|Money as Service
Using Money as Service
"Service...will be the great gift of the Aquarian Age to humanity."
Alice A. Bailey
In times of economic and financial crises, with widespread unemployment and fear, a review of how we look at money, how we use it, and how we make it can help to clarify the situation. As people who lived through the Great Depression used to say, ‘if you kept your job you were safe,’ or ‘if your income was secure, your life went on as before.’ For these, a review of using money as service, and of the philosophy behind it, is part of what we can do. It is a meditation. Through meditating, reading and applying, we can build a thought form that counters the fear paralyzing the world right now. We can visualize money as golden flowing energy, and adhere to a philosophy of abundance instead of scarcity, or hope instead of fear.
To many of us, young and old, the necessary experience of fulfilling our worldly desires is a very old thing. Getting and spending are no longer sufficient, nor attractive as major goals. Our needs are met and our wants are endless. A new relationship to living and being is necessary if we are to continue growing psychologically and spiritually. We are a group who is realizing the truth that having is no substitute for being.
Neither is withdrawal from the use of money a solution. A life that is holistic must include all aspects of daily living including right relationship to money and work, and the right to use money not abdicated in the mistaken notion that people with spiritual values are not materialists, and therefore avoid business, finance, and money. If this illusion is accepted, then the economic field, which determines to such a large degree the life of the majority on this planet, is left to those who are the most selfish and whose values are indeed the most exclusively materialistic. Today world need cries for responsible leadership in the economic field--leadership that consciously wills to serve the good of all, instead of putting its own private gain first.
It’s a question of values, not occupation. Do we put greatest value on the objects of physical living or on the quality of life itself? The values we choose to live by determine the quality of our lives. What are we really dedicating our lives to? Those who put their greatest effort into obtaining objects or accumulating money for themselves alone are materialistic. Those who put greatest value on the quality of compassionate living and a desire to serve humanity have moved on to higher consciousness, to a higher center of being from which to live and act.
The Planetary Revolution in Consciousness
|Many have undergone the planetary revolution in consciousness with a new perspective of what’s at the center, both in the outer and the inner worlds. Our planet is perceived as one living system and humanity only part of it--often an irresponsible part. In the inner world we have moved on from an egocentric point of view to a systemic point of view. The world is not ours to do with want we want. There are consequences. We have achieved a truer sense of relationship by realizing that we, as the human community, exist in relationship to a larger world, just as the outer appearance of the personality is planetary to the inner self or ‘sol’ of our being. We have achieved relationship to the whole within, psychologically, and without, having perceived and realized the interdependence and interrelationship of the units to the whole. We have moved into a new level of integration.
Today this growing group of awakened and awakening people is very potent, especially because it has no outer organization, only the inner realization of the larger whole and the shared values that this realization brings. It is strong also because it is composed of people of goodwill of all ages, cultures and occupations who share the vision of a more meaningful and more harmonious world for everyone, based on the correct relationship of the individual good to the common good in human relations and in environmental relations. From our established positions, whatever they are, whether of power and authority or not, daily decisions can be made from the meditative mind, the holistic sense, instead of the self-satisfying calculating mind or the profit incentive alone.
In the past money has been ruled and regulated by desire; now we can participate in the experiment of ruling and regulating money and desire with the energy of goodwill, with love in action, and compassion with wisdom, with a sense of synthesis and universal responsibility. Love serves; it does not grasp. The energy of compassion demonstrates in broadening, deepening relationships. Economically, this means sustainable sharing, sharing freely assumed by people who recognize that responsibility to the common good is part of the completed point of view, part of the view of a citizen of the world. It means bridging the gap between the rich and poor so that the living conditions we all share are sustainable and healthy. It means overcoming exclusiveness with inclusiveness.
The Group of Responsible People
Each of us has a responsibility for our personal money, the way we think of it, and the way we use it. Through an enlightened group of responsible people, public opinion can affect policy decisions and regulations. This can affect leadership in business, government and universities. We should not withhold our energy until the world changes. We are the world. We cannot expect our governments to use money wisely if the more conscious people in every land also have wrong relationship to money. What is needed is a change in attitude of many, not just a few at the center of the problem—even though their power is immense and the economic crisis they caused has resulted in widespread suffering, loss and unemployment. Bailey writes that “group use” combined with “need, love and magnetic power” are the keys to attracting money. Along with right attitude and right motive, they constitute right method.
Although money has in the past been the symbol of human greed, and even today can truly be called the ‘root of all evil’, it is the very tool, as we all know, that can transform poverty into plenty and polluted water back into pristine pools, if properly used. We can visualize money as golden flowing energy. Seen as flowing energy, money can transform the planet into a small paradise if it is more judiciously distributed, the financial sector regulated for sustainability. Meeting needs is spiritual service; meeting wants and greeds is materialistic, whether for things, for sensations, for achievement or, most especially, for control of others. The intelligent person who has also experienced the subjective unity of life knows that the problems of the whole of humanity and its relationship to the planet are his and her problems, not just the problems of small groups of experts or powerful business people. Meeting needs on all levels is the task of the whole group of men and women of goodwill, as well as the new group of world servers.
Each individual can assume his or her share of the transformation of money into a tool of goodwill instead of selfish greed, by dedicating money energy to serve the good of planet and people. Dedication of seed money to areas of human need is one method of skillful means. Consciously, meditatively magnetizing whatever we can afford to give as a means of attracting larger sums and sending it to key positions of world need, is the responsibility of everyone who uses money daily, and who is not needy. Each contribution liberates a few units of money energy from materialistic control to serving the world. It reinforces the powerful recognition of the fact of unity and oneness, one world and one humanity, breaking up the illusion of separateness, the single most destructive illusion of human thinking.
Seed money can not only be dedicated to the institutions that attempt to alleviate human suffering, but to the areas of world crises currently drawing the attention and thought of world public opinion. Energy follows thought. Clear thinking can provide lines of energy toward the resolution of conflict, the solution of problems and emergence from crisis. Seed money can also be used creatively in the areas of human endeavor with which each of us is affiliated through occupation or interest. The dedication of seed money to the creative, forward looking thinkers in each field who are pioneering the projects of the new age is the responsibility of all of us who have the discrimination to give wisely in whatever field of service:
1. political field
2. educational field
3. communication field
4. cultural field
5. scientific field
6. spiritual or religious field
7. business field
Discrimination is the key to the successful use of seed money—discrimination and the courage to work with the best organ available; it is not being rendered immobile by the cynics who find fault in everything, nor being gullible about human motivation or corruption. Reversing the trend of apathy by taking action is needed now, and not waiting until an ideal solution in each area is reached. There is always a new, more perfect goal seen as the evolution of world consciousness proceeds. The effect of clear thinking and meditation on this problem can be substantial, resulting, if successful, in greater skill-in-action. It is meditation applied to this world now.
Choose to Live Simply
Choosing to live simply kills greed. Energy previously used in decorating body, home and ego is freed for use in higher and better ways. Concentration on self gives way to concentration on others and on planet. After filling our basic needs for food, clothing and shelter we can move on. Many live their lives never leaving this basic triangle of needs. They simply refine their needs into wants by focusing on gourmet food, designer clothes and bigger houses. This is a shallow value system at a time when humanity is awakening to greater purpose, to perception of how our values are affecting the earth, and how our behaviors are affecting climate. Instead of basing our self-worth on how exclusive we are, we can judge ourselves and others by how inclusive we are. Choosing to live simply means we can live on less. It also means we have more freedom to focus on more important things than superficial appearances or status symbols.
The time saved in not having to take care of all the possessions accumulated may be given to more important things. We can see nature, the planet and our fellow humans as more beautiful than our things. We can value whatever lives more than we do decorations. By living simply we can choose to value principle over prestige, the power of the inclusionary principle over the exclusionary principle, the power of the whole over the power of small wealthy self-congratulatory groups. Many new groups are dedicated to serving the world; they gather around ideas and ideals worth living their lives for. In short, living simply can give us more time, more freedom, more money, a more meaningful life, and a chance to contribute to something bigger than ourselves.
An Act of Will
An act of will stemming from an underlying will-to-good is another means of reversing the cycle of power, control and supremacy that money brings. As the ego ebbs, the will-to-good floods. A sense of integration and synthesis emerges. Compassion begins to motivate.
If chasms exist between the rich and the starving, the hoarded masses of gold and the humbled masses in need, if this is the heart of the economic problem than releasing the needed funds is the solution. If adequate money energy is available, then releasing, directing and channeling this energy is our task. The supply of money in the world and the demand for change in the areas of greatest need must come together, as surely as the law of supply and demand creates change.
An act of will is not the power of force or a militant following in line with others; it is the will to evolve, to act creatively from the quality of your own being, to be a source of light and love from within, to be a beacon of wisdom and compassion for others. An act of will comes from direct perception unobstructed by the opinions and directives of others. It has a quality of freedom that only authenticity can bring. The imitations of freedom and independent perceptions are a poor caricature of the real thing. An act of will sets you free. Following someone else’s will never does. How can it? The will to act is born out of the deep will to be, to overcome the small selfish nature with union through identification with the whole. An act of will comes from the deep will to evolve, not as an animal, nor in any physical sense, but in the will to evolve as a spiritual, ethical, and creative being. The act of will is an intelligent creative act that releases from the past and draws from the future, from the freedom of higher potential actualized.
Business Exists by Public Consent
Economics, in the last analysis, is not theories and texts, but the values of a people. Business exists only by public consent, as a channel through which supply and demand meet. As we have found out, the toxic self-interest of some corporate actors was at the expense of the world economy itself, causing suffering around the globe. Killing the goose who lays the golden eggs is a very old tale, told again and again, to no avail apparently. It represents the gullibility of entrusting the goose to those whose value system is based upon utter selfishness and whose plans are utter foolishness, who think only of themselves and short term gain. Money, like business and so many other things, is a good servant but a poor master.
Now we face the tyranny of largeness, companies so large we cannot afford to let them fail, or fail to do their bidding. The power of giant corporations to gain undue influence on governments and legislation is legion. They can also control the media, upon which democracies rely and an informed electorate is dependent. It becomes increasingly difficult for small businesses to operate in a climate of legislated favoritism. The disproportionate influence and disturbed equilibrium is costing Americans and the world dearly.
Small is Beautiful and Integral
Small businesses are truly foundational to the economy; 99% of all businesses even in the United States are categorized as small. Small is not only beautiful, it is integral and proportional. It cuts through the arrogance of size and position. Equality can restore equilibrium. It represents the working relationship of the unit to the whole, the atom within the body or system, and the value of the individual within the whole of humanity. The necessity to move on from unhealthy and unfair business practices creating unsustainable giants to a level playing field in which the full range of businesses has equal rights protected by legislation is upon us. In the final analysis, it is the creative tension between the unit and the whole, the small business and the large corporation, between the value of the individual and the fact of the one humanity which is the golden mean. It’s time once again to review the power of limits.
An Opportunity for the Young
Today the many young people, who are refusing to devote their lives to the accumulation of possessions or positions, have few cleared paths. For them a way of life built upon spiritual values needs immediate implementation and application. Many are committed to leading spiritual lives of service in this materialistic world, by being fully present in both, by refusing to give up one for the other. Our values and our motives are our own; we choose them. Forging new paths that lead to higher consciousness and greater purpose is a challenging opportunity for young and old alike.
In an economic atmosphere of severe recession such as this one, new college graduates have fewer job opportunities and dimmer prospects. As President Obama pointed out in his 2009 Arizona State University commencement address, this historic recession was caused in part by greed and irresponsibility. It is this materialistic value system that the new generation is faced with, and needs to address: “The elevation of appearance over substance, celebrity over character, short-term gain over lasting achievement is precisely what your generation needs to help end. It distracts you from what is truly important, and may lead you to compromise your values, principles and commitments.” In the absence of an easy job market, he advised them to follow their passion and pursue “ideals of opportunity, equality and freedom.” He encouraged them to continuously adapt, grow, and learn, to use this crisis as an opportunity to adjust their values to the ones that America is most loved for, such as new innovative ideas, human rights advances, responding to human needs with compassion, and the power of our enduring ideals.
To summarize a program for the men and women of goodwill who seek to use money as a tool of service, the following ideas are offered:
1) assuming responsibility for the money that passes through our hands,
2) using money with the energy of goodwill, or love in action, instead of desire,
3) meeting needs by sharing,
4) affecting public opinion by sounding out the principle of sharing, speaking and writing when opportunity arises,
5) taking a stand on issues concerning the economic common good,
6) dedicating seed money
a. to those institutions which alleviate world suffering
b. in areas of world crises
c. to those in our particular field who are attempting to sound the new, more inclusive note
d. with discrimination and conviction
7) refusing to serve greed or make decisions from values of greed,
8) choosing to live simply,
9) willing, with an act of will stemming from the will-to-good,
10) learning to release funds and grants in areas of need,
11) meditating on money, visualized as golden flowing energy, as an instrument of service.
 www: huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/13 obama-asu-speech-full-text.
[This article was adapted from "Using Money as an Instrument of Service" which appeared in the Summer 2009 Esoteric Quarterly. Both articles were adapted from the author's book, Esoteric Psychology (1978).]
Joann S. Bakula, Ph.D. is a transpersonal, integral psychologist, writer, and lecturer who writes a monthly on-line meditation commentary at www. worldservicegroup. Her publications include Esoteric Psychology: A Model for the Development of Human Consciousness, and many articles on myth, meditation, higher states and stages, the bardos, and applying ancient wisdom to planetary living. She is the Review Editor of the Esoteric Quarterly, has taught at various universities for 25 years, and is currently an on-line faculty member of Akamai University. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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