Many of us have an ongoing conflict with money; on one hand we want, consciously anyway, more money — or at least the security and comforts money provides. On another hand we feel an unease about accumulating money, and may even be outright critical of money and consider it to be bad.
This money inconsistency is understandable: in much of the world money is equal to physical well-being, but most of us are quite familiar with money being the primary motivator for selfish and / or corrupt behavior. Money then seems to carry an enormous charge that’s equal parts attractive and repulsive.
But is this assessment genuinely fair or accurate?
I once read a quote from Indian spiritualist Paramahansa Yogananda correlating money and dynamite. Yogananda observed that dynamite can cause enormous destruction; he observed as well that dynamite can be used to clear a needed path. How then should we label dynamite? Is it a bad thing? A good thing?
It is certainly true that money is not dynamite. So what is money then? It is simplified trade. In years gone by people would provide a good or service and be given a good or service in return. Now people providing a good or service receive money — not always, but often — rather than a good or service in exchange.
If we consider an exchange to be a bad thing then, perhaps, we can comfortably label money too as bad. If we consider exchange to be a fundamentally fair concept then how can we genuinely condemn money?
There are instances when an exchange itself becomes morally corrupt, but this is not an indictment of the things being exchanged. Might people be more inclined to initiate a corrupt exchange for money rather than, say, getting a donkey in return? Perhaps. But does this possibility prove absolutely that money is bad or immoral? Of course not.
There is no moral issue with someone providing a good or service that many people want and being given money from these many people in return — presuming they don’t exploit others in providing the good or service. There may be a moral issue with someone providing a good or service that people need for basic survival, depending upon how much they ask for in return. (Is it more than the average person can securely give? Are they willing to accommodate those who legitimately can give little or nothing in return?) There is certainly a moral violation when someone knowingly provides a good or service that is not of genuine value, and a valuable exchange is accepted in return.
Is it inherently wrong to wants lots of money? Absolutely not. In some cases it may even be a good thing. Let me provide an example.
This website offers an ebook about how to improve the life experience. I would like to sell as many copies of this ebook as possible. Why? Because I believe it provides insights that will change the life experience for the better and I know that there are many, many people who want life help. This ebook is also priced in such a way that most people who come across it can very comfortably afford to purchase it.
There would also be, certainly, a significant money exchange if many copies of this ebook were sold but where is the problem in that? What moral violation would take place?
Ultimately we have to come to our own individual conclusions about money moral issues, but it’s an important internal issue to be resolved because if we condemn money on some subconscious level we will typically repel money rather than attract it, as the subconscious is a more powerful force than conscious intentions. The house must be in order: conscious and unconscious pulling in the same direction of greater financial abundance rather than one desiring more money while the the other labels money as bad — or unattainable.