How to Attract What You Need When You Need It
by Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters)
Chapter One: What is True Wealth?
Money, weve all heard, is the root of all evil. This piece of folk wisdom is due, no doubt, to the fact that so many people mistakenly imagine that money is the source of all good! For when we expect too much of anything, we eventually find, as with idol worship, that the object of our dependence is not competent to answer our prayers, nor capable of fulfilling our expectations of it.
Perhaps, then, that ancient saying should be amended to read, "The love of money is the root of all evil."
After all, money is not evil in itself, any more than dynamite is evil. Dynamite can be used constructively to build roads, or destructively to demolish buildings. Money, similarly, can be used to do wonderful things. It is human greed that so often directs money toward evil ends.
Money represents, quite simply, a flow of energy. Harm results when money is loved and hoarded for its own sake. For in hoarding it, we block the energy-flow.
A child once accompanied his parents on an outing to the mountains. With them, he drank cool water from a mountain stream. Loving its fresh taste, he filled a bottle from the stream and took it home with him. There, he would sip only a little water each day, wanting to make it last as long as possible.
What was his disappointment a few weeks later, then, to find that the water left in the bottle had become stagnant.
Money, similarly, grows stagnant when we "bottle it up"that is to say, hoard it. To attract a steady money-flow in our lives, we must learn to view money not as a thing merely, but as an expression of energyultimately, as an expression of our energy.
The three concepts that are suggested by the title of this book are interrelated, thenin fact, interdependent.
Developing money magnetism depends to a great extent on understanding how to use money properly.
Using money properly depends on realizing that, in acquiring money, we dont merely manipulate material forces in our favor. Still less is the acquisition of money a matter of luck. Rather, we attract money to us. The other side of that coin is that the failure to acquire money is essentially an act of repulsion on our partunconscious, to be sure. We may push it from us even while we imagine that we are doing our best to acquire it.
Both of these conceptslearning how to attract money, and how to put it to the proper usedepend, finally, on understanding what truly constitutes our needs, that is, our own, and others', highest good. For it is a law of life that when we waste any resource, we encounter a time finally when we can no longer replenish it. Think of the vast numbers of forests that have been cut without thought for replanting; of farmland that has been exhausted because its soil was never replenished.
Think of the many stories of movie stars who, instead of using their money discriminately, squandered it until, at last, they were left penniless.
What is wealth? Most people equate it with investments, with savings, with income, with real property. Yet weve all known people who got by quite happily on very little money. Ive known others, by contrast, who seemed barely able to scrape by, even though they may have earned several times as much as the first group.
The strange thing is that those who get by on very little often manage to obtain more of this worlds goods, to go on more vacations, and to do a great deal in other ways that others with more money never seemed able to do.
Who among these, then, was the more truly wealthy? It isnt merely a matter of how much you have, but rather of how well you know how to use what you have. You know the song from Gershwins Porgy and Bess, "I got plenty o nuthin, an nuthins plenty fo me"? In the last analysis, one is as wealthy or as poor as he thinks himself to be. Wealth cannot be equated with some fixed quantity. If one is wealthy in his mind, or in his spirit, he may require very few material possessions to be perfectly satisfied with life. If, on the other hand, one considers himself wealthy only for his material riches, he may be convinced he is poor even if he has fifty million dollars, perhaps only because some former classmate of his has ninety million.
I remember a time, in 1963, when an absence of income, combined with a determination to devote myself to writing a book (I eventually published it under the title, Out of the Labyrinth), led to my having to live for three months on only ten dollars a month. Today, instead of recalling that period of my life as a time of great privation and hardship, I recall it happily as a time of satisfying challenge and adventure.
During those three months, I learned all sorts of tricks for living inexpensively. I sprouted alfalfa seeds. I made Indian chappatis instead of buying bread. I trained my palate to enjoy powdered milk, which is much cheaper than regular milk, and to be content with a single taste of dessert rather than filling myself on a bowlful of it. I took advantage of special sales at the local grocery stores. And I concentrated on preparing cheap, but high-energy, foods like split pea soup, which lasted me several days. No doubt one could say that I was poor then. Yet I didnt feel particularly poor. I wont go so far as to say that I felt rich, but the important thing is that, because I didnt dwell sadly on all the things I lacked, I really wasnt poor. Ill go farther: In every way that really mattered, I was rich.
Theres the charming story of an American Indian who happily farmed a meager quarter-acre plot. A wealthy neighbor of his befriended him. One day this friend offered him five acres, to give him more land to farm. "Thank you for the gesture," the Indian replied. "But if I had more land to work, when would I find the time for singing?"
On the opposite side of this coin, Ive known people with a great deal of money who could never convince themselves that they were even well off. And I recall a certain friend of mine in India, a scientist and a professor at a respected university. He owned his own home. His family and he ate well, dressed well, and lived reasonably well. Yet he considered himself wretched. His complaint was that he couldnt afford some of the expensive gadgetry hed seen and enjoyed in the Westthings like state-of-the-art television. I recall him weeping to me one evening, "Im poor! Im poor!"
Wealth is the consciousness of abundance. And Poverty is the consciousness of lack. Wealth and poverty are both states of mind. You are as rich, or as poor, as you believe yourself to be.
I dont want my readers to think that Ive lured them into reading a treatise on how to attract money only to substitute for it (having once got their money safely in my pocket!) a philosophy of self-deprivation. Money is important in this world. A person who writes books needs money to support himself while he writes. A photographer needs expensive lenses to take the best pictures. There is no field of activity in which money does not figure in some way. Nor do I suppose that I myself could have lived for very long on only ten dollars a month.
Essential to my theme, however, is the importance of the right mental attitude, not only for defining the parameters of happiness intelligently, but also for attracting wealth in the first place.
The purpose of this book is to help you to attract money in such a way as not to make it a burden on your peace of mind, but a doorway, rather, to genuine opportunity. It is to help you to learn how to use money wisely, in such a way as to acquire the greatest possible benefits for yourself and for others.