A couple months ago, I posted on my facebook page a question about the relationship between money and our spiritual development, and someone commented there is no relationship. While we might sometimes like to believe this to be true – especially if we are not doing well financially – the reality is that our financial situation, like any other important aspect of our life, is directly and profoundly linked to where we are in our process of personal and spiritual development.

Now, this does not necessarily mean that more money = more enlightenment. There are plenty of wounded folks at the top of the economic pyramid who could benefit from compassion. And, of course, not all money is created equal. How we earn our money is key. Even so, it is still true that there is some relationship between money and spiritual development.

What is it?

First, if we are experiencing financial lack and are going with significant needs unmet, these external symptoms do indeed point to important internal work we need to do. My feeling is money is one of the most difficult areas for people to master because there are so many different types of internal issues that can be reflected outwards as money problems.

Insufficient self-love and self-esteem means I don’t deserve it means I don’t have it, i.e., I don’t have enough money to get many of the things I want and need.

If we have a karmic imprint for not being supported by life, if as a child we were not sufficiently supported by our parents, there is a reasonable chance we will experience the universe withdrawing support in the form of money unexpectedly falling away, our bank account balance disappearing from time to time.

If we have a karmic imprint for not being able to care for our self or others close to us, not being able to control critical aspects of our lives, such imprints could easily show up as not having enough money. (Don’t know what karmic imprints are and how they project into our lives? Please check out my previous blog post on the subject here and/or see this story – Two Major Financial Windfalls in 5 Days.)

If we have a betrayal imprint, an imprint for being betrayed by others, such an imprint could show up as business partners slandering us and stealing our money, or it could show up as other people in our life harming us in ways that make it difficult for us to achieve career and financial success.

If we have an imprint for bad things happening just when things are getting really good, we may fear earning more than a certain amount of money. We may be doing fairly well financially but develop an upper limit problem; we might unknowingly self-sabotage to keep ourselves below some un-named limit because at some level we know that if we get to the really good stuff, disaster is around the corner.

There are any number of imprints that could show up as insufficient funds in our lives – an imprint for being trapped, an imprint for being unseen, an imprint for being taken advantage of, an imprint for not finding our proper place in the world… and the list goes on.

Second, another important aspect of the relationship between money and spiritual development is that as we progress from lack to abundance, our growing financial means can support our continued spiritual progress. This is the good part.

We can increasingly focus our work and our life energy on identifying and achieving our life’s purpose. We can support others in realizing the beautiful vision they have for their life. We can travel to the ends of the earth to work with gifted healers and spiritual teachers from different spiritual traditions and cultures. We can attend personal development seminars, take greater care of our bodies, and invest more time and money in our overall wellbeing and spiritual progress. In certain ways, spending money can even help us reclaim certain lost parts of ourselves – e.g., having the time and money to visit our childhood home, attend a family reunion or otherwise connect with long lost relatives or friends.

The western concept of self-actualization to me is really no different than, or rather is closely linked with the spiritual ideals of achieving completion, experiencing total freedom and obtaining enlightenment. It is soul realization, achieving the Buddha mind, or any number of other spiritual ideals manifest in physical/social reality and couched in the secular language of psychology. So to the extent that growing financial abundance can support self-actualization, it can also support fuller expression of our heart and soul.

Third and finally, just as not enough money can point us to some of our internal issues that need addressing, too much money can do the same. We are all familiar with news stories of wealthy people being indicted on corruption charges or multi-millionaire celebrities ending up in rehab or jail or dying from a drug overdose. Used wisely, money can certainly support our spiritual progress, but the presence of money by itself is no guarantee. Money gives us power, gives us greater choice and influence. The choices we make, how we use our influence, can reveal to our self and others where we are not healed and whole. Where we still have work to do.

I always recommend purification before power.

If you believe in these things and already know how to reprogram your system, I highly recommend programming yourself to only receive power proportionate to your degree of purification. With that program in place your path to greater wealth and power becomes simple – prepare yourself to be a clear vessel, and the energy will flow to you and through you as your system is able to constructively manage it. Greater wealth in this case will equate with greater enlightenment and greater joy. With the power proportionate to purification program in place, you can also avoid the pain and suffering that stems from possessing power you are not ready for and some of which you are likely to use in negative ways. While it might not always appear this way from the outside, having too much money and power, money we are not ready to wield wisely, is bad karma. Earning money in ways that harms other people and the environment is bad karma too. There are plenty of wounded folks at the top of the economic pyramid who could benefit from compassion. If you are one of these people, perhaps now would be a good moment for you to begin focusing more of your time and energy on spiritual advancement, so that your financial wealth will increasingly be of true service to you and others.

And if you are not yet financially wealthy and are right now aspiring towards greater financial freedom, why not make a commitment to not become one of these wounded folks at the top of the economic pyramid, but instead to obtain growing financial flow through the process of your own healing and self-actualization. If you haven’t done so already, why not decide today for your financial wealth to reflect your spiritual wealth, and then double your efforts to obtain total healing, abundant joy and ever-increasing wisdom, compassion and enlightenment.

The world needs more rich people like you, and you need this for yourself too.