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No Statistics for Inner Poverty

Friday, December 16, 2016 23:05
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beggar-441672.gifI should reread this every morning

Most of us are beggars 
and feel-good junkies, 

addicted to the world 

to make us happy.

“They are but beggars that can’t count their own worth.”
with apologies to William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

by Henry Makow Ph.D.
(Updated and revised from May 18, 2014)

Excellent records are kept for material poverty.  For example, 16% of Americans live below the poverty line of $24K for a family of four, including almost 20% of American children.

However, a more serious epidemic is sweeping the nation: inner poverty. While I estimate that  85% of the population lives below the spiritual poverty line, it garners absolutely no attention.

Inner poverty is a spiritual vacuum at the core of our being. Its symptoms are a sense of emptiness, sadness, meaninglessness and lack of direction. It’s like the soul has gone AWOL.

What do people want? We want to feel good.  

How do we know if we are spiritually impoverished? We need the world to make us feel good. We´re addicted to getting “kicks” like beggars constantly asking someone to put something in our cup.


Love or sex addiction. You catch a glimpse of a beautiful creature in the distance and imagine a life of bliss together if only...  You see a couple strolling hand-in-hand and feel envious..

Stinginess. Why are so many well-off people so stingy? They feel poor.

Schadenfreude.  You derive some satisfaction or comfort from the misfortune of others.

sflike.jpg(left, Sally Field)

We desperately seek recognition, acceptance and encouragement to feel good. This may take the form of sales, “likes,” followers,” “smiles,’ or hits.  One young friend was despondent because he texted three girls about “hanging out” and none replied.

Money makes us euphoric or miserable. We measure our day in terms of how much we made or lost. Another friend was burned up because potential clients were waffling.  He had done work on spec for a client who wasn’t even answering his emails.

We’ve been programmed to be beggars, feel-good junkies, addicted to the world to make us happy.

As a result, we feel like beggars. How can we stop?


Beggar behavior is habitual; these habits are ingrained, programmed by society, and very difficult to change.

The key to not feeling like a beggar is to stop acting like one

Check your stocks just once a day instead of every five minutes.

If you can’t do this, sell them all. Thoreau said, “We are rich in the number of things we can let alone.”

Check your email or Face Book just 2-3 times a day.

Give. Encouragement. Money. Help. People in beggar-mode never give. Giving destroys this programming.

Mortify yourself to the world. In religious terms, this means renounce the world.
You refuse to gain your primary happiness from any other source but God, i.e. your soul connection.

You become indifferent to praise or blame except your own. It’s funny that we place so much value on other peoples’ opinion, and so little on our own. We make so much effort to gain respect from others, and so little effort earning our own. Instead of looking to others, we need to learn to make ourselves feel good. Enjoy your Self.

We’ve been programmed to deny ourselves and conform to others.

We need to reprogram ourselves, whether by constant prayer, meditation or by repeating affirmations. The mind is like a steering wheel. If we don’t control it, someone else will.

 We get a temporary thrill when the world puts a nickel in our cup, but the mind soon needs another “fix.”  The organ of “feeling” is the soul not the mind. The soul is the entity that hears the thoughts. Our feelings usually correspond to thoughts. If we still the mind, as in meditation, we can experience the soul.

It’s the difference between taking a walk by the river and trading stocks. It’s the difference between permanent contentment and being an addict. We need to feed the soul, not the mind which has been programmed to be a beggar-addict.


The key is submitting mind to soul. We need to transfer our sense of self from the thoughts to the soul. Soul is the real Self. Soul, our connection to God, is our real identity.

We need to be Self-possessed. Self-controlled. Self-directed. Self-motivated. Self-sufficient. i.e. God-centered.

People will treat you like you treat (“serve”) your Self, our true identity and path.

Beyond a few necessities, we don’t need anything from the world. We don’t have to be beggars.

Note: Those interested in learning more about this approach can check out Eckhart Tolle’s YouTubes and books.

Related – Makow – How’s Your Inner Beggar? 

———————–Thinking is a Bad Habit
—————————– Cohabiting With a Monkey

First Comment from Jim:

This is the very reason I closed my Facebook account.

I was very reluctant but my mother badgered me into joining FB, so I did. And it didn’t take long for it to consume me.

I would rush home, log in, and read what people said about my latest post… or didn’t say.

If there were no comments or ‘likes’, I was crushed. My day was ruined.

One day I had an epiphany. I had become an attention-seeking whore, or a beggar as you put it. I realized that constant pursuit of everyone’s approval, rather than just living my life, was damaging to me.

Certainly, there are times when we need to be affirmed and advised by the people we respect but their opinions shouldn’t be the guiding force in our lives.


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