God and Mammon
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Jesus, as recorded by his disciple Matthew, 6.24
Nowadays we often use words such as; Awareness, Consciousness, The Absolute, Spirit, Divine, True Nature, instead of God, but it means the same thing. In Judaism the say “The name which cannot be spoken” and it makes good sense, since truly, it cannot be spoken or written. Nevertheless, we have to use some word to refer to that aspect of us which we know intuitively but cannot quite label.
Mammon, the god of wealth, the god of excess, has been given many names in many cultures over time. He is really a devil in disguise, the devil of greed and lust, of avarice and malevolence.
Mammon is alive and thriving in the western world today, and probably throughout the world.
Consumerism is the everyday face of this malady and none of us can avoid it. It pervades our whole culture and everyday lives.
Spirit in contrast stands quietly by seeing all and not commenting. It is up to each of us individually to decide which master we want to serve. In the absence of making a conscious decision about which master to serve, Mammon wins. Mammon is the default position in Western society today.
It is not an easy choice. The world draws us out to it and many of us are not even aware that there is, within us, another possibility. We may at times think that the world does not make sense. We see that there is such injustice and suffering and we all, in the end, have to face our own death. We may well wonder, what’s it all about anyway?
So, how do you start to turn yourself around, within, and to begin your service to Awareness or God?
You begin with yourself, right as you are this moment. You begin by becoming aware of your thoughts, emotions and behaviours.
Start by identifying what desire you are trying to appease by your various actions or what fear you are trying to avoid. Since I am writing in terms of Mammon, it is useful to identify what need or desire you are trying to meet by each of your purchases.
There is a discrimination to be made here between what is necessary for daily life and what is extra.
Learning to make this discrimination takes some time and skill. Our minds have been saturated with notions of all kinds of things that we need when in fact it is just a ploy to get you to spend your money on their latest product.
There is nothing wrong with being well fed, warm, appropriately dressed and maintaining good health. This is not Mammon. Paying your bills and taking care of your responsibilities to others are not Mammon. There is nothing wrong with making sensible provisions for the future.
The problem arises when we get sucked into believing that enough is never enough. We confuse making a fortune with making a living. We fall into believing we are special when we gain some success in financial, academic, relationship, or other worldly activities. Yes, we are special, not because of our worldly successes but because we are Divine in nature.
Being Divine in nature, we are not separate from anyone else, we are not in competition with them, we are in truth them. When the spirit in you emerges and becomes known to you, you see this and from then on there is no question of serving Mammon instead of God.
Maintaining the world as the playground, which has been provided for us to play in becomes our intention, not adding to the chaos that Mammon creates.
You could say that Mammon is like a drug. We are in a state of hypnosis, sound asleep to our true nature and we have to waken ourselves up. This is why becoming aware of your own behaviours and emotions and thoughts is the beginning of waking yourself up.
We are not in the habit of observing ourselves because we are so hypnotised by the lure of what the world promises. The world promises satisfaction to our every desire, and it does deliver on these promises, for a short time. We feel successful, fulfilled and special with our various achievements but it is all short lived. The reason for this is that the root cause of all our desires is the innate longing to know who we truly are. This longing is so heavily covered over in most of us that it takes some time to realise what it is. It is recognisable in the longing for peace, security, happiness, love and joy. These traits are inbuilt in us. We know them without ever having had them satisfied in this world.
Those who have found the solution to these longings, and there have been thousands of them all over the world, testify to this and try to share this wisdom with everyone else.
It takes personal commitment and discipline in your daily life to sort out the various ways in which you are unwittingly serving Mammon, at the expense of your potential permanent contentment as servant to the Absolute.
The key to identifying how you are being misled is to observe, carefully and constantly, your own actions and reactions. You’ll soon see how you have been duped by society. And in seeing that you’ll begin to withdraw your energy from things which are contributing to your dissatisfaction and false optimism. You are on your way to serving the Divine within you when this happens.