This is part 7 of a 12 part interview with Dennis Crawford. In this segment, Andrew and Dennis discuss amassing wealth.
Andrew: I sort of had this discussion in music and it was about Metallica. And I was just basically saying let’s just say they’re making about a million dollars a year, if they took a paycut and they were making 900 thousand dollars a year, how much sacrifice would they have to make? Would it be that significant if they were smart with their money?
Dennis: No, not at all. Or moreover would it affect the quality of their art?
Andrew: Right and the bigger difference is usually found if somebody is making 30 thousand, what if they took a 3 thousand dollar pay cut? Well that could mean 1 month’s worth of income for those people so that’s where the numbers kind of break down and be more significant.
Dennis: I think so, I wouldn’t ever want especially in my business and my own personal frame of my mind, I would never not encourage people to amass some degree of comfort and wealth about themselves but it’s a question of balance with everything in life. If somebody has 10 million dollars rather than 5, well so be it, but I think the challenge for that person is to expand that person with respect to their benevolence, their compassion, their empathy. In whatever way is meaningful to them, I don’t think that’s a State issue. I don’t think the State necessarily has the right to reach in and take two thirds of that person’s assets just to hire more government employees, that doesn’t make sense to me whatsoever from a perspective of liberty.
But what would be nice if that person of their own right would develop themselves spiritually and ethically and so forth to sort of reach out with some of that wealth to help ease the suffering or inequalities that exist around the world. It’s within a degree of relativity but to give an example, how do you feel good about hoarding 10 million dollars and driving around in a BMW, and you don’t give anything to relive some of the 30 thousand people dying every day from starvation on this planet. When you really reflect on that it… I think if you’re wired in the way we should be wired into core principles and spirituality and philosophy we would demand that we don’t use our resources in that ways a measuring stick against the guy across the street.
And it’s easy to lose context of that in this city. You know in this city if you.. using myself as an example if you had to socially class me I guess you would call me upper middle class perhaps for socio economic standing. But this isn’t normal, like if you look at what we would call upper middle class in this context is uber rich for 98% of the worlds population. I mean if we have change rattling around in a dish inside of our automobile we are wealthier than half the people alive on this planet and it’s easy to lose context in that on a day to day basis because we’re always looking over the fence and who’s got the new car and this guy’s got a new house and I’d sure love to have this guitar and whatever it is kind of thing.
And I think in my business because my business is about wealth creating wealth and maintaining wealth so some degree, it’s one of the higher callings someone in my business could lay over their activity is to help people realize that yes it’s important to look after your future and look after the people around you and provide a comfortable lifestyle but beyond that in any way that I can I remind people that’s not the end game in and of itself.
Andrew: Have you read any books that have really impacted you recently?
Dennis: I think I mentioned to you before by far the most influential author in my life was Eckhart Tolle, Eckhart Tolle was a key.. writer in part of my spiritual transformation and journey in fact lots of things just fell into place after reading Eckhart Tolle. Eckhart Tolle one of the core fundamental concepts of his writing echoes a lot of the core fundamental concepts that Jesus Christ taught about. And Eckhart Tolle really awakened me to some extent that large portions of my life I was not doing that, I was just living in a past memory or I’m anticipating some future and living in some paradigm that I think so many of us live in today’s world.
If I could only get from here to there, everything would be so much better. Or if I could just erase that which happened in the past or if I could have a do-over and not have that happen, you know I think so many of us live with that constant mind chatter going on that most of it is not rooted in the present moment.
So Eckhart Tolle didn’t open my eyes to that concept, I mean I was familiar with the concept of present awareness or living in the present type of approach but somehow his writing got through where it went beyond being a mental concept to being a spiritual truth. When you see truth I don’t know if your own path has been this way, but mine seems to be when I see truth or hear truth or digest truth in whatever form, you know it very quickly. It resonates at a level that’s beyond the intellect, it’s more of a heart based resonating. So Eckhart Tolle was very, very key for me in that regard.
As you know I think we’ve shared this before I’ve more accurately listened on audio books, a lot of Wayne Dyer’s material that really points in the same direction. Deepak Chopra has been a significant author in my life, bringing someone that fundamental eastern wisdom into the context. The Christian church has been key in my development. I’ll say this, after some of the spiritual growth I’ve achieved through some of Eckhart Tolle’s work, Christianity made a lot more sense to me all of a sudden. Things started to come together, I started to look at some of the things that Christ was quoted as saying in the New Testament and they took on new meaning and the overlay was really quite solid.
Items.. I’ll think of one for an example, when Christ said the things like.. all these things I have done you can do and more. That took on new meaning for me, I never knew what to do with that before and through some of the development work with reading and immersing in material from some of the authors I have just mentioned I have a much higher understanding of that. so interestingly enough I don’t know.. I guess you might call me a bit of a spiritual cowboy right? I don’t really hang my hat on any one hook because I kind of to use a cliché if I can, and I think it’s an Eckhart Tolle cliché I think all the ancient wisdoms are fingers pointing at the moon and they’re not the moon in of themselves. When I was able to frame much of the worlds ancient wisdom in that way, it really propelled me forward very quickly down my own pathway I think.
Now in saying that I want to be careful not to diminish anyone who takes a fundamental approach to Christianity or Buddhism or Hinduism or Islam, whatever their finger pointing at the moon is. What I do kind of resonate very well with I don’t think anyone finger pointing at the moon has a monopoly on the truth. I think truth is beyond the concept of boxing it up in the human mind, truth is something that resonates that a level deeper than the intellect, at least for me anyways.
Other authors, there’s been several. I’ve been wandering around with some stuff from Alan Watts who’s more prevalent through the 50’s and 60’s. Picked up my first stuff from people like Elvis Huxley or Henry David Thoreau a 19th century American. Spiritual and a bit more mystical if you will.
By far though the most influential I think the biggest resonation I had was with Eckhart Tolle. If you ever want to review or immerse in Eckhart Tolle I suggest you read The Power of Now first, and if that resonates with you at some level, if that leaves you with a desire for more immersion then you would move onto his follow up to that which was called A New Earth. Eckhart Tolle also runs a very dynamic website called EckhartTolleTV where once a month he will do a lecture usually 60 to 90 minute lecture, he’ll interview key guests at times where he can just discuss events, spiritual principles and many traditions. In the Christian tradition and the Buddhist tradition and many different things, so that’s been my most influential author.