As some of you know, Iâ€™ve entered into a money game.
The game is my online businesses (my spiritual counselling work continues alongside), and making a decent living through my self-employment activities as opposed to slaving away in a corporate J.O.B., a life I gave up last year for good. So the money game as I like to call it, certainly has its attractions, not least that I can work from home, for myself, and with no one to tell me what I have to do. Hurrah! So Iâ€™m loving it, and I play the game with gusto. You have to, right?
But I am under no illusion. I am playing a game, and money….makes no difference whatsoever.
Now, I ask you to suspend any judgments and evaluations till the end â€“ then you can fire them at me in the comments, but for now, allow me to explain this statement.
When I say money makes no difference, by difference, I am talking about where it actually counts â€“ ie in our experience of life, and our ability to enjoy life right now. Iâ€™m not talking about comforts in life…That goes without saying â€“ I mean, who honestly wouldnâ€™t rather fly first class than be cooped up with no leg room and unable to sleep on a long-haul flight? Weâ€™re all human after all, and we are all caretakers of a body and mental faculties that get weary and need some comfort and respite! But even this makes no real difference where it really matters….Truly!…read on…
Let me explain it this way, and hopefully simply, because this is subtle.
Inner and Outer
In the human experience, there is the outer and the inner. The outer is your goals, dreams, relationships, money, work, business, family, holidays, problems, hair cuts, doctors appointments, shopping, social events, and pretty much all that life has us be preoccupied with on a daily, weekly, monthly basis.
Then there is the inner experience of those very things â€“ of our life.
And itâ€™s this â€“ the inner â€“ which Iâ€™m talking about. Itâ€™s the inner, your experience of life that stays with you, that affects your thoughts, your actions, your soul, your evolution….You could describe it as your â€˜energy responseâ€™.
Life Is Lived In The Inner Domain
This is where life is lived â€“ in your experience. NOT in the fast car. NOT in anything external. NOR in our heads dreaming up our dreams, for this is a fantasy world that usually has very little to do with outside reality. For example, you may be driving along in a fast car, speeding down the highway, getting admiring glances from others, with the most beautiful girl next to you, but none of that may make any difference if, say, youâ€™re feeling something inside (it could be all manner of emotions or feelings) that leaves you removed from the spontaneous joy of the moment. Thus, it is your experience (feelings essentially) that affects how you will enjoy â€“ or not enjoy â€“ the activity or event you find yourself involved in, regardless of how much money has been spent in the activity.
The Inner Is Our Responsibility
You see, through my work as a counsellor, and gaining first-hand experience of â€˜spiritual truthâ€™ you could say, I have come to see that no matter what a personâ€™s outer circumstances in life (whether rich or poor for eg), it is their inner experience that always has them be happy, sad, angry, frustrated, depressed, excited etc. And it isnâ€™t until a person learns to take responsibility for their own inner experiences and what they project onto others in the process, as well as learns the art of becoming conscious, that they are able to truly enjoy the fruits of their life, whatever these may be, whether small or large in material terms.
And what, you might ask, does â€˜enjoying the fruitsâ€™ really mean? This is having a free flowing â€˜energy responseâ€™ in the moment, spontaneous action in other words. Itâ€™s being able to be HERE and NOW, with all there is in the moment. It means not escaping the moment into a made-up story of how you are right or justified in your beliefs and judgments, or seeking pleasure to escape from pain. (My article on why seeking pleasure usually leads to pain.) Essentially it means becoming conscious of your own energy response, since it is such awareness that frees you up to simply be. Not be this or that (identity, ego), but to just be (and do). You know â€“ just flow with life, the good, the bad and the ugly. Itâ€™s being ok with whatever arises.
Going Within Comes First
Weâ€™re living in a time when more and more people are going within, and finding their depths and connection to the wider, magnificent reality which exists all around and within us. But still, it would seem that many, many people have their focus on the externals of life, whilst trying to fix the internals. But with this topsy-turvy focus, what happens is that the juice that all those outer things and people bring, fails to properly satisfy. It fails to satisfy, because there is always some level of denial of oneself going on, and when this is the case, enjoyment is short-lived, and essentially, not joyful (enjoyment means en-joy after all…). Thus the impetus is then for the next thing, the next fix, the next escape from what is within.
The bad news is that though many people seek to constantly escape from what arises within themselves, they cannot successfully escape this, and the effort itself takes its toll in the long-term. Well, itâ€™s logical, isnâ€™t it? How can you escape from what you yourself have created? Rather, what you want to escape from follows you around like a shadow. Can you ever get rid of a shadow? Nope. Oh I guess you can stand in the shade where there is no shadow. But for how long? And what do you sacrifice in this process? All that sunshine of course. And when we do not have enough sunshine we become deficient in Vitamin D……..Ok, ok, you get the gist. But this analogy is really perfect. Until we can come to love our shadow self, we cannot know love and until we know what love is, our relationships will always feel unfulfilling and lacking. This is always my message to my wonderful clients â€“ love your pain, and you will find Love with a big L.
All thoughts, beliefs and emotions are simply energy and the thing with energy is that it cannot just disappear simply by us wanting it to disappear. Now, wouldnâ€™t it be great if we could simply turn the clock back and right all wrong! Actually I jest, because it wouldnâ€™t be great. Why? Because the chance to take responsibility for where we have treated ourselves and others with contempt and derision leads us to our own empowerment and such tremendous growth and love for life, that the difficulties themselves become a wonderful growth mechanism, and we can eventually come to see the silver lining in a the hardships that life brings.
So why is it hard to embrace all aspects of ourselves, including the not so nice bits? This is to do with addiction to feelings and beliefs.
Life Is Not As You Believe To Be
Many people think that life is the way they believe it to be. Nope! Life is the way that we are. And I can tell you that every single personâ€™s experience of life is vastly unique and different. So although you might think you know someone, chances are you donâ€™t, since you see them through your own filter of thoughts, judgments, beliefs, emotions. A great spiritual teacher in the US, Byron Katie is known to say â€˜No two people have met.â€™ So true for most of us. Take the classic scenario of falling in love with Mr or Miss Perfect, then discovering that the dream boy or dream girl is not so perfect after all, and the cold shower of relationship begins ? Reality always has the last laugh. We all have an image of others, and we cannot stop having an image, but we can stop the addiction to our beliefs and judgments about others. What Iâ€™m trying to get at here is that the key to being happy in life, regardless of circumstance, is becoming conscious. Itâ€™s not believing everything you believe!
I read a line at the bottom of someoneâ€™s signature on a forum recently and it said. â€˜If ignorance is bliss, then why arenâ€™t more people happy?â€™ Made me chuckle. Those â€˜ignorance is blissâ€™ type folk just took the blue pill as in the film, The Matrix, but they just think they took the red one! However ignorance does not have the power to change reality, and the red pill never goes away.
In Matrix speak, your own Matrix is the â€˜meâ€™ that you have created, and it is not real. It is made up, and whilst itâ€™s natural to do this, the â€˜meâ€™ game you are playing is illusory.
On a personal level, I took the red pill three years ago. It was a bitter pill too! Painful for sure. Unexpected? Yes. Weird? Extremely! Life-changing? Without a doubt. The ego fought a good fight. But eventually, through the course of several weeks of catharsis, it had to be given such a good kicking that its game ended. Well pretty much anyway. Now, if ego comes up unconsciously it feels so alien, so distasteful, that thereâ€™s awareness of it immediately. The red pill opened my eyes. I woke up to the â€˜meâ€™ identity I had been addicted to. Words like â€˜meâ€™, â€˜Iâ€™ and â€˜myâ€™ became alien. â€˜Reenaâ€™ became a name I could say with ease (do you know what I mean when I say that saying your name or someone elseâ€™s can feel so loaded?). Of course I use words like â€˜Iâ€™, as I have in this very sentence right now, but itâ€™s not the same as before. Itâ€™s not personal anymore. Nothing is personal. We rob ourselves of our own freedom when we believe things are personal, for in the frantic refining of our â€˜meâ€™ so that we look good, or smart, or rich, or beautiful, or famous, or whatever the identities are that we are chasing (and there are myriads), we are not free, but caged in our own self-created prison of identity. This keeps us separate from others, including our closest loved ones, and with a sense of aloneness and loneliness, conscious or unconscious.
Hereâ€™s a link to a profound experience that took place that I still remember clearly and which healed me profoundly, itâ€™s hard to describe…Still, Iâ€™ve done my best in this video…
My Healing Dream – A Touch From Source[youtube]6KDOsm3CxhE[/youtube]
We all have our own key to get out of jail, but we must put it into the keyhole and turn it. Oh, and whatever you may have done, or experienced in your life, you canâ€™t lose the key, even if you try hard to throw it away. The reason why itâ€™s so hard to use this key, is because we have formed a die-hard habit of believing we are our identity. What we fail to see is that it is this very attachment (habit) that is what brings conflict and pain. In the identity that we love so much are all manner of hopes, dreams, judgments, beliefs and emotions. And itâ€™s a dead-end, because even when those dreams are reached, we will never be able to suck the juice out of them. Why? Because in this identity-creation we are never satisfied, we (ego) are insatiable. So it is wise to assess what your own identity is. What do you most feel desperate for? What are those secret judgments you have about yourself and others? Why do you want what you think you want? Can you see the â€˜meâ€™ that you love so much? Obsessed with, even. Can you actually draw back from it for a single moment? Have you noticed how much of your day is spent thinking about this identity in one way, shape or form? Such pondering leads you to seeing beyond your habitual thinking and eventually dislodges it. A good way to help dislodge it is to meditate on the question â€˜Who or what is experiencing this?â€™ Try it, and let me know how you get on!
And beyond ego attachment? Instead of the negativity of need, greed, desperation, justification, defensiveness and effort to escape from emotion, there is more honesty, acceptance, spontaneity and passion and excitement for what you can create. It’s life that has finally been allowed to come alive.
Letâ€™s face it. What we really, really want in our days is freedom, passion and bonding with others. Human beings are social creatures. We want to love and be loved! For such bonding and fulfilling exchanges with others, we must be willing to let the attachment to the â€˜meâ€™ go take a flying leap. Donâ€™t you agree that no one wants to be with people who are self-involved, wrapped up in their own life, their own problems, their own dreams….people where itâ€™s all â€˜me, me meâ€™? Itâ€™s hard to be with such folk, isnâ€™t it? But what weâ€™re saying here, is to recognize where you yourself present such self-focus in your interactions with people. Such honesty transforms…The truth is, whatever accomplishments you have achieved, you are not special! Well, not more special then the next person. Or â€“ weâ€™re ALL special. This is Truth, simply put. Donâ€™t be offended by the way….Certainly, you ARE unique! Hurrah!! Itâ€™s the ego that wants to be special, itâ€™s real Self that knows itâ€™s unique. Let your uniqueness be enough.
Oh Yes, We Were Talking Money…
To come back to money….Itâ€™s not about wanting money, or not wanting money, or about how much one has or doesnâ€™t have, rather itâ€™s about whether ego is involved in the money equation. You can play the game of money (or whatever game it may be, not just money) with all youâ€™ve got â€“ and so you should â€“ but when ego (attachment) is involved (I want, I need, my circumstances, my, me , I…), it wonâ€™t matter if youâ€™re a pauper or a billionaire, your inner experience of life will not be free to create the bonding with others and the joy that at heart we all crave…
As we allow the ego â€“ this â€˜meâ€™ â€“ to be seen from the perspective of the red pill, we reveal what is beyond the ego. Without wanting to put words into your mouth here, for words themselves are limiting…for myself, I call what is beyond ego real Self, the Divine, God even. Along this conscious path, we also eventually get â€˜proofâ€™. This proof is our inner knowing of That Universal Reality which gives rise to everything that is this earthly life and beyond. It may also arrive in different ways, communications and sixth sense abilities we hadnâ€™t previously experienced as clearly. As Morpheus says to Neo: “Remember, all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.” And Truth is what you get when you go beyond the â€˜meâ€™.
So as ego is seen for the dissatisfying ghost that it is, we discover we are free to take on any mantle. And you know what, it doesnâ€™t really matter what mantle we take on. There is no right or wrong. No good or bad. (But of course, we have to be responsible and accountable.) I knew that the corporate game I was playing wasnâ€™t the mantle for me, so I changed and created some new games â€“ counselling, soul plan readings, internet marketing, online businesses, as well as being a Mum which I just love playing! Ok, I donâ€™t much enjoy the game of housework, but LOL never mind. It gets done â€“ eventually.
The Venus Project
Talking of money, have you heard of the Venus Project?[youtube]wDJ18m6KUW4[/youtube]
Itâ€™s a wonderful group who are taking the idea of a world without money seriously. I have been pondering this idea a while. No doubt, for a world without money to work, there would need to be the most humungous paradigm shift in all areas, not least within the hearts of all people. So itâ€™s a bit of a dream right now. But you know what, itâ€™s a movement I keep my eye on. Who knows what will happen….
So this has turned into a long blog post, and if youâ€™re still reading thank you!
The Required Epiphany
Some concluding thoughts re. money:
You need the epiphany, otherwise, money really will make no difference whatsoever.
And whatâ€™s this epiphany?
Realizing that money makes no difference whatsoever.
Get it? Yeah, I know. Donâ€™t blame me. Lifeâ€™s like that â€“ a bit of a conundrum. It all boils down to dropping the ego facade.
But the conundrum continues with this question…
Q: And what happens with the epiphany?
Well, you get to suck the juice out of life and not let it go to waste. What good is a sweet and delicious mango that you canâ€™t taste and which just rots away? And you become creative, more interested in others, spontaneously joyful, passionate, free to be funny, free to be sad and free to be whatever the hell comes your way! Note my use of the word hell â€“ shock, horror! What the hell, Iâ€™ll use it twice and Iâ€™ll use it passionately! (You have to forgive my humour, just canâ€™t help it…)
Jiddu Krishnamurti, a spiritual teacher like no other, said about passion: â€œIt seems to me that one thing is absolutely necessary and that is passion without motive – passion that is not the result of some commitment or attachment, passion that is not lust. A man who does not know what passion is will never know love because love can come into being only when there is total self-abandonment.â€
So my last thought for you: Be self-abandoned today and find your passion!
Share Your Thoughts…
I invite you to share something of yourself below â€“ your passions, goals, frustrations â€“ anything goes (within reason that is!!) I love hearing from friends, old and new.