Money Is Society's Lifeblood, It Should Circulate

Representational image.
Representational image.

India has been condemning wealth for thousands of years and any society that condemns wealth will invariably become dishonest. It is dangerous to condemn wealth because condemning it means only one thing: if we condemn wealth, we stop moving in the direction of producing wealth. Even now, the big businessmen of India are working as links between the producer and the consumer. If something is produced in Mumbai and has to be distributed to another city, there is a long chain of middlemen in between. All the businessmen involved are in fact middlemen. And remember, if wealth is not created and is only a brokered arrangement through middlemen, it gives rise to thousands of dishonest practices.

The rich people of India live like the poor, they hoard wealth. Why? Because India preaches simple living, high thinking. This is nonsense. The truth is: high living, high thinking.

Anywhere that the businessman is fundamentally a middleman ... in that country, businessmen can never be honest. Dishonesty will increase and the consumer, the customer, will pay the price. Why are the businessmen of India not productive? It is worth giving it a thought. India has condemned wealth for thousands of years. It has been saying that money is futile, money is dirt. A society that condemns money will never be free of the desire for money.

There are natural reasons behind the desire for money. Money is neither useless nor worthless; it is very meaningful, very useful. Money is a great medium of change, exchange, usage in life. Civilisation cannot progress without it: societies that have not developed money are still living in the forests; they were not able to progress. Money is extremely important; it is the soul of civilisation.

Interestingly, the saints who oppose wealth are nurtured by the wealthy businessmen of India. Remember, the businessman will respect the very saint who opposes wealth. By condemning money, the lust for money is not killed, but the way to produce money is blocked. Then if money can be earned by diluting milk with water, if money can be obtained by mixing sand with sugar, if medicine can be diluted with water, people will start collecting money using these simple means.

Being creative demands hard work. It demands long-term thinking, genius, lifelong perseverance. Then, in the end, wealth can be produced. In India, because essentially there is a condemnatory attitude toward wealth, people start thinking of quick and easy ways to make it.

Wealth should be desired, definitely desired, but desiring it means being creative: How can we produce wealth? But no one talks about producing because who wants to work hard and persevere over a long period of time?

In fact, in a society, being honest should not appear to be an austere discipline. Rather, being dishonest and corrupt should be seen to be an austere discipline.

The rich people of India, those who have money, live like the poor: they accumulate, they hoard wealth. They don't enjoy it. Why? Because India preaches simplicity: simple living, high thinking. This is nonsense. The truth is: high living, high thinking.

And let me tell you: any society that produces hoarders becomes rotten. People who can enjoy wealth are needed: people who will spend money — spread it, not hoard it. But India accumulates wealth. An Indian makes money so that it can be locked in a safe. The rich are only interested in making their safes bigger and bigger. A rich man lives like a pauper, and people praise him, saying that he is a great man. This kind of person is a danger to society because money that is stored in a safe becomes useless for society. It is just as if the blood circulating in the hands or feet gets blocked somewhere. As long as the blood is circulating in the body — the more it circulates — the longer the person stays young. The more easily it flows, without any obstructions, the stronger the person will be. And wherever the blood circulation stops, it causes immobility.

Produce so much wealth that society becomes free of wealth. Produce so much wealth that no one has to do anything dishonest: no theft, black marketeering or corruption.

The Indian businessman earns money and immobilises it by locking it in a safe. But money is blood, it should circulate. The rupee is alive when it is moving, circulating. And a society in which money circulates faster becomes richer and richer.

Right now, we don't store air in our safes, but if in the near future, air is in short supply, we will start storing it there. And I say to you, the world will become non-possessive if there is as much wealth in the world as there is air. There can be more wealth than air. Technology has made it easy for us. There is no need for any society to be poor unless it is unintelligent. There is no need for anybody to be poor in the modern world. The day wealth will be available in plenty, be more available than air, that day the world will be free of the desire for wealth. And the day people's minds are free of the obsession with wealth, there will be a great storm, a great revolution for spirituality! The moment people are liberated from money, their minds will start moving toward religiousness.

I want to say one last thing to you: produce so much wealth that society becomes free of wealth. Produce so much wealth that to be rich no one has to do anything dishonest: no theft, black marketeering or corruption. Produce so much wealth that wealth loses meaning, so that no one needs to worry about it.

When a society becomes free of wealth, for the first time, art, religiousness, and culture are born because the eyes look beyond wealth.

Abridged from an unpublished talk/Osho Times International/Courtesy Osho International Foundation/

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