How important is money in your life?
Here is a passage from the book Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham. The book is an acknowledged classic and has been praised as a work of genius. Pick up a copy of the book. Despite being a classic it is easy reading and entertaining and it is filled with insights. if you are looking for guidance you might quite easily find your life situation diagnosed and a remedy suggested.
In the story, the main character, Phillip Carey, is studying art (i.e painting) but after a year or two of pursuing it, he develops doubts about his ability. He does not have enough family money to support himself for the remainder of his life. So he seeks the help of his instructor and wishes to know from him whether he really has talent and will be able to produce good art or not. The instructor, named Foinet, is able to tell Phillip that as an artist he will never be anything other than mediocre. Talking about money Foinet goes on to say:
There is nothing so degrading as the constant anxiety about one’s means of livelihood. I have nothing but contempt for people who despise money. They are hypocrites and fools. Money is like the sixth sense without which one cannot make a complete use of the other five. Without an adequate income, half the possibilities of life are cut off. The only thing to be careful about is that you do not pay more than a shilling for the shilling you earn. You will hear people say that poverty is the best spur to the artist. They have never felt the iron of it in their flesh. They do not know how mean it makes you. It exposes you to endless humiliation, it cuts your wings, it eats into your soul like a cancer. It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one’s dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent. I pity with all my heart the artist, whether he writes or paints, who is entirely dependent for subsistence upon his art.
If this holds good then why do religious teachings tell us to live a life of poverty. We have the teachings of Jesus which tell us that God will provide and that the lilies toil not nor do they reap but God provides for them.
In my opinion only people who are interested in making a determined bid for enlightenment will have the motivation to follow such teachings. Most people, now living, are not seeking God. We would be happy if we live a wise and controlled life. For all of us then, I think, Somerset Maugham’s advice holds good.
I’ll end here. Hope this helps someone. Please explore this blog for more articles on Politics, Spirituality and Self Help. If you liked this article then please share it on Facebook and Twitter and feel free to post your comments or contact me. Link to contact is below.