Sunday, 23 May 2010

The Truth about Money and Wealth with Dr John Demartini

by Danielle Hutchinson

With the recent events on Wall St, the prospect of economic uncertainty is foremost in the minds of many. Dr John F. Demartini, human behavioural specialist, philosopher and best selling author of several best selling books, including  HOW TO MAKE ONE HELL OF A PROFIT AND STILL GET TO HEAVEN, spoke to American Women Online about what it takes to not only build wealth but to keep it.

The hierarchy of your values determines your destiny

The cornerstone of Dr. Demartini's thought-provoking wealth building strategy is an understanding that all of us have a set of values that dictate how we see and act upon the world. "Your life demonstrates your values," Dr Demartini said in a recent interview with Forbes Magazine.

Dr Demartini says when it comes to building monetary wealth the potential for this happening is dependent on not only where it sits in our hierarchy of values, but whether or not we value wealth and money as a means to an end or an end in itself.

What so many people who set goals around attaining wealth fail to realise is that what they are really valuing is what wealth can buy not wealth itself; they want the house, cars, clothes, travel, children's educations etc. This mindset values money only as a means to an end, so even though many may have managed to get themselves into a position where lots of money is coming in they will not become wealthy unless money is valued enough to have a strategy for keeping it.

This means that saving money would need to be one of the top values if wealth is to be built. Otherwise it will flow straight back out again to buy or pay for those things that are placed higher up in their hierarchy.

Dr. Demartini says that those with low values on saving money will more often than not, raise their standards when more money starts coming in; they get a bigger house, better car, clothes etc.

There is no right or wrong in what each person chooses to do with their money. Most people are not aware of their true values, so they unknowingly set goals that are incongruent with what their life is demonstrating as important to them. If they have wealth building and saving low on their values and yet still keep expecting to build wealth, they become frustrated and feel like a failure because they are unable to reach their financial goals.

Dr. Demartini explains, "If you aren't already wealthy or very much on your way to creating wealth, then the probability that you will become wealthy is not high. Often creating wealth is a whim and there is no commitment in the long-term, you might do it for a while, but will eventually move onto something that is actually a higher value."

Dr. Demartini has found that if people truly want to change their financial destiny the most effective strategy is restructuring their value system. He says it is the single most significant factor and will only work if saving and building wealth becomes part of the top 5 in the hierarchy.


The inner conflict between "heavenly good" and "hellish profit"

Dr. Demartini's motivation for writing his book, HOW TO MAKE ONE HELL OF A PROFIT AND STILL GET TO HEAVEN was based on his observation of the inner conflict so many people have around money and wealth. He found that even though some would outwardly acknowledge their desire for great wealth, they would inwardly feel guilty about acquiring it.

He says that people often believe that in acquiring wealth they'll somehow become evil, fear that it can only be done at the expense of others or by compromising their higher spiritual values and virtuous nature.

"It's better to give than to receive", "money is the root of all evil" and "filthy rich" are just a few of many time honoured favourites that pervade our culture. It's no wonder that the prospect of restructuring one's hierarchy of values in order to attain wealth strikes fear into the heart of many "good" folks.

"There are two driving forces in human beings, spiritualism and materialism," Dr Demartini said. And yet because most people have the two divided, they don't acknowledge or appreciate that all of the great human achievements have both.

In keeping with the ancient maxim, "Spirit without matter is expressionless and matter without spirit is motionless", Demartini likens intangible spirit and tangible matter to two sides of a golden coin, where the rejection of either side prevents you from ever holding its whole richness. He describes heaven as a state of gratitude for the magnificence and perfection of divine order, whereas hell is its opposite - it is ingratitude and the state of "dis-grace", often based on a lopsided view of reality and is a source of diminished self worth.

Confronting as this may be to some, if we are honest with ourselves we too can observe that the religions of the world have always understood the value of material wealth, and anyone that's ever worked for a not-for profit organisation or tried to start up a charity knows all too well that regardless of how altruistic the intention, one of the top priorities is always to raise funds or capital.

So when we truly look we can see that in reality there is always both giving and receiving. Dr. Demartini has found that until we have gratitude for both, until we embrace and appreciate both equally we will struggle to unleash the exceptional power of one of the greatest of all spiritual, material and financial laws - the principle of fair exchange. The sign that you value yourself is that you are willing to have fair exchange.

In his book Demartini says that "Human emotions interfere with wealth building more than anything else". Along with unresolved guilt and shame he identifies seven fears that commonly sabotage our willingness to receive. These are:

the fear of breaking some perceived authority's morals or ethics

the fear of not knowing enough, being smart enough or creative enough

the fear of failure

the fear of the loss of money

the fear of losing loved ones

the fear of rejection

the fear of not being vital, beautiful, handsome or energetic enough

Through his work, Dr. Demartini has found that these seven fears, along with our guilt and shame, stem from the past and create baggage that lowers self worth. When this happens people move into altruism as a way of compensating because they feel others are more worthy than they are. They want to give disproportionately to what they receive.

There are of course people on the other end of the extreme who overvalue themselves, they become narcissistic and feel they are more worthy than others; they want to receive disproportionately to what they give.

Dr. Demartini says this greed leads to the kind of situation now faced on Wall Street where investors got caught up in the emotional exuberance of overinflated prices and became blind to the fact that the market will always correct itself. However, he also points out that people who have lasting wealth are conservative with their money; they have a strategy and stick to it regardless of the emotional highs and lows of the money market.

Demartini has observed that any time the market goes up or down by more than 10% people without a strategy do foolish things. Warren Buffet, the world's richest man (2008) and noted philanthropist says, "Until you can mange your emotions, don't expect to be able to manage money."

"The people I know who have money and wealth have a balance, they are grounded and inspired, they have a vision of service to people, they are willing to go out and do the service, and at the same time they have a healthy deserve level and they work hard and they receive. There is a little bit of truth in the metaphysics but I don't want to teach an incomplete thing."


"Don't try to get something for nothing or give something for nothing. Give and receive, it's the wisest thing," Dr Demartini said.