I recently came across a wise quotation attributed to the author Henry Fielding (1707 – 1754) which says
Make money your god and it will plague you like the devil.
It sometimes appears that what is merely a useful fiction to facilitate the exchange of goods and services has become a false god demanding worship from us all. Despite living in a world of fiat currencies which only have value in our collective imagination we seem surprisingly ready to dismiss human virtues as abstractions. I am reminded of a section from the ‘Hidden Words’ which says
.. with fire We test the gold, and with gold We test Our servants.
(If we haven’t passed the test yet perhaps we are at least studying hard as searching on Google delivered only 837,000,000 results for ‘money’ whereas ‘love’ delivered 1,610,000,000..).