09 October 2005

Created Rich: Focusing on Spiritual Qualities in a Materialistic World

"Another aspect of money is that with it good people become better and bad people become worst. If you love humanity, money can help you to establish a foundation of goodwill for unifying people, but if you harbor prejudices or hatred against people, money can aid you to become more destructive and inconsiderate of others, since money increases the potency of one's actions. The person with a high sense of virtue and spiritual rectitude can accomplish a great deal of good with money, but one not so morally endowed can cause dreadful suffering and mischief.

– Excerpt from Created Rich by Patrick Barker

Putting the Spirit First When Making Life Changing Decisions

Yesterday evening while at my computer, I heard a crash, which seemed to emanate from another room. Something fell, but I was too engrossed in my activity to even turn around.

This morning as I awakened and strolled leisurely to my living room’s sliding glass doors to open the floor-length blinds (or whatever they are called) leading to my balcony, my eyes glanced the book case located in the darkest corner of this one bedroom apartment.

It was a room that used to house my "work-at-home" office, but because I am one who loves the light, the office had zero chance of surviving there, even though it was the most logical place to set up shop.

The space had two high bar stools and a breakfast bar area with a rectangular shaped wall cut out, which would allow guests to watch the cook in the kitchen--if one were ever there (my good friends will know what that means:)-

So I imagined this dark room was designed to be a dining room, but it was so small, and consequently, I had never used it for that purpose. Instead, there sat my singular three-shelf white bookcase, some makeshift filing crates on the floor and, of course, some verdant overgrown live greenery atop the bookshelf. Yes, there were plants gracing just about every room of this home, giving testament to the truth of the assertion that plants are to the poor man what paintings of art are to the rich.

And on the floor, next to my bookcase, was undoubtedly what had caused the crashing sound the night before. Books had fallen off the top shelf. I picked them up. Among them was Created Rich: How Spiritual Attitudes and Material Means Work Together to Achieve Prosperity.

Ahhh... This was one of my favorites. I believe the gentleman that wrote it had served at one point as a volunteer in Israel for the same organization that I had, though I did not know him. But I believe I read somewhere, or maybe someone mentioned to me, that this was a man who was/had been a stay-at-home dad who raised his children while his wife did what she did.(Don't look at me like that, I don't know what she did. I told you already, I don't know the man):-

Anyway, this book was one of the few that made my "must take with me" list as I moved around the world, traveling light and sometimes being forced to take only “essentials” with me. Most of my books were now in storage in another state. But not Created Rich. You see I am a believer that one can serve His Lord in abundance. After all, Jesus Christ said (and I am paraphrasing):

"Ask and it shall be given.” "Knock and the door will be opened."

Of course He had full knowledge when He said all this that His enlightened children--and even those not so enlightened--would be doing a lot of asking and a lot of knocking. Yeah...it is in our nature.

And Baha'u'llah--whose Arabic title when translated means "the Glory of God"--is a prophet out of Persia who lived in the 1800s and proclaimed:

"Having reached the age of maturity, man stands in need of wealth."

Now, if we juxtaposition Baha'u'llah's statement to a talk that His son, Abdu'l-Baha gave--whose title translated means "Servant of the Glory"--we see that His son talks about how much God loves poor people. And, to me, this demonstrates that there is indeed room for both the rich and for the poor to be able to attain an exalted spiritual station in the eyes of God.

But I am rambling so let me get to the point.

Here is a passage from Created Rich. I should say from the onset that the message was very timely for me because as of late I have been contemplating returning to Africa to work and serve. And the questions had come, as they always do when you are middle-aged and childless, "Do I really want to move out of the country again, give up a chance to pay into Social Security and actually have some income, albeit small, in my retirement years?"

The question was now mute as I no longer had a traditional job, and I certainly had not put down roots in my current location, which I have only been in for a year now. So I woke up knowing I had tremendous decisions to make about my life and what should come next.

In the past two weeks, I had been on a number of job interviews, some for part time work, some for full time work, some for any kind of work at all to put the balance sheet in black instead of red. Oh...who am I fooling, there is no balance to the sheet. Even the background of the page is red:)- And thus is born the concept of "Keeping the Faith." "Hallelujah" and "Glory be to God!"

Here is the excerpt from Created Rich by Patrick Barker. I share it with you because maybe you need to hear it too.

"The inordinate desire for physical comforts, the second of man's materialistic tendencies, has to do with all manner of wasteful and excessive consumption. Modern man, especially in the more affluent technologically advanced societies, is consumer oriented. People consume food excessively not for nourishment but for mere pleasure, tend to buy more things than they can reasonably use, and thoughtlessly waste precious natural resources to satisfy their bodily whims. The physical weakening of the human body through inadequate exercise and improper nutrition, the emotional destruction caused by a lack of healthy interaction with other people, and the loss of tranquility through an overabundance of artificial stimulation and noise has contributed to people losing sight of the true function of the material world, which is to act as a classroom for the acquisition and maintenance of spiritual qualities. If our quest for physical comfort leads to laziness or lethargy, it is almost impossible to progress spiritually.

Barker also gives a paragraph on the first of man’s materialistic tendencies, which he describes as being the pursue of riches at the expense of all other things, and on the third of these tendencies as being an overindulgence in worldly enjoyments which have to do with what he calls “the never-ending quest for pleasure and entertainment to the distraction of gaining spiritual attributes.”

Hmmm… I sure wrote a whole lot before giving you the quote. I will try to do better next time.


Thou art My lamp and My light is in thee. Get thou from it thy radiance and seek none other than Me. For I have created thee rich and have bountifully shed My favor upon thee.

.Hidden Words of Baha’u’llah

Read 9 More Hidden Words at RecallingHealth.com


This is Lo, and I gotta go ... 'cause I'm running for my life.


Hidden Words of Baha'u'llah

Created Rich: How Spiritual Attitudes and Material Means Work Together to Achieve Prosperity