Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
18th March 2009
Time is money and this makes both time and money precious to man. He does not want to lose time or money either or to waste them. He moans and is exasperated if he thinks he has done so. Though he knows that time and money will lose out to death, and he is not sure when it may strike, he does not wish to waste or lose them anyway. What point is man trying to make when he will certainly lose them to death?
Does death gain time and money? Can man pass on time to the next generation or is it only money that he can? How sure is he that his money and time will be safe in the hands of the next generation? No man can be certain - it is only a hope that he has that it will be safe in the next generation and is needed for them.
The agony, anxiety and worry money and time bring will be repeated in every generation, yet in every generation man does not wish to waste or lose any bit of them. He only wants to make more and is engrossed in doing so. There is nothing wrong with the idea either; it sounds sensible and logical. If time and money bring in the emotions and situations he never wishes to have, but he believes that time well spent and money earned will prevent – though they do not - what is the point in earning money and not losing time in doing so?
Time is something that no man has any control over. It just passes by and cannot be stopped, not even temporarily. Man thinks that he is the doer, yet he cannot stop time. He has not created time for him to stop it. If he cannot stop it nor can have made it, how could he possibly waste or lose time when he has no control over it whatsoever? Man will lose time whether he makes money or not.
Man loses his health while trying not to lose time and being busy making money. After making money, which is never enough, no matter how great or small the amount, he eventually discovers that he has lost his health. Then he begins to spend all that he has earned to get his health back, only to lose it once again to time. Man has not understood that, though he may regain his health, it is always temporary and time is always the winner over health and money.
Man wishes to save money so that he may have a comfortable life and a decent burial, and so he is engrossed in not losing time in making money. However, he neither enjoys what money can get nor could he know whether he had a decent burial. He does not enjoy the money he makes for fear of not having enough if he spends it, and he could never know if the burial was decent or not, because the dead can never know. What difference will decency make for the dead body, because it returns to earth or is cremated and turned into ash?
Man is worried if he loses money or thinks that it has been wasted. He is frustrated by a parking ticket or a fine of any sort. He fumes with anger at the rising cost of fuel of any variety: cooking gas, petrol or electricity; of food, clothing, merchandise and the inventions of the modern world. There is no end to his criticism and complaints. The rising cost of daily life and living-style provide adequate food for the religious to condemn the evil of materialism and preach that it will lead man to hell and not to heaven.
Money is important for a good education, and no one can deny this, but the process of education is not bereft of worries or anxiety, nor is its completion free of these. Man seems to have gained the feelings he believes he would not have if he had a good education, but he is not free of them. Old age soon catches him and life seems to have drifted by ever so fast, as if to say ‘better luck next time’ in making money and not losing time.
Man is depressed if his business does not progress or is not keeping pace with his expectations. He is saddened if he loses money due to deception or a ponzi scheme. There are so many ways man could lose money, and robbery is one of them. He attributes the loss to his fate and prays that it may change, and hope comes to the rescue.
One of the many reasons for undertaking a pilgrimage to a place of divinity or worship is to salvage life from the losing-money-mode to the making-money-mode. It is time for brisk business for the religious when a depressed man walks through their doors or visits their shrines that promise hope of making money. But neither religion nor the shrines can rewind time lost or prevent time left to go slow.
Life is timeless, and yet time is money for man; life is thoughtless, and yet man believes that time should not be wasted. He is thrilled if he makes money and is despondent if he does not, and he agonises if he loses some of it in ways that he expects not to. A speeding ticket sends his mind speeding down disaster-alley. A downward dip in shares sends his mind into a tailspin. If business returns slow down, man feels all is lost and fears the onset of a bleak future.
He contemplates on how much to spend and his decision to spend depends upon what is expensive and what is not. If a family member spends freely or wishes to do so, he is advised on the wisdom and benefits of saving money for the rainy day and not throwing it around. This is sound advice to the mind and religion approves and advises the same. It all boils down to the belief that man is the doer and, hence, the logic to save for the rainy day wins the day.
Therefore, man makes plans to make money and makes it too. He makes plans to prevent its loss, yet he loses money: his plans are never fool-proof. They may work or may not work. How does he come to terms with this?
Life is a singular flow of transforming energy. This transformation is spontaneous, uncontrollable and unpredictable, and it reflects an optical illusion of form, shape and colour. This optical illusion translates as sophistication in the mind, such that life remains timeless and thoughtless, while the auditory illusion of sound as time and money, in the form of thoughts, convinces man that they are needed to make the world go round.
The auditory illusion convinces man that a real world of actions and situations exists external to him, while it does not. The world of man is a mental world of duality and not a real world of non-duality in time and space. He experiences not a real world but a world of thoughts. An experience too is a thought and not actual in time and space.
This illusory world of thoughts is singular too and ought to be, if life is singular. The mental world is strewn with different actions which, in turn, create different situations - and money, with its loss and gain, is one of them. If life is a singular flow, and it is, it only means that every action is and will be in relation to every other action, no matter how illusory.
Man needs to understand the illusory world as a singular flow. The illusory world is dual in nature, and duality is illusory and not real, such that the giver and the taker, though non-dual, appear dual to the mind. It is difficult enough to understand that forms are not separate from each other, let alone the movement as being singular and not multiple.
The movement of money is singular, uncontrollable and unpredictable. Its movement is precise and money moves where it has to move and be. Just as man is where he is meant to be, money is where it is meant to be. The force that moves man is the force that moves money too. The mind creates the deception that man gets money through hard work, but he does not understand that hard work happens to him and he does not earn money: it comes to him. Hard work coincides with the movement of the money coming to him and this creates the deception that hard work results in possessing money.
Man’s journey through life is not separate from the journey of money. Both are one, but appear as separate, and its arrival to man is dependent and not independent. The journey of everything in this world, including money, is singular and not multiple or dependent. The journey is independent and not dependent - it only appears to be.
Accordingly, money that arrives to man has arrived at a destination, and it will move on if need be and if it is meant to move on. No man or mind is in control of this singular movement. If money is meant to come it will come under the deception of hard work, lottery, inheritance, gambling etc. Tradition, culture and religion join the fray for limitless are the ways money may come, for life is limitless. Similarly, if money is meant to go, it will go under the deception of loss, and the ways of losing money are as limitless as the gain of money, and this includes theft too.
If money has to come to you, then somebody has lost it and it has found its way to you so that it may appear respectable. Similarly, if you lose money, it is on its way to be in custody elsewhere. To be proud if you have money by the bagful is illusory and to be perturbed or sad if money goes down the drain is illusory as well. Strange and mysterious are the ways of life, and the gain and loss of money, including time, is one of its mysteries.
© Copyright 2009 V. S. Shankar