The Spirituality of Success: Getting Rich with Integrity

The Spirituality of Success: Getting Rich with Integrity

By Vincent M. Roazzi
Dallas: Brown Books, 2002. Paperback, xvi + 244 pages.

A tradition found in the West and elsewhere around the world values holy poverty. And that is a good tradition, but it is not the only approach to spirituality and economics. Saint Paul is often misquoted as having said, "Money is the root of all evil." What he actually wrote (I Timothy 6.10) is "The love of money is the root of all evil." And that's an important distinction. Things have no moral value in themselves-but only in how we relate to them.

Contemporary world culture is capitalist in orientation, and capitalism values capital, income, and business success. But those things need to be related to in ways that make them spirituality-friendly, and that means treating them as means to a morally good end, not as ends in themselves. One of the steps on the Buddha's Noble Eightfold Path is "right means of livelihood," a step that all of us need to be mindful of, whatever economic activities we engage in.

This book by a member of the Theosophical Society focuses on spiritually appropriate means to achieve economic success, but the purpose of that success is not neglected. And that purpose must always arise from the recognition, in the words of one of the great teachers, that "it is 'Humanity' which is the great Orphan, ... and it" is the duty of every man [and woman] who is capable of an unselfish impulse to do something, however little, for its welfare." Or as Roazzi writes in his preface, "After all, your success will not be for you alone to enjoy, nor does anybody become successful by themselves." The true key to personal success is impersonal altruism.


March/April 2003