FROM SUCCESS EDUCATION COURSE
BY FREDRIC LEHRMAN
Managing Your Relationship with Money
What I’m going to say to you in the next few minutes is intended to allow a shift in the way you have managed your relationship with money, and with the world through the use of that money. Beliefs and habits acquired while growing up often become limitations as times change. This course asks that you re-consider everything you have been taught in life up until now and decide if your beliefs are consistent with your goals.
Beliefs Are Consistent With Your Goals
Imagine a person trying to get out of a room. You need to know where the door is, and have a key to open it; otherwise you are imprisoned. If you want to go somewhere new, you may try to break out, perhaps with a lot of force and noise. It is much more effective to get the key or the combination, open the lock, and suddenly you are out! Your freedom to move and choose is easily realized when you have the keys.
Scarcity or Abundance?
Your money consciousness is defined by whether you feel confined or you feel free. Either you think you live in a universe where there is never enough, or you live in a universe where there is abundance. In prosperity consciousness you live in a relaxed way: there is no pressure because you see an abundance of things to have, to do and to be as well as the time in which to experience them. Thus there is ease in choosing your actions. In poverty consciousness you are always under pressure. You feel you have to make continuous sacrifices. If you do one thing, you worry you will lose another as a result.
So it is really your relationship with the universe that is being considered. The question is how to get from confinement to freedom. What I want to do now is show you how to find the keys.
When it comes to understanding the way the mind works with money, the principles are simple. Understanding and integrating these principles, however, usually requires a lot of experience.
The Pig Analogy
Recently, at a friend’s house, I saw an interesting object on a table. It looked like a covered bowl, shaped like the popular image of a “flying saucer,” with a mirror in the center at the top. On this mirror there stood a small toy model of a pig. Next to the bowl was a sign, which said, “TOUCH THE PIG.” I was hesitant, thinking it was some kind of booby trap.
Which in fact it was, but not the kind I expected. When I finally put my hand out, it went right through the pig, which wasn’t really there. It was simply a very convincing “hologram” of a pig, a play of light that was very realistic and totally misleading! When I tried to touch the “mirror” on which this little figure of a pig was standing, my hand went right through it and down into the interior. I then lifted off the top and found the actual object, a small plastic figure, resting at the bottom of the mirrored surface of the lower half of the bowl. The pig was in fact there, but not several inches higher where I had originally perceived it.
Often, this is how prosperity seems. You are looking for money, chasing it, trying to catch it. You see it there, but very often when you reach out it vanishes. If you are having that experience over and over again, you might ask your self the question “Is my fortune really where I see it?” My beliefs made me go to the wrong spot. The actual object of desire was really inside the bowl, at the bottom, but a system of mirrors made it appear somewhere else.
Thus many of us are looking in the wrong place, and in the wrong way. We are looking for prosperity out there in the world, in a job, or investment, or lottery. Many of us have invested in some super deal, only to find that there was nothing in the end.
Adjust Your Inner Lens
If you get your inner lens adjusted, instead of reaching for the money where it isn’t, you will become more and more accurate until you reach for the fortune where it actually is. Some people seem to be able to put their finger on money all the time. While others miscalculate a distortion in the lens, something that forces them to unconsciously struggle and fail over and over again.
How did our prosperity lens get distorted? For most people, the origin of the problem was acquired unconsciously through family conditioning.
In the words of Phil Laut, “a functional family is one that is operated for the intentional benefit of all concerned. A dysfunctional family is one that is managed unintentionally by parents who act unconsciously to avoid the pain or embarrassment of family issues unresolved by their own childhood caretakers.”
The distortion in the lens is passed down over generations almost like a gene. It is not any one person’s fault. If you had a parent who acted in an abusive or neglectful or critical manner towards you in a consistent way, you as a child probably assumed that you were the cause of that behavior. That’s what kids do. They take responsibility for the whole family situation and feel guilty or wrong. In fact, the parental behavior may have little to do with the child; it may be something more related to that parent’s own experience when they were small, in their own family environment.
They are still trying to avoid the pain and embarrassment associated with their own unresolved memories, which are re-activated by the innocent actions of their children. And so it goes, generation after generation, with the pattern of struggle, inadequacy, and incompetence stretching back indefinitely through time until someone finally changes it in the present and breaks the chain.
This conditioning and its compensatory behavior affect more than just how we deal with money. These patterns express themselves in all social and business contexts. This is why people do what they do and vote for whom they vote for; go where they go or marry whom they marry. Our behavior is pre-disposed, so that 90% of our choices are unintentional and unconscious and are a way of avoiding suppressed memories of pain and embarrassment. In keeping our unresolved issues out of sight, we distort our own perceptions and then keep wondering why things don’t connect for us.
Getting What You Expect
Now if what you have got down in the bottom of your mind is a memory of love, happiness, and good experiences, then you don’t have to suppress those things. You don’t have to go around trying to make everything look good, because you have a direct experience of things being good. But if you grew up with abuse or neglect, you will expect to find abuse and neglect in your adult life. If your family was neurotic around money, never talking about it, or using it as a tool to control you or to compensate for something emotional that was missing, your money system will reflect this dilemma.
Recreating Childhood Dynamics
Each person develops a formula for re-creating their childhood dynamics while simultaneously struggling against them. You may even use money as your agent to accomplish this goal. Some go shopping hoping that they will feel complete. Other people are afraid to spend money if they have it, because they think they will be disapproved of if they do. Or they may buy things just to bring on the disapproval, whether from others or from themselves in the form of guilt. The variations in pattern are endless.
When I work with people individually, I have them answer questions about their families. This gives me the setting, a sort of abstract of the personal soap opera that they found themselves in as they grew up. I ask them to describe their parents and grandparents, and how they related around the issue of money. What about brothers and sisters? How did they all relate to you?
Then I can begin to see where the person fits into the family story, and how money was intertwined with those dynamics. Then I ask them to tell me about their career issues in the present. Are they succeeding up to a certain point and then always getting stopped or always failing?
What’s At the Bottom of the Bowl?
What I have to do is figure out what is at the bottom of the bowl. What I see at the top in my current situation is the projection of that old reality. The problem lies in the childhood story. That‘s what’s at the bottom of the bowl. This is what you need to research for yourself in order to find the key to the door of prosperity.
Money is Like a Fishing Lure
Money is like a fishing lure trolling behind the boat to get people to bite at it. What is at the other end of the fishing line is everything else in your life. The money issue is just the hook. You ultimately need to get up in the boat and deal with the fisherman’s problem. It will benefit your health, your professional success, your relationships, the way you deal with your friends and family; all of it comes from the same basic material. So starting with money is both practical and effective.
Money as Solution or Money as Meaningless?
Imagine if I were to ask you: “Would you rather have millions of dollars, or would you rather feel happiness, love, acceptance, be healthy, and have a lot of good friends?” Which would you choose? Some people would not know which one to take. That indicates is that there is confusion between believing in money as a solution and realizing that money in itself is meaningless. Its value comes from the context of relationship with people, with society, with the planet. Of course, once you have cleared the distortion in your prosperity lens, it is entirely possible to have both a great personal life and lots of money. But you need to remember where the real value lies.
As you are listening to this, you may have been running some memories through your mind. Make little notes to your self as things come up. You don’t have to write the whole story, but put down a name or a word to remind you of that particular situation. Something happened which got locked in as an incomplete, unresolved issue. You are still trying to resolve that issue but you are not dealing with the thing at the bottom, only with the reflection at the top. What happens is that you go into a new situation with a new employer or a new group of friends, and you very efficiently and with extreme precision set it up so that you will get those people to re-create around you the unresolved childhood situation.
You do this over and over again so that you can continue to try to deal with it. Because, and this is the tricky part, your survival as an individual has become linked, in your mind, with that problem. You think that who you are is somehow connected to that feeling of disharmony. And this is why it is so hard for people to give up things that are self-destructive. It is a psychological “Catch 22.” They are doing self-destructive things in an attempt at prolonging their survival.
Relaxation or Stress Response?
One of the more brilliant questions that I ever heard was not about money, but was about life and death. Let’s just say that you were in a room of normal-looking people and you were the only newcomer. Imagine what you would feel if you were to discover that everyone in that room was over 250 years old. What would that do with your assumptions about mortality? How would you feel? You would suddenly feel like “Wow, I can relax, this getting older thing is not what I thought it was. Everyone is looking pretty good here!”
Would that relaxation response make you healthier, or would it increase your stress and vulnerability to disease? Notice how quickly one little bit of information can change how you feel, and how the cells in your body immediately start to function differently? All kinds of stress would start dropping away.
And in the words of Johnny Informationseed, “You can always tell your true age by how much pain you experience when you encounter a new idea.”
Now if you did that little mind-experiment just now and noticed some subjective change, what that means is that unconscious stress was constantly there right up until that moment, and you did not feel it because you were used to it and never questioned it. You have been walking around in that stress of aging and death because you thought people generally die at 40, 50,60, 70, or 80. The number is usually based on family models. If we dwell on it, the internal message is “Death is getting closer and is crowding in on me.”
This is a form of poverty consciousness. But you don’t have to keep doing what everybody else did just because of a family tradition. To develop prosperity consciousness is to go beyond limiting habits of thought. You can become so relaxed and abundant inside that whether money comes or goes is not going to throw you off your stride. There is an internal stability that is independent of whether you have money or not. And when you are in that mode you become much more “bankable.” People are attracted to you. They want to get involved with you, to do business with you. They want to invest.
When you are in stress, on the other hand, the only people who will come to you to invest are people who match your level of stress. Then you form a club of stress-ridden people. Because we are so used to seeing things being accomplished in business by people who are driven, driven, driven, we think being driven is the only way to succeed. That is a very limiting the model for success.
A New Business Model Based on Real Wealth
What we are talking about is the possibility of a new model. Money is just a medium of exchange. Wealth and money are not the same. Wealth is in the knowledge and creativity and abilities of a society. If you took all the money away, what would people be able to do to maintain themselves and the culture? That is the real treasure.
All of our scientific knowledge, all of our knowledge about art, about farming, about how to build motors, or heal people– that is the true wealth. Money just allows us to exchange those units of wealth more efficiently than we could in a barter system. When you have no real units of wealth, and you are just throwing money around, then it gets to be very glassy, there is no traction.
In the 1980′s and 90′s many people were pulling in lots of dollars through actions that did not really involve any abilities on their part other than to just push a button to say “buy it” or “sell it.” You can get into a very false sense of security if you put your certainty in the money. It is like believing in the image of the pig floating above the mirror. Try to ride that pig and you will fall into the hole.
It is much better to be in state where inner energy, intelligence, knowledge and creativity are the source of your wealth. And then you add money as an amplification of that.
We all have aspects of these different patterns. We are needy in some ways and sufficient in other ways. We all have something to give. Some people, however, are stuck in a mode of constant giving to compensate for feeling inadequate. When you are in a state of inner abundance, you give because you overflow. Someone once said that prosperity means constantly living above your means. Living above your means all the time indicates that you have enough to take care of your needs, so you always live above that line. You know you can survive, so you go beyond those motives into creativity and “aliveness.” It is a much healthier state than feeling “I never have enough, I always have to work on survival, I always just get by.”
Being At the Center, Not Periphery of Your Life
All of these things that I am saying are to try to shift you to being at the center rather than at the periphery of your own life. When you are at the center of your own life you radiate a certain type of field, which strengthens everything around you and causes things to act in a supportive way. When you are functioning from the periphery, what you want is always somewhere else, and you are trying to get to it. You become like a moth around a flame, or like a vampire. You have to chase life because you think you are half-dead and desperately need to drink some life-juice to stay alive. This is a self-perpetuating pattern of belief. The more you seek, the more you thirst. But if you can restart from a centered sense of self, everything you had been seeking will begin to find you.
Now, take an inventory. Get a piece of paper and put a vertical line down the middle of the page. At the top, on the left side, write the word “survival,” and on the right side put the word “aliveness.” Start listing everything that you do in the course of a normal day, or normal week, and put it on the side of the line where it belongs.
How much of what you do is because of survival issues, just making sure that you are going to survive, one way or the other? Making sure that you are going to pay the rent, or that you can buy food tomorrow. That is all survival stuff. What about walking in a field and admiring the view. Is that survival? No. But certain things could appear on either side of the line, appearing on how you view them. If you love your work, and would do it even if you weren’t being paid, your job could go in both columns.
Make this list; you will quickly be able to evaluate the commitment of your energy. How much of what I do is survival-motivated? How much is aliveness-based?
The Survival Line
Most people kill themselves all their life in a job in order retire and die. This is what I mean by making Survival your purpose. It is a dead-end trip. It is not going to get you to prosperity. Guaranteed. If you shift over to the aliveness side, this is has a whole different flavor. No matter how the trip turns out, at least you’ll be getting the most from it while it’s happening.
Think of a station in the London subway, which is much deeper than NY subway system. By the time you have gotten down to where the trains are, you have usually taken 3 or 4 escalators and followed some hallways and you have gotten turned around so you have no idea which way is north, south, east, or west. So you must read signs which tell you which way to go to get to the blue line, the green line, the red line. How do you know which way to turn? The signs give the name of the train and the stations that it is going to go through, in sequence.
Let’s say that you come to the end of a hallway, and you have to turn either left or right. You read the signs. They say that turning right puts you on the Survival Line. Its first stop is always the same, and is called Security/Safety. You chose that. Then the next stop on that train is called Defense, because if you are going to stay safe, you’ll have to protect yourself.
So the more you get locked into Survival, the less you can move, because unpredictable movement might be dangerous. Safety is when you are locked in and well defended; you have weapons, and you have big walls up, and you have watchdogs and hired guards. That is “safe.” But you can’t go anywhere. This is the “Howard Hughes syndrome,” where you end up locked with your money into your own personally designed “safe.”
And what is the last stop on that Survival Train? Ironically, it is Death. Because of the way our minds work, what we focus on tends to expand in our experience. Fear thus becomes, in effect, a prayer for something you don’t want. To reach the end of the line, to be totally safe, you would have to stop living.
As Werner Erhardt once said, “If safety is what you need, three-dimensional reality is the wrong place to be.”
The Aliveness Line
Now on the Aliveness Line, the first stop is Uncertainty. You’re not sure what is going to happen next. You are just out there, exposed to the Universe. If you stay on the train beyond Uncertainty, you find that the next station is called Energy/Excitement. It is thrilling to be out there taking a risk. And then, at next stop, you begin to feel like things begin to integrate in a new way and you discover a New Balance which comes from motion itself. It’s something that you didn’t have when you were sitting still. It’s like riding a bicycle.
The first time you ride a bicycle it doesn’t make sense, and feels very insecure. You think, “There’s no way I can ride this thing.” Then after a while you discover the trick. The trick is keep peddling, to stay on the train. And then you reach this new kind of balance, which offers much more freedom than you had before.
So on the Aliveness Line you go through uncertainty, excitement, the build up of energy, now you start breathing faster, you can’t control your own body because things are happening too fast and there is a spontaneous kind of reaction going on. Your deeper organic intelligence is starting to run the show. You’re “out of control” in the old sense of the word.
But suddenly you discover the new balance, the thrill, the fun, and the excitement of Freedom. And that is the “last stop” of the Aliveness Train. It isn’t a stop at all, but rather a new world in which your train travels forever, where the track appears under the wheels as you direct yourself by choice, from moment to moment! The Aliveness Train leads to Aliveness; the Survival Train leads to Death.
And freedom is the scariest thing of all. What does freedom mean? Freedom means that you can do what you want when you want to do it. Nothing is forcing you. Nothing is limiting you. At first it is strange and unfamiliar. It is so different from what we have become accustomed to feeling that the first thing is to tighten up so that you at least have something to hold onto in yourself.
Since there is nothing out there that is pushing on you, your boundary dissolves and you don’t know who you are anymore. Your old limiting shape drops away as you discover freedom.
Looking at freedom from the perspective of someone who is very tightly controlled, you might think, “Freedom is going to feel really great. I am going to be able to express myself, I’m going to be able to run around and feel everything without fear.” That is not exactly how it is. That’s what you imagine when you are still trying to break out of control. But when you are free, it is very quiet. There is no wind blowing to push you in one direction or another. Once you learn to rest in it and be comfortable in it, you can initiate from that silence, at one with the Universe.
You Are the Universe
“Universe” means uni, one, -verse, turned in many different versions, different forms. The Uni-verse is one thing appearing through different aspects. You realize you are intrinsic to that one thing, therefore you are the Youniverse.
For a moment it is extremely lonely, coming from the old way where you were always trying to reach out and touch something to verify that you even existed. At first, like the vanishing pig, there is nothing there. There is nothing in the mirror. And then you realize that you are the mirror and you are the Universe, and you are completely unified and connected and there is no separation, and no distance. It is all yours. That is the ultimate prosperity consciousness.
Hearing this from a condition of not having enough or of being in lack, you might think. “I am not sure I really want to go there.” The spiritual question always comes up. What about those spiritual masters who expand their minds so much that they know the past and the future. Why don’t they just invest in the next Microsoft and make millions of dollars? Why don’t they tell us which horse to bet on at the racetrack? It is because they don’t want to anymore. That is the paradox of it. When you’re in the state of mind that has that kind of comprehension, you don’t care about getting any “thing” because you’ve got it ALL. You are not coming from insufficiency or lack.
You Have the Power
My old tai chi master used to say, “You will be sick until you are sick of being sick. Then you can get well.” So there will be people who will try one way or another to get rich, to compensate for feeling like they are not enough. After a while it just doesn’t seem to mean anything anymore. And finally they realize that what they seek is not “out there.” It is an inner state. And then they shift over.
Maybe they already have a lot of money, or maybe they don’t. But they feel good either way. What is interesting about very wealthy people, and I have worked with a lot of them in this type of approach, is that if they can get this idea and they already have the money, they can let go more easily. They are very close to this realization because of having lived under the illusion of safety that the money was supposed to provide.
A little move can shift them into cosmic consciousness. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it is really phenomenal. They suddenly hook back into the “Youniverse” and all the wealth that they have becomes something that is absolutely shareable. Their well-being is now one with the well being of the environment. The gulf between themselves and others has disappeared. If they are going to feel even better than they already feel, they know that they must serve the largest number of people. And that becomes true abundance and true prosperity.
Natural generosity is not based on insufficiency, or compensation or lack. Nature is generous. Nature produces a lot of grass, a lot of flowers, a lot of water, a lot of mosquitoes. There are quite a few stars out there, and stars are very big, very bright, and unimaginably energetic. “Have a few billion of these!” It is the natural state.
When you recognize that and put yourself in tune with it, you suddenly realize that it is highly impolite to the Universe to be thinking in terms of lack. You have insulted it. No wonder it doesn’t invite you to the party!
Sai Baba is an Indian man who is revered as a saint by millions of people around the world. Among the things he does as part of his mission is to manifest objects out of nothing. Scientists have gone there to study him and come away with no explanation other than that he is really doing it. If it is a trick, it is a miraculous trick.
I have seen a film of a festival that takes place once every few years. Sai Baba is standing there wearing a light robe with short sleeves in front of a great four-foot tall clay pot. He just puts his arm out over the opening and a very fine powder starts precipitating out of his open hand. It is called vibhuti or sacred ash. It usually comes from a sacred fire, but he just manifests it out of his hand.
The ash pours down into the empty pot, at first slowly, and then faster and faster until it is coming out like a fire hose. He fills the pot until it spills over. Then they pull it away, and put another one there, and another, and another. He makes enough vibhuti to last for years. The stuff smells nice and has a taste like violets or lavender. And it has healing properties. People take it home and put it on their altars. Now that’s a great “trick!”
At other times, he will produce toys for kids, jewels, gemstones, gold, silver, fruit that you can eat; he will sometimes produce photographs of people that you know. It just comes into of his hand as he gives it to you. A scientist who went there and eventually wrote a book about him was completely baffled by this. He was trying to be objective, and at the same time he was feeling so drawn to the spiritual power of this man. Finally he just couldn’t help himself and asked, “How do you do that?” Sai Baba looked at him and replied, “How do you not do that?”
That is what I mean about effortless manifestation. Experience has shown me that giving up the struggle makes things work better. It has taken a long time to give up my attachment to struggle. We think that the hard way is the right way. We believe that if we struggle then we will deserve a reward for having struggled. But if this were true, billions of hard-working people all over the world would be wealthy.
What is effective is using your free energy efficiently. You see this in the Olympics. Some athletes really try hard, and then they win or lose. But every once and a while you see someone who doesn’t struggle at all, and they win as well! It looks rather strange to us, because we are so accustomed to expecting pain associated with effort. But these athletes are using the principle of mind first, matter second. They don’t hold themselves back, but simply release themselves like an arrow from a bow. And an arrow does not struggle to fly through the air.
The more you relax into that mode, the better it works, until one day you do something effortlessly and perfectly. You feel strange the first time it happens because you didn’t have a sense of trying and you hardly think you did anything.
Consciousness is the Bow
Physical reality is the arrow. Consciousness, the energy of the life, is the bow. That is all that is going on. That is where you connect to “the prime mover.” If you search back far enough you realize that you did not have to wind up the clock. You started already like the arrow. But then you made yourself into a very tense arrow, trying to move forward in space.
Prosperity consciousness is like free fall, only you go up instead of down. This is really what being alive is like. That is how you get up in the morning. You just fall up.
The mystery of it is we can write our names, we can feed ourselves, we can go to sleep at night and get up in the morning and nobody knows how we do it. Nobody actually knows how the body heals when it is injured. The real medicine is life. The real prosperity is life. The real support system is life. Like skilled sailors, we can chose to sail either with the wind or against it; but in both cases, it is the wind that moves us.
I heard recently that someone is doing a study of the effect on penguin groups of repeated low flyovers of aircraft. There have been claims, which are thus far anecdotal, that when a pilot flies towards a group of penguins at a fairly low altitude the penguins, all in their little group, see the plane, then turn and face it as it comes towards them. As it flies overhead they all look up and they keep watching it pass over them until they all fall over backwards.
So now someone is allegedly going to Antarctica to see if that story is true. They will attempt to photograph and document the behavior and see how long it takes the penguins to learn to turn around rather than fall over.
Social reality is like that. Most of us are like the penguins: we all fall over backwards together. True or not, it is a good image to remember. What is Reality?
Are you beginning to understand that what you considered to be reality, i.e. the necessity of struggle, and the way money has worked for you, and success and failure – that all of it is subject to review? When you catch yourself with limiting thoughts, just relax, then think less limiting thoughts. You will discover that the pressure drops away and things start working more smoothly. Less friction, less noise, less wasted energy. It is easy to forget that simple option. That is why people meditate, to give themselves time to stop. Because the rest of the time we are too busy, too involved with our old role, the part that we have been playing since our childhood.
As homework, as a start, I would like you to think of one family member with whom you had some ongoing issue. It could be your mother, your father, a brother, and a sister. How many other people in your life have you projected that role onto in some exaggerated or diluted or disguised form? This is the beginning of how you step out of the old role. You have been repeatedly trying to deal with that unresolved situation, by setting it up again in order to try solving it. But since you didn’t solve it in childhood the tendency is to keep it unsolved now in order to maintain the same relationship dynamic. It is like a tape loop that plays over and over again with a new cast of characters each time.
Catching the Money
Money plays into that picture like a handle or a dial to tune in the emotional issue. When you encounter that situation in the present you feel an emotional tone which reminds you of how you felt when you were younger and dealing with that family member. So if you are trying to catch the money, you are going to reach for the “pig” and not find it there. If you locate the old emotional issue and get that straightened out, then suddenly the money will behave differently.
You’re Smarter Than You Know
It is like discovering that you are a lot smarter than you knew. Let’s say that you have always wanted to work for a financial genius who would solve all the problems, a boss that knew what you should do. You are in fact working for just such a genius. The aspect of your mind that knows how to maintain your body, grow it from a small child and teach it language and teach it all the things that you can do is remarkably brilliant. When you stop being smart and just become open you will amaze yourself with how much you know.
Stopping the Struggle
There is a moment where you stop struggling and you feel like nothing is going to happen. You’ll have to pass through that one. And then things move and you go with them, you start going with the Universe. Like learning to ride a bicycle, it goes along just fine until you start thinking about it. And then you may wobble. You run into a bump because your conscious mind wants to know how you are doing this. Bit by bit you get a sense of increased freedom, increased flow, being with the universe, not outsmarting yourself, and trusting your intuition, not having to figure it all out. Just keep listening and feeling and paying attention.
Keeping the Balance
At a certain point you learn to keep your balance. How do you do that? You don’t know.
Your intention is the bowstring. The Universe is the bow. The energy is already there. You don’t have to turn it on. Just let the arrow go. Practice until the target finds you. Lao-tzu was the ancient Chinese philosopher of Tao, or “The Way.”
He said: “Through Non-action everything is accomplished; The Sage desires to be desireless; My words are easy to understand.”
He said these paradoxical things as if they made sense. What could he mean?
Lao-tzu is pointing out that desire and life are the same thing. Life is aggressive. It moves. It doesn’t stay where it is. It grows. It expands. It breathes. Taking a breath is aggressive, taking something from out there and pulling it in, taking space as you move into it, as you grow bigger. So life, which is who you are, is aggressive, meaning it desires expansion and change.
The wise person, the Sage, realizes that life is that self-moving force. Instead of trying to get somewhere, or have something, or control others, the wise person uses the principle of natural expansion and desire to achieve a state called Desirelessness. It turns desire around on itself, not to stop it but to fulfill it.
Being desireless means: 1) to have everything you want, or 2) to want exactly what you have. If you begin with version 2 you will be able to realize version 1 more easily, since they are intrinsically the same state.
Your natural life force wakes you up each morning and says, “let’s go.” Resisting your life force is very tiring. If it wakes you up in the morning, let it take you to its natural potential. Life is like a big game player and you are its piece on the board. You are going to feel best when you play the game really well. Trust life and life will move you toward things or away from things; it will resonate and connect you with other people who are flowing towards the same goals and purposes.
Let’s say you are addicted to struggle. You will wind up with a group of people who love to struggle and make life tough for each other. Your friends are going to be strugglers. You go to a party and there are some happy people, and then there are some complainers. You always end up with the complainers in your life. Why? Because happy people don’t like to struggle! You come over with this frown on your brain, they say “How do you do,” and then they just naturally go on and find someone who is easier to breathe with, while you go to someone who is as clamped as you are in order to have company. People polarize and form cliques. You have to give up the struggle if you want to be with happy people. Only remember, don’t struggle too hard to give it up.
I drove down into town yesterday for some coffee. The woman working there said, “That will be $3.75″ with an expression that said, “I’m sorry, it’s going to have to cost you money. You are going to have to pay me, and it is so unpleasant.” She had no awareness that she was doing this. Her whole life was in stress around this issue. She could have said, “Hey, you get to pay $3.75. Isn’t that great?” It is great. It is part of breathing. It’s the exhale part. You spent the money! That felt great! Now it’s become coffee. Terrific! And she gets paid and she goes to a movie and it is wonderful!
You can live in scarcity (Scare City) or Abundance. The choice is yours.
Reviewing Your Business Patterns
I would like to leave you with something to apply and actually test out. You need to analyze your own business patterns, review your financial autobiography and think about your parents. But while you do that, see if you can, in all your activity, become less like a sparrow that is chased like a hawk, darting here and there and flapping your wings, and become more like a kite anchored to the ground by something that is secure. Kites don’t struggle to stay aloft; they use the wind. Let your everyday interactions lift you towards your goal. Feel like you are riding on the breezes life brings you. And see if you can get your timing right.
The surfing analogy is also good. Waves don’t have any handles. The surfboard doesn’t have any handles. You just have to be on top of the board and with the wave. Then you get to walk on water. So in every interaction, notice when you start to work at it. Just notice. And right there, relax, and then proceed. The moment you see yourself pushing, relax, and proceed. Find balance in the present. Another way of saying it is, we are either ahead of ourselves because we are worrying about the future, or behind ourselves because we are obsessed with the past. When you can let things be exactly as they are, and then move with them, you will find your power returning.
So in summary, prosperity consciousness involves:
- Clearing your mind of subconscious limiting beliefs;
- Retraining your reflexes from stress to relaxation;
- Placing value in quality of experience, not in money;
- Remaining aware of your link with the creative energy of the Universe;
- Keeping a clear eye on vital goals, while managing your survival needs with maximum efficiency.
In the words of Leonardo da Vinci: “He turns not back who is bound to a star.”