Here’s an interesting quote from William Walker Atkinson:
“There is no idea that seems so much misunderstood as this idea of “Money.” On the one hand we find many people engaged in a mad chase after “money for money’s sake,” and on the other hand, many others who are decrying money as the root of all evil, and severely criticising the tendency of the age to seek money actively. Both of these classes of people are wrong—they are occupying the opposite sides of the road of reason, whereas truth is found here, as always, “in the middle of the road.”
The man who seeks money as a thing of value in itself—the man who worships money as a very god—such a man is a fool, for he is mistaking the symbol for the reality. And, likewise, the man who decries the pursuit and desire for money as a foul, evil thing—he who would make of money a devil—this man is likewise a fool.
The wise man is he who sees money as a symbol of something else behind, and who is not deluded by mistaking the shadow for the substance, either for good or evil. The wise man makes neither a god nor a devil of money—he sees it as a symbol of almost everything that man may obtain from the outside world, and he respects it as such. He sees, while it is true that avarice and greed are detestable and hurtful qualities of mind, still the lack of the proper desire for, and striving after, money, makes of man a creature devoid of all that makes life worth the living.
When the sane man desires money, he really desires the many things that money will purchase. Money is the symbol of nearly everything that is necessary for man’s well-being and happiness. With it he opens the door to all sorts of opportunities, and without it he can accomplish practically nothing.
Money is the tool with which man may carve many beautiful things, and without the aid of which he is helpless. Money is but the concentrated essence of things desired, created and established by society in its present stage of development.
The people who decry the desire for money are generally those who have found themselves lacking in the qualities that tend to attract money; or else those who are in possession of money that has been inherited, or is otherwise acquired without the labor, excitement or satisfaction of having been made by themselves. With the first mentioned class it is a case of “sour grapes”; with the second it is financial dyspepsia, which has left the victim devoid of a normal appetite.
So, friends, in closing this chapter, I would say to you: Be not afraid, but assert the desirability of the possession and use of money; recognize that it is your natural right to possess it, just as it is the natural right of the plant to sunshine, light and air. And do more than this—it belongs to you—demand it of the LAW, just as does the plant.
Cease all this talk of the beauty of poverty, and the joy of the humble—you know that in the bottom of your heart you do not mean a word of it. You know that you are just saying these things because you are afraid that you cannot have that which you want. Throw off this mask of hypocrisy, and self-deception, and stand out in the open like a man, throwing your head up and looking the world in the face, saying, “Yes, I do desire Money; I want it and I want it earnestly, and through the LAW I demand it as my rightful inheritance—and I’m going to get it, beginning right now!”
Throw off the shackles of the slave, and assert your freedom. Assert your own mastery of that which is your own. Don’t be afraid to assert what you want, and to see it clearly ahead of you—then march straight onward to the mark, without turning to the right, or to the left, without fear or favor, without flinching or fouling—straight to the mark which is called Financial Success! For in that goal, alone, may you find that for which you seek—that which your heart desires”
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