Wednesday, March 25, 2009
From Rick Jarrow: manifestation in timeof meltdown
With regard to our collective economic situation, the changes that have happened have had to happen, and there is no returning to business as usual. At best, bailing out a sinking ship is a stop gap measure. Even if it "works" we may just be able to get the vessel to a place where it can receive actual help. Let us be clear, however, that the Titanic of the inflated, consumerist, debt-driven, *easy-money economy will remain at the bottom of the ocean. For those whose emotions and desires are controlled by the market economy and its endless flow of products and experiences, this situation is obviously frightening, but there is another side that is much more than just a silver lining.
Philosophies of "unlimited abundance" that have appeared in our midst, tend to deny these dark and difficult sides of our lives. As a result, in times of illness, loss, or economic challenge, many of us initially wonder, "What did I do wrong, where was I not aligned?" The answer is that you have done nothing wrong, that such challenges are a necessary and essential part of soulfulness. The premier American Psychologist, William James, spoke of the "sick soul" and the "healthy soul" as two basic human types. The healthy soul (Walt Whitman was James' example) need not dwell in the experience of the abyss, whereas the sick soul (Tolstoy, for James) evolves to the light through passages into darkness. James did not make value judgments about these types, but understood that for many, times of loss and disorientation can indeed be most valuable times.
I share from first hand experience the remarkable gifts that can come through illness and loss: insight, knowledge, true compassion, and the literal metamorphosis of consciousness from fixated to free. These things are hard to speak or write of, which is why I prefer to share the passage through the shadows in a meditative experience, however, one clear expression of this was set forth by C.G. Jung. When asked about his experience of "God" shortly before his death, Jung replied that for him, God appeared as everything and everyone that came across his path unexpectedly, unsolicited, and unwanted. Likewise, at the end of his essay, "Self Reliance," Emerson challenges his readers by asking if they think that a new job, a new love, new found health or wealth will actually make their life any better. Nothing will do it, says Emerson, but "the triumph of principle."
Just what is this "principle" that allows one to deeply receive whatever life offers and transform it into positivity, knowledge, freedom, and peace? It is neither a mystery nor a "secret," yet we tend to forget it in the clamor and din of events and illusions fostered by contemporary culture. In terms of Manifestation Work, this is a genuine opportunity--a chance to develop the strength of our own resourcefulness along with the living knowledge that our well-being does not depend upon banks or bail outs. For example, rather than getting caught up in media based hysteria, we can instead consciously work with the situation to learn to share and cycle resources, to find out what we are made of, and to deepen our existential commitment: our sense of why we have actually come here at this time. One way to do this is to process our Life's Work by considering the following four key points of manifestation.
Well Being can be understood in a wider context as something that is for everything and everyone, not just for the separate individual, which pits "I" against others. This does not mean we neglect our own personal well being, rather we open to see and feel how each is a part of all. If my own well-being is not contributing toward the greater well being, what good is it? The serious mistake of the "Secret," and like minded programs, is to envision well-being uniquely in terms of individual aggrandizement, feeding on scarcity and egotism as opposed to opening to WHAT IS, which is always well, available, and which can be shared.
Community seems to be what we want and simultaneously fear. We have thousand plus year histories of being put down by others, limited, oppressed, and abused--like the current back door attempt to dissolve gay marriages--and yet, the work of manifestation is magnificently amplified in community. A group of proactive people who are willing to set both viable and visionary goals and be accountable to them exponentially increases each person's power to envision and create. Many of us have been doing this work for years, now is the time to make our mark and to demonstrate how we can mutually support each others' authenticity and direction.
Sustainability can become a code word for new forms of self imposed poverty, which is why I prefer Bernard Lietaer's term "Sustainable Abundance." Indeed, abundance and sustainability go hand in hand as organically vibrant and self renewing technologies and organizational systems that foster creativity as well as clarity and discipline. In spite of meltdowns on the macro level, or more pointedly, as a response to them, we are asked to manage our own economy with intelligence, awareness, and compassion. Thoreau devotes a major chapter in Walden to "economy." What that means in terms of inner work, as I detail in The Alchemy of Abundance, is expanding our sense of "energy work" to include awareness and management of the inflow and outflow of time, money, and resources in our lives. This can be done. The late Joe Dominguez (Your Money or Your Life) had people carrying around little notebooks to note down every single expenditure of the day (Gandhi, likewise, kept scrupulous accounts). The idea here is not to obsess over money, but to take on first chakra accountability, to be aware of what is actually happening on this level. In the Manifestation Work, we not only track expenses and income, we also track our energetic experience of giving and receiving. This allows us to raise our vibratory rate out of ignorance and panic and to begin to literally craft the life we are called to live.
Creativity need not be about making a "mud pie" that I can market or show to you to prove my self worth. It is the voyage to the deepest part of oneself to bring back what is most valuable, what reminds each of us of why we are here and that inspires us to remember, to put wholeness back together. Creativity and soul work both need time above all else, and creating more free time, more aware time, can be done. A first step, in this direction, is to monitor and reduce both the external use and internal capitulation of the words "should," "ought," and "have to." This may sound pedestrian until you actually experience how these thought forms seep into your most subtle modes of thinking and feeling.
Now these are all just words, and most of us have had enough of them. Now is a time for action: I cannot reiterate forcefully enough that this so called "crisis" is the opportunity that we have been waiting for. It is an opportunity to share, to grow, and to carve out an honest, joyous, and sane way of living. It is an opportunity to live with intention and vision instead of apathy and apprehension. And above all, it is an opportunity to leap out of our pettiness and self absorption, to meet the expanse and embrace the alchemical marriage between "what is" and "what can be."
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