The power of greed to corrupt is one of the most dominant narratives on the planet. Is it real? Or is something else going on?
Money is seen as the source and cause of the seeming insatiable need to covet material things and so is the desire to wield authority over others.
But neither of those is the reason we allow greed to surface in our lives nor why we are so often willing to embrace it, even being all too aware of its damaging effects. Not really. Not in our heart of hearts. At some level we all do know that when it comes to money, we can’t take it with us when we meet our Maker, and acquiring a lot of it gets us no special advantage in the afterlife.
The presence of greed signals a deep emptiness of spirit. Whether we seek to gain status, prestige, power, money, even infamous celebrity — what is really happening is we are yielding to a fear so deep inside we are not aware of its presence — and power — to drain and derail us.
It comes in many familiar forms: gluttony, rapacious commercial dealings, bullying others, pathological frugality, stealing anything from anyone. It also appears in smaller ways — when we believe we are entitled to something another has even if we have not worked for it, when we think badly of someone who has succeeded well in their life’s work, when we let jealousy claim our hearts.
When we forget we are all connected.
A lot of people see the idea that we are connected in the universe as a cliche without substance. They would rather believe we are alone, whether we succeed in life or suffer in life. Why do they prefer that negative scenario in their minds? Because they have left out the heart in their equation.
If you live from the heart, you know intuitively you are a part of All That Is. And you sense this is true for everyone, no exceptions, however badly or well we seem to live our lives on this earth.
Greed is a substitute, a way of ensuring we have something when we believe we have nothing, when we believe we are not enough, and sometimes when we feel an insatiable need to prove our worth.
It never works.
The truth is this, a statement I found in a book called The Impersonal Life, an essay on God: “Love who you are, as you are, because it is Me.”
Thus, we are always worthy. Thus, we do not need to prove anything.
We do not need greed to fill our lives. We take it on and into ourselves, some of us more than others. But we do not need it.
Just being here, now, is enough.