Wealth with Virtue  

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.

Some people 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.

Virtue is 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.

Li Hongzhi

January 27, 1995