It Could be You

“I know I’m a sinner, but make me a winner!” I guess most people have had a little gamble on the national lottery. In the US, legal gambling totals more than 25 billion dollars a year. If you include undocumented wagers it could double or even triple that. Practitioners in our tradition are encouraged to follow certain restrictions which aid their spiritual development. One such recommendation is to refrain from gambling. Many people I meet are often confused by that. Why is it so bad? Surely, a little flutter here and there can’t be harmful? After all, you have to be in it to win it.

We all know the famous saying; money is the root of all evil. There are now over 1 million compulsive gamblers in the US. For some, when it comes to gambling, enough is never enough, and the risk of greed and insatiable desires is uncomfortably high. When money is at stake, perfectly respectable citizens seem to have a spell cast over them. In Las Vegas, the nurses at one local hospital began to bet on how long critically ill patients would live for. Some became so anxious about the bets, that they actually switched off life support machines. One nurse in particular, who styled herself, ‘the angel of Death,’ allegedly turned off equipment on at least six critically ill patients. Since the advent of gambling, per capital crime in the Atlantic City area has tripled. Unfortunately, the ill effects of gambling on society and the individual are well-documented.

There is also a deeper reason why spiritualists avoid gambling. When one gambles, a certain mentality is cultivated – the mentality of minimum work, maximum gain. A more responsible citizen understands the principle of duty – equal work, equal gain. However, the mentality of the spiritualist is in another dimension completely. They are cultivating the mentality of maximum service, with no desire for any personal gain or reward. Why? Because to selflessly serve is the most rewarding and satisfying experience in life.

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