“Money can’t buy happiness” is a baseless statement repeated throughout spiritual communities. We hear this from those living in vague and generalized
expressions of spiritual life. Often such statements are masking the underlying intent of the person saying them.
We exist in a material world. The modern world requires it be addressed with money. Maybe our modern economic model will change one day. But for now if the material world is not addressed correctly to reflect the times and environment then the lower chakras such as the 1st Chakra
and 2nd Chakra
in our bodies deactivate creating imbalance. Lower chakras of the first and second chakra are rooted into the material world and believed to deactivate when a psychological and or physical direction goes against the principles of living in a material world. Associations of lower chakra imbalances are poor living conditions, lower back, colon and leg pains along with financial issues. When the lower chakras are imbalanced it is not possible to lead to god consciousness/ self-realization/ liberation. All of the lower and upper chakras need to be in balanced for the 7th crown chakra to open. A minimum amount of money is required to maintain a happy and healthy connection to the material world for our spirituality in a modern world. It is not possible to be happy with this imbalance.
Maslow's hierarchy of needs pyramid from psychology points to the necessity of money for happiness. Existing at the bottom of the pyramid is food and shelter with social relations in the middle crowned at the top of the pyramid with self actualization. In a material modern world when money is lacking then such basic necessities are lacking leading to unhappiness. Food with safety and shelter is rooted into the material world similarly as the outlook with lower chakras. If we are not living in a rural underdeveloped subsistence farming oriented environment then the role of money is paramount in a modern civilized world. A modern developed world requires money for basic needs of food and safety to achieve social relations and “Self-Actualize” or what could be higher levels of consciousness. Happiness will be missed without the hierarchy being met.
Money is alluded to the Ashramas of Hindu philosophy expressing life in 4 stages. It is the second stage of life that requires an intense focus on career and socializing of children into the world. This stage requires money. Not completing this stage successfully then the children may suffer. Or a debt free home needed for stability will not be created. When we do not complete this stage we are required to continue working this stage through old age. That is why there are people working till 80 paying off debts.
“Once you get basic human needs met, a lot more money doesn’t make a lot more happiness,” notes Dan Gilbert, a psychology professor at Harvard University and the author of "Stumbling on Happiness". Some research shows that going from earning less than $20,000 a year to making more than $50,000 makes you twice as likely to be happy, yet the payoff for then surpassing $90,000 is slight. The Washington Post
mentions money purchasing more time for example a house cleaning service or chef to reduce the pressures from the day increases happiness according to current research. The American Psychology Association
conducted studies on households with high net worth exceeding 25 million regarding happiness. To their surprise findings were that these people of high net worth consistently stated that their greatest aspiration in life was to be a good parent. Furthermore they had a keen interest in how to help the youth in the world live healthy, meaningful and impactful lives. This was unexpected but revealing as to how there could be so much humanity.
Yes it is true money cannot buy happiness. On the other hand it does create the environment for creating happiness and self-fulfillment. Money helps to create the life experiences that are necessary to happiness such as travel or spending time with your children. Money provides a greater level of safety in one’s life and the chance to better recover from or prevent problems. The basic awareness that there is sufficient money for calamities in itself is reassuring calming and creates the environment for happiness and self-fulfillment to thrive.
Many spiritual aspirants focus excessively on upper chakra spiritual life neglecting the basic lower material world. One expression of being rich within the material world is that we are as rich as the number of days we go without having to earn money. This instills the freedom of choice to stop and do nothing for several months is what brings happiness and not the act itself. Beyond that there are a multitude of different values expressed as being rich in the material world such as good health. In the spiritual realm the measure is enlightenment and this can be expressed with different meanings. To stay happy in your spiritual and material world can only occur by maintaining a balance between the material world that requires money and the spiritual world.
The persons communicating baseless statements such as “money can’t buy happiness” is sending a wrong message. They instill a narrow one dimensional view point as a way of making a grand point about how virtuous they are. Baseless statements are made by people wishing to make a point that makes them look correct in order for their own virtuous self-image to be maintained or stance in an argument to be upheld. These are the same people coming up with all kinds of muddled up interpretations and teachings regarding sexuality. Often applying them upon persons that do not come from the ideal psychological and sociological backgrounds for such practices. These same people hide behind ahimsa/ nonviolence when they should stand up to stop evil. Often persons making such statements are self serving.
By Perumal Koshy