Question: I have struggled with my career and work for all of my life. My wife and I live frugally, not wastefully, and do our best to be responsible householders. You have said that we must first be good householders before we can really do the spiritual work we need to. It seems that the “householder” part of my life has always been very up and down. Does not ever being satisfied with any job mean I need to be more grounded somehow before I can move forward with my spiritual life?

Answer: A good householder is not someone with lots of goods; he is a man who takes care of himself and his family by working in and through whatever he must in order to achieve the basic needs; he has pride in what he does, but is not proud. A good householder is someone who understands that his first order of business is the good of his interior house, so that he can’t be deceived by a world that would sell him the “house” of someone else, at the cost of losing his own. Lastly, a good householder understands that until he is doing the very best he can to have his outer house in order, he can’t possibly succeed with his inner house. But this doesn’t mean he’s trying to “win” at what must be done, only that he doesn’t accept losing as his fate, and so persists until some kind of foundation is achieved upon which he can build accordingly.

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