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The Tooting Broadway
A Theosophical view on
making wealth a priority
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Now, for a moment, pause on the life of the man who has determined to be rich.
Everything is subordinated to that one aim. He must be master of his body, for
if that body is his master he will waste with every week and month the money
that he has gathered by struggle; he will waste in luxury for the pleasing of
the body the money that he ought to grip, in order that he may win more.
And so the first thing that a man must do is to master the body, to teach it to endure hardness, to learn to bear frugality, to learn to bear hardship even; not to think whether he wants to sleep, if by traveling all night a contract can be gained; not to stop to ask whether he shall rest if, by going to some party at midnight, he can make a friend who will enable him to gain more money by his influence. Over and over again in the struggle for gold the man must be master of this outer body that he wears, until it has no voice in determining his line of activity — it yields itself obedient servant to the dominant will, to the compelling brain. That is the first thing he learns — conquest of the body.
Then he learns concentration of mind. If he is not concentrated, his rivals will
beat him in the struggle of the market-place. If his mind wanders about here,
there, and everywhere, undecided, one day trying one plan, and another day
another plan, without perseverance, without deliberate continuing labor, that man will fail. The goal he desires teaches him to concentrate his mind; he brings it to one point; he holds it there as long as he needs it; he is steady in his persevering mental effort, and his mind grows stronger and stronger, keener and keener, more and more under his control. He has not only learned to control his body, but to control his mind.
Has he gained anything more ? Yes, a
strong will; only the strong will can succeed in such a struggle. The soul grows mighty in the attempt to achieve. Presently that man, with his mastered body, his well-controlled mind, his powerful will, gains his objects and grasps his gold. And, then ? Then he finds out that, after all, he cannot do so very much with it to make happiness for himself; that he has only got one body to clothe, one mouth to feed; that he cannot multiply his wants with the enormous supply that he can gain, and that, after all, his happiness-gaining power is very limited.
His gold becomes a burden rather than a joy, the first delight of the
achievement of his object palls, and he becomes satiated with possession, until in many a case, he can do nothing but, by mere habit, roll and roll and roll up increasing piles of useless gold. It becomes a nightmare rather than a delight; it crushes the man who won it.
Now, what will make that man a spiritual man ?
A change of his object — that is
all. Let that man in this or any other life awaken to the valuelessness of the gold that he has heaped together: let him see the beauty of human service; let him catch a glimpse of the splendor of the Divine order; let him realize that all that life is worth is to give it as part of the great life by which the worlds are maintained, and the power he has gained over body, over mind, over will, will make that man a giant in the spiritual world. He does not need to change those qualities but to get rid of the selfishness, to get rid of the indifference to human pain, to get rid of the recklessness with which he crushed his brother, in order that he might climb into wealth on the starvation of myriads. He must change his ideal from selfishness to service; from strength used for crushing to strength used for uplifting; and in the giant of the money market you will have the spiritual man; his life is consecrated to humanity, and he owns no duty save to serve and to help.
Difference of object, difference of
motive, not difference of the outer, on that does it depend whether a man is of the world worldly or of the Spirit spiritual.
The Tooting Broadway
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