Wealth, power and privilege seem to have it all, until we see how it interferes with seeing what needs to happen in each situation as it arises, and doing it with the gifts at our disposal. Buying it done won't do it, when our destiny is calling us to step forward and rock the baby, or clean up after the dog. We spit on destiny on our way to call someone to do it for us, whatever the "it" is that is ours to do. Money is a way of skirting our responsibilities, enabling us to devote ourselves exclusively to making more money. Our destiny knows Karma's first name, and has her phone number. And the distance between where we are and understanding what is ours to do and doing it is called The Hero's Journey. It is also called Growing Up. We think with enough money we won't have to bother with it. With growing up. And having money is better than being a hero. Buy them all a round or two. They will love you just as much. Lost in all of this is the life that is ours to live. The destiny that is ours to serve. The emptiness that is ours to try and outlive. The truth is that money is meaningless except as a means to buy the tools we need to do what is ours to do. We learn that lesson a bit late in the game to do much more than regret what we missed in our effort to make up for lost time before we die. If we learn it at all.
The Tao is not good for the economy. The Tao is as counter-cultural as it gets. The same can be said for any spiritual practice. The aims and activities of spiritual practice are contrary to those of the culture-- any culture-- even the culture that is created by the spiritual practice! The more the spiritual practice promotes itself, the less self-aware, self-transparent, it becomes (Which makes AA unique in the field, with its "attraction not promotion" slogan), and self-transparency is the sine qua non of spirituality, and the essence of counter-culture-ism. Seeing what we are doing transforms what we are doing. The culture--any culture--is unconscious to the core (Commercial advertisement depends upon its "marks" being unconscious of the truth being concealed by the hype they are hearing, and religions that are self-promoting, don't allow questions they can't answer). Taoism stands apart here, with it's, "The Tao that can be said is not the eternal Tao," "The Path that can be discerned as a path is not a reliable path," "Darkness within darkness, the gateway to understanding." That kind of language is no way to make converts! A self-transparent spiritual practice sets up an immediate barrier to cultural absorption, and distances itself automatically, spontaneously, from the ends and means of the culture. The more a practice embraces and serves those ends and means, the less spiritual it is. The more we live out of our own heart, grounded upon the source of our Original Nature, and in tune with the drift of our soul, the more we will distance ourselves from the cultural practices and assumptions at work in life around us. There will be a natural separation, an "in the world but not of the world" ambiance will surround us, without any rules or guidelines or effort being extended to set us apart. The ends are not the same ends. The means are not the same means. The way is not the same way.