When You Have Nothing Left To Lose – We Have Nothing Left To Stop Us From Seeking Our Dreams

With all that we are going through in the world today, it is more important than ever that we remember what we are, why we are here, and how our experiences now relate to all of that.   Otherwise, we will get lost in the experience and lose sight of its purpose.  We are souls rooted in God.  We enter the earth round of incarnations to learn unconditional love.  It is a concept that we throw around, but one that few really understand and even fewer live.

Every soul in this dream, at this time, is learning his own lesson; however, that lesson is connected with attachment to the things of the material world.  We talk about the final battle between good and evil.  But there is no battle between good and evil.  The battle that is being waged on earth today is between the spiritual world and the material world.  If we were to assign God to the Spiritual and Satan to the Material, then it is hands down a victory for God, because there is no power on earth that can prevent the fall of all those who held material power, along with all those who have been striving for material power and all those who have served material power.  But it is not that easy.  Losing everything is only the beginning of the journey, just as it had been for Job.

The accumulation of wealth in the material world requires a narrow sight.  Even if we do not consider ourselves to have hardened hearts, we must close our eyes to that which would prevent our focus on the goal of accumulation.  When I was in business, my partner and I began with an equal opportunity to amass wealth.  He was able to close his eyes to the needs of those workers whose efforts were necessary for our success.  I was not able to do that.  He felt that his position was earned by him, and obviously sanctioned by God; it was his right to be wealthy.  I felt that it was the Grace of God that had placed me in that position, and not my right.  I felt that it put me in a position where I was more responsible for those who were not in my position, not less.  He became wealthy not by screwing other people, so to speak, but by not seeing them.

I was driving in a car with a friend of mine in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic and as we drove from the airport I saw that there was a beautiful view of the ocean to my left, and to my right was the very sad view of extreme poverty.  I asked my friend, as I looked at the broken down shacks to my right, how could they live their lives of affluence while they had to see this poverty every day.  He just turned my head towards the ocean and said, “We look this way”.  This position that we are facing, is one created not only by those who did not care, but also by those who would not see.  The fall that we are facing is rooted in the belief of Cain, that “I am not my brother’s keeper”.

There are so few of us who even love God unconditionally.  We live life in accordance with what we believe to be the will of God in order to gain the reward of such living.  It does not matter if we seek the reward of our faithful deeds on earth or in heaven; the point is that we are acting on condition.  What we do, we do as a means to an end.  In Job, we see a righteous man who we find, after being tested by Satan is perhaps righteous in the Biblical sense but not in the Spiritual sense.  It is clear in the beginning that he is good to those God favors, that he prays and gives the sacrifices required by scriptural law.  It is clear that his actions throughout his life had been without sin.  Yet, as is often the belief, he felt that in some way, the wealth, position, power and respect that he enjoyed was due to his life of righteousness, a reward from God.  In the beginning, he took the loss of everything in stride, understanding that God gives and so God can take away.  But as time went on he became angry, certain that he was a righteous man – holding up his end of the agreement – but God was not holding up God’s end.  He reached one point where he came to the belief that there is no benefit in trying to please God, in living a righteous life.  As Satan told God in the beginning, Job’s love was conditioned on the life that he was given, not from his heart.  Job goes through all of these different scenarios with three of his friends, always ending up in the same place.  Finally, the last person to speak to him is the youngest, waiting till the end because of his lack of age and the apparent learning that goes with it.  This young man speaks of God, not from scriptural reference but from the words that have come into his heart.  He tells Job that it may not be about reward or punishment; it may just be that God is speaking to him, teaching him something through these trials.

We want to believe that we are suffering because of the few greedy people who have robbed us.  That we are suffering because we have been deceived by a corrupt government, but that is only slightly true.  A better way of looking at it is that the system that we have fallen victim to is a system that we ourselves have fought to hold in place because we desire the material wealth that is only possible through a system such as ours.  We yell foul, only because it has broken down before we have had the chance to reach the top.  I say we because this is a Democracy and we have, and have always had the power to change the system, which we have not done because we have wanted our own chance at the golden ring.  Whether we can count ourselves among the haves or the have-nots, we are not separated by greater values but by lesser opportunities.  We need to learn, first and foremost that it doesn’t matter whether or not we profited by the system – we still chose to hold it in place.  The capitalist system, contrary to Democracy, creates mountains where those who can climb, can look down and feel superior to those who cannot.

So as we continue down this road of economic collapse, we are given a chance along the way to find our hearts, to forget about what we have left to lose and consider what we have left to share with those who have nothing left at all.  It will be a long road down, and all along the way we will have this opportunity to rise up and embrace the God within our hearts, perhaps this is the rising in our bodies, while we live to the Spiritual principals that are buried in our hearts.  For those Christians who are waiting for Christ to come and take them up in their bodies, perhaps, Christ is here already, waiting for them to enter their hearts and rise up to Christ’s level of unconditional love, while they are still in their bodies.  The number 144,000 breaks down in numerology to the number 9, which is the number of Universal Love.

Many of us are holding on to what someone else wanted for us, or someone else’s dreams.  Few of us are living the lives that reflect who we are in our souls.  The losses that we are facing now, could be the greatest chance that we will ever have to create the lives that speak our true names.  Now is the time when we are free to become.  There is a door opening for us, a second chance – we need to take it.

More than any time in our recorded history it behooves us to remember that we are souls, and as souls we are learning.  Our Teacher is God and the text is the book of life with all of its stages and all of its experiences.  United, as One, we can have more happiness in our lives than money could ever buy.  We just have to open our hearts and see God, love God, and server God, in and through every creature on earth.  In this final battle, the material world has no chance against the Spiritual, we just have to take a side and live it.

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Living The Good Life Is Not Good In A Starving World

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I remember walking down the street in my fur coat a few years back and having someone ask me if I knew how many minks died for my fur. I stopped wearing fur. I stopped because I did not need it, it was a luxury, it was a sign that I had made it – it was ego food. I understood the question. Now, with the world so small, and the suffering so great – so unavoidable – I wonder if we should not feel the same sense of responsibility that we feel for helpless animals, for helpless humans.

There was a time when your choices were beautiful sparkling diamonds or dull glass. It made some sense, if even in a superficial way, to want a diamond. But today, there are faux diamonds that cost a fraction of the cost and sparkle with equal brilliance – so one has to ask oneself why buy the diamond? What is it’s value in our world today? What if you have a ten thousand dollar diamond, trade it in for a one thousand dollar cubic zirconium and give the nine thousand dollars that you have left to buy mosquito nets for children in Africa? Then your diamond would have value., it would show much more than what you can afford to have, it would show what you are willing to give. Wouldn’t it be cool, rather than wearing a five thousand dollar blouse that says you are filthy rich, wearing a five-dollar tee shirt that says, “The money I planned to spend on a blouse is feeding a village in India”. How cool would you be?

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Bling says to the world, “I am wearing this because I can afford it and I have nothing better to do with it than waste it on show”. Yes, it just does. No one can watch the homeless and displaced, the diseased and dying in this country and around the world and then spend thousands of dollars on things, which announce, “It’s about me”. Not today. Today we don’t need to spend thousands, millions of dollars on precious gems in order to sparkle. We can spend a fraction of that on semi-precious gems, give the rest to those in desperate need and not only sparkle from the gems, but glow from the heart. I believe that today it would be much more satisfying to wear something that doesn’t say “I have made it because I can afford to drip in diamonds” but something that says, “I have made it because I can afford to feed a village”. The oohs and ahhs are much greater today and much more long lasting when you show what you give rather than what you wear.

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If our success in a profession is measured by the amount of money that we are paid, that is ok, if we understand that our true worth is measured by what we give. The point is that there is no need for bling today, it doesn’t look better than faux bling, but trading that bling in for heart does look better. We cannot outlaw bling anymore than we can outlaw fur, but it would be nice to ask someone dripping in bling, “How many children’s bellies could be filled by those earrings?” “How many villages could be educated against AIDS with that ring?” And perhaps, while we are at it, we should ask ourselves how much does it cost to make a house a home, and how many children can we give a home to for the price of a ten million dollar house?

I am not advocating ego denial. I am advocating a sense of satisfaction that not only feeds the ego but also feeds the soul. Trust me, it feels better to give to give to children in Somalia than it does to give to salespeople in Harry Winston, Proving to a child that faith has reason, God is alive and that there are angels is so much more gratifying than the stares you get from sparkling down the street in jewels. And who could honestly say that a tour of a mansion you built could hold a candle to a tour of the hospital you built in a village that has not even seen a doctor. Save a mink, don’t buy fur, Save a child, don’t buy bling.