As I mentioned in a previous entry, Melanie Votaw’s views about money came from her study of Jungian psychology, specifically the works of Marion Woodman. Woodman teaches about emotional projection onto [that which is] physical, which causes unhealthy attachments. This happens all the time with money.
So, it would stand to reason, then, that if we are busy projecting “worth” onto money, we won’t feel abundant. We won’t even be able to understand what abundant means. We won’t know abundance if we’re actually standing in it. Because nothing will ever feel like enough.
“It seems obvious to me that greed is clutching to money as a result of the fear of not having enough,” Melanie says. “When we feel abundant, there’s no need for greed.”
Greed, that filled-up empty feeling.
Therefore greed (or hoarding) would have absolutely nothing to do with the amount of money someone has. The need to accumulate lots of “stuff” also seems to be a projection of something missing—or perceived missing—within the self. “If we feel fulfilled inside, we don’t feel the need to have so many things,” Melanie says. For the word fulfilled, you can also substitute the notion of being “at peace.”
“That isn’t to say that we can’t enjoy having things, but the desire for them shouldn’t be compulsive.”
This makes total sense.
“The problem is that people get something, and it doesn’t fulfill them (because it can’t.) So, they get something else and something else and something else in an effort to grab that fulfillment that can never be achieved through things – whether it’s money or homes all over the world. “Until we take the projection back and work on ourselves [to own the “worth”] on an inner level, fulfillment isn’t possible.”
“I’m sure there are other psychological dimensions to this behavior, but fear has to be at the base of all of them. I’m a firm believer that the only two emotions are fear and love, so anything that isn’t love is fear.
“Money is really just a metaphor,” she says.
We mistakenly believe that money can fill that empty space within. Perhaps it boils down to a deep fear of emptiness in general, a quiet desperation, she says. So, we fill ourselves with whatever we can find that quiets the terror for even a minute. Isn’t this at the core of addiction? “Greed is a kind of addiction, I think,” she says. And I would add that so is the perpetual spender who is in perpetual debt; the perpetual giver who is perpetually spent out; the self-debtor, the over-indulger and any archetype that borders on—or rather is—out of control. The out of control part is what keeps us spinning, distracted from our fears. The more we turn away from our fears the bigger they seem to us.
So acting as if money is a metaphor, it can be helpful to ask: What’s really at stake? In other words, what am I trying to avoid inside myself if I have a grandiose view of money or of those who have it—or a disparaging view of money, of those who have it or who don’t have it.
Read more about The Money Study here.
Great news! This portion of The Recovering Creative will soon have a new home (address to follow) and a new name: The Money Study. More to be revealed. For now, enjoy the posts right here.
Photo credit: aaronmac1