Attachment to Success - (Spirituality Stage II)

Excerpt from Chapter 2 - Measuring Spirituality

Three types of worldly success most often appeal to Stage II people: money, fame and power. Pursuing success is the dominant goal of the majority of adults on the planet. There is nothing wrong with this, for we live in a Stage II world. Or, as Michael has said (Yarbro, 1983), we live in a young soul world that wants to get others to "do it my way." Stage II is not that common for those who consider themselves spiritual because many New Age seekers with strong prejudices against success have progressed to finding satisfaction with service (Stage III).

Money Is Un-Spiritual Trap. For many years, most following New Age paths believed that money was not spiritual. The pursuit of money was frowned upon and the whole topic was often shoveled under the rug. You could prove your spiritual worthiness by giving all your assets to the guru. To be like a monk with just a robe and a begging bowl was the ideal. This has the unwelcome effect of making those who are not living down to such a lowly ideal feel unworthy, guilty and ashamed. For those who do pursue the ideal, poverty can make them far less effective because of a lack of material resources. Consider Oscar Schindler, who rescued thousands of Jews from the Nazis; without money he would likely have rescued no one. This prejudice against money may be changing; I recently attended a New Age conference in which two of the four keynote speakers were speaking on the topic of money. If there is prejudice against money, I agree that it needs to end. Otherwise, the person will be stuck in Stages I or III, avoiding the lessons of Stage II because of the prejudice.

Money Is Spiritual Trap. While money can be used for valuable spiritual purposes, a bit of caution is suggested. Accumulating wealth can be an addictive lifelong pursuit. Those who are pursuing success can be very stuck there for many lifetimes. The key to stopping the addiction is to recognize when the satisfaction starts to become small. Until then, the pursuit of success will be enthralling.

You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you.
        Maya Angelou

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© 2008 by Thayer White
Finding Your Soul in the Spirituality Maze


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