So called ‘F-you money’ believes it is saying that the consequences of decisions don’t matter. This is clearly nonsense. What it’s actually saying is that the consciousness of those decisions doesn’t matter. Yet to live unconsciously is hardly ‘to live’ in a meaningful way. All purchases are investments; it’s not wise to double down if you’re betting on bullshit.
To subordinate what is human to that which is less than human – wealth, opportunity, knowledge – is thoroughly self-defeating; we end up destroying the very life we set out to save.
My old definition was freedom to, freedom to do anything I want. Freedom to do whatever I feel like, whenever I feel like. Now I would say that the freedom that I’m looking for is internal freedom. It’s freedom from.
So, the purpose of wealth is freedom. It’s nothing more than that. It’s not to buy fur coats, or drive Ferraris, or sail yachts, or jet around the world in your Gulfstream. That stuff gets really boring, and really stupid really fast. It’s really just so that you are your own sovereign individual. You’re not gonna get that unless you really want it. And the entire world wants it. And the entire world is working hard at it. And to some extent it is competitive. It’s a positive sum game, but there are competitive elements to it. Because there’s a finite amount of resources right now in society. And to get the resources to do what you want, you have to stand out.
Freedom is not achieved by satisfying desire, but by eliminating it. Assure yourself of this by expending as much effort on these new ambitions as you did on those illusive goals: work day and night to attain a liberated frame of mind.
The man who, one fine day, can resolutely renounce a great name, a great position or a great fortune escapes thereby, at one blow, from many cares, many sleepless nights and, sometimes, from many crimes.
The freedom which is a proper human goal is the freedom from fantasy, that is the realism of compassion. What I have called fantasy, the proliferation of blinding self-centred aims and images, is itself a powerful system of energy, and most of what is often called ‘will’ or ‘willing’ belongs to this system. What counteracts the system is attention to reality inspired by, consisting of, love.
Those that spend hours a day moving, meditating, and contemplating will tell you that it doesn’t take time, it creates it, because they’re now able to easily and happily ignore all the distracting, de-energising crap that blinds other people into believing they don’t have time for anything else.
According to most classical Buddhist texts, achieving this sort of freedom involves three stages: listening, contemplation, and meditation.
‘Listening’ essentially means allowing oneself to be introduced to new facts or ideas.
‘Contemplation’ […] essentially involves thinking deeply about lessons learned through reading and oral teachings, and questioning whether or not what you’ve heard or read is a valid means of understanding and responding to life events.
‘Meditation’ the third stage of practice, asks us to begin by simply observing our physical, intellectual, and emotional experiences without judgment. [...] Even looking at a thought like, ‘Oh, I did such and such twenty years ago. How stupid of me to regret it, I was just a kid then!’ is meditation. It’s an exercise in simply observing thoughts, emotions, and sensations as they rise and fall in our experience. And it is an exercise.