Table of Contents Hide
MONEY is a word of magic.
Speak it with authority and the world will bring its rarest treasures to your door, its wood cut in the depth of swamps or primeval forests and cunningly wrought and finished; its finely-carded wool woven on ancient looms in far-away places;
its silks spun by insects and patterned by man; its skins from the remotest wilderness; its ores grubbed from the heart of the earth and fashioned into half-human bodies to wash and sew, to drive your wheels and take you hither and yon; its canvases touched to life by the soul of the artist; its songs and melodies; its feasts and festivals.
These are the treasures which the magic of money will draw to your door.
- Is it any wonder that all the world is interested in money,
- eager to learn the secret of the acquisition of wealth?
- And why should we assume that it is wrong for the spiritually minded to inquire into it?
- Is all money “tainted”?
- Are they alone saintly who live without food, shelter, and beauty?
Character is not a problem of money but a question of method. There are those who have character and no money, others who have money and no character; there are those who have both, and there are those who have neither
I propose to show that it is possible to obtain one without losing the other, how it is done by mental law; and how each individual may possess all he desires without robbing any other.
Money is power. Money is freedom.
Money is a universal solvent. Money is a god that settles disputes, heals wounds and fosters brotherhood; it is a devil that makes war and in its frenzy feeds on its own vitals. Money is a crucifix or a cannon, a palace or a prison, a friend or a foe. But it is always a force.
Money is houses, lands, railways, ships, services, honors, ease, travel. Money is nothing. Now we get down to the meat of it. Money is nothing! A barrel of marks may not be worth a bottle of beer, a liter of lira, not worth the trouble of figuring the exchange.
But the same may be said of a paper dollar, or a thousand dollar bill! If you doubt this, note what happens to the man who removes the “one” from a dollar bill and reprints it with two ciphers. Nothing is changed but the ink; but when the government superscription is gone, it is “all gone.” The value of money in itself is the value of the paper on which it is printed. Money is nothing.
Money is mutual agreement
Money is mutual agreement, cooperation, coordination, confidence, faith. Money is faith. It is the belief men have in each other. The word creed and the word credit both come from the same Latin root,
“credo,” I believe. When I take money from you in exchange for my labor it is because of my belief.
I believe that when I take this money to the grocer he will give me flour; to the baker, he will give me bread; to the tailor, he will give me clothes.
I believe that each of them will believe in my money.
Money is a symbol. It symbolizes the labor you have performed, the crops you raised, the goods you manufactured; the book you wrote, the picture you painted, the song you sang, the sermon you preached. It is a sign, the sign of boiled-down labor of brains or brawn.
It is a symbol of the exchange you are about to make, your brawn for another’s brains, your brains for another’s brawn.
Money is service.
The world pays for whatever it values—a trinket, a car, a painting, a teacher, a preacher, a dream, a thought. The world always wants something; whatever it wants it must pay for, and whatever it pays for it must want or it would not pay for it. Therefore whoever satisfies a want becomes a servant, and his services must receive their hire.
Summing it all up, then, money is the symbol of service. There are many kinds of services, but all of them can be turned first into the symbol or medium of exchange which we call money and then back into services and things. In this form it becomes a great force.
It is power and this power is neutral. That is, the money can become anything we want it to become. That is why the world wants money so that it can have not what anyone happens to give it, but what it wants to get.
Money is freedom
Money is freedom to do what we want to do, to go where we want to go, and to be what we want to be. There is nothing bad in money, for who can see wrong in a symbol of service which is a great, impersonal force, inspiring faith and convertible into other forms which the possessor can creatively mold into whatsoever he wills?
The association with money
The wrong associated with money lies not in the money but the association :
- how it was gained and how it is spent.
- Was it acquired in honorable service, is it spent for honorable ends?
- Is the labor worth the hire, or did he who gained the hire lose his own soul in the acquisition?
- And what is it to “lose one’s own soul”?
It is evident from the foregoing that money is simply a convenient method of Transformation, the medium in which we dissolve one form and bring forth another.
Form is transferred into energy or force and from energy or force refashioned into form. Just as we cast all our old trinkets into the crucible and remold them into a dish or a statue so we cast all our possessions into the matrix called money and bring forth other desired forms. Of course there are other and more primitive methods of exchange.
The love of money
I may saw wood for my dinner or exchange a sonnet for a saw. Or I may repudiate money as “the root of all evil” and say to my employer, “I will trust you tomorrow to give me bread for the work I did yesterday.” To so repudiate money is to deny myself the conveniences of civilization.
Only the ignorant or the fanatical, therefore, will dispense with the services of money; and this book is not written for either.
It is not money, but “the love of money,” that is the “root of all evil.” The quest of a competence in the medium of money is, therefore, legitimate, and the only moral or ethical question that may be raised is,
“How did you get it?”