Monday, June 29, 2009The Madoff Lesson
From The Curious Capitalist:
If Madoff's clients had only put 5% or 10% of their assets in his Ponzi scheme, it just wouldn't have been that big a deal. Instead we have for months been hearing story after story about individuals and families and even foundations that put all their money with the guy. These weren't the kind of folks who spend much time reading Harry Markowitz or Burton Malkiel—instead, they didn't want to have to think about their investments at all. They wanted to leave their money with somebody they trusted, and get on with their lives. Which is a pretty reasonable desire. But, it turns out, a dangerous one.
Friday, June 12, 2009Back from Europe
If ever an article represented the ethos of this blog and is reflective of my own personal values this piece in the New York Times by the superb writer Pico Iyer does it. Please read the whole article. Excerpt:
"I had been lucky enough at that point to stumble into the life I might have dreamed of as a boy: a great job writing on world affairs for Time magazine, an apartment (officially at least) on Park Avenue, enough time and money to take vacations in Burma, Morocco, El Salvador. But every time I went to one of those places, I noticed that the people I met there, mired in difficulty and often warfare, seemed to have more energy and even optimism than the friends I’d grown up with in privileged, peaceful Santa Barbara, Calif., many of whom were on their fourth marriages and seeing a therapist every day. Though I knew that poverty certainly didn’t buy happiness, I wasn’t convinced that money did either.
"So — as post-1960s cliché decreed — I left my comfortable job and life to live for a year in a temple on the backstreets of Kyoto. My high-minded year lasted all of a week, by which time I’d noticed that the depthless contemplation of the moon and composition of haiku I’d imagined from afar was really more a matter of cleaning, sweeping and then cleaning some more. But today, more than 21 years later, I still live in the vicinity of Kyoto, in a two-room apartment that makes my old monastic cell look almost luxurious by comparison. I have no bicycle, no car, no television I can understand, no media — and the days seem to stretch into eternities, and I can’t think of a single thing I lack."
For Your Education Dept.
"Although we in the West tend to forget, 190 years ago one-third of the world's gross domestic product was in China. But then, rather suddenly, colonial exploitation and unfair trade agreements, combined with a technological revolution in Europe and America, left the developing countries far behind, to the point where, by 1950, China's economy constituted less than 5 percent of the world's G.D.P. In the mid-19th century the United Kingdom and France actually waged a war to open China to global trade. This was the Second Opium War, so named because the West had little of value to sell to China other than drugs, which it had been dumping into Chinese markets, with the collateral effect of causing widespread addiction. It was an early attempt by the West to correct a balance-of-payments problem."
--Joseph E Stiglitz writing in Vanity Fair
Monday, March 23, 2009Stillness
I have been very busy and have missed a couple posts recently. I have been preparing for the health class and my lecturette on the stress response and the cascade of hormones that results from it. So when Marjorie pointed out this quote is was particularly apropos.
As you take each situation as it comes, one at a time, it's very easy. As soon as you feel overwhelmed, or reactive, relax, rest, and gently pull your energy field back in, strengthening it by being still. Maybe you maintain your inner stillness for a moment, or a day, or a month. You simply maintain your equilibrium, looking at the situation, thinking, "Why does it think it can outlast me? While it is in a state of change, I can be in a state of spiritual holding and fulfillment and outlast the change."
(From: The Rest of Your Life by John-Roger, DSS, with Paul Kaye)
SInce we have been speaking about, and will continue to speak about, trust and values, I also found this quote to be relevant. I have often said that the world works as well as it does because of the many silent saints that surround us and go about their lives without any thought of compensation or recognition for what they do.
The world is upheld by the veracity of good men: they make the earth wholesome. They who lived with them found life glad and nutritious. Life is sweet and tolerable only in our belief in such society.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Monday, February 23, 2009The Good, the Bad, and the Adorable
Here's the paradox:
Spirit has always been here.
And for the most part,
it seems like we've always been here.
So if we've always been here
and it's always been here,
why are we not knowing
that we're both here?
What is this thing inside of us
that stops us from knowing
what's going on?
(From The Tao of Spirit by John-Roger, DSS)
I am not a political person. I am not an activist and politics has not been an interest of mine. I do feel privileged to be able to vote. People have fought and died for that right and in a strange way I feel I am honoring them by voting. I don’t have an allegiance to any party. I don’t care about the parties or partisanship. What I do crave for is good, honest leadership. That last sentence, while true for me, is of course a set-up.
I voted for Arnold Schwartznegger for Governor of California because I thought he would be a refreshing change. He promised not to raise taxes. Last week he broke that promise and has to al large part broken his ties from the Republican Party as a result. When his term expires and he leaves office next year my guess is that he will joining Obama’s government in some capacity. Undoubtedly he will be continued to be rewarded for breaking promises and essentially doing nothing except what is in service to his rise to power.
This last year I have been left in a state of disillusionment. It’s a good thing. A reality check for me. I have been awed by the extent of the corruption lies, and insincerity at the heart of our public leaders. I am just fed up with the whole economic political thing. It’s enough to drive anyone to doing spiritual exercises.
At the end of the day we can only trust ourselves, which is why we must develop that trust within ourselves. And we can trust others if they have EARNED that trust and if they are trustWORTHY. In this time and age, may take on is that this trust will become increasingly important and define our relationships to a much greater extent than in the past fifty years.
Okay, time for a complete break. You’ve got to check this website out.
And here is a contemporary bedtime story for you:
Once upon a time....
Young Chuck moved to Texas and bought a donkey from a farmer for $100.
The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next day.
The next day the farmer drove up and said, 'Sorry Chuck, but I have some bad news, the donkey died.'
Chuck replied, 'Well, then just give me my money back.'
The farmer said, 'Can't do that. I went and spent it already.'
Chuck said, 'OK, then, just bring me the dead donkey.'
The farmer asked, 'What ya gonna do with a dead donkey?
Chuck said, 'I'm going to raffle him off.'
The farmer said 'You can't raffle off a dead donkey!'
Chuck said, 'Sure I can. Watch me. I just won't tell anybody he's dead.'
A month later, the farmer met up with Chuck and asked, 'What happened with that dead donkey?'
Chuck said, 'I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at two dollars apiece and made a profit of $898.00.'
The farmer said, 'Didn't anyone complain?'
Chuck said, 'Just the guy who won. So I gave him his two dollars back.'
Postscript: Chuck went on to become president of a large Wall St. investment banking company and although he drove the company to bankruptcy and was fired, he now lives comfortably on his own island, with his wife, two dogs, and several hundred million dollars, and lived happily ever after.
Saturday, February 14, 2009Trust
Q: How do you know if you can trust someone?
A: You can't actually "trust" anyone; you can love everyone as you love yourself. One of the greatest challenges we have is to love ourselves unconditionally. Loving generally is a process of going inward, and trusting generally is a process of going outside yourself to another person—trying to find what you think is lacking in yourself. In personal and business matters, build your foundation slowly with those people you associate with. Don't sell yourself short and let them earn your respect. But give your love abundantly!
(From: Answers to Life's Questions by John-Roger, DSS)
What recession? Shelley and I went to the Apple Store at the Grove today, Valentine's Day, to get her Apple computer repaired. It was packed. Not only the Apple Store but the whole outside mall. It was a like Christmas time. All eight levels of parking were marked FULL.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009Revisiting Trust
Tithing should be one of the most joyful things you can do—to give to a Source that is reflective of your own Source.
Your own Source then knows and understands the vessel by which it is going to give and receive in the world, and it will magnify the glory of your own countenance.
Do you want to miss that?
(From God Is Your Partner by John-Roger)
From The New York Times today:
The American tax system depends heavily on voluntary compliance. It would send a terrible message to the public if we ignore the failure of yet another high-level nominee to comply with the tax laws.
I must say I am shaking my head. Three Obama appointees have now been shown have not paid their taxes. Three. These are the creme de la creme of our politicians and they cheat, knowingly. Fortunately, two have backed down but we are still left with a crooked Treasury Secretary who is being entrusted with trillions of dollars of taxpayer's money.
This is not a political statement but one of revisiting trust, and values. As we have discussed in the past the only thing about trust that makes sense is what J-R has said: "Trust people to do what they are going to do." Clearly the era of placing our trust in politicians, bankers, and financial wizards is over.
That comes back to trusting ourselves. Keeping our word with ourselves. In short, being honest. And if honesty is one of our values, then we will live accordingly. I do believe in the saying that you can't cheat an honest man.
Then there is our trust in the Divine/God/Spirit/Beloved. We tithe as a demonstration of that trust. We give to God, our Source, first. It's a very big statement that we are making to God and to ourselves.
Apart from Loving Each Day my favorite email each day is Word of the Day.
Today's word is:
to steal or misuse money or property entrusted to one's care
I don't think I need to say any more about that.
Saturday, January 17, 2009Letting Go, Service, and Integrity
And the reason all this works is that you let go and give to God, joyfully and unconditionally.
From God Is Your Partner (on seeding) by John-Roger, DSS
Well, if that short sentence doesn’t say it all regarding living the spiritual principles of abundance and prosperity I don’t know what does. Please take it in.
If you didn’t see Michelle Obama’s call to service on Martin Luther King Day on Monday here it is. (2 mins)
This is a must see video, named Four Generations, to warm your heart and may redefine abundance for you.
The Achaemenid Persian Empire (550–330 BCE), which at the height of its power had more than 20 nations under its control, was built on the most basic principles - that of truth and justice, which formed the bases of the Achaemenid culture. Based on the Zoroastrian doctrine, it was the strong emphasis on honesty and integrity that gave the ancient Persians credibility to rule the world, even in the eyes of the people belonging to the conquered nations.
This largest Empire of the Ancient World was forged by Cyrus the Great, and spanned three continents, including territories of Afghanistan and Pakistan, parts of Central Asia, Asia Minor, Thrace, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and all significant population centers of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya. It is also noted for freeing the Jews from their Babylonian captivity, and for instituting Aramaic as the empire's official language.
As we have seen, the United States of America has wandered far from its founding fathers who did have the principles of truth and justice in mind. And certainly we have seen any emphasis on honesty and integrity evaporate before our eyes in the last six months. It has taken a generation for things to come off their tracks and in my opinion it will take a generation to get them back on again. Let’s hope that Tuesday will get us off to a good start.
Sunday, January 11, 2009Four Signs of the Times
I went to the Apple Store at the Grove in Los Angeles yesterday. I was looking at the new Mac Pros. My Mac is 5 1/2 years-old and I am at the point where it is prudent to get a new one. When enquiring about he anti-glare option for the 17” laptop and remarking that I didn’t like the glossy screens, the assistant said, “Why don’t you guys trust us?”
I like Macs, a lot. But the idea of trusting ANY corporation suddenly seemed so absurd to me that I was speechless. I have covered trust before in these posts (go to tag on right). My reaction made me realize the cultural shift that has taken place in the last six months.
So the first sign of the times is this bit from Laura Rowley on Culture Shift: Top Trends for 2009. Her number 5 is the death of trust.
The Death of Trust
Finally, as Warren Buffett once said, "Trust is like the air we breathe. When it's present, nobody really notices. But when it's absent, everybody notices." That giant sucking sound you hear is the American investor, gasping for breath.
The lessons of the subprime mortgage debacle and the Madoff scandal are clear: Understand where and how your money is invested. Know the policies and fees of your bank, insurer, credit card company, and 401(k) service provider, because there will always be an inherent conflict between your goal -- building wealth -- and the goals of companies and advisors that earn money on your wealth.
In a recent op-ed, 'The Wall Street Journal' suggested that "capitalism runs on trust." But the truth is, capitalism runs on self-interest.
No broker will present you an investment or mortgage product without thinking of his or her commission. No rating agency will value the truth about an investment over the firm's profitability. No government agency chief or member of Congress will protect the individual investor from the abuses of financial services companies without pondering the impact on his or her future employment or campaign contributions.
And no Treasury bailout czar will demand accountability for hundreds of billions of your tax dollars being showered upon the drunken captains of industry who ran the ship aground to begin with. As a Government Accountability Office report noted in December: "The standard agreement between Treasury and the participating institutions does not require that these institutions track or report how they plan to use, or do use, their capital investments."
If there is an object lesson that will shape this generation of savers and investors, it's one of betrayal. Capitalism runs on self-interest. Guard yours carefully.
The next three signs of the times are from The Wallet.
1) Frugal Fitness
“I’m working again in New York with a monster commute, so I count the two miles of walking I do every day to and from work as part of my fitness routine. I walk very fast and run up stairs.”
Why pay money to join a gym when you can climb stairs instead?
Is this cheap approach to fitness enough to keep me healthy?
The answer appears to be yes. People get the most health benefits from between 150 and 300 minutes per week of activity, says David Fein, medical director of the Princeton Longevity Center in New Jersey. But that workout can be done in little bits and pieces through the day. And it doesn’t have to be structured exercise at a gym.
Dr. Fein, who’s 50 years old, also follows a regime of walking and sprinting. Sprinting, a form of interval training, boosts cardiovascular fitness for reasons doctors don’t completely understand, he says. (Men over 35 and women over 45 should get a stress test before doing it.)
The Cooper Clinic in Dallas, founded by Kenneth Cooper, the doctor who coined the term “aerobics,” has a similar message. “What we’ve done is systematically remove physical activity throughout the day from our daily existence,” says Tedd Mitchell, the clinic’s president. “People mistakenly think to become fit we have to become rats on the wheel at the gym.”
Dr. Mitchell, 46, and his wife jog 2.5 miles every morning at a slow 10-minute-per-mile pace with their dogs. And Dr. Mitchell, a former competitive swimmer, swims most afternoons. But he says most people are more likely to get fit by moving throughout the day.
He advises people to get a pedometer, which measures how many steps you take. The average person does about 3,000 a day. Dr. Mitchell tries to get them to double that and builds from there. The lion’s share of benefits are achieved with fewer than 10,000 steps.
2) Bear Market in Gadgets
The Consumer Electronic Show used to exemplify consumer spending at its most decadent. Now there are vacant hotel rooms, preemptive yawning, less floor space taken up by fewer presenters. Even the employed are having a hard time getting jazzed about throwing thousands of money into depreciating gadgets.
3) Money Managers Exposed
Want more proof that 2008 was an abysmal year? Morningstar’s “fund manager of the year” only lost a fifth of his clients’ money.
The Chicago-based fund research company gave the nod to Charlie Dreifus, manager of Royce Special Equity, in the domestic equity fund category. He’s down 19.6%, compared to 37% for the market. In this meltdown, that’s an excellent result. (Tom Forester, the only American mutual fund manager to post a gain this year, was up only 0.4%.)
True, these Oscar-style awards don’t mean a lot. Last year’s winner, Will Danoff at Fidelity Contrafund, got smoked in 2008 along with the market. He lost 38%.
Morningstar’s international stock fund managers of the year are David Samra and Daniel O’Keefe at Artisan International Value. These chaps lost a mere 30% while the average small and mid-cap foreign fund lost 46%. They are also conservative investors, and the fund is also concentrated: They place their bets on about 50 higher-conviction stocks, says Morningstar.
Last year’s international stock manager of the year, Harbor International, fell 43%.
Friday, January 2, 2009Illusion Within Illusion
You are worthy of God because you are one with God. You have never been separate; it is only the illusion of this physical level that causes you to think so.
So don’t be ashamed of what or who you are. You are divine. You are perfect. If the human condition doesn’t always reflect the perfection, that’s because there is no way to manifest the perfection here. So don’t worry about it.
Any negativity is just pointing out the next thing for you to work on and to bring across into the Divinity, until one day, and truthfully so, it will all be divine and you will know it as that. There will still be negativity, and there will still be positivity, and you will see it all equally as the Divine. That is your heritage.
(From: Timeless Wisdoms by John-Roger)
Well if you hadn't gotten the idea that this level is an illusion, hopefully the last few months have helped you out. Take money, for example. Dollars are printed out of thin air. I am not making that up. It's no wonder they have "In God We Trust" written on them, because you had better not put your trust in the Federal Reserve which, by the way, to add illusion within an illusion, is not "Federal" at all, but a private banking cartel.
I have been paying an average of $40 for a pair of pants (trousers to our English readership) for about 40 years. (I adjust my standards to my budget--or buy less pants). In that time the Government has gone from talking about millions, to talking about billions, and recently is now talking about trillions!
What is a trillion?
A trillion dollars = $1,000,000,000,000.
That's 12 zeroes to the left of the decimal point. A trillion is a million million dollars.
One trillion dollars would stretch nearly from the earth to the sun. It would take a military jet flying at the speed of sound, reeling out a roll of dollar bills behind it, 14 years before it reeled out one trillion dollar bills.
In short, a lot of money. Here is another way to look at it:
1 million seconds ago was December 22, 2008. (12 days)
1 billion seconds ago was 1976 (32 years)
1 trillion seconds ago was 30,000 B.C. (32,000 years)
But that's ONE trillion. In the last 5 years American debt has grown by SIXTEEN trillion dollars. That's mostly money that has been spent--not invested in business.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008Sheer Madness
There’s abundance from God, but not necessarily in this world. You can’t have it all in this world, but in the inner worlds you are it all. And that’s what you can trust.
Broadly speaking, in this blog we are attempting to bridge two worlds, the world of the miraculous and the world of the mundane. Although entirely different, the worlds are not incompatible and we take from both what works for us and use it. When we emphasize or focus our attention on one world we make sure we are not in denial of the other.
As long time readers know I have been as direct as I can about what is going on from my pint of view. Sometimes a little too direct, perhaps. Someone implied that a client of theirs was freaked out at my presentation at a ministers meeting a month or two ago and had to go to Michael Hayes to clear themselves. While I await a thank you card from Michael, I would like to say that I have no intention of being a bearer of bad news. However, I do think that we need to look directly at what is going on, taking the necessary practical steps, while always knowing that the miraculous carries the day—God being our Partner.
In the same conversation the person had an objection to the word frugality. He thought it reflected a poverty consciousness. When I asked my wife, Shelley, what she thought of that she said, “How would I know? I am in poverty consciousness most of the time.” (It’s a laugh a minute at our place).
A search of the MSIA database showed that J-R had barely ever used the word frugal, so admittedly it is not part of the MSIA lexicon. However, it is one of my values and I think it is particularly appropriate to embrace it in the times we are living in. In fact, we got in the global financial mess we are in because it was not embraced.
The Financial Times had an article by Bertrand Benoit on the different mentality of the Germans. Excerpt:
US, French, and British officials puzzle over Germany’s refusal to tackle the recession head-on. German leaders, meanwhile, cannot see why their taxpayers’ money should go into encouraging precisely the kind of behavior—reckless lending, careless borrowing and overconsumption—that precipitated the financial crisis.
With morals, values, moderation and solid common sense looming so large in Ms Merkel’s (Germany’s Political Leader) economic thinking, it is no surprise she would see overindulgence and irresponsibility in the way the UK and, above all, the US are treating their own recessions.
The notion that one should tackle a slowing economy by encouraging over-indebted people who stand a good chance of losing their jobs to draw new credits and splash out comes across as sheer madness.
Meanwhile Jason Zweig in his Wall St Journal blog today, The Wallet, talked about his very modest and simple childhood, after someone suggested that he “was a coddled member of the silver-spoon generation.” His post went on to say (my bold):
So I know what it means to scrimp and save, to do more with less, even to do without. The most important lesson that I learned, I believe, is that money is not wealth. Benjamin Graham once wrote that the secret to happiness is learning to live well within your means. Did he mean to “live well” within your means, or to live “well within” your means? I think he intentionally left the sentence ambiguous.
Money should never be taken for granted. Its uses are limited, but it is not a renewable resource; it is finite. And finite resources — love, water, the Earth and, yes, money — are meant to be stewarded and treated with care.
We did not feel poor, we certainly did not feel deprived and, in fact, we would have been furious if anyone had suggested that we were anything other than thrifty. Life may not always have been easy, but it certainly was good.
To this day, I recycle used paper back into the printer, reuse paper clips, put food scraps in the compost, turn the thermostat down and the lights off not because I once was “poor” but rather because I hate waste. Not being wasteful makes me feel good.
Close your eyes and think of the quintessential American. Who comes to mind first? In my mind’s eye, I see two: Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln. Each of them had many virtues, but one of the most obvious was a sense of thrift. In fact, thriftiness used to be one of the central defining characteristics of what it meant to be an American.
After a long and lazy boom, America has become a society that squanders just about everything, including money. If this crisis ends up changing that, we will be a better nation for it.
(Full post here. A recommended read.)
So if you don’t like frugality, too bad. Read another blog. We can’t change the world, and who would want to—it’s perfect as it is, but we can be responsible to our ten percent level while calling upon the miraculous nature of Spirit to sustain us. That way we get to live in abundance, prosperity, and riches regardless of our circumstances.
And as to the world, I like what Anne had to say in her comment yesterday:
I love this whole thing about trust and developing more deeply my inner connection with Spirit. Such a powerful thing to be doing.
More blessings of the meltdown. I love the thing about the caterpillar that goes into meltdown, literally a messy fluid as I understand it, in the cocoon before it emerges as a butterfly.
I think there are a lot of butterflies now in the making...
Indeed. Just let's not get them in our stomachs as All is well and God is our Partner.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008A Crisis of Trust
Be true to your inner guidance, which is your loving speaking to you and leading you. But never follow blindly the guidance you receive. Check it out. That way, you learn to trust yourself, for you are the only one who can validate your own truth and wisdom. How do you build up the knowledge of God’s inner guidance? By spiritual exercises. By practicing. By moving on the guidance you receive, checking the results, continually refining the attunement, and being honest with yourself.
(From Timeless Wisdoms by John-Roger, DSS)
Insight Trainings had a big influence on my life. I took my Insight 1 in January of 1978—over 30 years ago. It was the first Insight training ever and I was an assistant. John-Roger was actually taking it. I have forgotten most of what took place but what has stood out in my memory was the first exercise. We had to mill around and when in front of somebody declare either, “I trust you” or, “I don’t trust you.” Of course, it was a tremendously tense moment when I found myself face to face with John-Roger.
When he said, “I trust you,” I felt a tremendous relief and elation. And, I must admit, rather special. As an assistant I was able to come in and out of the exercise and was able to quietly watch J-R when I could. I noticed that he was saying, “I trust you” to everybody! And saying it to people I wouldn’t have trusted as far as I could throw them. I was very confused with many judgments inside of me vying for prominence.
Later on, J-R explained it to the group. He said that he trusted people to do what they are going to. This threw me into even more confusion. However, as the years have given me experience, and hopefully wisdom, J-R’s simple words ring resoundingly true and have saved me a lot of problems. When I trust people to do what they are going to do, I stay out of judgment and I am never disappointed. For example, I trust the Government to do what it is going to do. So I am free. And of course I have no control over what it does anyway—nor do I care to have control.
We are in an age where there is little to trust outwardly. That throws us back inside of ourselves. It’s important that we have that foundation. This weekend it was brought to my attention by a co-worker that I had said I was going to do something and didn’t do it in the time I said. While I had an "issue" with their “issue” about this, they were of course correct and I said so.
It did get me re-thinking how much more careful I was going to be about what I commit to, even casually, and also about my motivation—in this case wanting to please them. More importantly, it got me thinking about my own word to myself. After all, if I can’t trust myself, who am I going to trust?
I believe that the world is in a crisis of trust on many levels — economic, geopolitical, environmental, etc., and our salvation will be found in the trust we have for ourselves, not out there.
Roger Bootle of the The Daily Telegraph had this to say a couple of days ago on the financial meltdown in England:
But even so, I am still puzzled about how we allowed ourselves to get into this mess. It's tempting to say that the Government fooled us. But the truth is that they first fooled themselves. And not only the Government. The whole establishment and most of the commentariat fell for it. We have passed through a mass delusion of gross proportions.
Such things are not so unusual. The late Keynesian economist John Kenneth Galbraith explained that to have a bubble economy, more than just a few speculators need to be taken in. The whole system has to believe it. Otherwise, it won't get going. But in the best bubbles the whole system does believe it, not least because, in the short term at least, it pays to believe it.
This was a delusion about the level of prosperity and about what it derives from. Some aspects were shared internationally, some were purely British, but they were all old-hat. It was the combination and the scale of it which made the effects so devastating.
Let’s end with another J-R quote from Spiritual Warrior:
As we become spiritually mature, we attune to our Soul nature. We participate. We see that the world is the screen upon which we project ourselves, so if we see flaws out there, we are the ones who need to change. And this change can only take place by discovering our true nature, the Divine within us.
You are the first cause, and you are the first effect. You are the last cause and the last effect. So, inside of you is the only place that change can be made. You can indulge the illusion of changing things in the world, but unless you change them in yourself, no true change has taken place.
Monday, November 3, 2008Trust
We can be Home in the Soul while we have our feet on the ground here.
While we visit this material world, we'll draw the energies down from that higher realm and glorify God merely by our presence.
John-Roger, DSS (From: Spiritual Exercises, A Journal of Soul Transcendence)
Well, God bless our new president whoever he might be. I am delighted that this election is finally going to be over. Tomorrow should be a very exciting day.
Our Smile/Zen Moment of the Day is particularly apt today:
A fishbowl can be seen as representing the difference between the way the East and West view freedom. For a Westerner, a fishbowl limits the freedom of the fish. For a Chinese, it provides a framework enabling the fish to develop its freedom.
-- Ed Young
The next 10-20 years will present a wonderful opportunity to find greater freedom and resources within us. Let’s continue to prepare ourselves. Let’s not spend a moment in worry, instead using all the coming events to expand in our loving and trust in ourselves and the divine.
Although our trust, these past ten years, in outer institutions has been severely eroded, our trust in ourselves must deepen.
Since Spiritual Warriors are always looking for challenges to take them to the next level of strength and awareness, knowing yourself and being able to trust yourself is essential, because you will be going into dimensions where you will be the only reference point.
John-Roger, DSS (From: Spiritual Warrior)
As joyful givers, placing God first in our lives, we can be sure that God will do Its part. So let's relax and enjoy the ride.