Sep 172016

How simple it is for the experience of living to be overwhelming. There are twenty four hours in a day, bottomless to-do lists, repeated follow-ups on just about anything, needing to be there for others and confronting our plunging energy levels.

Sure, there are better days and days that we’d rather rip out of existence, but there are those periods of time in our life where life as a whole just feels as though it’s too much.

Society has its particular codes of ethics, even for individuals who are overwhelmed. Society’s codes don’t care much about the individual – it’s too busy protecting its own survival. It’s in denial of anything that would undermine its existence, and overwhelmed individuals pose a real threat for society’s continuity. So it just pretends that we are a negligible minority.

We live at a time where the rate of change seems to be increasing by the day. We used to live an entire lifetime in the same environment, more or less, and things were recognizable. Later, the rate of change increased, but the rate was such that it allowed us to gradually come to terms with the new.

Today, the rate of change is so fast, that as fast as something new is being introduced, so it also vanishes. We don’t even know whether or not the new trend (language, technology, education, politics, practices etc’), is here to stay for long enough, to even consider it as existing. Our society is in turmoil and we are left confused. Those of us who are not confused today, may find themselves in a state of shock tomorrow.

Nothing is wrong with us – individually or collectively. If any feelings of insufficiency or incompetency arise, it is only when we compare our life today – in terms of actions, thoughts, emotions and reactions – to what it appeared like in the past. Recorded history has no parallel anywhere in its unfolding, of such a light-speed rate of change, and there’s no one from whom we can seek advice. We are the cutting edge. Alone as a society and individually.

There is nothing wrong with us. There is nothing wrong with being confused. There is nothing wrong with being afraid or panic. But it doesn’t end here. With increasing confusion and stress on so many fronts, society’s codes and no-nos are being challenged as well. Crime, addictions, destruction of self and destruction of the other, are all part of this changing landscape. Society’s codes are being challenged. Society, as we know it, is crumbling.

Sooner or later we’ll be able to recognize the Phoenix as it will rise from the ashes, but at the moment, what we mostly see are the flames and the destruction.

Don’t judge yourself. Don’t blame yourself. Don’t expect to be the same person that you were yesterday. Don’t expect to know in advance how to act and whether or not it is right or wrong. We don’t know. But we’re going through all of this as one, perhaps more united as a society as we ever were before. That’s because the pain and fear is no longer limited to the underdog who never makes it to the news; it is now becoming a reality for those who thought that they were protected.

We live this movie as it is being written. We cannot flip a few pages forward to see what’s happening next. Once we can come to terms with such a reality, once we stop denying the fact that we really don’t know what to do next, that’s when we can take the first step: re-centering. We must take a pause. Look at the children when they play, with their arms spread sideways as they spin faster and faster and faster. At some point they can no longer continue. They lose their balance and they fall to the ground. If they stand up too early, everything will be spinning in front of their eyes. They must stay on the ground, overwhelmed for a while, before their minds can reorient and their balance resume. Only then they can get up and start a new game.

One day at a time. One crisis at a time. One breath at a time.
We can do it.

Jan 292015

Whenever it comes to spirituality, it almost seems as though Money is a bad word. It is presented as if it is on the opposite end from spirituality. There are many possible reasons for this. Perhaps one them is that money is considered as belonging to the materialistic/physical world, used for purposes of materialistic attainment, while spirituality is used to attain something which is non-materialistic.

Whatever the reasons are, everything has a spiritual aspect to it – everything – money included. But perhaps some of us have developed certain complexes when it comes to money, as well as the fear underlying the wanting for money. And this may be another reason why money and spirituality seem to be on opposite ends.

Fear hardly ever exists as fear, in plain sight. Most often it disguises itself in a host of various forms: practicality, responsibility, maturity, being a part of society, care for others, need, reality and the like. But those who are not afraid to give themselves a close hard look, will sooner or later discover within themselves some kind of fear, hidden quietly, hoping not to attract any attention, since that would be the beginning of its demise.

The fear could be that of lack, of loss, of abuse, of need, of pain, of loss of control, and so many other kinds. Fear is what the oppressor uses against the oppressed to get what they want. At the same time, it is amusing that it is fear, which causes the oppressor to behave that way in the first place.
(I have dedicated a separate post to this dualism, called “The dualism of oppressor and oppressed“).

There used to be life before money. It was based on bartering; I help you with my talents, you help me with your talents. This is the core of what society is all about. The nice thing about bartering is that it doesn’t allow the control of a large group of people by a small group, something which money allows.
Money creates distance between people; no more do I know what other people do, because I don’t need to know. Everything now is done using money. The slow and painful collapse of our economy, for those who are not in complete denial, is a clear sign that this system cannot maintain itself indefinitely.

But we don’t need to dream of a utopian, money-free world to discover the spiritual aspects of money. As soon as we can discover (or rather, uncover) some of the fears that drive our lives, we can begin to realize our own inhibitions as well as some old complexes and let go of our – sometimes unrealistic and incorrect – understanding of money.

Where there is no fear, there is always enough money. That’s because one form of fear, is the fear of being unable to continue our current¬†standards of living, which many find paralyzingly frightening. Change is around every corner and it often gives no early warnings when it comes. Those who fear change may have a constant need for money, when in fact their true need is for a sense of security. (You may refer to an earlier post of mine: Seeing through the illusion of Stability and Security).

When we begin to ask “How much is enough?” or “What are my true needs?”, or “What can I give up, give away, do without?”, we begin to see our own fears: what they are and perhaps what’s behind them.

The above questions are just a small sample. There are many questions that we can ask, that have the potential to bring us closer to an understanding. There is a lot that we take for granted as “real” and “reality” which we never question. We then become slaves of such distorted understandings of reality, one which we may have never truly examined. We may have adopted other people’s ideas and assumed those to be true for us as well. It may not necessarily be the case though.
The only way to become free of such hidden subconscious fears is to begin asking questions, which some people may consider redundant, childish and even downright idiotic. And it is again fear which stands between where we’re at right now, and asking the first question, and then the second question etc’.

Money has, just like anything else, its own spiritual dimension. We can discover it once we begin to shed the many layers that have kept us separate from that. When there’s no longer subconscious fear hidden somewhere in our psyche, money loses much of its mystical power, and becomes nothing more than a tool. Sometimes there’s more money and sometimes there’s less, yet fear is no longer a part of this simple reality. We see through our own behavior, how far we were willing to go in order to have money, including losing our happiness, giving up values that are important to us, willing to become slaves for others and more. At that moment we become free.

Peace within.