There is a lot of interest in the state of the national and world economies at the moment, not to mention the fears that arise as jobs disappear and savings shrink. Several questions have come in about the economy, ranging from the personal perspective to the global and spiritual.
The first question we’d like to ask is, “Do current Western-culture ideas of sustainability address the real challenges that you see facing us economically right now?”.
Does “sustainability” mean it is capable of maintaining itself?
It’s not going to deplete, go bankrupt, run out. It’s sustainable indefinitely.
I think that the idea of sustainability is a mirage. That idea looks like something that’s going to make a difference, and in small ways it will, not so much by the actions themselves, but by the way consciousness—individual by individual—changes as a result of people taking responsibility. The reason that I do not think it is going to be a big help in this process is that it does not address what is at the root of all of this.
Sustainability is a very simple response to a very complex problem. That small change in consciousness is not going to make up for the gross, larger-scale lack of consciousness unfortunately, so it is simply not going to be able to make that big of a difference.
So the next question is, “What are the root causes of the economic meltdown we seem to be in?”
Greed is a big part of the problem. It’s a very human reaction, which has a small, instinctual quality to it. For example, some animals will protect their kill and learn to take from others when there is a sense of not having enough. In humans, it is not usually based in the idea of “I want to collect more because I have been starved.” In humans it shows up as a need to have “power over.” Greed for power. Greed in the desire for the cultural trappings of power, which are what?
Cars. Lots of money. Big houses.
Lots of stuff. Power because of comparative judgment gone awry.
Now, the reason I think it’s important to make this point is that, although that’s the global picture, you personally have a version of it, as well; states have a version of it; cities have a version of it. The macrocosm has a microcosm on many levels. Greed is—big picture—a state of fear. And when your country, which has its fingers in so many proverbial pies around the world, starts having serious economic difficulties and as a result begins hoarding, which is a version of greed, and tightening things down to protect itself, you’re going to have a lot of reactions wherever those little tentacles are stuck in someone else’s pies.
What do you mean by reactions?
If America is tightening down, it’s going to throw off other economies. That’s actually what you’ve been seeing. Over the last two years, other countries have been shifting their economies to adapt to the changing U.S. economy, and it’s really not a good thing at the levels it has been reaching.
Greed isn’t the only underlying cause though. There is also its evil twin, which is a lack of personal responsibility. Now, there’s a difference between personal accountability and personal responsibility. Accountability is “You did this. It was wrong.” Responsibility is “This should have been seen before it got this far.” Does that make sense?
Responsibility is an inner perception, and accountability is an outer perception, meaning you look outside of yourself and say, “Oh that’s not right.” And the other is realizing inside of yourself that you should have been more aware.
Very true. Let’s say Phoenix has asked you to create a calendar, and let’s pretend it doesn’t get finished on time—you’re accountable for that. However, with responsibility you would have said, “I need a little more time. This is more involved than I thought.” Responsibility involves seeing what’s happening, and being able to respond with the actions needed to keep the job going.
A lack of personal responsibility is a Guardianship problem, whereas a lack of accountability tends to be a mass consciousness problem. Why do you think that is? Does that mean mass consciousness is not responsible? No. You can have both, but mass consciousness does not have the commitment to personal impeccability that Guardians do. With Guardians the issue is not accountability—”Yes, I did this”—it’s a lack of personal responsibility that goes a step further to say, “This did not turn out well, and I need to tell you that I’m sorry for my part in it,” and moving on from there.
You could say that accountability pertains more to consequences, whereas responsibility pertains more to results. If you’re accountable, you’re willing to take the consequences. If you’re responsible, you want to clean it up, or even foresee consequences and take action before it happens. And that’s impeccability.
Well said. Yes.
The next question is “Do you see what’s happening right now as an indication of a global spiritual awakening?”
In the sense that chaos provides a place where change can be made, yes. On the other hand, chaos can create a situation in which people more easily start functioning through fear instead of empowered intent.
Change can be helpful or it can be a disaster, and it’s all about consciousness. It’s all about the intent behind the change. This is a time of change, and there are some huge decisions being made on a global level regarding stabilizing particularly financial markets, stabilizing people’s fear patterns, and knee-jerk reactions. It’s difficult if you get caught up in it, but if you don’t get caught up in it, you may end up not noticing the problem.
Couldn’t that be a good thing?
That depends on what’s behind it. For instance, you notice that groceries cost more, but you’re not noticing that it’s because rising fuel prices have brought about a change in the trucking industry. You’re not seeing it from the top down; you’re only noticing it in the grocery store, where it touches you. Where it touches you might not be an area that’s a problem for you, so you’re not seeing the problem and energizing that chain of depletion—of not having enough—and the fear that comes as a result of that.
Working towards sustainability—and this is where living “green” comes in—as far as Guardians are concerned is going to be helpful on a small level, but insofar as the world as a whole is concerned, it can just turn into something to hide behind. “You see, I am doing something that is important and good!” But in the long run, it’s not going to have that great of an effect.
If Americans would realize two things: how much the world follows their lead, and that they are not the leader in all things, then it might result in more effective energy being put into the Grid. Other countries have been green for a long time because they are pretty impoverished, and as a result they don’t have access to all of the things that make life easier and which, of course, also destroy the ozone, create financial difficulties for small businesses, and on and on. At the same time, these impoverished countries are wanting the kind of technology the U.S. has because it’s a great step for them, for example, to be able to use tractors instead of oxen. So the United States is not recognizing that there are systems out there that work and could work well in this country, and at the same time they are exporting the very things that are causing a lot of the problems in the world. This is true in far more areas than just agriculture, it is true with everything. If Americans were more willing to recognize that the United States is not the leader in a lot of very important ways, it would lead to faster change here, which would spread out to the rest of the world.
Now, how can Guardians affect that?
Well, my answer would be to write to my congressman, and say, “Have you taken a look at this?”
Become active. That’s good.
What I would think is the first obvious answer is with our personal behavior, but you seem to be saying that’s not where the answer lies.
What I’m saying is be personally responsible—make a microcosm in your life of the bigger picture. One way to do that might be support local small businesses—buy from the product table instead of Macy’s.
So you’re saying that an individual may be “green,” but they shouldn’t use that as an excuse not to do anything else, or to be irresponsible in other areas and still think they’re virtuous.
Good. Pretend I said that.
I want you to realize that I am tired and weary—and of course I cannot in truth be either; I am trying to be dramatic— of constantly teaching the same things over and over and over because . . .
We keep doing the same things . . .
. . . over and over and over. Now, Guardians are putting a lot of great energy into the Grid, but the energy tends to be about how to get over “stuff” that should have been a baby step long ago instead of a big leap now. And so much attention is going into personal issues. It’s great work, but the ultimate focus is “it’s about me,” and that’s 4:3:2. Unfortunately, that’s what’s going on in the world as well—greed, a lack of responsibility, and the tendency to make excuses for the lack of responsibility.
What is required is for Guardians to take a full accounting to get an absolutely stark view of themselves—cutting out all of the excuses—and just look at the core and say, “What are my biggest issues? What can I do consciously and actively to work on them?” because it’s only when you get over yourself that you can move out and help the world.
I was speaking to someone recently about the need to admit they fell down in something when they should have followed through. What this Guardian does is very typical, and that is to make the system wrong: “It’s all about me, which means I only have to make sure that I’m okay.” One of the things that’s going to bring about the greatest amount of change in this world, because it’s being put into the Grid, is that the world becomes able to say “This did not work. Sorry for the difficulty that goes along with it. That’s going to change now.” And if you watched your president’s recent address to Congress, he said that. He said that.
If we’re still taking baby steps and we’re keeping the focus on ourselves, what would you replace it with?
Look at everything going on that’s creating a difficulty in your life, and don’t forget it’s there because it is something that needs to change. Then ask, “How do I see this showing up in my world? How do I see this showing up in my life?” rather than “How can I get out of this?” Move beyond blame, which gives you an excuse to behave badly, and instead say, “I want to change this.”
Long ago, I talked to the group about taking the possible long-term results of their actions into account, being responsible enough to see how other people were going to be affected by them. “What sort of things might come out of this that I want to make sure I avoid?” For some odd reason, people had a really hard time with that. They had a hard time figuring out what I was saying to do, and they got into that whole thing of “Wait. You always say the now is all we have, and the present is all there is, and so now you’re saying something different,” doing that thing where they totally miss the point, because they’re trying to pick it apart so they won’t be wrong.
“Look beyond” means be willing to change what you’re doing by admitting that what you’re doing isn’t having the effect you want. Be willing to look at what you are doing from the outside in. You may think you’re making some good changes in your life, but what would somebody looking at you notice? Would they say, “Oh this person is making some real good changes”? Would they even know? Are you producing any fruit that the world can recognize as good beyond you, because that’s what needs to happen with Guardians. Guardians must look outside of their own stuff. As good as it is to change, there must be a recognition of the effect you are having in the world. The world is not going to benefit from the “me, me, me” stuff that is going into the Grid.
That puts an interesting slant on the move we’ve just made to a new house, because we have an opportunity to set up a whole new way of living.
Sure, but you can make that a rule, and then give yourself a pretty hard time over the next few months or years or whatever for every little infraction there because you made a rule out of what should be an intent. You recognize that the way you live, both physically—meaning in the world of form—or spiritually is an opportunity to show the best of what can be, to adapt and flow in every way, rather than “I must do this and this and this, and if I fail to do half of it, I’m a failure.” That’s ego: “I’m personally keeping green living out of the world, because I’m not doing every bit of it.”
Another way ego can show up is making changes beyond the funds you have available, funds you should be using for something that has a higher priority. You can create all other kinds of problems because you went overboard just looking at one tiny area of your life, instead of all of it. Financially speaking, there’s a lot of that amongst Guardians, by the way. And that goes back to greed. “I want this stuff. I want it all and I want it now,” meaning “it’s all about me, me, me.” It’s about greed, a lack of personal responsibility and a resistance to accountability.
Would greed be “I’m going to do every single thing that Samuel does—every Lifescapes, every group trip, every Retreat, whether I can afford it or not, I’m going to do it and then not be responsible about having a lifestyle that allows that.” Do you know what I mean?
Oh, yes, greed can be other than money. It can be acquiring things, skewed priorities.
Sometimes we think making a change will be harder than it really is. For example, our move has given us a lot of opportunities to change our routines, and we’ve established some new routines that work for us, and that we really enjoy.
Can you give an example?
Well, we used to eat in the living room a lot, and often we’d put a movie in the DVD player and watch it while we ate. When we moved, we had our rug cleaned and we decided not to eat over it anymore. So we started having meals regularly in our dining area, and as a result we’ve had more opportunities to talk about our lives, how our day has gone. It gives us time to discuss and plan. Yesterday we said, “Wow, this is really nice. This is fun. We’re really glad we did that.” Of course, every once in a while one of us walks into the living room with an apple or something, and the other one will say, “Uh, uh, uh,” not trying to find fault, but wanting to not take a step on that slippery slope of bending the rules so that eventually we get out of this new habit.
“Let’s not start sabotaging this good thing we have created.” So this habit that arose from what might be thought of as a temporary change, became a permanent change because it fed you—no culinary pun intended—gave you something that you really enjoyed, and that strengthened your connection with each other. It gave you the opportunity to converse again, which is something that drew you two brainy people to each other to begin with—and is a change you want to keep. That is a wonderful example, particularly because you also see how easy it is for it to slide into something less helpful.
Guardians, with that microwave mentality, want it now, and want never to have to deal with it again. But you can’t do that can you? You can make a change, but it doesn’t become a reality until you have made it a habit in your life, and that requires constant work, constant work. You can’t just say, “All right, I get it, Universe. I am going to change my whole financial system right now. I am no longer going to live beyond my means. I’m not going to fall prey to greed,” and expect that one declaration, made only once, to change forever the things that you’ve spent thirty years doing.
I think changing your routines, though, is a really useful tool so you can experience alternatives. It’s the “take a different way to work” that you’ve mentioned before.
Yes. Look at everything in your life with new eyes. Take a look at the box that your fear has put you in.
We have some questions about our national economy. “Are our present government’s policies going to help bring about an end to this crisis?”
Yes and no.
“What kinds of economic behavior should we be pressuring our government to embrace?”
Transparency and accountability; consistent consequences.
There’s going to be a web site set up where the public can see where all the money from the stimulus package is going to be spent and how it’s actually spent. But if I count on the watchdogs to do it all and don’t look at it myself, I’m shirking my duty, and the transparency won’t mean anything.
That’s the microcosm reflecting macrocosm. You must realize that you need the same sort of changes in your own life, and that what happens nationally is a reflection of what you do yourself. Nation, state, city, community, individual—it’s all microcosm/macrocosm, and your conscious behavior as a representative of Source functioning at your highest and best is going to create reactions, waves, ripples. Not all of them are going to be the answer, but some will start things moving, because what’s going on with you is what’s going on in the world. So, yes, your government’s policies will help, but only if you bring them down to a personal level.
We received several questions about dealing with financial issues on a personal level. The first one is: “What’s the best thing we can do for the economy as individuals? What would you like to add, or re-emphasize, regarding your past teachings about responsible use of money?”
As I have just said, the best thing is for you to be on to your own patterns of irresponsibility. View the things going on with you from several perspectives so that you can better direct your thoughts, your experiences, toward a good that goes beyond you and into the world as a whole. Don’t fall prey to greed and hoarding.
“How do we keep ourselves in a positive frame of mind as we work toward our financial goals and dreams, especially in this current economy?”
Does that imply that when you’re dealing with things that have to do with your personal security systems that you’ve chosen not to be in a positive frame of mind?
I think this is from the perspective of someone who is struggling and not seeing results, someone who feels they are applying all of the tools you’ve given us, but they don’t seem to be working. Or, perhaps, someone not getting what they want in the bigger areas when they’re doing well with the smaller financial things.
Just recently, I was dealing with somebody who was going through a great internal collapse because of that very thing.
It’s a sad thing but the fact is that when it comes to their personal finances, a lot of Guardians forget that every cause has an effect, that something they have put out in the past is going to come back to them. The changes that you have made in your personality and your spiritual awareness since then might have an effect on the way you see and deal with the effects—the result, the karma—but it’s not going to stop it.
The thing about the area of personal finances is that, as with everything else in your life, it isn’t divided off. There isn’t a section of the pie that has everything to do with financial matters and nothing else. No, it’s all interwoven. So how you deal with your finances is going to show up in other areas of your life, and things going on in other areas of your life are going to affect your finances.
A good example of that has to do with priorities: Do you set goals? Are you consistent? A lifetime of being scattered, inconsistent, self-indulgent, irresponsible, unclear and, for some, abusing the power of money is going to show up as a problem in other areas of your life as well. You can ask yourself “Am I consistent, generally speaking, in all areas of my life? Do I say I will do something and do it? Do I follow through? Do I have completions? Do I regularly . . . ,” and then fill in the blank. And if in your life you have inconsistencies, if you are irresponsible, you can guarantee that it’s going to be apparent in your finances too.
So, the original actions, the earlier behaviors, may still be having an effect on what’s going on in your life now. And the way that you are now experiencing change, growth, issues and personal responsibility is going to show up financially too. Your past and your present affect your future—no surprise there. And yet people don’t want to see that their slate isn’t clear just because they know better now.
So if I was having trouble, for instance, staying within my budget, I could say “I’m being inconsistent. Where can I see inconsistency in other areas of my life?” And I can use that to see a pattern rather than just saying, “Oh, I just can’t keep to a budget at all.”
Correct. “I have a pattern of abuse, and I need to work on it, because that’s going to help soften the issues that show up as I am learning to deal with what’s at the core of it.”
A personal example that comes to me is that I get easily distracted. If I meant to set money aside for a group trip, let’s say, and the time came for me to pay for it and I didn’t have enough money, I could look back and see that I spent the money on things that didn’t have anything to do with my goals. That would show me how I get distracted in other areas of my life. If I worked on my issue with distraction, that might help me with my finances also, because I’ll stop forgetting what my goals are and be more responsible.
Of course. And by doing that, it’s going to create enough of a change that it actually can soften some of the karma coming your way from not being able to meet commitments.
Are you speaking mostly to the person who asked the question or to the broader audience.
Yes, but not all Guardians are pattern-keepers.
Right. But if we know that we can affect time, change time, and if mass consciousness is touched enough by those holes, isn’t there a danger that the personality aspect of mass consciousness will be too strong and that that ability could be misused?
Both. This issue is something that I deal with with people, and it’s painful but it’s not the only area of their life where these issues are creating problems.
There are Guardians who are on a slippery slope with their personal finances, and they believe that they’re doing everything that they’re supposed to be doing. They don’t know why the things that mean the most to them—things that would have such a powerful spiritual effect on them, as well as in the world—are not happening. As I mentioned earlier, it’s because they’re dealing with cause and effect, and part of that karma can be where there has been an abuse of power. You will have extra work to do to deal with that problem. If it has come back to you, there’s more work to do to clean it up. That’s true with abuse of power of any kind.
Any abuse of power is both by intent and action. The intent to withhold money as punishment or to give it in order to rescue is an abuse of power.
How can we discern when it is appropriate to help someone in need and when it is inappropriate rescuing?
You need to ask yourself this question: Who is being rescued here? Is this to help me or to help them? Who gains? That’s number one. Think for a moment, what are ways that it might be for you? The answers are as individual as each person’s thought about it. Who am I doing it for? And if that doesn’t answer it, ask, Who gains from my doing this?
Let’s say somebody needs help, and you know the teaching that you receive when you give; you know that we are one and that if one hurts all hurt. If you are giving out of an overflowing cup—out of abundance—that’s not going to hurt you much. If you give and you really can’t afford to do it—and there’s a whole lot of reasons for that—that’s going to hurt you.
So if it’s out of your overflowing abundance in all good things, and you are clear within yourself that it’s an act of loving kindness and not an act of “Well, I’m doing this because I wish someone would have done it for me,” then you’re not going to pick up too much negative karma from it—because you will take on karma when you act without being asked. One of the best and easiest things to do is look for a way to give that does not involve money. Can you give me a suggestion of what that might be? Maybe you could cook a meal, bring some groceries.
If you know someone’s feeling down because of their finances, you can invite them to come to dinner and a movie.
Yes, as opposed to “Let me lend you a few hundred dollars to get you by.” Without knowing the ins and outs of what’s going on with that individual, you may be picking up some real dirty karma.
And enabling a pattern that the Universe is trying to help them see.
It’s sometimes hard for me to know if I’m doing for them or myself. I think the best way I have of knowing is to ask, “If I don’t do it, am I going to feel bad for them or bad about myself?”
For me, it’s a comfort thing. Am I feeling uncomfortable that this person is hurting? Am I going to feel better if they’re not hurting anymore? Then I’m doing it for me.
You have said that, even if someone is asking for it to ask that person or ask yourself whether this is something that happened before?
Is there a pattern here?
Because if it’s a pattern then you’re interfering with the Universe trying to help them break the pattern.
Any abuse of power is by both intent and action. The intent to withhold as punishment or to give as rescue is an abuse of power. Abuse of the power of money has to do with compacts and commitments. Let’s say a married couple have a compact with each other. “We will not do this. We will do that.” And—sort of like taking an apple into the living room—one pushes just a bit outside of the boundaries of that agreement, and it doesn’t get noticed. So it goes a little further, and a little further, and pretty soon they’re out of the Garden of Eden altogether. Pretty soon they are no longer fulfilling the compact.
Another example: let’s say you have a compact with an ex-wife that you will provide this amount of money, but your situation changes. Perhaps you lose your job or your health changes, so you become financially unable to fulfill that compact that was made. What must you do?
Renegotiate the compact.
You must renegotiate the compact. But, you must not be angry, you must not blame, you must not be unwilling to see the part you have in what is going on. You must not use your responsibility as a weapon: “I’m going to renegotiate, but I’m going to do it grudgingly and angrily and unhappily, because it’s not my fault.” What happens when you do that is that you build a little wall around your action which acts like a magnet for destruction and difficulty, so that when it comes back to you it’s going to have a lot of negativity around it. So even if you clean up that action, you still must deal with the results of all that energy you built up when you were playing stupid human tricks.
“But, Samuel, am I always going to be dealing with stupid human tricks from my past?” Yes, you’re always going to be dealing with them. How that affects you is up to you. You can help it to be less destructive when it returns by functioning impeccably now, being responsible now, being accountable now, and by not expecting your currently pure “high energy” to be enough to overcome the stupid tricks of the past.
More Guardians have been very involved with this work and have backed out because of this kind of expectation not being met than for any other reason.
Thinking that they didn’t receive what they thought they were due.
Yes, so sad. But you always get what you’re due.
It’s like religion. We pray and think that because we live a good life, we deserve to have our prayers answered.
And it doesn’t mean that’s not true, but it doesn’t mean that you can skip what’s coming to you from a time when you were not praying and living a good life. That’s what people don’t like.
So I can be living a good life and doing all of the right things, and still not create a life that gives me financial prosperity, but that has nothing to do with my spiritual work.
I want to say this thing that makes people crazy. I hear someone say, “Samuel, I really want to go on the Retreat, but I don’t have enough money to be able to do that. I have done everything I can to look for work. There’s no work out there. So when you say in a Lifescapes Event that there are people who make it a priority to take part in an activity that means a lot to them, and to do that they work three jobs, four jobs, five jobs, it doesn’t work for me because there are no jobs out there.” Then look in a different place. Look in another area. If your four-hundred-thousand-dollars-a-year CEO job is not available, maybe you need to look at a two-hundred-thousand-dollar not-CEO job.
You always have choice. You always have a choice. Even when it’s someone else’s stuff getting in your way, you are in charge of your action or reaction. You set certain standards and then make them solid rules that cannot be changed. “I cannot do this. I will not do that.” And then you wonder why you have no money coming in at all. It’s not helpful. It’s not helpful.
David, do you remember years ago trying different crops? Saying “All right, this isn’t working. Maybe I’ll try asparagus,” and asparagus works. But after a while, asparagus doesn’t work anymore, “So maybe I’ll try melons.” Every farmer knows that if this doesn’t work you’re going to take a hit and need to try something else, that if you keep doing the wrong thing over and over and over it’s going to fail over and over and over. It’s not going to change.
Right now, I have individuals who are capable of functioning at the level of Shining Force, and are able to use that force without creating havoc in their lives or in their physical forms. The spiritual work out there can make great use of that. I have a few within this work who are willing to do whatever it is they need to do to make that work happen, and the reason they are able to do that is not that they were born with silver spoons in their mouths, it’s that their whole life is about one thing—serving in this work—and everything in their life is designed to support that. That’s how they do it. Yes, it’s a lot to ask. It’s a hard job and there’s no guarantee of huge pay and great benefits. It’s not a ticket out of humanity.
So many grew up hiding their true selves and creating lives that have a lot of demands on them so that they could feel powerful and have a large network of friends and so on, and make it well in the world. This is all very good, but they think that’s their true purpose instead of it supporting their true purpose. And that really makes me sad.