Money is bad
In the book Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch, the subject of money is continually brought up as this was one of the author’s main dilemmas in life at that time: Neale had a car accident, lost his job, and became homeless. One of the most powerful messages he received was about how he has carrying ‘sponsoring thoughts’ about money, such as it being the ’root of all evil’and other expressions like ‘filthy lucre’, ‘filthy rich’, etc. Therefore, if he knows that he is a ‘good’ person doing a ‘good’ and honest job while thinking that money is ‘bad’, then you see how he would subconsciously think that he cannot possibly have money (or at least lots of it) as that would in effect make him a bad person.
Money is scarce
I remember my parents forcing me to eat my lunch when I was very young. My mom would make me feel guilty about people in Africa who don’t have any food to eat and how the kids there would die of hunger. She would also make me finish my meal down to the last morsel, as she said we shouldn’t waste food or anything. She meant well of course, but what these words and actions would end up ‘planting’ in me was a feeling of lack, not necessarily my lack but other people’s lack, another nation’s lack. Whatever or wherever it was, it was still a ‘lack’ of something somewhere. And of course, when you grow up having those thoughts, you instinctively think you must ‘secure’ yourself from ending up experiencing that, and when this thought becomes warped, you go to the opposite extreme and end up becoming a hoarder.
Money is never given freely
We heard it mentioned too many times… expressions such as ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’ or ‘there’s no such thing as a free lunch’. If you subscribe to this line of thinking, then you will find it hard to accept that you can receive money (at least not lots of it) and to receive it for free (no exchange needed). It also causes distorted viewpoints, such as not valuing things that are free. For example, if somebody offered you a free lesson, you would instinctively think that the lesson must not be that valuable, as it is free. There was a study in the UK that illustrates this point clearly: the National Health Service or NHS offers a free Smoking Cessation Program that involves a few sessions; they noticed that people who signed up showed up only for the first up to second sessions- a big percentage did not finish the program until the last session – as opposed to those who booked a Smoking Cessation Program from a private clinic in Harley Street, which had a higher success rate with participants. There’s not much difference in the program except that one is offered for free and the other comes with a hefty price tag. We obviously think that ‘free’ things have no intrinsic value.
This is the mentality where we think that if we have access to a large sum of money, then we might end up becoming corrupted. I know a few people who still hold this belief. I feel that this thinking comes mostly from movies portraying the ‘baddies’ as rich, powerful, and corrupt. We don’t see a lot of ‘baddies’ in movies who are homeless…. Indeed, if someone is extremely rich, we become suspicious, thinking maybe they got rich because of ‘dirty’ money.
Money and spirituality do not mix
I met someone last week who considers himself spiritual. While he has a good paying and stable job and is nowhere near ‘poor’, he says he’d like to prosper instead of just get by. His daughter will soon enter college and he doesn’t want to worry about the future.I asked him if he can see himself winning the lottery or receiving a large amount of money. He said he could and would even occasionally buy lottery tickets… but he was worried that if he did win, it might change him into something else, becoming materialistic and compromising his spirituality.Another thought related to this is when we believe that money should not be received from doing religious or spiritual work. Our priests and ministers receive a modest wage (if they get one at all); some are expected to work free and make a vow of poverty. Again, it all comes from this thought that you cannot be spiritual and have abundance at the same time.
Money comes from working hard
This one unfortunately inflicts a lot of people. We had a period in our lives when we were carefree, then we became teens, and somewhere along the way, our parents, teachers, and society told us that in order to succeed, we must work hard. To be doing nothing is ‘lazy’ and frowned upon. Nothing will come to us easily or ‘land on our laps’ as they said. We were introduced to the concept of ‘survival of the fittest’ and the ‘rat race’ going on. Popular songs reinforced it even more, like Donna Summer’s “she works hard for the money….”
The message, although subliminal, is loud and clear: one must struggle to be wealthy. And so we put the focus on ‘doing’ instead of ‘being’. And why do we struggle? We only struggle if we believe that there is not enough money, not enough time, not enough resources; if we didn’t believe any of these, we would not for a single moment struggle. And therefore, it’s a vicious cycle, struggling only to push away what you are struggling for so you struggle even more. It’s a very uphill battle, and the enemy is ‘us’, as the comic character Pogo said.
I hope you learned a thing or two from reading this list. The book Conversations with God, Book 1, which is what inspired me to write this, illustrates how Neale was able to turn his life around from being a homeless desolate person into being a bestselling author achieving prosperity beyond his wildest dreams. You too can have that; in fact, anyone can have that and that is one of the biggest messages of this book: abundance is there for all of us to have and experience.