1. Money As an Expression of Love
By Wallace Huey
Money is one of those subjects, like education and religion, that tends to spark strong emotional reactions in people.
So let’s get clear on what money is. Money is a token, that when exchanged, releases energy that allows things to be accomplished in the physical world. Money is, in my opinion, one of the greatest ever inventions of humanity, because it can be so precisely measured as a means of exchange. In that sense money is scientific and as a science has given rise to many business disciplines like accounting and share trading.
Without money civilization could never have been created.
There are three ways money can be shared. The first is as an expression of unconditional love. This is common in charity. The second is as an exchange of value. This is common in business and in spiritually based services. The third is as tax payments. This is levied by government.
When we give money, and nether expect nor wish for something in return, then that gift is an expression of unconditional love. Such giving can have a very powerful effect on the receiver and the giver.
I remember not long after I had started my project to bring personal development education to people on the internet, I shared my project with a neighbor. To my total surprise she not only got the value of what I was seeking to do, but took out her check book and wrote me a check for $1,300 to put toward a new computer to support my work. I was both delighted and surprised. When I came home I sat and reflected on the lady’s generosity and burst into tears. At last someone got it. I felt affirmed, appreciated and understood.
At that point I had been working for several years on the project and had funded everything myself. In giving me the money she had firstly recognized that I needed a new computer to do the work, and second, she also demonstrated that she understood the value of the work and was willing to help. And her act of generosity really did help. I went out and bought a new Apple lap top that I was able to use for the next 10 years to build the project, along with the help of many others, into what it has become today.
So money given wisely, with unconditional love, affirms the person doing great work and allows the work to blossom because it is a practical support. Wonderful projects and charities have been built through money gifted in this way.
When money is given as an exchange of value then it oils the wheels of business and rewards good business decision-making. If I create a service that I sell to you for $10 and you use the service and gain $15 of value from using it then this is also an act of love, because you have given me a good deal, and you will develop a reputation as a capable business person, someone I will tell other people about. As a result your business will grow and you will be rewarded.
Then we come to those businesses whose “service” is the dissemination of love itself. Such businesses include counseling, life coaching, psychotherapy and my own specialism, spiritual teaching. Often these businesses have a difficult time charging for their services, because the product is love itself, which is a spiritual rather than a material quality.
My own approach, as a Spiritual Teacher, is to make sure the spiritual teaching I do is always related to people’s practical lives, and that they understand how to use the teachings I offer to meet their material and financial needs more successfully. Because I consciously take this approach, I explain that I offer my spiritual teaching through grace, without charge, and then I regularly give people the opportunity to make voluntary financial contributions to support the work.
My students are happy to support me financially because they recognise that the service they use creates added value for them. This added value benefits each student's life in the form of a new job, a saved marriage, more customers for their business and greater peace of mind - real material and spiritual benefits. Then the income I receive which has been gifted to me, I use to make further investments improving the service, paying the bills and meet my own practical needs.
This approach to funding my work (and myself) through a process of mutual giving and receiving, as opposed to conventional business practice of charging and invoicing, allows each student to contribute to the work according to the value they feel it contributes to their life. This sense of mutual support in a giving exchange, creates a wonderful bond of trust between the student and their Spiritual Teacher - and its this trust that really assists the student to learn and me as the teacher to teach.
When money is levied as taxes, it is used by central and local governments. Paying our taxes is an act of love because through our tax payments we are supporting those public services we all use and benefit from. Many people feel resentful about paying their taxes, but you will only feel resentful if you look at your tax payments from the point of view of your own narrow self interest. But consider how you tax payments benefit the whole of society. And because you are also part of society you benefit along with everyone else.
If you are out sailing and you have an accident and have to be rescued by the coastguard. In most countries it is your taxes that pay the bill. If you have children they need to be educated. In most countries it in your taxes that pay for these services.
Paying our taxes challenge us to see how they can be used to enable the strong to support the weak, meet the greater good in our society and appreciate services that provide for the welfare of all. So I encourage you to have this larger more generous perspective when you next sit down to pay a tax bill.
So we have seen that money is simply a way of measuring and exchanging value. When given with unconditional love, it supports worthwhile charities and projects, when used as a means of exchange it oils the wheels of business and when levied as taxes it supports the welfare of everyone.
The important thing is to spend the money on things that add real value to your life as distinct from those things that feed your addictions and to earn money by offering things of real value as distinct from offering things that feed other people’s addictions.
Money allows all of us to get our needs met. When given as a charitable act it allows people who - for whatever reason - cannot be part of the commercial world, to be supported. When offered as a business exchange or as a contribution to a spiritually based service, it allows the good business people and spiritual services to prosper, and when levied as taxes we all benefit.
So earn, spend and pay your taxes with love and you will feel wonderful about the flow of money through your life. And when we feel grateful about the flow of money, it allows us all to co-operate by trading with and supporting each other, and as we do so the amount of money grows and bears more and more fruit.
In 2000, after a profound spiritual awakening, Wallace wrote his book, Unfold Your Wings and Watch Life Take Off, a poetic manual that takes the hand of the reader and gently guides them toward a powerful realization of inner guidance.