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Showing posts from April 26, 2013

Various views on money

Some of my earliest childhood memories feature a series of what seemed to be unendurable debates my parents assailed over the spiritual values of securing good incomes and the rewards and pitfalls wealth produced from one’s work and career. Such arguments were more than idle intellectual concerns; both my parents were first generation Americans who grew up amidst considerable poverty, and their sentiments toward finances revealed deeper issues involving both assimilation and the existential purpose of life itself.
My father, for many years a Zen Buddhist who started his practice in the early 70s, came to view the post 60s era as far too object-oriented and consumerist by nature, at odds with his veneration of the heroic, anti-materialist abstract painters and jazz musicians he venerated. From this vantage, financial concerns were profane affairs that distracted from one’s deepest purpose in life: creating art and attaining peace through meditation. He quit his job as a “refrigeration …