Understanding money and its uses has always been a difficult and confusing task, not just for spiritual seekers, but for everyone. Many, if not most, spiritual disciplines try to avoid money as being a corrupting and distracting influence. We see the distortions that come about even in the day-to-day life of ordinary individuals when they get intoxicated by the influence of money, or when their decisions and values are tainted by the subtle or overt corruption that money can provide.
At the same time, for any work of transformation of human life, the use of money eventually has to be addressed and a truer relationship to money and its power needs to be worked out. Sri Aurobindo has provided us a framework for understanding money in a true sense in this chapter:
“Money is the visible sign of a universal force, and this force in its manifestation on earth works on the vital and physical planes and is indispensable to the fullness of the outer life. In its origin and true action it belongs to the Divine. But like other powers of the Divine it is delegated here and in the ignorance of the lower Nature can be usurped for the uses of the ego or held by Asuric influences and perverted to their purpose.”
First a definition: “Asuric” is a vital being with a demonic character that attempts to control and dominate life.
We shall be exploring the misuse and the proper application of the money power as we proceed through this chapter.
Sri Aurobindo, The Mother, Chapter Four, pg. 15