We live in a constant state of striving after things we don’t really need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t know. It seems that many people at the highest levels in the business world slowly become victims of greed, acquiring financial wealth as a substitute for the joy that comes from knowing one’s self and authentically being with others. It seems that there can be an inverse relationship between the amount of money people amass and the generosity they offer to those around them. Counterintuitive yes, but also a truism. Take the story of Lance.
Tim Cratchitt first met Lance back in 1990 when he was a struggling businessman and Tim was a guy trying to make a living to pay the mortgage and send the kids to university someday. As an employer, Lance treated Tim and the other people who worked for him with decency and respect and consequently was liked by those who worked for him. He was generous and spread the wealth around with good year-end bonuses and frequent raises. When times became even more prosperous, Lance focused his energies almost exclusively on the acquisition of wealth. The more he made the less he had to do with his employees. It was as if the money was building an invisible wall between him and his previously valued team — the team that at least in part was helping to make him rich.
At first Tim thought it was just a temporary thing; you know, the spoils of the battle swelling the heads of the nouveau riche, but as time marched on Lance began making it clear that he had made the ascension to the next level of the universe — that of the venerated Feudal Lord. Lance now had everything; money, power, the best the world could offer and most importantly of course, an army of lowly serfs who he could abuse at his whim. ‘Lord Lance’ they began calling him in the subculture of duplicity he had single handedly cultivated. One day he lowered himself and gave Tim the pleasure of his honored company with a conversation which centered around his self-appointed importance. “My son is the son of a rich man” he said during the conversation. Tim felt sorry for Lance as he listened to his unconscious narcissistic words.
Lance had arrived at the destination of many who strive for wealth and power. He was now a full-fledged member of the aristocracy of darkness, *“another happy idiot in search of the legal tender” at the expense of his own spirit and that of those around him.
Money is a symbol and the meaning it holds can be emblematic of many internal conditions of consciousness. For those who strive because they can never fill up the empty coffers of their hollow existence, money can represent power and status. For those who are always just out of reach of finding even crumbs and scraps, money can represent the hopelessness of impoverished consciousness. However for those who are already full with the natural and healthy flow of joy that comes from the expression of their deepest authenticity, money is a symbol of joy and generosity.
Striving blocks awareness.
Lloyd Tosoff, Author *Jackson Browne