It often happens that people who want to demonstrate the inconsistency of a view they don't share tend to use the shortest possible mental route of argumentation and pass it as the smartest and most elegant way to do so.
Unfortunately, in most cases, it means either finding a weak defence of such view or altering such view to accommodate to the validation of the proof against it.
We usually call such logical fallacy, the straw man fallacy, mixed with another one, the cherry picking fallacy.
For instance, let's take one view that not only has been distorted, but also poorly demonstrated so that the opposite view can be validated with false genuine arguments.
We start setting the scenario of the misleading proof by considering the view we want to invalidate as a "myth".
Let's say that we wanted to bust the myth that it is not spiritual to earn money for our excellence and we also added to it the following erroneous supporting assumption.
"If you're spiritual, you shouldn't want money. People who want money are greedy and materialistic."
My counter arguments would be as follow:
To earn money for our excellence is neither spiritual nor not spiritual. That is like comparing apples and oranges. We either earn money to consume products that we can't create ourselves, to invest in products we want to create ourselves or to have more money than the one we already have for whatever further purposes.
And yet, the Money Spiritualiser will put forward the following three misleading counter arguments in favour of the eternal marriage between money and spirituality.
- "Money does not inherently breed greed and materialism."
-"Money and spirituality actually go very well together."
- "Money is energetically neutral; it's the energy behind it that counts."
My counter arguments are as follow:
While it is true that money does not inherently breed greet and materialism, it neither inherently breed value and spirituality.
There is nothing that could indicate that money and spirituality go very well together unless, for the same talked, money and greed do not go very well together.
Money is not energetically neutral, even when it could be. For instance, if ants were walking indifferently over it.
Money, in human societies, be it paper or digital money, always has value. Such value is never real; it is ghosted, symbolic value as the promise of real value, which might or might not be met.
The tactic of the Money Spiritualiser is as follow:
- To remove any intrinsic association between money and bad human qualities.
- To make money intrinsically neutral and value agnostic.
- To create a loosely coupled association between money and good human qualities.
- To glance over or omit the loosely coupled association between money and bad human qualities that ensues from the above premise.
- To preach and reinforce the newly loosely coupled association between money and good human qualities by slowly and stealthy turning it into a closely coupled association.
- Create new clichés (dogmas) about good humans qualities which will relentlessly work toward making more and more money.
It is not in the interest of the Money Spiritualiser to perceive such inconsistencies in his/her logical argumentation because bringing back the natural tension between making money and our spiritual endeavours might slow down not only the speed at which we can make more money, but also the speed at which we can assimilate spiritual values for the same of turning them into new clichés.
Money has and will alway have a ghosted static value that will never measure up to our sense of wonder and serendipitous living through which we always have the possibilities to create magic spaces for ourselves and others free from the cocooned weight of our accumulated wealth, stored either in money, status or prestige.
Our spirituality can only have either an abstract or a narrowly objectified relationship to money. Even when taking good care of our financial wellbeing is as relevant as taking care of our spiritual wellbeing, money is just a "credential" a "credit to do" regardless of the actual value of the doing.
Such credentials sometimes can help and sometimes can stagnate us because of the overtly cocooned space and cocooned mindset in which accumulated values can put us.
Being financially free can create a ghosted sense of freedom because we can fall into the habit, once we have abundance of money, that we should be doing more of the things that money can buy than the things that still might require from us inputting great deal into the world without necessarily looking or expecting to receive payment any time soon.
Obviously, this is not preaching about doing most things for free. Yet, doing things for free allow for ours and others experimentation. It keeps the doors open for further creation of that which can't be cocooned or protected by our prestige, past recognitions, investors, shareholders or accumulated money.
It allows for the periodical rebirth of a particular mindset:
If we were left with nothing, no money and no accumulated values, we would be able to reinvent ourselves by the sheer force of our spirituality and inner values.
In a letter to his brother Theo, Vincent Van Gogh said:
"It is good to love as many things as one can. … I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven toward these things with an irresistible momentum. … Poetry surrounds us everywhere, but putting it on paper is, alas, not so easy as looking at it. I dream my painting, and then I paint my dream."
The current price for Van Gogh, A pair of shoes is $8,976,000.
Van Gogh purchased the boots at a flea market probably almost for free. He even wore the boots on a rainy walk to create the effect for this painting.
We might wonder, what is the difference in value between the boots that Van Gogh bought at the flea market and the boots of his painting?
Martin Heidegger, the philosopher, saw the painting on exhibition in Amsterdam in 1930 and later wrote about it:
"From the dark opening of the worn insides of the shoes the toilsome tread of the worker stares forth. In the stiffly rugged heaviness of the shoes there is the accumulated tenacity of her slow trudge through the far-spreading and ever-uniform furrows of the field swept by a raw wind. On the leather lie the dampness and richness of the soil. Under the soles slides the loneliness of the field-path as evening falls. In the shoes vibrate the silent call of the earth, its quiet gift of the ripening grain and its unexplained self-refusal in the fallow desolation of the wintry field."
Heidegger in one single stroke put and found spirituality in Van Gogh's shoes. But you might wonder, was Heidegger referring to the shoes in the painting or to the shoes Van Gogh bought at the flea market? Obviously, he was referring to both, but more than that he was referring to the "experiential" or transcendental elements that Van Gogh was finding in the shoes.
Those transcendental elements are not found in money and are neither found on the painting nor on the shoes, but in the spiritual mindset of our existence.
The painting is just the bait to lure the observer. And money? Well, money is its excremental value that can be exchanged even for the least spiritual of things.