Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
10th December 2008
“Freedom or Imprisonment”
The pen is mightier than the sword. These days finance is mightier than the pen, because finance begets them both, the pen and the sword. The tentacles of finance reach further than those of an octopus. Everything in relationship with man in this world has finance written all over it. Trade, transportation, food and drink, education, construction, entertainment, war and peace, comfort and opulence, religion and spirituality etc., are kept moving by the wheels of finance.
Wise men proclaim that the world is illusory. In that case finance too must be illusory. Illusory does not mean it does not exist; it means that it exists but not in the manner the mind says it does. Even the meaning the words carry ought to be illusory if the world of man is illusory. There is only one world and life for the enlightened and for man, but the world and life of the wise man is not what man thinks it is. Life and world is timeless and thoughtless to the enlightened, and it must be the same to man too as they are the same to both. Man thinks that life and the world are governed by man and his thoughts. The illusion that it is so is real to man. The moment an understanding happens that the world, man and mind are illusory man is enlightened. Finance too is a thought and hence needs to be illusory and not real.
Like everything else, finance needs to be understood. Its hold on man is to be realised. Until then man will be offering finance to God in return for more finance. Man believes finance is paramount to lead a happy life, for security, to maintain good health, to have education, a house to live in etc. It is strange that man is born into this world and he does not know until he is told of his date of birth; it is equally strange that he gets out of this world not knowing that he has and he cannot be told the date he died either. Between these episodes of appearance and disappearance finance holds man to ransom, such that, in order to live, he has to rake up finance.
Does finance determine birth? It surely does not. That which determines birth will determine how birth progresses until death presents itself, and not finance.
Even God is equated with finance. He is thought to bestow man with riches and prosperity. If it were so, would God not make everyone of his creations healthy, wealthy and wise? Would his creations not be healthy, wealthy and wise? Would God be partial to some by making them rich and impartial to others by making them poor? Does God not love everyone equally? Of course He does and He has to, to be God, and if He does not who could blame man for not doing so. Every religion preaches that we should love everyone and, if it were God’s dictum, how could He make some rich and some poor? This would prove that God does not love every man and woman equally.
Praying to God for finances makes no sense: it is an insult to His intelligence. Would God not know how much he should give every man, if it is believed that it is He who gives?
If man trusts God, where is the need to ask at all? His need to ask is an acceptance of his distrust in God. It cannot be spiritual to offer money to God for it belongs to Him in the first place, nor is it unspiritual to receive money in the name of God. If it were, then to receive a salary would be unspiritual, to pay for any anything would be unspiritual, trading and doing business would be unspiritual. But man loves to do these very things that would be unspiritual and all that too in the name of God. Everything that man possesses belongs to God, his car, house, job, pets, education, objects and money included.
Man’s love for money supersedes his love for God. He loves God only because he believes God gives him money. So, when man prays to God for more finance he actually loves money but not God. Such prayers are an acknowledgement that God is alive and active, and man’s presence would be a contradiction to the statement that God is everywhere.
Love is related to finance and depends on finance. Love is hard to find if the wallet and salary are dry. Parents are disappointed if their child is a non-achiever. Their applause and praise are reserved for the child who fits into the social bandwagon of high finance. Could this be love? Is love dependent? If so, it just cannot be love for love is like life, like God, thoughtless and timeless – and independent.
Man’s greed and dejection is directly proportional to the growth and loss of finance. Finance rules the mind of man. Finance dominates man’s life and his only concern in life is to make money. He has many reasons why he needs money and paramount amongst them is that it will keep him happy and contented. He loses his health to get money and loses his wealth to get back his health and, in the end, leaves the world without any money or ever being happy for a moment.
Man may claim that he is happy, but he has not understood that happiness is not a sensation, but a thoughtless state. He is merely excited but not happy, as he claims to be. He trusts money more than anything else, even the God he believes or prays to. He prays so that his finance may grow and keep growing until his death. He is neither happy nor contented while making money because he is always anxious about its growth and fearful about its loss. Anxiety and fear keep man unhappy and discontented and this is contrary to his objective for making money.
Man hungers for money as if there is no tomorrow. His aim in life is to make money, but he never uses it to be happy to the extent he believed he would and could. He never uses it because of the fear that he will lose it. So, it is meaningless to want more money to be happy when he is unable to use it freely to be happy. Finance becomes a prison in which man is held for life, if he thinks it is real. It is the door to freedom if he understands its illusory nature. If he does, then and only then will he enjoy finance freely, and not otherwise.
He is not concerned about what will happen to his finances after his death; he merely believes he is earning for the welfare of his family and children. But how could his family or children be happy or contented, for they too would be involved in the make or break of finance? This means that no man has ever been happy or contented by the spell to make money, yet, in every generation, life makes man procure it so that he may understand that finance does not make him permanently happy or contented, but just keeps him less uncomfortable.
The belief that poverty will not make man happy is meaningless because he is unhappy while making money. Anxiety, while making money, leaves behind the scar of losing it, and such a man cannot be happy, though he may say he is. Every man engrossed in making money is neurotic, calculative, deceptive and insensitive to life. Such a man can never be happy or contented, though he may claim to be.
Those who operate corporate finance and the government, which regulates finance, are similar to a dictator. The latter plunders the wealth of the country, while the former plunder money, which belongs to the people and who trust them for its safety. The dictator has his own rules and so too those who control finance in any country. Both sets of rules have a common outcome and that is that the country becomes poor while the dictator and those who handle finance remain rich.
No one is to blame. This is life’s intelligence in demonstrating that a dictator and a system of government are one and the same. Every house or home has a dictator and a government within it with varying degrees of intensity. Corporate finance operates to plunder, aided by rules, and the dictator plunders, unaided by rules, but the eventual outcome is the same. The same two types of system are operative in every household, society, institution and organisation, spiritual or otherwise. There is no escape, for life is one and every entity exists everywhere in differing intensity. This is the meaning of oneness.
No one is to blame for man is not the doer. Any situation, no matter how illusory, is life’s intelligence for trust to happen to man. Trust too, like everything else, happens. It happens not as an act but as a phenomenon, as a transformation. When an understanding has not happened to man that life happens, he lives in distrust, and this is characterised by the blame-game - man cannot do anything about it either. When an understanding happens to man that life happens, he lives in trust, which is characterised by not blaming anyone - man cannot do anything about that either. Trust that life happens and man does not make life happen.
Life is a singular movement and included in this movement is finance. The movement of finance, its ups and its downs, are like the movement of waves in an ocean. The waves are not separate from the ocean; it is the ocean that moves as waves. Likewise, finance is life and its ups and downs are the movement of life. The pivotal question to ask is who made money? Is it God or man? The wise proclaim that man is not the doer so the question is answered by this proclamation.
It is not experience that keeps finance in balance or maintains a steady growth. The financial crisis of any country or the globe proves that man is not in control nor does experience maintain constant growth of finance. Life is in control of its singular movement of birth, growth, ups and downs and eventual disappearance of anything that is known or recognisable. The proclamation that man is not the doer puts to rest everything that is related to finance and to man.
Solutions to problems need to be illusory in an illusory world and are just that, and so too are problems. Everything in life is sorted out by life, and patient observation of life will reveal this. Life does not need the mind to solve problems, no matter how illusory or real. If problems were real, they would never leave man. This is the meaning of real, that which cannot change, is eternal and everywhere. If any problem were real, every moment would be a problem and the problem would be just one and not many, as it is made to be believed. Man has the intelligence to provide solutions to illusory problems, and this is how life manifests man as able to do. What value could there be in any solution or a problem that is illusory? The temporariness of the world is what makes it illusory. The illusory disappears either gradually or suddenly. When it is sudden, man does not even recognise that there was a problem. If the disappearance is gradual, the problem appears permanent and hence man’s search for solutions. Everything disappears in life, including man and his capacity to provide solutions for financial problems.
Trust that you will have what you are meant to have. Everything is given to man as a gift. Enjoy the gift while it lasts. Everything that is given will also be taken, including finance, for the giver and the taker is the same, which is life. It is meaningless to worry that without finance you cannot live and will die. Life takes care of you every moment in the manner it knows best and not according to your beliefs of finance. It is the beliefs about how life should be that prevent trust from happening, a trust that finance does not bring in happiness or contentment. Every breath you have is accounted for; every penny you have is accounted for. You arrive in this world penniless and leave this world penniless. Life is mightier than finance.
© Copyright V. S. Shankar 2008