I would say its your choice. You run behind money, it’s okay! There is nothing wrong with that. If you know it is problematic but still you feel stuck then yes! it is a problem and it needs to be addressed. If you look at the principles its always important to understand from first principles.
In the Indian system we look at the purushartha. Purushartha means the fundamental purpose of human existence that is classified into four: Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. Now Artha means wealth. So wealth is considered a very important aspect because without wealth, without money you cannot transact normally. You cannot have a normal existence. It becomes very very tough to lead life being poor. If it is by choice that is different but otherwise its very tough. You can imagine people living below the poverty line. They are almost handicapped. So wealth is a very very important requirement.
Why We need Wealth?
So that being said, that is one of the components. But why do you need wealth? That perspective gives you the aspect of choice, the element of choice. If you don’t have that perspective, you feel boxed up. You become obsessive about artha. That is called lobha or greed. If you have that expansive perspective of dharma and understand your role in the society then you start envisioning all the resources that you require. And you will see that one of the resources is money or wealth or artha. If you have that perspective, then you will put in effort o gain money but not for itself. By itself money does not mean anything. But for the purpose of doing something larger, for a higher purpose you need resources.
How did money Evolve?
If you look at how money would have evolved, say, initially people would have had no need for money. They would have bartered goods then as that expanded, as trade expanded, it would required some common thing that can help in their transactions. And hence money would have been invented. Right! It is invention. Human beings have discovered it lets say. But now we have bound by our own invention. Just like this mobile phone, you know! Many people feel stuck with the mobile phone. They suffer because of the mobile phone. But it’s just a human invention to make life better. That’s who it should be worked with. So money got invented and then there would have been this social conditioning over a period of time. Everyone observed that if you have money you can do certain things, if you don’t have money, you cannot do certain things. You are not empowered in certain ways.
A Social Conditioning
With this comes social conditioning and over a period of time that’s reinforced by parents to children and so on and passed on generation to generation. So parents slightly nudge them towards the pursuit of artha or money. That’s not wrong. It’s a very valid process. That’s how conditioning works. Everything is about conditioning. But conditioning is a twin edged sword. If you don’t have the perspective, a larger vision, then you are boxed in that conditioning. Otherwise the same conditioning liberates you. For example this body if it is condition to walk and run it is condition through abhyasa, through repeated practice, we fall down, get up, fall down, get up and everyone nudges us towards taking the first step when we are very young. So that is conditioning the body to walk which is very good. Similarly conditioning the mind on artha is not wrong. But now the principles are fuzzy. And hence money becomes an obsessive conditioning. That’s when it becomes problematic. Otherwise its an okay conditioning. So when you see this conditioning, you feel stuck in it.
Getting Out of It:
You badly want to get out of it you will need to use an alternative approach where you go live in an environment that does not reinforces this conditioning. Now our regular society reinforces this conditioning. You go to work and people talk of investment, money, profit and business. You come home people talk of money and security. But how do you break that reinforcement? How do you get out of that reinforcement? how do you use negative reinforcement? You need to go to environments that do not reinforce this conditioning. Then it becomes loose. Otherwise it grips your mind. That’s why in our traditional process, people where adviced to live in ashramas for sometime. An ashrama is a place where such societal conditioning are not reinforced and hence it becomes fluid. Otherwise it becomes rigid.
Living in Nature
For example the ego is not reinforced and hence that becomes fluid and you breathe peace. Another way is to live in a natural environment. Nature does not reinforce these human invented conditions. That is one wonderful way. That’s why people choose to live in forests or go to mountain tops or trekking up the mountain. If you go to Himalayas whether you have money or not doesn’t matter so much. That you will see it loosens that conditioning and then you breathe easy. So money is not a problem. Develop a higher vision for which money is necessary. Then you will se that if you have money its okay! You will use it in the right. You will not be all worked up about money.