It is one of our fundamental principles that the moral makes possible any real and lasting material production.
We think it, in the time of investment, counting produce. We aim at that which will produce morally and materially.
Investment is sagacious sacrifice. Investment necessarily requires the choosing of some wants over others. Those that are left unchosen are not attended to, not fed, starved, and if left unfed too long to be buried. Sacrifice is a necessary part of investment.
Too back up one more step before moving forward. Wants are indefinite. Only he who wants control and power tells you they are naturally limited and easily fulfilled “if only you get in line”. For most not fully developed individuals want exceeds that which satisfies want. If you accept this you will recognize the necessity of production which requires a plan, policy, labor and material.
Investment is all about having a goal. How does one get material? By not spending. In the moral realm this means saving up energy and attention and effort for the better and not “spending” on the worse. Anger, greed, envy, sloth are profligate spending. If one wants resource, capital, material to invest in the moral realm one has to save. Saving is all about restraint and not spending. Moral investment requires material just like material investment. It is harder though for the individual to conceptualize moral investment in spending and saving terms. But it is necessary.
The same way one restrains feeling, passion and desire one restrains with material stuff. Can you abide without? Of course the material available for moral saving for investment is easy at hand. The material available for material saving for investment is less secure. It depends, for most of us, on good relations which make possible labor, production and trade. But once these are secured it is simple math. One MUST spend less than they produce. Can you abide without?
Abiding without phenomenologically feels like dying. Can you abide feeling like dying? This, to me, is one of the secrets of the sages like Jesus of Nazareth. He who follows me must carry his cross. Yes! You must walk into what can only appear from your subjective perspective as death. But what is on the other side is life, abundant life.
What is the normal (average, natural in the descriptive sense) response to being with that which is painful and so has the appearance of evil and destruction? It is anger. Anger, going all the way back to Aristotle and Aquinas, is that emotional response to the presence of evil that cannot be avoided. The one who wants to abide without, to live in self-restraint, must be ready for the very subjectively real experience of the motivation for fight or flight. First, in fear of that which appears evil, you will try flight. But, if you overcome, you will then remain in the presence of that which appears evil. This will cause anger. Can you abide without?
The trick, the key, the way to production is through end goal, policy or way, and material. We have meditated on the necessity of material. In the moral realm it is easy but it is also easily wasted. Do not waste. Save! In the material realm the material must first be procured, and then spending must be less than what is produced. The left over must be saved. It must be looked at, there for spending, totally available to the individual, but left alone. This is saving which produces material for investment.
We have left untouched the end-goal to which the material is to be put to use, and we have left untouched the strategy or policy by which the material is transformed. But most of us do not fail because of how poorly we spend that which is saved. Most of us never save.
Saving is hard work.