And here is the final post on The Rich Man chapter from The Gospel According to Jesus by Stephen Mitchell. I obviously took much time to study this particular chapter, and for a good reason. In the past, I have never had great relationship with money. Oh, I like money, no question about that, but it did not seem to like me that much 😉
It seemed like no matter how much I made (and I have had some great jobs with nicely generous salary packages) it was never enough. Money just slipped though my fingers. Being raised in Russia, I had no financial education or experience whatsoever. We had no bank accounts, no credit cards, no checks, no credit – just cash. Therefore here in US, my husband and I have made many unwise, uneducated financial decisions, many mistakes and ended up paying for them. But as I talk to my friends, born and raised in US, they too have same problems, make same mistakes and face same challenges. And that is why I feel that this chapter is so important. It holds many great lessons pertaining to our relationship with money.
Mithchell ends the chapter with a great story from his own experience and I also would like to use it here, as for me personally it speaks truth.
A Buddhist friend of mine had entered adulthood with a strongly rooted prejudice against money. He refused to have anything to do with it, except for the bare minimum, and lived on three thousand dollars a year. Then he met a woman of rare insight, who was later to become his wife. Shortly after they met, she began reminding him that aversion is as much of an attachment as desire is, and that in rejecting money he was repressing his own energy, both physical and spiritual. This went on for several years. My friend, who is alert enough to hear the truth when it is said for the seventy-times-seventh time, finally understood, and proceeded to do the painful and, for him, necessary inner work of tracing his aversion to its root. The years came and went; everything grew clear; nothing changed. And then, after seven years, all at ones, his work blossomed and the money came pouring in, an outer and visible sign of an inner and spiritual abundance.
This situation fascinated me precisely because my friend had already entered the kingdom of God many years before, and only later did he become rich.