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Money And The Meaning Of Life

Paperback Book
Publisher: 
Doubleday/Currency
 | 
September, 1994
ISBN:
9780385262422
In stock now: 
1
$22.00 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

This genuinely innovative study of the relationship between money and the spiritual life is the latest book from Jacob Needleman, a well-known philosopher and author. He teaches philosophy at San Francisco State, and among his many books are Lost Christianity, The Sword of Gnosis, and The Indestructible Question.

If we understood the true role of money in our lives, he writes, we would not think simply in terms of spending it or saving it. Money exerts a deep emotional influence on who we are and what we tell ourselves we can never have. Our long unwillingness to understand the emotional and spiritual effects of money on us is at the heart of why we have come to know the price of everything, and the value of nothing.

When we place the problem of money alongside the question of the ultimate meaning of one’s life, then, invariably, lightning flashes.

Looking at money from this perspective can also bring a feeling of hope and a sense of relief that we are, finally, “allowed” to step way back and look at money without any concern about how to get it or keep it, but simply as a key to the question of who and what we are. . . .

But beyond being an occasion to reawaken the philosophical impulse in oneself, the question of money and life’s meaning enables us to begin looking in a new way at the actual details of our everyday lives and at the big forces in ourselves and in the world that, in the absence of our awareness of them, make so much of our present lives into an ever-complicating tangle of confusion and tension.

This remarkable read combines myth and psychology, the poetry of the Sufis and the wisdom of King Solomon, with Jacob Needleman’s searching of his own soul and his culture to explain how money can become a unique means of self-knowledge. Make no mistake: this is a book about what is truly valuable—and it speaks our language.

“In any case,” he went on, “and fairy tales aside, one needs to discover a wish that is stronger than the ego, and to which the ego can assent. And when you are willing to see how you compromise everything of real value because of the force of money, then it is possible to be remembered by the higher forces within. The point is that, since money has entered so deeply into the formation of the contemporary ego, then it is necessary for us to play the money game with our best abilities, but with a new intention.”

Money and the Meaning of Life reads like a spiritual detecive story. Not only is Jacob Needleman relentless in tracking the real god we all worship, but he shows us how to redeem ourselves through probing what this down-and-dirty deity means to us.” —Mel Ziegler, cofounder, Banana Republic

Publisher’s Description: 

If we understood the true role of money in our lives, writes philosopher Jacob Needleman, we would not think simply in terms of spending it or saving it. Money exerts a deep emotional influence on who we are and what we tell ourselves we can never have. Our long unwillingness to understand the emotional and spiritual effects of money on us is at the heart of why we have come to know the price of everything, and the value of nothing. Money has everything to do with the pursuit of an idealistic life, while at the same time, it is at the root of our daily frustrations. On a social level, money has a profound impact on the price of progress. Needleman shows how money slowly began to haunt us, from the invention of coins in Biblical times (when money was created to rescue the community good, not for self gain), through its hypnotic appeal in our money-obsessed era. This is a remarkable book that combines myth and psychology, the poetry of the Sufis and the wisdom of King Solomon, along with Jacob Needleman's searching of his own soul and his culture to explain how money can become a unique means of self-knowledge. As part of the Currency paperback line, it includes a "User's Guide" an introduction and discussion guide created for the paperback by the author -- to help readers make practical use of the book's ideas.

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