22 April 2011

Advice for the Wealthy – I-Ching #14大有 Great Possession

A key problem with the world is not that there is lack of wealth and abundance. The problem is with the distribution of wealth. The rich gets richer and the poor got stuck in the vicious circle of poverty unable to break out. How can someone truly enjoy his wealth without worrying about theft and be able to sleep peacefully every night. I-Ching Hexagram #14大有 Great Possession provides the answer for you.

I like to define wealth as not the amount you have but the amount you spend on others. You gain wealth only to give them out to make this a better place for everyone. 

The details of the hexagram can be found in 14大有 Great Possession(subscription required) but a summary is reproduced here with additional comments:

Summary of #14 Great Possessions – Do Worthy Projects
This hexagram is about having great possessions. We have it because of our foundation of integrity and righteous living. We are to use them to stop evils and promote righteousness.

The world have been impressed recently by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett who donated their great wealth of billions to fund non-profit making charitable projects. They fund research into solving problems and sickness that were faced by the developing countries. Projects that solve the problems for the rich and famous will be funded easily. They were used as models to encourage the newly rich mainland Chinese to give to charitable causes as repaying the community. They talked as if the Chinese had not been doing this. The oversea Chinese, since the early 1900′s, when they made it, they had always sent back their money to their homeland to build schools, infrastructure and even funded the overthrow of the Manchurian Government and the war efforts against the Japanese invasion in WWII. They were people like the Aw’s of Tiger Balm, the Chen’s, the Lee’s etc.

They were practicing what this i-Ching hexagram is telling them to with their wealth – spent it on worthy projects – schools, hospitals, universities, newspapers, parks, museum, scholarships and even war against evil etc. etc.

The 6-stage lines tell us more:
  1. Continue to work hard. Remember how we get here – state of great possession.
    • The most naturally things to do for the wealthy, especially those that just make it, is to show off with it. The 2nd generation that did no hard work to gain them will spend even more.
    • Here is a reminder for the  rich – not to forget the hard work and learning that created the wealth. Without the continued learning and hard work, the wealth could be easily lost.
  2. Go and do great work
    • A person without character will hoard and spend his wealth only on himself. We are reminded of the Rich Fool parable told of Jesus (Lk 12:13-21).
    • We are reminded here to do worthy project with our wealth. We don’t have to wait till we accumulate large wealth. We do worthy causes according to our ability. It is an acknowledgement that our wealth is not created by us alone. Remember to give back to the society. You are the best person to do it because of your wealth and your capability.
  3. Share your wealth. You have influence with the authority. Don’t hoard your wealth. Keep the selfish little people away.
    • The 6-stage lines are the progressive stages.
    • At stage-3, you have quite a significant wealth that you have influence with those in authority. You mixed with the leaders in the society. Hence, you have the greater responsibility of doing the worthy projects.
    • One thing you mush watch out though – be careful of the little-men who are after your wealth for selfish gains. Don’t use them. Pick the right people to work for you.
  4. Don’t show off.
    • Stage 4 is the beginning stage of crossing the chasm to greater height and wealth. It is especially important for you not to show off and be proud. On the contrary, know that there are others who are richer and more capable then you. Focus on the project and not rest on your wealth.
  5. Remain humble and sincere in spite of great wealth. Keep your integrity.
    • You have cross the chasm and rich greater height and wealth.
    • The reason you cross it is because of your reputation of integrity and sincerity.
    • They are drawn to you because you can be trusted.
  6. Do things of Significance that lasts – Follow the Will of Heaven
    • In the eyes of God, wealth is to be spent on improving the lives of others and not just for yourself. Wealth is not measured by how much you possess but how much you spent it on worthy causes. True wealth is measure by the outflow and not the inflow.  But doing so, you can be master of wealth and not be mastered my wealth. Precisely because you master wealth, more wealth can be entrusted to you.
See also Success Upon Success with I-Ching Hexagram#11泰 Vibrant Flow

Lim Liat copyrighted April 2011
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