Time, space and money. I was going to follow up my discussion of time with a discussion of space, and I still may write about space in a future blog. But I thought money, especially at this time of year, was a better topic. Space is a strange topic and not easy to write about, especially from the perspective of deep reality in which there is the high probability that space, like time, is actually an illusion. Money, although also an illusion, is easier to understand.
I recently met with Gary Renard the author of the Disappearance of the Universe and other bestselling titles that challenge our concept of time and space. In addition to being a wonderful author, workshop leader, and speaker, Gary is also a stock market day trader. He has done extremely well day trading lately, as have others with stock investments over the last year. 2013 in fact was the year in which the stock market reached new highs on almost a daily basis. Gary seems to have the money issue figured out, at least for the present.
I have generated and lost large sums of money over the last fifty years. Money was always easy to generate but not always easy to keep. I started earning money as a small boy with several entrepreneurial activities stretching back to my first days at summer camp where I learned I could trade cookies bought in bulk for much more money than the cookies purchased at “wholesale” generated sold at “retail”. I was also very good at gambling and seemed to always win at competitions as well. Still seems to be the story today as I win golf bets much more frequently than I lose.
I have represented bestselling titles which have generated tens of millions of dollars for individual authors and millions in commissions for me. I have participated as a finder in selling companies that have generated even larger economic value. I am comfortable with large sums of money.
Part of the reason is that although I respect money, I do not take money all that seriously. Having great sums of money does not translate into having more happiness. It is essential to have enough money to live a life that does not require constant worry over paying for rent, food, education and other necessities and small pleasures. But money itself is much less important than the general media would have you believe.
Fundamentally money is the biggest illusion in our world. We have created an economic system in which certain individuals generate billions of dollars in income annually while others may not be able to generate enough to pay for food and shelter. Bill Gates is once again the richest man in the world having added $15 billion plus to his net worth last year primarily because of the increase of the value in his Microsoft stock holdings. I respect Bill Gates, but I doubt his value as a human being is a billion times greater than that of any other human being. When we measure worth in dollars and when we reward and make available the benefits of human civilization in terms of dollars that is the kind of valuation that occurs.
This week I agreed to represent an author, Jim Brunton, who lives in the South American rain forest. Jim works with indigenous people for whom money is a new concept. Their wealth is measured in the beauty of their environment and the freedoms they have enjoyed living unencumbered lives. As they enter our world of money they start at the bottom of our economic hierarchy and require help from those for whom money is not an illusion.
I travel in both worlds and am sensitive to both. I do not believe that the world of money is sustainable. Nonetheless the money world will continue to dominate for several decades. My hope is that we do not allow the illusions of money to destroy the world of physical beauty before we devise a new illusion. Money. Earn it, keep it, and use it wisely. And keep in mind where true value really lies.
Tags: beauty, Bill Gates, Disappearance of the Universe, entrepreneur, Freedom, Gary Renard, indigenous people, Jim Brunton, Microsoft, Microsoft stock holdings, Money, money and happiness, richest man in the world, South American rain forest, stock market day trader, Time, Value, Wealth