Spiritual and religious groups have always maintained (and propagated) their own yardstick for holiness; the rejection or moderating of wealth has always been a criterion. Consequently, many ‘seekers’ feel the need to restrain, renounce or distance themselves from the pursuit of wealth.

Since there is no universal benchmark for what make one ‘spiritual’ or ‘wealthy’ for that matter, thus the question posed here is itself relative and redundant.

Many seekers fall into the trap of declaring: “money means nothing to me, I have no need or interest in money …” as if the mere proclamation gives rise to immediate enlightenment. It’s ok for money to means something – the good news is one’s spiritual state isn’t dependent on what one forsakes or acquires. Having material needs, desires, tastes, preference are inherent to our nature and bodily survival.

Some seekers like to go one step further to substantiate their spiritual dedication by talk of giving away their possessions, moving to the Himalayas, and starting orphanages. Renunciation, relocation and the service of the poor, will also not make you ‘more’ spiritual, and often such declarations are naïve, even self-important, designed to overstate one’s spiritual dedication to others.

If one were truly inclined to the surrender of wealth or helping the poor, then the sounding of trumpets would be bypassed completely, and humility would be observed. Perhaps, this is the only (if any) true gauge of one’s spiritual-ness, but who really knows?

The accumulation of money (nor the rejection of it) does not absolve anyone from the pain and suffering of thoughts, nor provide a shield from suffering. Rather than desiring more wealth or running for the hills penniless, we should aim to develop a healthy state of indifference towards money, neither condemning or exaggerating its importance, but simply enjoying and sharing the fruits …