Money and its relationship to value and experience

pro I recently read a post on pagansquare where the author discussed whether or not it was ethical to charge money for magical services. He didn't really seem to take one side or another in his post and his response to my comment was equally muddled, but it did get me thinking about barter vs money. As readers of this blog know I'm writing a book on wealth magic and as such I've been doing a lot of work and thinking around money as one component of wealth. I've also done a lot of thinking about bartering, especially because, in one of my businesses, I've engaged in bartering. Here's what I've discovered about bartering: You rarely get the value you were hoping to get from the barter. I certainly haven't in my bartering situations and its because bartering isn't attached to a fixed value in the way that money is. So its much easier to be disappointed with bartering and its why I no longer barter for services or products.

Here's the magic behind money: With money you have a fixed, artificial value attached to a service or product. I say artificial because the truth is that the money you pay for anything is actually the smallest value, if the service or product is done right, but what makes money effective is that value is established to a number and that number provides reassurance on both sides of the transaction that value is being exchanged. But like I said if its done right the money paid is the least value you get from a service or product. What a service or product should do is provide an experience where the value easily exceeds the amount of money you've paid. For example when I buy a video game I'm not just buying the software. I'm also buying the enjoyment I get from the game, the hours I spend playing it and the experiences I have. As such the money I pay is a small price, if I enjoy the game. Personally I feel cheated if I haven't replayed a game at least twice before returning it...that's the least amount of value I want to get for a given game.

In my businesses, which are more service oriented, I need to continually provide value that shows my clients why investing money is worth their while. If I can't clearly establish the value of what I offer continually they'll eventually move on. So with the Process of Magic class for example, you don't just get 24 lessons, or a free pdf, but a chance to talk with via a teleconference every other month, plus a dedicated forum to interact with me and the other students. And you better believe that I make it a point to respond to emails regularly when I receive them. I want my students to feel acknowledged, taken care of and appreciated. I want to give them real value because I know that the price of the class should be the furthest thing from their mind if I'm doing it right.

See how this relates to wealth magic? If you want to do wealth magic for your business then one of the first factors you need to consider is how much wealth (value) you are bringing into the lives of your clients. After all, if you want them to bring wealth into your life, you need to be willing to give wealth (value) that justifies their choice to spend money on you. And part of giving that value involves establishing a relationship with your client where s/he feels valued and acknowledged. To do that you've got to think of ways to provide a return on investment that exceeds the artificial value of what you've been paid. You need to give in order to get. Money is the lowest value of what you get and give, but it sets up the initial value and challenges you to improve on it.

A Wealth Magic Myth

I'm reading Draja Mickaharic's A Spiritual Worker's Spellbook. He offers an interesting explanation called the sphere of availability:

This principle relates directly to the amount of economic support that the universe is willing to provide any particular individual at any given time in their life. The sphere of availability for each person is variable, in that it may either expand or contract by the thoughts, actions, and beliefs of the person themselves. The more sincerely grateful that a person is, and the more truly charitable they are, the greater this sphere of availability becomes. On the other hand, the more greedy that a person is for material things, and the more they turn from properly relating to their fellow man in a charitable way, the more their sphere of availability contracts.

He goes onto argue that anonymously giving out small sums is more spiritually productive than giving out large sums to charities. It's a nice sentiment, but I'm not convinced of it, much as I'm not convinced of the new age law of attraction, which is a similar derivative of what's mentioned above. Speaking as a business owner I can say that the majority of people I've met who are financially successful are very focused on making money. They have developed a relationship to money that makes them very comfortable with asking for what they feel is their due. At the same time, I can't say that these people are charitable in the way Draja suggests a person should be. They are willing to make donations to charitable causes, partially because they believe in the charitable cause and partially because they know they can get a tax deduction and being financially aware entrepreneurs they plan accordingly. Anonymous donations aren't really what they do, and they'd likely argue that however spiritually productive it might be to donate the way Draja does, it wouldn't be as beneficial in their minds to society or to themselves.

The majority of magicians I know aren't wealthy. Most of them don't care to be wealthy and that's fine, but if you are serious about being wealthy you've got to be willing to devote time to learning about money and wealth and this includes learning how money works in the system it exists in. Money, in and of itself isn't bad and neither is learning how money works. I tend to think of concepts such as the sphere of availability and law of attraction as wishful thinking for the most part. It's nice to wishfully think of what it would feel like if you had more money, but if you aren't willing to earn it or work the system you are in, that wishful thinking won't get you far.

Of course it is important to be aware of your attitude about money. The truth is that people are adept at sabotaging themselves with limiting beliefs about money. And working on those limiting beliefs can be very helpful because it allows you to approach your relationship with money with a perspective that is unburdened by limiting beliefs learned from your family and environment, or at least to be aware of those beliefs. But truly working with money on a practical and/or spiritual level involves understanding how money works, the way it moves and prefers to move, as well as how people who are successful with money work with it and use it.

Draja's principle of the sphere of availability is an interesting principle and he rightly notes that people who have an entitled perspective that money should just come to them won't get very far, and will in fact find themselves in hard circumstances fairly quickly, but giving all your money away anonymously doesn't suddenly make you more receptive to money. Donating it to a charitable cause allows you to take a deduction, while working the system that money operates in. And I'd argue that there is spiritual productivity in choosing a charity and making a donation to support a cause you genuinely believe in. You are helping to advance that cause by giving of your own efforts to support it. Granted there are people who choose to donate money mainly for the tax break, and in that case, I think it isn't spiritually productive, but the majority of people who choose to donate are likely doing it because they genuinely believe in the cause they are supporting. They know they'll get a tax deduction, but the deduction isn't the motivating factor. The motivating factor is to contribute something of their effort to a cause that is believed in, while letting their money move, which is ultimately what money as a force prefers.