Conversations with Zoe and Buddha: Does Money Matter?
Buddha: Today I wish to speak to about wealth and whether it matters. This is a subject that many of you fight with yourself about. By wealth I am going to focus on money: the mechanism that you have for acquiring large amounts of things and experiences.
The world was made abundantly. There was always more for you than you could ever utilize or use. It was made with great love and given to you with great joy. More than you could ever utilize: a land of milk of honey. But where you have gone wrong is in thinking that more of it was meant for you than was designed for another.
Over the ages man has ensnared man even to the point of physical entrapment . Further more many have sold what they felt was their right to sell: the physical body of another. This is fundamentally against the principle upon which this reality, this earth, was created.
It is possible to go back to having enough for all but a culture shift will need to happen that is so vast you could call it cataclysmic. This will be started by a shift in consciousness. Many of you feel this. Your institutions feel this and their answer is to try and shore their institutions and themselves up in more wealth as if that means the cataclysm can’t and wont affect them.
Many of you are currently suffering feeling you do not have enough. If you feel this is you, please take the time to look around and you and see if this is true- do you really not have enough? Enough of what? Food? Look in your kitchen. Money? Look in your bank. And with this one also look at your spend. Many of you claim to not have enough but actually have more than you could ever maintain physically by yourself: your home, your cars, your electrical goods and so forth. This is indeed a time of change and in these times you are asked to look within and find your own personal answers to how much is enough for you. Once you have enough, cycle your excess: this was, and is, the basis of charity and community.
It is entirely possible that the cycle of money you circle in this life may come back to you when you may need it for yourself. Lonely is the person who shores themselves with big bank accounts and excesses of living whilst others are in pain. This is how it is. This is how it always has been. This is how it always will be. This is because you are part of each other. To shore yourself against another defies your nature, so your nature will suffer. To sell another for personal gain without thought and feeling for their well-being is another example. It defies your nature and so your nature must suffer.
I say end this suffering: discover your enough and circulate your excess. All is well with your world.
Background to A Prayer from Maitreya with TMichael
TMichael: This meditation was given to me many years ago by Maitreya. After reciting it daily since then I have just begun to understand its significance and meaning to me. Prayer and meditation are often emblematic of the mystery of life, subjective and personally revealing in their own way and time. Please receive this prayer in that spirit.
Love in Abundance
With every breath that I breathe in I receive love in abundance, and
With every breath that I breathe out I send love in abundance into the world,
I am filled with love in abundance.
As I receive love in abundance I use my courage, truthfulness, goodness and beauty to enhance its value for the benefit of all.
I follow the path of love and wisdom.
I am grateful for all that I receive in love in abundance,
And I am grateful for all that I share with others.
I am that I am and thus receive the blessings of love in abundance.
Conversation with Buddha and TMichael: Fear of Death and Life
TM: How does one accept death and the will to live at the same time?
Master Buddha: That’s not so easy to explain or understand. The reason is because of attachment to living and then attachment to accepting death in order to be free from fear. There is, in between the actual truth of acceptance of death and the first step, a period of elation at no longer sensing any fear around dying. When the fear of dying has so long ruled the physical life it is quite a relief to no longer walk in fear of it. However, there will come a test. And that test will present an option to die or an option to live and that is when you’ll discover how attached you are to the notion of dying versus the notion of living and which one actually carries the most fear. There are two parts to the fear aspect of living in the flesh. The first is fear of dying and that preoccupies all your thoughts, emotions and energy to avoid its actuality. Then there comes the fear of living, which exposes all the painful self-inadequacies. That’s enough to make one embrace death, now no longer feared, as an escape from the fear of living.
Just as one has to face the fear of death, one has to face the fear of living. The fear of living is the more difficult of the two because it is more difficult to imagine. Death is universally the same, except perhaps in the actual method or circumstances of death. Living on the other hand can be a slow form of death or a joyous expression of all that is. You can choose which it is. Again, just because one has the power to choose doesn’t make it easier. You must understand what it is that you are choosing and have the skills to choose according to your individual nature.
TM: So, my question assumed there was no fear of living, only fear of dying. How does the will to live then resolve with the fear of living?
Master Buddha: The will to live requires no effort because it is your innate spiritual will, which in the flesh is instinctual. The fear of living is concerned with those matters of quality and choice. How shall one live? What occupation shall one choose to provide the essentials of living? Shall one create a family, a marriage? What will engage my thoughts and my energy? Those are the questions of living that determine the quality of one’s life.
TM: Where do the self-inadequacies come in?
Master Buddha: That is the lifetime struggle for most humans. It depends greatly upon the wisdom of one’s parents and the living environment that one is exposed to during one’s formative years. But even under the best of circumstances it is unavoidable to deal with self-inadequacy to some degree. In the middle, that which is normal, one sees that before a child reaches school age already the seeds of self-inadequacy are planted and many more shall also be planted during the years of attending school. This is a tremendous challenge to change because parents are still struggling with their own self-inadequacies while trying to raise children, schools are populated with adults who are struggling with their own self-inadequacies and of course the children are in the thick of it as well.
TM: So, if I understand what you’re saying, it is self-inadequacy that is the root of our fear of living, not fear of dying.
Master Buddha: Fear of death is first, but it’s a mask for fear of living based upon self-inadequacies. One must first confront fear of death and then begin the process of awareness of self-inadequacies and correction in order to reach the joy of living instead of the fear of living.
TM: What similarity is there between self-confidence and self-adequacy? In Western culture anyway, adequate is mediocre and not good enough if one is to get ahead in life. So where does this reconcile?
Master Buddha: Well, adequacy is a relative term in this case. If the standard in Western society is excellence then that is what is meant by adequate, that is one must be excellent to be self-adequate.
Self-confidence can be genuine or a rationalization that one has created to cover for self-inadequacy. There are only a handful of truly self-confident people, those who have mastered the fear of death and the fear of living. Most people are spread along the spectrum of self-confident, yet still self-inadequate underneath, to self-inadequate as a constant in their daily lives. The meaning of self-confident is to be truthful with one’s self. So, in that case, there can be a conscious level of self-confidence and fears around self-inadequacy at the same time. What I mean, is that you can be aware of your perception of self-inadequacy and still be self-confident in an honest way. That is the point of transition that many people find themselves now. They are exploring self-awareness, which leads to coming face to face with their self-inadequacies, which is giving them a genuine self-confidence that they are progressing toward joy in living. It’s not always perfect and there is still illusion, but it is in the right direction.
TM: Can any of us really be inadequate?
Master Buddha: That’s for each person to determine.
TM: Yes, but we’ve determined for the most part that we are inadequate and you’re saying that’s a problem. So, clearly we’re incapable of making this judgment.
Master Buddha: And by what standards have you determined that you are inadequate?
TM: We set the standard by looking around us and seeing the ones among us who are adequate and then compare ourselves to them.
Master Buddha: And how do you know what makes someone adequate?
TM: We’ve determined through our social consensus the traits that are desirable and those are the ones that form the foundation of our adequacy. Then there are individual traits that one can have that deviate from the social norm that enhance our adequacy.
Master Buddha: So, under your system the guidelines are derived by social consensus and then measured by each of you as you see it in others in contrast to yourself. Do you see others who are less adequate than you are?
TM: Of course we do. There are others who are more and some who are less.
Master Buddha: Have you ever heard someone say really flattering things about you and you felt those things weren’t true?
TM: At first it feels good to hear those things, but there have been times then when I doubt those things are entirely true, maybe a little.
Master Buddha: Do you tell yourself about your qualities that make you adequate?
TM: Not often, but sometimes.
Master Buddha: Do you tell yourself about the times you are inadequate?
TM: Probably more so than the other way.
Master Buddha: Why is that?
TM: Because I’m inadequate more often than not?
Master Buddha: Well, you were a good sport to fall into my trap on this one. Although I know that a part of you believes there is much truth in what you said. It’s hard in this world to counter the many messages of self-inadequacy. And that’s what everyone wants the most, to feel adequate and have others recognize them for this. It’s understandable that if you are telling yourself than you are inadequate that you would turn to others to get the feedback that you are adequate. What happens though when they confirm your belief that you are inadequate?
TM: That’s the worse when it all coincides to tell you that. That’s the worse kind of depression and despair I think; to feel worthless and incapable of living a good life.
Master Buddha: You have a fairly simple prayer that you recite to accept yourself as you are and know you are loved. Because ultimately adequacy has to do with being lovable, don’t you think?
TM: Are you saying they are synonymous?
Master Buddha: I think so, even though adequacy has to do with a performance of talents that in total can make you lovable, what is someone if they are adequate but unlovable? Are they happy? What if they conform to all of the social standards of adequacy, yet they don’t feel others see them in that light and they don’t experience love in their lives?
TM: Well, that pretty much sucks. So you become bitter or you try harder and harder to prove your adequacy, and lovability I guess.
Master Buddha: What is the prayer that you recite?
TM: It’s Love in Abundance. There’s one line in particular that resonates with me in terms of self-acceptance and self-love. “I am that I am and thus receive the blessings of love in abundance.” If I’m feeling critical or judgmental of myself, I often recite that line with a substitution for “that I am”. It could be, “I am selfish and inconsiderate and thus receive the blessings of love in abundance.” It has the effect for me of embracing the worse things I could think about myself in love and then I just feel love and not the power of the criticism or judgment.
Conversation with Jesus and TMichael: Loneliness and Love (Part 2)
TM: Is it an addiction?
Master Jesus: Of course it is. You cling to the old story out of comfort in the fact that it is known, while the new story isn’t known. Humanity has struggled with this dilemma for eons. Always there are those who support change and those in the majority who resist it. This is built into the evolution of the species. If change was too rapid, the status quo might never reach its peak of efficacy. Remember the status quo was selected as the story to abide by at some point. When it begins to wear down in efficacy a new way is discovered. Those comfortable with the old way resist the new way while the others champion the cause of the new way. The tension is created and at some point things change. The addiction is the rationalization that something is good for you when it has passed the point of being so.
TM: So loneliness is an addiction?
Master Jesus: Loneliness is an experience of what love isn’t, which leads to a bridge experience of hope that leads to the promise of love. Back and forth it goes. It is the story that is addictive; the experience of loneliness is part of the story.
TM: Easier said than done to change it. How do we just let the old story go?
Master Jesus: That’s not easy. But consider that it starts with awareness that the new story may be true. Then gradually you begin to notice evidence of the truth. Over time as you welcome the truth the old story wears down until it no longer holds you in its grasp. The ones who understood the truth and who agitated for change usually go through this process too. The timing is different for everyone.
TM: It seems overwhelming at times, the idea that we have so much to understand in order to alter our present course. Sometimes the will to keep things the same over powers the forces of change. But you’re saying it has always been that way?
Master Jesus: Yes, and every generation thinks it’s worse for them; that the stakes are higher. By the way, the forces of change challenge the bedrock of status quo. The energy of the status quo is not so fluid, having crystallized over time. I say that metaphorically to underscore how thought forms behave.
TM: May I change the subject given the subject of change?
Master Jesus: See how easy it is?
TM: What are the greatest expressions of love that you observe in our culture of modern times?
Master Jesus: There are expressions of love through individuals and through institutions and they are in abundance throughout the world every second. Believe it or not it is the predominate emotion.
TM: Really? It doesn’t seem that way. I thought you said in our last conversation that the other energies were stronger right now and that you guys are trying to strengthen love to make it dominant.
Master Jesus: We are strengthening the manifestations of love, so that when the force that comes in behind it comes, love will be expressed so fully that everyone will experience it. It’s not what you observe so much because of the filters of observation. To many, expressions of love are signs of weakness, or at the very least non-productive. I observe the intimate moments between a parent and child, which is possibly the most intense expression of love. There is romantic love that for some is the only expression of love that they have ever known. There is the expression of love between friends; that love being rooted in loyalty and forgiveness and most closely imbibed with no conditions.
When I witness communities coming together to help one of its members through a crisis; that is an expression of love. An act of creation inspired by love can be a beautiful song, a painting, a home crafted with the hands of its inhabitants or a building 50 stories high that embraces the dreams of its residents. I find expressions of love in the works of many. You call it survival, but I say that it’s love. Providing for one’s survival is love. It has been distorted and made into a material quest for more, but it is nevertheless the ultimate expression of love for one’s self. It doesn’t matter if it is used to gratify the ego or punish one’s neighbor or competitor. It is an act of love to survive.
TM: Hang on just a second. You’re saying that love can be used to gratify egos and punish people and that’s okay?
Master Jesus: I’m saying that survival is an act of love, perhaps the ultimate act. The act itself is not diminished by misinterpretation.
TM: So, if someones intent is to survive, that’s love. And if they happen to kill a few people along the way, that’s okay?
Master Jesus: Hmmm…. that’s a bit extreme isn’t it? We’re talking about love and you’re mixing in attributes of what love isn’t. I appreciate the confusion that exists around absolute rules and definitions. That is what humanity wants you know, precise definitions and guidelines. I’m sorry to disappoint you in that regard, but it doesn’t work that way. Every time you create a black and white answer to a complex system you inevitably end up with contradictions in practice.
Let’s take these one at a time. Survival is an act of self-love. Providing for one’s loved ones for their survival is an act of love. The next part of your question then moves to the means of survival; how one goes about securing the provisions for survival. The means to an end debate has gone on for some time, but hasn’t really been decided has it?
TM: It has for me, although it is a major struggle at times depending on how refined you make it. I wouldn’t kill someone in order to get food or water.
Master Jesus: Let’s say a group of people in your community formed a militia and commandeered the food and water supplies. They are determined that only certain people are entitled to these supplies and the rest shall perish through starvation. In a sense, they are killing you and others like you. Assume you have no other outside resources. Is it self-defense for you to harm them in your quest for survival?
TM: I don’t know what I would do. To do nothing means I would die and if killing them was the only means to survive myself, then that doesn’t seem right either. What’s the right thing to do in that case?
Master Jesus: There isn’t a right thing to do in this case. There is only what you would do and what they would do. We’re assuming this scenario from your perspective of survival. But what if we peered into their perspective and discovered that their actions are necessary to the survival of the community because they have discovered that there is a lethal, communicable disease running rampant throughout the community and they are able to isolate the infected ones from the healthy members. The food and water provisions are likely to be disrupted because of this calamity and so a quarantine of the sick ones and rationing of the scarce provisions is the only way for the healthy members of the community to survive and rebuild the community. Should all the members of the community perish because they haven’t the will to allow the ones with a lethal disease to die without wasting their means of survival?
TM: These are the scenarios we pray we never have to face; the stories of stranded expeditions where people resort to cannibalizing to survive. It hurts to even imagine what I would do.
Master Jesus: We have examined an extreme case that most people never have to face. But by degrees from this, people do experience it in some form or another. That is why it is so difficult, for example, for a wealthy person who is many degrees from starvation to understand the plight of those who are inches from starvation. People don’t know to whom they should attribute their good fortune to survive comfortably. Some thank themselves, some thank God and some thank others. Others don’t know whom to curse for their misfortune.
TM: As of this writing, the aftermath of the tsunami that struck countries in the Indian Ocean bears witness to much suffering and at the same time much compassion by wealthier countries. What can you say to this situation?
Master Jesus: You’re right the suffering is immense and the outpouring of aid once it was realized the amount of devastation has also been immense. This is an example of what I’m talking about. The next step is to recognize the chronic suffering by hundreds of millions of people throughout the world every day. In some cases emergency aid is warranted, but for the most part it is the long-term commitment of resource sharing that is needed. The tension exists between the aggressive tendencies of humanity against the tender heart of humanity. This can be measured by the level of fear in the minds of those in control of the resources. The greater their fear, the more they rely on aggressive tendencies (even though they’re couched as defensive). As fear is diminished, so they are open to loving response.
It’s rare to find an individual with the capacity to share what they have with others. Sometimes their sharing is limited by their fear that maybe they won’t have enough for themselves when the time arrives. Sometimes it’s because they don’t know where to begin. Sometimes they follow the institutional giving route that makes it easier to identify to whom to give and how much. Groups behave in a similar manner. To the government sharing add the component of strategic politics. Sharing starts with increasing individual capacity for sharing by reducing fear. For this reason individual awareness is a major focus of spiritual work.