Friday, July 13, 2007

Religion & Money II

So I think I'll continue or at least finish my post about money & religion.

After speaking On Buddhism, Christianity & Buddhism, the one remaining 'religion' would be Taoism.

Taoism, along with Buddhism, I really wouldn't call or consider them religions as much as states of mind and philosophical views. To quote Lao Tzu the creator and founder of the 2400-2600 yr-old (depending on who you ask) philosophy:

The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.
Thus, it's kind of hard to explain Taoism - I guess the easiest or most visual representation of Taoism is the yin-yang. If you had to describe Taoism with just one word it would be Balance. If you had to use more than that to describe you - like me - would probably describe it incorrectly.

As far as money goes the 9th verse/chapter of the Tao Te Ching (pronounced Dao De jing) seems to be the most eloquent:


Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people's approval
and you will be their prisoner.

Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.

So out of all of these religions & states of mind, I guess I personally aspire to try and make enough financial progress in order to protect me (and possibly a family) in the future. At the same time every once and a while I have to take a step back and make sure what I am doing to obtain my financial goals does not directly oppose my personal spiritual goals.

So to summarize, it seems that
  1. Christianity does not appear to have a major issue with gaining wealth as long as it is not an unhealthy obsession
  2. Judaism appears to agree with wealth as long as you first honor God.
  3. Buddhism - is the antithesis of a wealthy mindset but, some aspects are impractical for life in the USA
  4. Taoism - is all about balance, one should not chase after money, just like someone should not chase after aestheticism.

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