truly, the path is not closed as long as we live. I say that because of your mention of age. All our lives we can continue to gain wisdom and improve ourselves, or sadly, make mistakes and lose our grip on reality. What is encouraging though, is that with each enlightenment, the next one comes easier. On a very personal note, I would like to add that I wish you the greatest freedom. I believe that you deserve it, and you may yet realize it.

    • No need for apologies, N. I know already you that you are a fine student. And I have the greatest respect for serious students and see myself as such, But even a good student can sometimes be blind to those things that are connected to prejudice or traumas in the past, It is very hard to overcome emotional blocks. The first part of your equation is correct. Money is a spiritual entity. But it would be a mistake to assume that one is equal to the other. The spirit has many incarnations, and just as god makes himself known to us in different personalities, so the spirit can be known in different apparitions. Still, I would agree with your conclusion that our riches are directly connected to our belief and faith. As our sages said about respect, ‘he who chases after it, will find it fleeing from him’.

      Now, you move to another issue, that of peace and freedom. I would agree with you that most people desire freedom. But not all. And there is a big difference between peace and freedom. In the bible, we are told that a slave must be let free after 6 years. But if the slave insists that he wants to belong to his master even after that time, he is given an ear ring, and he remains a slave. Some people prefer slavery to having responsibility for themselves. Peace on the other hand, is universal. And in Hebrew it is built on the root of ‘whole’. We are at peace when we are whole, and when we are in tune with the whole of the universe. So peace is in fact closer to the symbol I showed here of the Tao, or the yin and yang.

  27. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words

    I have come back this several times today
    not because I could not understand but because I did…
    it seem to flow within my thought process without the usual dissecting I do…
    visual learners such as I need pictures, show me a picture of an apple next to the word..I will always remember so to speak…
    the yin/yang made it fall into place and no I do not understand Tao …
    I heard once that when you are stuck in a rut so to speak and wonder why
    you can’t move ahead financially, or can’t get a new car, bigger house
    you might stand back and look..and ask…do you appreciate all you have? do you care for these “things” you need, do you value in silence? by that I mean…do you brag about what they cost…
    when these are answered you can move forward…to ask the one question people have the hardest with..do you need…not want them…
    when I finished that journey of inquiring, I have uncluttered my material life…people in my life that brought me down or didn’t respect me as I did them..it was so hard many nights I cried…but now I am enjoying life..simple…my gardens..growing my own food…..my animals..( I rescue what people dispose of by leaving them out here in the country) my sewing, the handwork my grandmother taught me…my nature art…my books…for I did realize I cannot unclutter my library by getting rid of my books…..

    and Oh dear I am rambling again…I will close with..I enjoy your blog, your thoughts make sense to me, since I have figured out how to get notices I am really enjoying it…and your friend is a very gifted artist, but then you know this…

    Take Care…You Matter…
    )0(
    maryrose

    • Glad you enjoyed this post, and that you’ve chosen to receive it’s notices.What you say about appreciating what we have is very true. I’m not sure I understand your mention of my friend who’s a gifted artist. I have several artist friends. Thank you very much for your comment, Maryrose.

  28. Thank you, Shimon. A very thoughtful piece.

  29. Thank you friend, there are many inspirational articles
    and thank you for following my web and regards compassion ^_^

    • It is a pleasure to follow your blog, Gede. Probably, I won’t usually comment, because your words tell the whole story, and I have little to add. But I enjoy very much, reading what you have to say. Thank you for your visit and comment, my friend.

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