Krishnamurti: “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
This is a revisit of a post I wrote a while back, but recent events brought the issues back into my consciousness, and I believe this issue is one of the most important we will face, especially as we move into a new age, especially for people who perceive themselves as spiritual leaders of that new age.
I am aware that I have one foot in one system and one foot in another and that I am as often as confused and fearful as anyone would be faced with lack-of-money issues.
Am I delusional in my beliefs about money? Maybe. Am I ultimately just lazy and irresponsible and using spirituality as a rationalization for not playing by the rules? Possible.
I only know, at the end of the day, that I must follow the pull of my own soul, as each of us must do. And that I may well be absolutely wrong, but at least I staked a claim. At least I asked the questions. At least I tried to walk my talk. And if I failed, and if I’m wrong, so be it. I’ve been wrong before. I’ll be wrong again.
I am revisiting this post because I have been holding meditations gatherings for free for over a year now, and meeting with people individually, also for free. I recently decided to create an energy workshop. I decided for the first time to charge $300.00 for seven sessions over 21 hours over seven weekends, by all accounts a very generous offer considering the time and knowledge and experience involved. A wonderful space was donated (thank you, R.).
Then my questions began about whether I should charge for healing work at all, ever, do to my own personal beliefs. And I got the usual responses: “Money is just energy.” “That’s poverty consciousness.” “You value your work by what you charge.” “We live in a material world.” “I have to pay my bills.” And on and on. All perfectly appropriate responses.
So here’s my response, once again, to myself, and to anyone reading:
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This is the post that always upsets people the most. It seems we can question politics and culture and religion, sex, even God — but don’t mess with money. As if, like gravity, money is somehow a part of nature itself and can’t be touched. (I’ve been out-of-body, so even gravity is up for grabs.)
I find that people, in many cases especially spiritual people, become agitated when discussing the subject of money.
Perhaps all of us, men and women, having been monks in so many pasts lives, taking vows of poverty, while watching those in political and religious power rule over us in lavish lifestyles, and each of us deeply resenting it — that when we finally get to have money AND serve God — we don’t want to give that up.
So we come up with the belief that you can be spiritual and have money and write a book like “The Secret” that codifies that belief.
The only problem with “The Secret,” as many millions soon found out, the Law Of Attraction was not created for the purpose of bringing more stuff into our lives, but experiences for spiritual growth. Not everyone got the house and the Porsche.
Yes, through sheer will power we can manipulate the Law Of Attraction to bring us cash and pools and third homes, but sooner or later, this lifetime or the next, they will still fall away. Because we must all learn that happiness doesn’t come from having material possessions (comfort does) — unless we can be equally happy without any material possessions.
I’m not suggesting for one moment that we should go back to living in poverty in order to be spiritual, because that is poverty consciousness and poverty consciousness often has very little to do with money. It is a state of mind that says: “I am not worthy of having a nice, comfortable, even luxurious life.”
The opposite of poverty consciousness is abundance consciousness, which says: “I and my work are absolutely worthy of millions of dollars and dozens of cars and multiple homes and nice clothes and expensive vacations — but I don’t need them to be happy.”
Some might say, “But I’m not asking for all that, just a nice, comfortable, enjoyable life.”
Which is absolutely in accordance with abundance consciousness — and natural harmony and balance.
We all deserve that — everyone on the planet deserves that.
Right now (as there has always been) there is more than enough on this planet to feed, clothe and house in dignity every living human being on Earth. What prevents that from being put into practice: money.
But remember, true abundance consciousness isn’t about how much we have, but how little we need.
The Universe wants us to be happy and comfortable and in joy and passion, because then our personal relationships are happy and then our neighbors are happy and co-workers and employers and the world around us. The world is a healthy place when everyone has what they need.
But what keeps some of us — most of us — from even that simple, dignified life? money, and the lack of. Or should I instead write: the control of the flow of money by a very few on this planet.
Did God create money to use as a teaching tool in the Earth school?
No, we did.
Do we control money, or does it control us?
How many times a day do we think about money vs how many times we think about The Divine?
What do we truly worship?
As spiritual beings interested in ushering in a new world, we must ask ourselves if we truly believe that directive: “Seek the Kingdom first and all else will be given to you.” Do we not believe it because we do not see it in the real world. Or do we not see it in the real world because we don’t believe it?
Or this: “And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?”
Consciously or unconsciously I have been trying to live a degree of this belief (much to my anger and frustration, especially with my ego) and have very little to show for it in material terms. One could even say that my material life started to dwindle the moment I began to open to this concept. ‘Why follow a truly spiritual path when it only makes physical life harder, which in turn takes our minds and hearts away from a spiritual practice and the ability to help others? It’s hard to be spiritual when you’re worried about paying rent or eating.’ I agree.
But in all honesty, when I look back at these past years, I have had everything I ever truly needed. It usually came when I needed it, with even a little more. Which is not to say I’ve made peace with this lifestyle; I still question it. But I also can’t deny the facts: I have never been deprived. Ever.
Yes, I have little money, but then I don’t need a bank. Yes, it can be tricky navigating the material world without credit cards, but in the past six months I’ve managed to make it to Mexico, Vancouver, San Francisco, Germany, Italy and even Moscow airport (don’t ask) without them.
And here I must say: My life path is not your life path or anyone else’s. The choices we each make on how to live life show up differently for each and every person. For all I know you’ll decide to reexamine your views toward money and suddenly win the lottery: ‘Seek the Kingdom first and all else will be given to you.’
Another common spiritual belief about money: That it is a neutral energy and like any energy can be used for harm or good.
True. But cocaine and nicotine, oil and gas and coal and nuclear power can all be used for good or ill, and yet we as a society have decided that the harm of these energies far outweighs the good, and that it is time to look at alternatives. Rape and violence and prejudice are also “just energies”.
Think of all the blood on this planet that money has spilled, through crime and war and poverty. The institutions of religion, politics, economics, war all exist because of money in the hands of a few.
The fact is money is a system of our own creation, which is obviously effected by the Law Of Attraction, but it is also a limitation on Universal energy.
If we allow money to be the sole measure of exchange, then true, infinite abundance can’t flow in. We have said: “I’m God/Goddess and create everything in my life, but NOT when it comes to money, for that I need a job and paycheck and bank and loan officer and credit and a mortgage and interest and debt….”
We say: “I need car insurance.” The Universe says: “All right, then you’ll need car insurance, but I was planning on you never having an accident.” (Have you ever seen flocks of hundreds of sparrows or starlings moving like a living cloud, flowing effortlessly, not once crashing into each other? Nature can do that, but not prevent us from a car accident on a freeway?)
We say: “I need health insurance.” The Universe says: “All right, then you’ll need health insurance, but I was planning on your never getting sick.”
We say: “I need money.” The Universe says: “Okay. You have free will. You want money and all that comes with it, pro and con, so be it. But wouldn’t you rather be able to manifest everything you need instantly, free of middle-men, interest and debt (which are all deeply destructive forces in our culture)? Never needing a bank and locks and police?
I don’t charge for my work, because it comes through the Divine, and I value it above any price.
(All work comes from the Divine, whether you’re a plumber, trash collector or insect exterminator. All work is valuable and as far as the Universe is concerned, a plumber is exactly and absolutely equal in value to the President of the United States or a Nobel Prize-winning poet. In the New Earth, all is service.)
The minute I charge for service, I limit the flow of abundance into my life. (I had someone say that some day I would value my work enough to charge for it [talk about buying into the illusion!] My reply: “My work is invaluable, and that’s why I don’t charge for it.”
“Then just ask for donations.” But that’s just asking for money through the back door, shifting the responsibility to the client with the added energy of guilt on the client’s part for, perhaps, not donating enough.
I also understand why some spiritual people charge for their services according to the power of numerology: “I feel a little uncomfortable about charging for healing work, but if I ask for $111.00 or $222.00 or $333.00, then I’m actually aligning with the Universe.” True, but then why not charge $2.00 or $33.00 or $1.00? Alignment is alignment, regardless of the price.
“But I have to be able to pay my rent and buy food and gas…” Yes, of course we do. Right now. I’m not suggesting throwing away our money today — not yet — until we have really come to terms — as spiritual beings — with what we truly believe: Are we gods/goddesses or not? Is our power limited by material forces or not? Do we create our reality or not? If we can’t even entertain the fantasy in the privacy of our own minds of living beautifully in a money-less world, how can we ever create its reality?
And there’s only one way to find out what we truly believe: practice it in the real world.
The minute we as a species began to charge and expect payment in kind, we cut off the flow of the miraculous into our lives.
The minute we decided to charge interest and make a profit, we doomed the world to ultimate economic collapse, because interest and profit by their very nature unbalance the natural flow of the energy of give and take: too much is taken, not enough given.
If we keep perpetuating this myth of the neutrality of money as an energy, we will continue to have a world of have’s and have-nots and a planet being pillaged by those who truly control money, and government and our lives.
The money brokers want us enslaved to debt and credit and interest so they can control us, make us buy what we don’t need, always in fear of being homeless and begging on the streets for food. (Hollywood loves to perpetuate this vision, because that justifies their own rationalizations regarding extreme wealth. Hollywood, like Wall Street & Washington, D.C. all make their money and stay in power by our being afraid.)
But we know better. Or should. There is a Higher Power active in our lives, and contrary to what some believe, it is not a Republican Universe: Heaven helps those who help themselves! Pick yourself up by your bootstraps!
We know, or should, that we live in a Loving Universe and only wants the best for us and that we are the ones who have created this world of poverty and disease and violence — not God.
But what the power brokers know — and fear — and we have forgotten — is that we ARE Goddess/God, and don’t need them, don’t need money.
The most powerful yogis and shamans on the planet know the secret of the quantum nature of the Universe: “I am the Cause AND the Effect. I don’t need a ‘middle-person’ to facilitate my manifesting power. I and the Universe are One.”
And if we expect to be beacons for others ushering in a new world and a new way of living, we can’t just talk about our individual manifesting power at weekend spiritual seminars and then give our power back over to the bankers on Monday.
Which is not to say that the Universe won’t in turn use a third party to bring our manifestation into material reality. We may create money out of thin air (the Universe is not intimidated by the National Treasury), or we can find it at out feet, or a perfect job opportunity may come our way, or a stranger might just walk up and knock on our door and say: “I have some money to give you.” (Yes, that has actually happened to me and others I know.)
The Universe may exclude money all together by creating situations where it’s not needed for us to live: the gift of a car, or home, or vacation. There are many forms of wealth.
When I first thought of the workshop mentioned above, I didn’t want to charge money, and then I was given a great space for free that could have been rented for large amounts of money. It was a gift drawn by my gift. And then I decided to charge money and in my heart the gift was negated.
If others don’t see the possibility and potential of “being free”, then they never know that they might be able to extend the same energy to others. Who will they look to for an example, if not us?
And it is also a Law of the Universe: What you give freely comes back to you multiplied. This past year I didn’t charge for meditations and healing sessions. In that same year I was given a substantial amount of money free and clear; a gift. With that money I was able to travel for the first time in my life and share with others. It could be argued that the year I gave my time away for free was one of the most lucrative of my life.
Here’s a key to living in a new way, in a new world: service. When we think of everything we do in terms of service, the Universe literally spills out Its bounty in all forms. And being of service doesn’t mean we ‘can’t have it all’. Service is not about poverty. Service is the very nature of abundance. And our service doesn’t have to be big; healing ourselves is service, sharing with a friend is service, being a happy person is service. Whatever we’re doing now — artist, plumber, doctor, lawyer — just think in terms of serving. And watch the magic happen.
There is a powerful saying from the people of Haiti: “God gives but does not share, the sharing is up to us.”
Can I honestly say to the Universe I need more right this very instant? No. A better car, better clothes? No.
Because I am no longer employed by human organizations (though I may still serve within them); I am employed now by the Universe/God/The Divine. The Universe is my 401K; God is not only my ‘shepherd’ — my employer — but my landlord, real estate agent, doctor, dentist, travel agent, match-maker; my health, my wealth, my talents; my words.
— And again, my life is not anyone else’s. If you’re married with children and a mortgage and open yourself just to the possibilities of living differently, the loving Universe isn’t going to take all that away. You’re life may stay exactly the same. It may change but always for the better, despite what the ego would like.
(Even though I know the housing crisis was a cynical, manufactured power-play to deliberately cause harm to many for the benefit of the few, the fact is many people I know who went through the very real trauma of the fear of losing their homes, found they had to bring in roommates to help with the bills. Those roommates turned out to be gifts, able to help out in other ways as well. As I can attest from personal experience, the ego seldom wants what is best for us; it wants what is best for the ego.)
The Internet is an example of an evolving ‘gift economy’. Most of the information and even many products on the Internet are free, primarily because it doesn’t cost anything to the donor.
There are already several systems for living without money around the planet, such as the Lets System (Google ‘Living Without Money’ for more.) Living without money is not a fairy tale, it’s an inevitable evolutionary process.
When all human material needs are met — when we come to the awareness that every human born on this planet has as much right to the Earth’s abundance as everyone else — we will all become ‘donors’ .
Loans will become gifts, and debt will be erased, because what helps you, helps me. Because the Universe is infinite.
Because we don’t own anything. It’s all on loan to us.
And because everything we are and have accomplished is through the help of hundreds and thousands of others we’ll never meet, like plumbers and trash collectors and teachers and on and on. Even the homeless and drug addicts and criminals, in a way that is difficult to understand, have contributed to our lives in a positive way.
I’ve learned that having money is only a very small part of being wealthy.
Do we really want to create a New Earth, while still using the same destructive energy of the old Earth?
It doesn’t matter if those controlling money are no longer politicians or corporations, but now gurus and spiritual leaders; someone is still controlling the Universal flow. (And as a reminder, which I am sure we have all experienced, being “spiritual” doesn’t mean one is enlightened.)
And in the New Earth, food, clothing, dignified housing, education and safety will be human birthrights. And with these necessities removed, we can create for the joy of creating and share for the joy of sharing.
We are each of us at the very center of the universe, and the universe adapts perfectly to our individual needs.
If we let it.
We are now being offered an opportunity that only comes around every 120,000 years or so to completely change our consciousness and the way we live.
The world we live in, is the world we believe in.
We dreamed this world into reality.
We can dream a new world into a new reality.
As Jesus said: ‘I don’t need to make a living.
I AM a living.’
And so it is.
(And by the way, I won’t be charging for the workshop.)