Category Archives: Wealth

Money: Buddha with TMichael

Money, http://conversationswithjesusandbuddha.com/money/ ‎
Money

Conversation with Buddha and TMichael: Money

TM: I’ve received quite a few inquiries about money and requests to talk about it.  There has been a great body of writing on this from a spiritual perspective.  What do you say to someone who asks, “What is the proper relationship to money, how much to have, how to use it, how to get it, etc.?”

Master Buddha:  First of all, there isn’t just one way to view this because each person has his or her particular orientation to money given his or her life path.  Anything I say must be understood as general statements and then I can offer examples of individual circumstances to show how some principles may apply.

As viewed from the spiritual perspective, meaning from a non-material realm, money is as worthless as a bicycle would be for travel across an ocean.  It is purely a human creation.  So your question presumes a spiritual oversight that doesn’t exist except in the form of advice and counsel that may be offered from time to time.  That is the spirit in which I present these ideas today.

Let me attempt to simplify the concept of money in relation to a person.  Humans have decided that money shall represent a value of some thing.   Those things may include the physically inanimate object (house, car, etc.), a personal action (one’s labor), a promise for future delivery of value (speculation), restitution for past value (grievances resolved), a gift of love or social obligation, so on and so forth.  The second premise is that the value of money shall equal approximately the value of that thing in the exchange.  Sometimes the values are not equal, and if they are too unequal, then one or the other person feels either elated or cheated.

The third premise created by humans is a system of ethics regarding transactions between one another using money or the thing valued as the currency.  This is a point of departure between the diverse cultures of the world.  The one dominant force has been the Western philosophy governing the use of money.  The ethics of the Western system have varied over the past two hundred years, but for the most part they have represented an idealism that while noble in its aim has not achieved its goal.

TM: So is it possible to answer my questions?

Master Buddha: I’m getting there, but needed to frame my response for clarity.  The proper relationship to money must take on a general perspective representing larger society (we’ll call general ethics) and the particular relationship of an individual to money.  From the general ethics, the idea of freedom to choose one’s occupation and one’s level of income and expense, is I think the best arrangement.  As we have discussed in these conversations there is a point that one must consider that individual freedom intersects with group harmony.  This means that it is necessary for individuals to contribute to the whole in a way that brings harmony to the whole and doesn’t disturb the peace of the many.  This is the greatest insurance for all.  The current system in Western society doesn’t achieve this goal, but with modification it could.

TM: I’m not clear on what you mean.  Are you saying that there needs to be a balance in interest between the range of individual freedom and the needs of the whole population?

Master Buddha: Yes.  For example, in Western society a person is permitted to amass unlimited wealth.  On the other end of the scale a person is permitted to starve to death or die due to exposure to the elements because he cannot afford shelter.  What is preventing Western society from implementing safeguards at the bottom end of the scale?

TM: We don’t allocate budget for it because we’ve determined other things are more important.

Master Buddha: And the contradiction is that your idealism states that you cherish life above all.  Your military runs to all ends of the earth to rescue those in peril.  Your governments send aid to foreign countries in an attempt to prevent starvation and lethal diseases from spreading.  Yet in your own domestic domain you have families living in such poverty that their lives are at risk daily.

TM: It isn’t a perfect system for sure and most Westerners will agree that we can do more to clean up our domestic programs.

Master Buddha: What do you think is stopping you from doing this?

TM: We have an overly complicated and increasingly corrupt political system that can’t philosophically agree on just how much we are our brother’s keeper.

Master Buddha: It is first and foremost the obligation of your governments, using the general treasury, to prevent starvation and health-related problems derived from poverty.  This cannot be left to the generosity and goodwill of individuals.  It must begin with your domestic sphere first.  It is there that you work out the ethics of being your brother’s keeper as you phrased it.  Once you have mastered that step then sharing that wisdom with other cultures is a natural extension.

TM: We have the resources to do what you suggest, but not the collective resolve to do it.

Master Buddha: This is true, but you asked for a perspective on the proper relationship to money.  You will have to work out the politics in order to deliver a just relationship.

TM: Okay then, maybe you can state what a person should be required to do in order to receive assistance that raises his status above poverty.  That’s where we fail; we can’t agree on that.  Some people say we should be self-reliant and others want to give to others with little or no requirements for self-responsibility.  So, what is the answer?

Master Buddha: Ah you see, now you are into the business of designing a society that grapples with such ethical obligations yet stumbles at the final step failing to complete the mission.  If the US government felt the collective will of its citizens favored a system whereby no citizen would be permitted to fall into poverty, could they achieve that?

TM: Yes.

Master Buddha: Then it must be that the collective will of its citizens do not favor such a system.

TM: How many citizens create a collective will?

Master Buddha: Enough that under your political system you could legislate and implement the system.

TM: Then you must be correct.  Sadly it must be true.  But you still haven’t answered my question of self-responsibility.

Master Buddha: Unfortunately, there is no easy answer.  Your society has through its own design created an array of citizens from the genius to the infantile.  Your society is responsible on a par level with the individuals that make up society.  It will take many generations of enlightened governance to correct the mistakes and injustices created by past policies and practices.  It will likewise take time for individuals to climb out of their ignorance or unfortunate circumstances due to conditions beyond their control.

Wandering your streets are the insane and the helpless.  They cannot take responsibility for themselves in any way.

You have many people who are indolent and averse to responsibility through personal predilection and familial training.  They will have to be educated on a new understanding of their responsibility.

You have a growing number who have turned to crime and are either incarcerated or among the general population.  They will have to be educated, and until they are they will remain incarcerated because you have no other way to assimilate them.

There are those who through no fault of their own have fallen upon hard times due to major shifts in the economy.  They will need to be retrained in new occupations and helped along the way.

When there are enough enlightened citizens there will be a more enlightened government and they will realize the long-term commitment required to correct your system.  It is a race against the clock.

If you do nothing to correct this situation, because as a society you think it isn’t your responsibility, then you will suffer the consequences of doing nothing.  The consequences will include a greater divide between the economic classes, thus more poverty; less efficacy in minimum education achievement among the lower classes; increased criminal activity; reduction of individual freedoms due to crime prevention measures; compartmentalization of community along class lines further reducing the efficacy of government and the erosion of community infrastructure.  You can probably project from there what will transpire next.

If however, you find the collective will to make a long-term commitment to correction, then you will begin to see minor changes for the good.  It will take patience beyond one, two or three generations.  That is perhaps the greatest challenge for a society that has come to expect immediate gratifications of its goals (even though this hasn’t really been the case).

TM: What can you say to the questions regarding individuals and their relationship to money?  What are some guidelines to follow is really what I’m asking.

Master Buddha: As individuals you must graduate through levels of ethical refinement regarding the role of money in your life.  What is good for one person may not be good or right for another.  For that reason do not be hasty in judging others for their view in earning or handling their money.

As Master Jesus and I have maintained throughout these conversations, release judgment from your view.  Find your relationship to money based upon your path and your understanding and allow others to do the same without inveighing their choices.  When you have come to peace with your relationship to money then you may offer a helping hand to others who may wish to hear from you.

© Zoe 2015

Conditions on Earth (Part 1): Jesus and TMichael

Condition on Earth Part 1, http://conversationswithjesusandbuddha.com/conditions-on-earth-part-1/
Conditions on earth part 1

Conversation with Jesus and TMichael: Conditions on Earth (Part 1)

TM: This being our second writing, where shall we start?

Master Jesus: We shall note for the record that we are beginning this series of conversations on Easter Sunday in the year 2004.  That may be significant to some folks.

TM: Should it be significant and if so in what way?

Master Jesus: First of all, there isn’t a ‘should’ involved.  It either is or it isn’t significant based upon one’s orientation to these things.  For some people, Easter is a big deal, wouldn’t you agree?

TM: Yes.  But I have to say that for me, it’s not really.

Master Jesus: You say that but it’s not entirely true.  When you were younger, in adolescence, you went to a Christian church every Sunday and Easter was a big deal in your life.  Even your father who rarely attended services attended Easter Sunday.  So, it was a big deal at one point.

TM: True it was then but it hasn’t been that way for over thirty-five years.  I think I can say it isn’t a big deal now.

Master Jesus: It’s okay if it isn’t.  The one fact you can’t escape in the influence of religious practice on society is that the significance of major religious events is en-grained in your being like DNA imprints on your physical body.  They affect you whether you are aware or not. Human consciousness on the whole is not an individual affair.  You can increase or decrease the affect by conscious awareness.  The affect is there nevertheless.

TM: So, I’m affected in ways I’m not aware?  Will you elaborate and give an example?

Master Jesus: You reside in a Judaic-Christian society.  On Easter and during the weeks preceding Easter there is a build up of energy in the form of thoughts and emotions based in ancient traditions and expectations.  Every year this energy recycles, gaining momentum from the previous cycles.  When enough people experience this recycling of energy they perpetuate it through their contribution.  And so it builds over time.  Even though you may not participate in Easter services, you experience the affects of others in your society who do participate. Because you participated as a young person your connection to the experience is greater than someone who has never participated.  Even that person will experience something despite his/her religious orientation.

TM: There is an air of worship and reverence I sense on Easter.

Master Jesus: That’s what I’m referring to, although it may register as something else to someone else.

TM: How many other beliefs and mass experiences does this same phenomenon occur?

Master Jesus: Whenever there is a strong belief tied to an emotional commitment with a large number of people, sustained for a long period of time, then this phenomenon occurs.  Sometimes there are competing thoughts existing at the same time.  When this occurs collectively you feel the energetic tension of opposition.  This is the great duality that plays out constantly in human affairs.  There is a saying to avoid politics and religion in polite conversation.  That is recognizing the deeply engrained opposition and emotional force behind the tension—it is uncontrollable at times.  It is reserved then for a different arena; one in which conflict can be explored.

TM: Is that why it is so difficult to change the way we do things in our society even when they are destructive?

Master Jesus: Did you have a particular example in mind?

TM: Yes I do.  I’ve been thinking about our economic system of capitalism and how it has deteriorated over time.  I see the initial guiding principles and see how it was altered.  Along with many other people I want to change it so that it serves everyone, but the forces opposed to change seem enormous.

Master Jesus: What would you change about it?

TM: It’s almost too much to list here.  In short, capitalism cannot be just about more—producing more, consuming more, pursuing more wealth for the purpose of perpetuating the cycle of production and consumption of more.  We have to integrate higher values into the equation.  I had a friend say to me that he thought that maybe the destruction of the Earth and many or all of the species was the right path and the inevitable outcome of this life experiment, and maybe then new life springs from that and a new cycle begins.  He is a well-respected, financially successful businessman.  When I heard him say that I began to understand the rationale behind the opposition to change.

Master Jesus:  So, is your friend correct?

TM: I’m working from the premise that we don’t have to destroy everything if we have a consciousness that is inherently creative and can alter our path creatively to support life in an ever-changing dynamic.

Master Jesus:  What if you’re both correct?  What if these two points of view are true, then what?

TM: Then it’s a matter of choice.  Our society can choose one or the other.

Master Jesus: And you’d like society to choose your point of view?

TM: Well, yes I do.

Master Jesus: And your friend would like it to go his way?

TM: Yes, I believe so.

Master Jesus: Then will you and your friend continue to support your respective points of view in how things work out in your society?

TM: I suppose we will unless one of us changes our mind.

Master Jesus: Then this is how it is for everyone on Earth at this moment.  It’s about making a choice.  Will you destroy life as you know it or will you creatively re-frame it?  Does that seem over-simplified?

TM: I was hoping for a little more help I suppose.  Maybe you could tilt it one way or the other.

Master Jesus: I guess you can say that I’m working on the side of humanity, which by the way includes your friend and all those who believe as he does.  My work has been and is dedicated to assisting humanity in its decisions about living.  A major decision is facing humanity now.  Will you collectively choose destruction, death and eventual rebirth, or will you choose the next evolution of life from this point.  There is no judgment either way, good or bad.

TM: You almost sound indifferent.

Master Jesus: You really want me to choose a side don’t you?

TM: YES!  Choose, validate my point of view and give me the strength and courage to fight these bastards!

Master Jesus: And what about your friend?  Shall I tell him I support his view so that he is encouraged as well?  Or would you prefer I tell him he is wrong and he better get with the program, or else?

TM: Or else what?

Master Jesus: Or else he shall burn in hell of course.  Isn’t that what happens to people who don’t get with the program?  I’m pretty sure I hear that message quite often, throughout the world and from almost every religion, and evoked in political circles as well.  I guess we’ve moved beyond polite conversation haven’t we?

TM: I think if you just simply told my friend and his fellow believers that their path of destruction is wrong, and then they would change because it’s coming from you and you’re the man.  They aren’t convinced if I say it or if others in my tribe say it.  But they’ll listen to you.

Master Jesus: Really?  Why would they listen to me?  What am I offering as proof that what you want is right and true for them?

TM: They will accept it on your authority.  You are Jesus. In case you’re not aware, that carries a lot of weight.  I think they would yield to your point of view.

Master Jesus:  Believe me I’m aware of the weight I carry. So, it’s that simple.  If I appear on Earth and say to humanity, listen, here are a few things I’d like for you to do at this time, then you believe that everyone will respect my authority and follow those simple directions?

TM: Well, not everyone, but enough of them to swing things the other way.

Master Jesus: Your way?

TM: Yes, for the umpteenth time, my way.

Master Jesus: I just want to be clear about whose way it is.

TM: Since you’re such a stickler for this distinction, many of us who believe this is the right way draw that belief from your teachings.  So, I guess we assumed it was also the way you believed was right.

Master Jesus: I’m not sure I remember in which lesson I encouraged you to ‘fight the bastards’.

TM: Touché.  But that’s just my emotion speaking.  I’d rather not fight.  I’d rather you persuade them with your magic and then we could all live happily ever after.

Master Jesus: Again I ask you, why would they listen to me if they believed I was on your side opposed to their beliefs?

TM: You are beyond humanity and know things we don’t.  You are the man, the boss, he who rises from the dead.  They will just be relieved to know you really exist and that you have an opinion on these matters.  Of course they will follow what you say.

Master Jesus: They don’t believe I really exist?

TM: Maybe some of them do, but they think you’re returning some day and you’ll set the record straight then.  But until then, they are not going to follow your teachings unless you explain it to them in modern terms.  So, I guess I’m asking you to reveal yourself now and tell it like it is.

Master Jesus: You mean in your terms?

TM: Why don’t I just ask you to define it in your terms whether or not it resembles mine?  I’m really not caught up on it being my way.

Master Jesus: Okay, I’ll do that for you.  It’s a long story are you ready for that?

TM: Sure.

Master Jesus: Long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away….sorry, different story.  But one closer than you can imagine to the real one. All of these stories have their origins in truth.  There are many entry points for stories because there isn’t a beginning you see.  At least there isn’t a beginning that we can identify in words that will express humanity’s story.  We can also include humanity’s spiritual journey and that gets us closer to a beginning, but even that isn’t completely a beginning.  I’m emphasizing this beginning business because humans are tethered to truth having a beginning and anything that doesn’t have a beginning must be false or non-existent.  You’ll have to accept that your story doesn’t have a beginning or an ending.  Are you with me so far?

© TM 2015

For Conditions on Earth Part 2 click here.