Friday, July 13, 2007

Religion & Money I

I just recently realized that this desire to get out of debt (which in fact is a healthy desire) has put me simultaneously at odds with my current spiritual/religious background.

Currently, I consider myself to be a Judeo-Christian-Buddhist-Taoist which - at best; is an assumption that I have somewhat of a world-view on religion. At worst; one would consider me to have a very lazy, 'cherry-picker' when it comes to religion & belief.

The portion of my belief that has been most affected right now would have to the Buddhist portion. As one of the key tenants of the religion/belief system is that one should rid themselves of desire as desire causes all of the pain in the world (for those who know anything about the belief - that is a extremely oversimplified definition)

Here is an excerpt from the Dhammapada, a collection of Buddhist writings:
If you sleep,
Desire grows in you
Like a vine in the forest.
Like a monkey in the forest
You jump from tree to tree,
Never finding the fruit -
From life to life,
Never finding peace.
If you are filled with desire
Your sorrows swell
Like the grass after the rain.
But if you subdue desire
Your sorrows shall fall from you
Like drops of water from a lotus flower.
This is good counsel
And it is for everyone:
As the grass is cleared for the fresh root,
Cut down desire
Lest death after death crush you
This particular excerpt comes from the Desire section of the writings. I had to read it this morning because I've noticed myself getting extremely edgy and confrontational with people in recent weeks as I've approached this goal on "Zero Debt".

This is definitely the OLD me and I would hope not the NEW - kinder gentler Reggie.

I think the belief amongst Christians at some point, was that 'Money is the root of all evil" when in fact the quote from 1 Timothy 6:10 is:

10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

I guess what I'm trying to do right now (at my own peril) is decrease my debt & increase my wealth while at the same time trying to be at peace with myself. This is difficult in Western society when so much is dependant on status and how much you make etc. Trying not to fall in 'love' with money in this society is difficult.

The Book of Proverbs in the Old testament, pretty much provides the source for many of Jewish belief system in regards to money. Steven K Scott point this out in his book The Richest Man who ever Lived a book that focuses almost exclusively on the 31 sections of Proverbs. In effect there is a chapter of Proverbs for every day of the month: Take a look at today's:

Proverbs 13

1 A wise son heeds his father's instruction,
but a mocker does not listen to rebuke.

2 From the fruit of his lips a man enjoys good things,
but the unfaithful have a craving for violence.

3 He who guards his lips guards his life,
but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.

4 The sluggard craves and gets nothing,
but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.

5 The righteous hate what is false,
but the wicked bring shame and disgrace.

6 Righteousness guards the man of integrity,
but wickedness overthrows the sinner.

7 One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;
another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.

8 A man's riches may ransom his life,
but a poor man hears no threat.

9 The light of the righteous shines brightly,
but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.

10 Pride only breeds quarrels,
but wisdom is found in those who take advice.

11 Dishonest money dwindles away,
but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.

12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

13 He who scorns instruction will pay for it,
but he who respects a command is rewarded.

14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
turning a man from the snares of death.

15 Good understanding wins favor,
but the way of the unfaithful is hard.

16 Every prudent man acts out of knowledge,
but a fool exposes his folly.

17 A wicked messenger falls into trouble,
but a trustworthy envoy brings healing.

18 He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame,
but whoever heeds correction is honored.

19 A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul,
but fools detest turning from evil.

20 He who walks with the wise grows wise,
but a companion of fools suffers harm.

21 Misfortune pursues the sinner,
but prosperity is the reward of the righteous.

22 A good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children,
but a sinner's wealth is stored up for the righteous.

23 A poor man's field may produce abundant food,
but injustice sweeps it away.

24 He who spares the rod hates his son,
but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.

25 The righteous eat to their hearts' content,
but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry.

If you read Proverbs, it does talk quite a bit about money, wealth & the righteous.

Well it looks like it's time to start another day, this is a half-finished post, hopefully my desires won't overwhelm me today.

No comments: