The Material and the Immaterial

Maulana Wahiddudin Khan

Originally published in the Times of India | 18th July 12

Published by permission of UIUK

Deana Uppal, currently Miss India-UK, who appeared on the British reality show, Celebrity Big Brother, introduced herself by saying that she was single and lived in a house with three servants. She added: “The greatest love of my life is money, because i don’t believe in love. Every man is, or will be, a cheater.” (Delhi Times, June 11, 2012.)

When I read this, I tried to analyse it. My first impression was that there was no comparison between man and money. What is money? Money can pay your shopping bills. But one needs more than that. I remembered the Biblical quote: “Man cannot live by bread alone.” This applies very much to money, for “Man cannot live by money alone.” Money can fulfill your physical requirements, but you are more than a physical entity; you have a mind, you have emotions, you have spiritual desires, and this part of your personality requires a person like you, one who can smile with you, have intellectual exchanges with you and share your emotions. If money satisfies less than 1% of your personality, another human being satisfies more than 99% of your personality.

Everyone is quite aware of this. Then why are people attracted to money rather than to cementing relationships? The reason is very simple. With money, you can make contact on unilateral basis, but when it comes to a human being, you have to make contact with him on a bilateral basis, that is, on a give and take basis. This is perhaps the reason why people show a preference for money over man. But this choice is an unnatural one.

Those who opt for money develop a duality in their personality. That is, they develop double standards. You may opt for single living, but you cannot afford to be single in the greater life of the outside world. In your job, in your profession, business, everywhere – you have to deal with others. In these areas, you have to adopt that bilateral formula which you refuse to adopt on the home front. For example, when you are not ready to pay for married life the same price that you are paying for money, this approach to life causes you to have a dual personality. This contradictory behaviour is not a simple matter. It leads to constant uneasiness, and then stress. You lose integrity. Your mind requires you to live as an integral personality, but in your life’s pattern you adopt a style that deprives you of integrity. No one can afford this contradictory behaviour. When your mind persistently refuses this position, you have to fight your own nature. Those who lead this kind of life may seem happy in public life, but according to my experience, this is artificial happiness. Apparently they smile, but in their hearts they are sad. For some days you can live in this manner, but a breakdown comes in the end, for then, reality is bound to prevail and you fall into a state of undeclared depression.

Everything exacts its price, and this is true of happiness, which requires you to accept another. If you accept another person, he will accept you. It is a law of nature. Nature is based on the principle of mutual acceptance. By mutual acceptance you gain a very precious thing, that is, a living partner – than which there is nothing greater in this world.

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