Money and Fear

by Mayuri on September 2, 2009


The Survival Instinct and Money

One of the opposing forces in addition to the usual resistances and psychodynamic issues we have to  contend with on our journey of realization are the animal instincts. They are powerful drives underneath our consciousness that want to preserve life on an animal level and are not concerned as consciousness is with the mysteries.  But they often run us. And often without us knowing it.

I am talking about the survival, social and sexual instincts. And all of them affect our relationship to money.

For example, the social instinct can play out on the ego level as superficiality of relating, need for dominance and control, social climbing, status, image, the need for fame, or a dependency need. The sexual instinct can play out on the ego level as pleasure and compulsion. And fear, aggression, terror, worrying and obsessions are part of the survival drive. This last is the most primitive of the drives. Everyone wants to survive and live in some level of creature comfort. In fact, the majority of the world is dominated by this.

 You can easily see how our money is tied up in these.

We don’t want to suppress the instincts as they are our life force- the expression of creative dynamism and not just the animal. We can’t be free of them, but rather want to free them to become a support and a protection for our spiritual journey.

We do that by clarifiying them, liberating them from their distortions, and integrating them and harmonizing with our True nature, God, The Beloved, The Absolute, whatever you want to call our living experience of the ultimate truth. So we use the energy of the drives in our realization rather than them running us and disrupting our lives.

Some distortions of the survival instinct for example, might show up as marrying for money. Or not letting anyone share your life because you don’t want to share your money. Manipulativeness, seduction, meanness and aggression. Over accumulating money. These are just a few.

But this is not easy. This is a lifetime proposition- something you have to continuously pay attention to. To recognize the distortions and align  your actions with what you know to be true, to take an appropriate action. The more you are aware, the more the energy of the drive will be liberated.

 If you are caught in fight, or flight or freeze, you know how powerful these drives are and how difficult what I am talking about is.  So practice is a very important part of dealing with the instincts. Eventually, with practice, drives can be penetrated and the energy can then be used for our realization.

The social instinct will become the drive for intimacy and the sexual drive, the drive for union. And the survival drive, the drive for selflessness.

The survival drive often shows up its distortions  in money. I believe we are all becoming much more aware of this with the current economic crisis.  Survival and money have a huge connection. And partly it’s true because without money, we would die, which makes it even more difficult. So it is very important to understand how our relationship to money is affected by the instincts and become aware of the distortions and how we relate to them.

And the practice of inquiry can help us do that. What I mean by that is inquiring into our experience with openness and curiosity without judgment.

I wanted to bring this part up right now as I’m sure fear and uncertainty are part of everyone’s experience, as it is very big in the collective.  We need to have some perspective and understanding if we are going to take responsibility in our lives.

But I want to point out something else. That when live in the moment and in the dynamic unfolding of being, uncertainty is inherent in it. Not knowing is a natural state of man.

 Ultimately there is no perch, nothing concrete to stand on. There is no self to protect. And this is very difficult for the ego self to tolerate. But it is also our freedom.





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