Money as a Form of Religion

When one deals with money, one is already in the realm of the religious, with the worship of a holy item. The accumulation of money when well achieved and comfortably at bay provides an almost heavenly comfort. When money is forced away from us, a kind of existential loss is forced away as well. The loss of one’s monetary supply is more than just the loss of an object, but a threat to one’s very grounding in the world. In industrialized countries, money represents, among other things, safety, status, power and control. The religious nature of money can be felt also in times of mass earnings. We are always happy when it is “payday” or when we receive a monetary bonus from our job.

Spending money, too, is religious. An item high in price, perhaps a rare item, is precious to us, shines for us and momentarily enchants us with its wonders. Or, conversely, an item which we know is worth a pretty penny, when found for a lot less than its asking price, sends shivers up and down our spines. Sometimes, we may even tremble knowing the secret monetary value of the “cheap” object.

Money slips from us and we wait again for its arrival while either trying to amass what fortune we have while spending bits and pieces on daily necessities or concentrating our powers on some elusive ever out of reach object, which calls to us though just outside the range of our pocket book.

We live this life passing money from hand to hand and find ourselves surrounded in this realm of cash or credit. Money, money, money….

From Nick Cave’s song “Easy Money,” …”Money, man, it is a bitch…the poor they spoil it for the rich.”