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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If you run from it, it will chase you and catch you. They are experiences of something that could be cultivated, and if cultivated and if we had access to, would actually transform our life. You see how fragile the honesty you have was? What we need to do with money and these other “lower” things is not neglect or ignore them, but put them to the service of our higher task of knowing God.

It’s just when it becomes our master that it’s deadly. The money question is so strong not because money is ultimately real but because our experiences with it have become—for most of us—the most vivid and intense experiences of our lives. We have a caller Sophia, who is a seeker, who has chosen to leave behind certain games and learned how to look genuinely at herself.

But if it fattens your ego, which it often does, then look out. Oct 28, Bill Donhiser rated it liked it Shelves: I put all of my tremendous household goods into storage.

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I wonder if you think that we have gone too far. I can feel that gratitude deep in your heart. So I am not saying that Gandhi was too idealistic, or Thoreau. I was totally allergic to that. Only when you are ready to experience the complete breakdown of the ego without the slightest impulse to reestablish it again, only then will you experience the wish of the evolving self. I actually felt this major message came through in the first 70 pages or so, and that the rest of the book didn’t have a whole lot to add.


There are people out there who are trying this.

Money and the Meaning of Life

The crime is that the buying and selling are more intense and inwardly vivid than anything else. I think there is just enough miracle in that attitude to give great credence to it.

In the great monastic communities of the Christians it was called tears and sorrow. More personal or more a part of society?

So it resonated when you said that self honesty is being that step first. That’s a beautiful way of putting it. We all agree this basic untrue premise is lie.

I just want to thank you. So putting it all in a nutshell, which is much easier to say than to live, is that human nature is built to give. But the ego invents itself out of money, sex, and linear time. Our job now is to re-separate them and take them both seriously. On the other hand, I do know people who have stayed quite stable through it. We turn to the superficially perceived outer world for that which can only be obtained through deep access to the inner self.

The general idea was that one should find a balance between the obsession with money as an ideal it was kinda funny that he used Trump as an example of this [being the pre-politics version as that was when this was written] and the total disregard of cash of the hippies. What I have tried to do in this book is to call for the inclusion of the money jackb in the search for a consciously regenerate life.

One needs a bridge between the two. There are many problems with this book see other reviews to get an idea of the range of them. It may be rooted in the Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism; Max Weber had a thesis that Calvinistic Protestantism looked upon success in the world as a sign of God’s favor. It starts by having the courage and sincerity to really look at money, to see how we feel about it and how we relate to it. The surprising answer is that the way toward the real inner world is to experience with even greater intensity of feeling the pulls and impulses that draw us toward the outer world!


Just to give our attention to another person. Intended originally as a device to help man live in two opposing worlds, money has become only a technology to organize our lives in hell. For example, technology, which is an aspect of science as applied to the outer world of materiality and all the forces and elements, safety, health, family and so on.

The real quality of self observation and self study is not such an easy thing. Then when I got to college, I realized that my interest in life and living beings, medicine and chemistry, physics and astronomy especially, what I was seeing when I was looking at life is the incarnation of great ideas, great truths, great laws of the universe, not a horizontal meaningless universe with mechanical actions but a universe that is equally vast in terms of vertical purpose of meaning.

To deeply understand it because it represents the way one half of our human nature really acts in the world underneath it all. Without this contact, the external world of appearances assumes for us the proportions of an overwhelmingly compelling force. But the fact is one forgets. The experience of the inner world, for most people, is not enough to give real faith that there is something more important than money. And that’s how it all got started.

Money and the Meaning of Life

It poses great questions. Each time, as the man goes to make a new request, the sea is more and more threatening and the fish is increasingly annoyed. Listen carefully to this. The ego experiences it as a kind of stoppage.

Start with chapter Money is good when it serves what is good.