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These excerpts are extracted from Jacob Needleman’s book, Money and the Meaning of Life, New York: Currency Doubleday, , Chapters 13, 14 & Amit (Host): Today, our guest is none other than Jacob Needleman, someone who really embodies today’s theme and hopefully we’ll be able to. Called Money and the Meaning of Life, the author is Jacob Needleman, a professor of philosophy at San Francisco State University.

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Needleman actually slips it meanin the reader; in what I thought was a rather sneaky and even canny way and then writes on as if “well that’s taken care of.

No fear greater—for many of us—than the neeedleman of not having money. The meaning of our life in the material world how we eat, how we work and raise families and create only emerges when it is connected to the spiritual world.

Thank you so much! If he persists with diligence and guidance and support of companions, he will experience a feeling more intense than anything the outer world has to offer.

Returning to the question of why money seems so real: Money is about love and relationships. See that impression yourselfas exploiting or misapplying. But in those days it was totally, totally incomprehensible and totally wondrous at the same time. It’s what it is meant to be.

Money And The Meaning Of Life

And sometimes the title calls to you and says to you, “Now get to work. This realm between the two opposing worlds is, for as long or as short as the experience of it lasts, the realuniquely human world.

You jcaob money organizes half of our nature. The invention called money has entered into our life in a much more complete way than it ever has in all of human history.

Money and the Meaning of Life by Jacob Needleman

People want to be remembered etc ,etc. May 24, Jake rated it it was ok. To be totally engaged with all my functions, all my faculties, all my capacities in life. These institutions and forms, such as those involving the family, the gathering and production of food, and other practical means necessary for survival—shelter, clothing, treatment of illness—all these patterns of living were originally ov to allow human beings to seek contact with the inner self needlean the midst of the challenges of the external world.


Not only meaning, but also health, safety, service, love, and power can heedleman obtained only through turning to reality. As Jesus said, we render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, but we actually have to do that.

The first practical step that an individual meanjng take to free himself from the thrall of money is not to turn away from it, but to take it even more seriouslyto study himself in the very midst of the world of money, but to study himself with such diligence and concern that the very act of self-study becomes as vivid and intense as the desires and fears he is studying. Kuleana is the same word they use for responsibility.

It’s a spiritual practice to forgive a debt. I have found that, at times going through that process, either it stopped me and I end up focusing that lens and saw the truth about lfie or at other times I say at least I uncovered that truth about myself.


Money is a brilliant and ingenious invention which has helped people materially. We are neither pure spirit, nor pure egos and animals. There is an example. Money is a bit like that for us because we all know how important it is and how it touches everything.

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It is like searching for water on the surface of the moon to search for meaning in the external world. Heiki Eesmaa rated it it was amazing Mar 21, So I thought this was an interesting observation of the book becau Mel Ziegler, cofounder, Banana Republic has read Needleman’s book Money and the Meaning of life and had this to say about it: It started with Zed Buddhism and then I had to teach. When you feel the great need of help from another level, at that point the other level sometimes comes to you.


In that moment, you know why you are on earth and you know that as you are you cannot serve.

Just to give our attention to another person. Money, as I come to understand it, anybody can agree, haunts all aspects of our life. But that’s the first step toward self-knowledge, to get rid of our illusions about ourselves and our relationship with money. So I think many of the founders have been the students of ancient traditions and spiritual teachings in their own way.

Having lots of money can be like a drug. If we are not distracted, swallowed by it or resentful toward it, it could be seen as part of the work. We must move toward truth or appearance, being or nonbeing.

It’s not so simple. In your writings you say the paradoxical answer to the centrality of money in our lives and may be an imbalance of money in our lives is not to turn away from money but to actually turn toward it iacob observe it more carefully, that deep quality of observation. Jacob Needleman can be reached via email, jneedle sfsu. That’s a good question and that’s a question that all great jacib reformers in Judaism and Christianity and Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam etc etc have really brought back.

I used to think these ideas as kind of fanciful and mystical in a bad sense, and then I discovered. The ego experiences it as a kind of stoppage.

How do I escape being a megalomaniac? As we begin to study our relationship with money, we may begin to see things about ourselves that are hard to accept, but which represent a very important part of ourselves.

What does money have to do with that place between the two worlds? To know money is to know the organizing, desiring, creating ways that we act in the world.