Is money the root of all evil?
We live in a world of money-driven pursuits, or what is known as, ‘the never-ending cycle of attaining satisfaction through money and all that it can buy, and vice versa’. We look upon money as the key to happiness, do we not? It can buy us food, clothe us, put a roof above our heads, all of which are attached to the concept, or at least in our own definitive terms, of happiness. What then, is it that we seek? Is it in achieving this happiness that we will then stop pursuing money -which in itself becomes its own limiting notion of happiness? Why is it then, that whoever says they are satisfied and happy still continue to slog tirelessly for money and all other associated material possessions: house (from a small apartment to landed property), car, good health (both physical and psychological), and so on and so forth. Is it then, that it is not happiness that we seek, but rather, the concept or notion of being happy that keeps us motivated?
Then, looking introspectively, happiness isn’t a mere concept or notion; it can’t be defined by our own standards of measurement. We cannot say that happiness is the abundance of money and other material things; we cannot say that not being happy, or unhappiness, is the lack of aforementioned material things either. What then, is happiness, in all of its entirety? What then, is this so-called ‘true happiness’ – and I do not intend this to become a notion in so thinking that it is. Simply put, it isn’t. We can’t say that ‘true happiness’ is a list of attributions that we can tick off a list, and therefore, by having achieved all these requirements, we are happy. Is it not then, a problem of being able to fell this state of being subservient to our own notions of happiness that we can attain said ‘true happiness’? Is it not in the very truest expression of this term that we then find happiness, not per se, but in so living? That, to exist, would be happiness in and of itself? Does the problem then, not shift from one of, “How do I become happy?”, to that of, “How do I not become attached to this notion of happiness, in such a way that will free me from this never-ending cycle of having attached oneself to the very notion of happiness?”. That happiness (or the lack thereof), ceases to be the problem?
The solution to this existential crisis is not readily available, albeit clear to see. One only needs to take a step back (not literally of course, though it wouldn’t matter even if you did), and merely spectate one’s own thoughts. Spectate – not indulge. And by merely spectating, you then understand why these concepts, thoughts, or notions, are by their very nature of existence, purely abstract. It is in this very moment of realisation that you then understand fully why refusing to indulge in them does not result in any manifestation, in the form of attitudes, words and actions. It is also in realising this power to choose that you realise that whatever it is that has given you the power to choose, is in itself, the very source of this ‘true happiness’.