Uri Geller: "You lose the essence of life if you can buy everything"

Donna Ferguson
Uri Geller:
Uri Geller:

Uri Geller, the famous spoon-bending entertainer, was paid millions of dollars to find oil and gold with the power of his mind back in the 1970s and 1980s.

Now 68, he tells AOL Money how this experience completely changed his attitude to money and material objects.

How did you find oil and gold with the power of your mind?

It's called dowsing, and it's an ancient skill. Some people who claim they can dowse, can find water. Some of them do it with twigs, some do it with rods. The switch between finding water and oil is an easy switch. I believe it's not the rods that find it, it's your mind that finds it. The rods and twigs are basically used as a tool for your mind.

In the 1970s, I found oil for Pemex, the Mexican national oil company. The president of Mexico was so impressed that he made me a Mexican citizen. That rolled into other mining jobs with other companies - I was successful, put it that way. And there's a full stop after successful.

How did your success affect your attitude to money?

You lose the essence of life if you can afford to buy anything and everything. I could not believe the frenzy I was in about fame and fortune. I was making these huge business deals and I was an entertainer on every television show everywhere around the world, and on hundreds of covers of magazines. It was hard for me to be able to decipher what was most important.

What changed your approach to money?

I gave away all my belongings in New York, got on a plane with my entire family and went to Japan. We drove into a forest right under Mount Fuji. I wanted to create a huge distance between financial stuff and my life. I came back understanding what spirituality meant. Since then, I've learned how to wake up each morning in an attitude of gratitude. I do not spend any tremendous amount of money on things that I like. I don't think: I've got to have this - I just don't. The little I have is enough for me.

What's your general attitude to money now?

I try to see the bigger picture of what's happening around me. Most of the people living on our beautiful planet are very poor. Every three seconds a baby dies from hunger. Every 45 seconds, a child gets malaria. I can almost guarantee you that a wealthy person who goes out and buys a very wealthy Ferrari Testarossa might be amazed by for it 24 or 48 hours, but then after two days they will open their front door, look at their ferrari and say: So what? Is that it, is that all?

What did you teach your children about money?

I was very concerned about my children growing up with splendour and luxury around them, obviously. So I took my son Daniel when he was about 13 to Brazil. The target was to complete one mission: to take him up to the shanty towns. We went up walking and I showed him kids who had no money to buy shoes. That trip changed Daniel's life. After that trip, he didn't want anything from me. And I think that was very important to achieve.

Uri Geller is an ambassador for the charity, Safe Haven for Donkeys in the Holy Land, which aims to provide a better quality of life for donkeys in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Geller has also written several books about how he harnesses the power of the mind, all of which are available to download for free on his website Uri-Geller.com.