The ancients said, "Money is
something external to this physical body." Everyone knows it, yet everyone
pursues it. A young man seeks it to satisfy his desires; a young woman wants it
for glamour and luxury; an elderly person goes after it to take care of himself
in his old age; a learned person desires it for his reputation; a public
official fulfills his duty for it, and so on. Thus, everybody pursues it.
even compete and fight for it; those who are aggressive take risks for it;
hot-tempered people resort to violence for it; jealous people might die for it
in anger. It is the duty of the ruler and officials to bring wealth to the
populace, yet promotion of money-worship is the worst policy one could adopt.
Wealth without virtue (de) will harm
all sentient beings, while wealth with virtue is what all people hope for.
Therefore, one cannot be affluent without advocating virtue.
accumulated in past lives. Becoming a king, an official, wealthy, or nobility
all come from virtue. No virtue, no gain; the loss of virtue means the loss of
everything. Thus, those who seek power and wealth must first accumulate virtue.
By suffering hardships and doing good deeds one can accumulate virtue among the
masses. To achieve this, one must understand the principle of cause and effect.
Knowing this can enable officials and the populace to exercise self-restraint,
and prosperity and peace will thereby prevail under heaven.
January 27, 1995