The Nobility of Poverty

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posted on May, 6 2012 @ 04:50 PM
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In the movie Wall Street, the protagonist Bud Fox at some point declares: "There is no nobility in poverty anymore." Anymore? Was there ever nobility in poverty? How was it this notion that there is nobility in poverty came about? Philosopher and linguist Martin Heidegger once asserted: "In what other way, however, could a humanity ever find the way to the primal form of thinking, if the favor of being did not grant man the nobility of poverty by means of the open possibility of relating to being? For only that nobility of poverty conceals in the freedom of sacrifice which is the treasure of its essence."

In some ways, Heidegger is tapping into an ancient and long held mysticism - which is to say paradox - that only by giving up everything does one obtain everything. From Buddha to Jesus, the ancient mystics laid a foundation that would become known as this "nobility of poverty". It is arguable, however, that both the Buddha and Jesus Christ were much more concerned with well-being versus ill-being than they were wealth versus poverty. Perhaps, from a Buddhist perspective, this notion of "nobility of poverty" is somehow conflated from Buddha's Four Noble Truths in which the Dukkha is commonly translated into meaning suffering, stress, anxiety, or dissatisfaction, the emphasis - at least in Western translations - being suffering. However, according to the Buddhism Dukkha is something that is caused, and has a cure. The Dukkha is not a "noble truth" to be obtained, it is one to be overcome.

What Buddhism advocates is non-attachment to materialism and instead seeking virtue. Of course, I suppose it is Siddhartha's early biography, where he was born into royalty, "destined to be a prince", but ultimately eschewing this life for one of austerity after confronting the pain and suffering of his subjects. This is a highly abridged version of Buddha's history, but this thread is not about Buddha, or even Buddhism, but is an examination and brief analysis of poverty and its purported nobility.

In the New Testament, we have several references where Jesus speaks of the poor. In Luke 6:20-21 Jesus states: "'Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God." Earlier in that same Testament, 4: 16-19 Jesus is quoted as saying: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour." In Mark 10:21-22 Jesus is quoted as saying "You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." There are several more references to the poor in the New Testaments, but I offer these, ending with Mark 10:21-22 to emphasize that Jesus' concern was teaching people to give up material want and seek a higher calling.

That higher calling was not poverty, and Jesus own relationship with Josephus suggests that Jesus had no problems with wealth or those who had it. Indeed, Judas is labeled Jesus' treasurer which suggests that Jesus certainly understood the need for some sort of revenue. These ancient mystics, and even the more modern mystics are far less concerned with economy than they are with the ethereal.

The reality regarding poverty is that it is devastating. Where the wealthy are far more likely to flourish and prosper than or the poor, the poor are often confronted with the reality that it is better to survive than not to survive. The poor are thrust upon a battlefield that Robert Greene would call the "death ground", but Greene offers this phrase to suggest a strategy where people who have nothing to lose fight harder than those who do have something to lose. However, when considering the idea that it is better to survive than to not survive and weighing that against Greene's death ground strategy, what all too often happens for the poor is that in their immense struggle to just survive, once obtaining a level of survival, they all too easily find relief in this, somehow assuming they are no longer on their death ground.

As long as one languishes away in poverty, they remain on their death ground, and while we all must at some point enter that inmost cave and lick our wounds to prepare for the battles ahead, if we are poor, we must never surrender to the notion that this is simply our station in life and that our death ground is different than those who are wealthy. Robert Kiyosaki in his book Rich Dad Poor Dad suggest that most of us lack a financial intelligence, and that as employees, versus business people, we pay our taxes before we even see the money we've earned but that a business person doesn't pay taxes until after their expenses have been paid. Regardless of the criticisms leveled at Kiyosaki for his financial advice, these two points I've just highlighted are spot on!

The poor, often stay poor because they've failed to change their circumstance, and this is understandable given that the "nobility of poverty" and the canard that "hard work is the key to prosperity" have been relentlessly shoved down their intellectual throats as if it is manna from heaven. Working hard brings its own satisfaction, but if hard work does not bring prosperity, then it is time to revalue this concept of hard work.

There is no nobility in poverty and there never was. Conversely, there is no nobility in wealth, and there never was. Nobility has nothing to do with it. Either one knows how to manifest wealth, or they don't. Figuring out how to manifest wealth is the key. The much vaunted middle class is a product of a class war that none of us should be fighting. In order to have a middle class, then we necessarily must have an upper class and a lower class. Why do we need classes at all? Buckminster Fuller suggested that there are enough resources on this planet to make each and everyone of us a millionaire a million times over.

One of the most enduring resources on this planet is the human imagination and that indelible human spirit. Outside of our own spiritual ambitions, I would like to make the argument that on this physical plane, we should forget about nobility and simply do what we must to flourish and prosper.




posted on May, 6 2012 @ 05:45 PM
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Generosity is what your thread brings to my mind
Like the Bible story of the Widows mite - is it called that.
However - The scene is painted of rich one's making a show of giving charity.
The poor widow makes no show but quietly and unseen gives all the coins she has.
Though this is a pittance compared with the money given by rich show offs.
The lesson taught is that the Widow gave more
The money given by the rich dudes being "Peanuts" in regards of their wealth
The widow however gave everything she had.

Another example of giving is that of those who hold secret knowledge.
I have seen this - How some keep what they know to themselves so as to use to empower themselves.
Thinking they will loose their elevated position and merely be on a equal footing with those who do not know.
Jesus of course was a threat to this status quo - Treating all as equals for he knew they too were of the some wondrous Soul as He - He never placed himself above others.
The kingdom is within - How this must have riled the Priesthood knowing if his teaching took sway they would be toppled from their pedestals as agents of God



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 06:47 PM
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reply to post by artistpoet
 


You make an interesting point about generosity. Regardless of our financial status, our own generosity of spirit, our generous nature has much more to do with nobility, than any title or financial status.

I would also like to make a point about gratitude. I think that all of us are better off in life when we are grateful for what we have. In terms of poverty, this does not mean to be grateful for being poor since being poor is marked by what we lack, not what we have. However, even the poor have plenty to be be grateful for, and most importantly, in terms of gratitude, we are better off when we learn to show gratitude for those things we do not yet have. In manifesting wealth, it doesn't hurt to show gratitude for that wealth long before it manifests.

Jesus, in the New Testament, always said a prayer of gratitude before performing miracles, not after. There was never any doubt in Jesus' mind that the miracles he was about to perform would be manifested. This showing of gratitude before manifestation is not any manipulation of universal powers, it is not some con game designed to trick God, or the universe into granting that which one expects to be manifested, because when showing gratitude we are being genuine. Anything else is not gratitude.



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 07:29 PM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


Your thoughts on Gratitude struck a chord with me when you added it was a form of being genuine.
Conversely one is grateful when another is being genuine

If one has vast wealth for example then one has great responsibility in the way that wealth is used.
I planted some seedlings and tended them as best I could - they grew strong and in abundance.
I felt a gratitude towards nature in how generous she is. Rewarding me ten fold for the little effort required
I calculated how many plants of that particular variety food I required to be self reliant in it for the year.
I had many plants spare - many to give to friends and family and any who would like one or some.
I feel a responsibility to not waste what nature gave me also.
Therefore should not a wealthy person also feel such responsibility when nature of life has been generous to them I wonder - Yet who the heck am I to say for we are all blessed with gift of choice - But what is the essence of our choice - what does it all boil down to - Is it for self gain we live our life's or to benefit others or perhaps both.
If there is nobility in poverty then the same must apply that there is nobility in wealth
I guess it comes down to one's choice, one intention.
Sorry to ramble but you have me thinking out loud




edit on 6-5-2012 by artistpoet because: (no reason given)
edit on 6-5-2012 by artistpoet because: typos



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 07:44 PM
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Nice thread, S&F.

To my way of thinking, the "Nobility of Poverty" is the detachment from materialism as has been said. I agree that there is a freedom of spirit not being mired down in financial indebtedness and competition. If you have never had a "thing" you will not ever miss it.

Many religions and philosophies speak of the honor of service...in that...there is no higher purpose than to serve your fellow enlightened entities. In the Bhagavad-Gita, Krisna enjoyed his time of service to Arjuna.

Even Christ said "You should seek to serve those whom you would lead".

Service to another is incredibly important. It gives personal satisfaction and teaches honor and humility...two of many ancient virtues we have apparently lost.



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 07:49 PM
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reply to post by artistpoet
 





Therefore should not a wealthy person also feel such responsibility when nature of life has been generous to them I wonder - Yet who the heck an I to say for we are all blessed with gift of choice - But what is the essence of our choice - what does it all boil down to - Is it for self gain we live our life's or to benefit others or perhaps both.


I find it disturbingly interesting that the word "selfish" is generally defined to mean: A chief concern for ones own interest, especially with disregard for others.

There is a glaring contradiction in this definition if one understands how profoundly important others are to our own interest. Understanding this, it is arguable that if one is to have a chief concern for their own interest, they must necessarily have regard for others. Self gain cannot be met through disregard for others. For truly what has the hermit or misanthrope gained by embracing that nature?



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 08:17 PM
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Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
reply to post by artistpoet
 





I find it disturbingly interesting that the word "selfish" is generally defined to mean: A chief concern for ones own interest, especially with disregard for others.

There is a glaring contradiction in this definition if one understands how profoundly important others are to our own interest. Understanding this, it is arguable that if one is to have a chief concern for their own interest, they must necessarily have regard for others. Self gain cannot be met through disregard for others. For truly what has the hermit or misanthrope gained by embracing that nature?





I think what you just said is so fundamental yet elusive
Someone once said that the reason for caring for others and the environment is a matter of survival.
It reminds me of what is said about initiation in some mystery schools.
Recognizing archetypes and symbols then seeing them in the world leads to knowledge.
Yet one can spend one's life gathering knowledge but at some point one asks - what can I do with this knowledge and how best can I assist others.
Or the story of one of the grail knights who left his widowed mother to go on the great quest of finding the Holy Grail - He spent many years going far and wide on his search and all to no avail.
On returning home - His elderly Mother was stood waiting and filled with joy for his safe return.
It was then the knight realized that all the time wasted on his quest he could have been caring for his Mother.



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 08:37 PM
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Excellent thread, and its something Spirit showed me, for in reality we need to be seeking, not greed, but equality and abundance, and yet are frozen, unable to help at all, or bring ideas fruition without some degree of success.
I was shown the falseness of this push for empoverishing people and this put down on materialism had nothing to do with God, for God was behind clean technology, and abundance for all. Just wisdom and good care of the vineyard too, but we've the technology buried for a long long time, over 100 years that Germany was making human clones.



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 09:34 PM
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reply to post by Damrod
 


There is no greater nobility than to live in the service of humanity.

reply to post by artistpoet
 


The Holy Grail legends tied to the Arthurian mythology tend to vary, and in early Arthurian legends it is not necessarily a "holy" grail, but the Holy Grail and the hopeless search for it tends to represent the hopelessness of worshiping icons over hearing or understanding the message. It is not Jesus Christ the man that matters, it is the message the matters.

reply to post by Unity_99
 


We, as a global society are still stuck in this horrid scarcity paradigm that has contributed greatly to the suppression of humanity. The universe is abundant and our hearts should be too.



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 09:54 PM
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And we need to be in good situation ourselves, the handicapped above the poverty levels and families too, and as many small business start ups as possible too.

In this year, in Canada, everyone I knew looking for work found it, and we have the same unemployment as always.

I am going to start some family businesses this year to celebrate the positivity I expect to see from 2012 onwards, a new equal world. No crashes and no NWO.

And I suggest US looks at what goods and services they see in the monopolies, and reproduce those buisnesses grass roots, they need to support each other, and buy from only ethical businesses that stay in the US, and don't exploit prison labor or any vulnerable group, do real profit sharing not the fake kind, and are ethical.

Support each other only, and then, with a good grass roots economy, export this to the third world, start eco villages in the third world.

Abundance should be the mantra. Clean energy solutons promoted and also disclosure demanded. And abundance/freedom/prosperity for all, with many many rewarding opportunities to work in ethical, creative and positive buisnesses, or make dreams come true.

Finding that niche that is your dream, so its not work its a joy to do, to contribute.

This is what I want to try and teach my boys.
edit on 6-5-2012 by Unity_99 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 7 2012 @ 07:15 AM
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The manifestation of wealth is important. The question is what does the individual consider wealth. I am struggling to be and stay lower middle class. However, I find that I am more wealthy than many I have met that have "money to burn."

My wealth comes from the knowledge imparted through the teachings of Buddha, Plato, Jesus, and Balthasar Gracian. My wealth comes from the knowledge that I am shaping myself to be a better human being. My wealth comes from knowing that I serve others from the young to the old and infirmed. My wealth comes from knowing that I have a loving wife and a child that I love immensely.

In my heart I am truly more satisfied than many of the rich I have worked beside in the past. I am at a place where I receive, feel, and give so much love I couldn't have imagined it was possible. I find my wealth in balance and contentment. I have no need for the excesses of the masses or massively wealthy.

I think the nobility of poverty isn't the nobility of the struggle, it is the nobility of the strength of spirit necessary to realize which struggles are important. It isn't the nobility of poverty, it is the nobility of the strength it can provide, the character it can forge. That strength of character and spirit can not be forged so easily without adversity to act as it's tempering fire.

We do not need for all men to be equal. We need for all men to have equal opportunity to reach the full realization of their own self.
edit on 7-5-2012 by MikeNice81 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 7 2012 @ 08:05 AM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 



Working hard brings its own satisfaction, but if hard work does not bring prosperity, then it is time to revalue this concept of hard work.

I would go a step further and claim someone who works hard 5 days a week, yet still live in a state of "poverty", are not simply poor, they are slave labor working for slave wages.



posted on May, 7 2012 @ 08:13 AM
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reply to post by MikeNice81
 



I think the nobility of poverty isn't the nobility of the struggle, it is the nobility of the strength of spirit necessary to realize which struggles are important. It isn't the nobility of poverty, it is the nobility of the strength it can provide, the character it can forge.

Brilliantly said and I couldn't agree more. The 'nobility' of poverty comes from the ability of one who is poor to make the best of what they have. It comes from their contentment with not needing to have everything. It comes from the satisfaction they get knowing they can utterly enjoy their life without needing an abundance of material wealth to satisfy their ego. They gain an aura of nobility in my eyes, because they maintain the ability to live their life on the bare basic components required to sustain themselves, yet they still maintain the ability to enjoy the experience and be content with it, they maintain that sparkle in their eye. This, imo, makes such a poor person more noble than any a-hole rich city kid who gets given everything handed to them.
edit on 7-5-2012 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 7 2012 @ 10:24 AM
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"The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least" ~ Unknown author

There is nobility in freedom and if one in or through a state of poverty learns the art of willfully freeing himself from extraneous attachment - there is much more to be attained than nobility.

Just one girl's two pence
edit on 7-5-2012 by followtheevidence because: forgot the blasted possessive apostrophe :/



posted on May, 7 2012 @ 10:30 AM
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"no bill ity of poverty" alright



posted on May, 7 2012 @ 10:37 AM
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reply to post by Danbones
 

Yes no money no borders no laws - that is the path to liberty of the soul
When I was a child I thought as a child when I became a man I searched for the child within



posted on May, 7 2012 @ 11:36 AM
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IMHO I believe the question we need to ask is, what do we determine wealth to be? I would respectfully put forward that wealth like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I feel I am very wealthy - I have food in my cupboards, fuel for my fires, a shelter for my head, the love of family and friends and I honour my Gods that have aided me in my abundance.

My won'ts are very simple as you can see but I truly believe that we need question what we need to enjoy life as opposed to what we want. We need to detach ourselves from the commercialism that holds most of the western world to ransom and re-evaluate our lives and what makes us happy.

To paraphrase an old saying 'money is the root of all evil'. It is greed and avarice and social conditioning that leads us into acquiring more than we truly need. Monetary wealth is not a cure all for happiness or contentment. To be wealthy in a non material context is a realisation. Contentment is a state of being.

I would so agree with the comments on generosity. I too am generous with my abundance, my extra plants and produce. I believe that community is important and that we all pull together to build a cohesive whole. Especially important in the days ahead.

An excellent thread my friend with many well thought out responses.



posted on May, 7 2012 @ 11:50 AM
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Awesome OP.

I think Bucky was right. How do you change the minds? How do you change that kind of paradigm? Can it happen naturally, or must it be forced? How do you completely reorganize a persons perception of what money, wealth, and true value as a human really is?

We're talking about a new order of reality.

When you have, in this country alone, people that must obtain "money" just to survive, how do you (for lack of a better term) re-educate an entire populace about the fact that money and debt and class, and the supposed illusion of scarcity is a purely mental concept,that was created, and that can be un-done an re-done differently, in a new way? How do you make people care about other people enough to undertake such a restructuring?
edit on 7-5-2012 by Floydshayvious because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 7 2012 @ 12:44 PM
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Most poverty like we think of has nothing to do with this.
Most poverty is spent trying to struggle to keep what you have and get what you need.

I know where Jesus was coming from though, and where the nobility of poverty idea might be coming from.

See, once, I was in a job I didn't like - with a degree I never wanted - I had been pushed into a certain life by my parents.

I decided to take some courses/change careers. I put everything I had in storage, and moved into a small bedroom with my small son. Because there was no room, and I wanted my son to have some toys, I only had a book or two at any time, and maybe 3-4 changes of clothing, 1 pair of shoes. We slept on a twin bed.

I realized during that time that I really didn't need CRAP. It is very spiritually freeing. Enough so, that I can imagine if you would even quit caring about your tether to life, that you'd have nothing to lose, and only peace. IE prince of peace. That's nobility right there. Jesus knew what his teachings and ways would lead to - his death- and he was ok with that sacrifice.

On the cross, he forgave his murderers and accusers, and stated he'd dine with the thieves beside him. That's a sort of nobility- he gave up everything but he TOOK the right to forgive and associate with who he pleased.

Ignore me. I will never understand how, as a pagan, I often end up trying to explain Jesus.
edit on 7-5-2012 by hadriana because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 7 2012 @ 02:06 PM
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Originally posted by hadriana

Ignore me. I will never understand how, as a pagan, I often end up trying to explain Jesus.
edit on 7-5-2012 by hadriana because: (no reason given)


LOL - just because we're pagan doesn't mean we don't recognise greatness when we see it.





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