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Money and the Meaning of Life

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Paperback published by Crown Business (Crown Publishing Group)

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About This Book
If we understood the true role of money in our lives, writes philosopher Jacob Needleman, we would not think simply in terms of spending it or saving it. Money exerts a deep emotional influence on who we are and what we tell ourselves we can never have. Our long unwillingness to understand the emotional and spiritual effects of money on us is at the heart of why we have come to know the price of everything, and the value of nothing. Money has everything to do with the pursuit of an idealistic life, while at the same time, it is at the root of our daily frustrations. On a social level, money has a profound impact on the price of progress. Needleman shows how money slowly began to haunt us, from the invention of coins in Biblical times (when money was created to rescue the community good, not for self gain), through its hypnotic appeal in our money-obsessed era. This is a remarkable book that combines myth and psychology, the poetry of the Sufis and the wisdom of King Solomon, along with Jacob Needleman's searching of his own soul and his culture to explain how money can become a unique means of self-knowledge. As part of the Currency paperback line, it includes a "User's Guide" an introduction and discussion guide created for the paperback by the author -- to help readers make practical use of the book's ideas.
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If we understood the true role of money in our lives, writes philosopher Jacob Needleman, we would not think simply in terms of spending it or saving it. Money exerts a deep emotional influence on who we are and what we tell ourselves we can never have. Our long unwillingness to understand the emotional and spiritual effects of money on us is at the heart of why we have come to know the price of everything, and the value of nothing. Money has everything to do with the pursuit of an idealistic life, while at the same time, it is at the root of our daily frustrations. On a social level, money has a profound impact on the price of progress. Needleman shows how money slowly began to haunt us, from the invention of coins in Biblical times (when money was created to rescue the community good, not for self gain), through its hypnotic appeal in our money-obsessed era. This is a remarkable book that combines myth and psychology, the poetry of the Sufis and the wisdom of King Solomon, along with Jacob Needleman's searching of his own soul and his culture to explain how money can become a unique means of self-knowledge. As part of the Currency paperback line, it includes a "User's Guide" an introduction and discussion guide created for the paperback by the author -- to help readers make practical use of the book's ideas.
Product Details
Paperback (352 pages)
Published: September 15, 1994
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Imprint: Crown Business
ISBN: 9780385262422
Other books byJacob Needleman
  • The American Soul

    The American Soul
    Rediscovering the Wisdom of the Founders
    Looking at the lives of America's founders-including Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin-scholar and bestselling author Jacob Needleman explores their core of inner beliefs; their religious and spiritual sensibilities; and their individual conception of the purpose of life.  The founders, Needleman argues, conceived of an "inner democracy": a continual pursuit of wisdom and self-improvement that would undergird the outer democracy in which we live today. Any understanding of America as a nation of spiritual values will in the years ahead require Needleman's work as a point of reference.

    The Heart of Philosophy

    The Heart of Philosophy
    Philosophy as it is frequently taught in classrooms bears little relation to the impassioned and immensely practical search for self-knowledge conducted by not only its ancient avatars but also by men and woman who seek after truth today. In The Heart of the Philosophy, Jacob Needleman provides a "user's guide" for those who would take philosophy seriously enough to understand its life-transforming qualities.

    What Is God?

    What Is God?
    In his most intimate and revealing work, religious scholar Needleman cuts a clear path through today's clamorous debates over the existence of God, bringing an entirely new way of approaching the question of how to understand a higher power. In this new book, Jacob Needleman-whose voice and ideas have done so much to open the West to esoteric and Eastern religious ideas in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries-intimately considers humanity's most vital question: What is God? With rich, vivid examples from his experiences in the classroom and other walks of life, Needleman draws us closer to the meaning andnature of this question-and shows how our present confusion about the purpose of religion and the concept of God reflects a widespread psychological starvation for a specific quality of thought and experience. In varied detail, the book describes this inner experience, and how almost all of us-atheists and believers alike-actually have been visited by it, but without understanding what it means and why its intentional cultivation is necessary for the fullness of our existence.  

    Why Can't We Be Good?

    Why Can't We Be Good?
    The widely respected social philosopher embarks on his most gripping and broadly appealing work, asking the ultimate question of human nature: Why do we repeatedly violate our most deeply held values and beliefs? After nearly forty years of weighing humanity's deepest dilemmas-working in settings ranging from university and high school classrooms to corporate offices and hospitals-bestselling author, philosopher, and religious scholar Jacob Needleman presents the most urgent, deeply felt, and widely accessible work of his career. In Why Can't We Be Good? Needleman identifies the core problem that therapists and social philosophers fail to see. He depicts the individual human as a being who knows what is good, yet who remains mysteriously helpless to innerly adopt the ethical, moral, and religious ideas that are bequeathed to him.

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
  • Introduction : The Force of Money -- I once overheard the following advice: "If you want to take the true measure of someone, observe how he handles sex, time, and money."

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