Monday, September 19, 2011

The Ego Trip Called Poverty...

I was touring around Manila one time, minding my own business when I was approached by an elderly priest who apparently thought he had some wisdoms to share with me that were important enough to stop me in the street outside of one of the busiest shopping malls in the city. Regardless of the strangeness of the encounter (which if you have read my book, you will realize I am getting quite used to) and in spite of the fact I am not partial to men of the cloth I accepted his invitation to stop and chat a bit about God and the meaning of life. What followed was a remarkable conversation (mostly one sided) and some very unique insights into his version of the truth. He asked me a series of questions, many of which left me wondering who between us was less sane; one such question however sticks in my mind as being attached to a lesson I should never have forgotten. He asked me if I was willing to die for God, to which I answered without hesitation that yes, of course, without question. His response was not what I expected...

“Who the hell are you child to think that a being as powerful as the creator of heaven and earth would need you to die for Him?” (keep in mind please this is coming from the mouth of a somewhat roundish elderly man, with dimples and a twinkle in his eye) Needless to say I was a bit taken aback, yet when I had time to reflect on it later (no time then as he was still hammering me with questions) it occurred to me that he was right... Why would an all powerful being ask anybody to die or sacrifice themselves for them, after all, if you are all powerful, do you really need the help of man?
Unfortunately I came back to Canada and in the process of pursuing what I felt at the time to be my purpose, I lost sight of some of the things I had been taught while on the other side of the world. I think about it now however and it amazes me at how many aspects of life that one little message can be applied to, the most important of which I would think would be service to our fellow man.
Everybody wants to do their part these days to make the world a better place, in fact ‘be the change you want to see in the world’ has become a popular saying and is being used in all kinds of ‘help others’ campaigns, but I would like to remind everybody that if you cannot help yourself, how is it you expect to help others. There seems to be some confusion of late with regards to whether or not it’s ok for a spiritual person to make money off their products and services, some confusion in fact about whether or not it’s even ok to ‘have’ when so many others ‘have not’. I have met countless others out there who have been living with the belief that they must be willing to give up all that they have and all that they are in order to become who they were meant to be. In fact, I myself have given more than I can afford in years past and left myself more than once in a state of poverty, struggling to keep my faith while I am wondering where my next meal will come from. Strangely enough, there is ALWAYS enough, either through the generosity of friends, or as the result of a series of random events, whatever I am lacking seems to just magically be provided whenever it is needed. Thing is, I wonder, if some of that is coming from friends who are giving of themselves to take care of me, and they are doing so because I have given of myself to take care of others, who is taking care of them?
You know, I met and worked with a woman once who was so very proud of her poverty, in fact she told as many people as she could that she had nothing because she was always sacrificing and giving to others. I not only worked with that woman, I was, at one time right on board and in line that the ideals that the woman was teaching to others and I jumped right on board with the whole idea of what an amazing and selfless person she was for being willing to do without so others could have. In fact, I wanted to be as loved and respected as her for all the same reasons, to be appreciated and admired for my generosity and willingness to give. I believed that in order to help others I had to go without, I had to give up all that I had, I believed that my giving of myself was so important that it did not matter if I suffered as long as others out there were saved by my actions. I think about it now however and I wonder, how big does your ego have to be to believe such rot?
I mean, if we can sit here and tell others that faith will carry them through; if we can sit here and teach others that their connection to Spirit is their abundance and their wealth, how can we at the same time sit in a place of self righteous ignorance and assume that we must give up all that we have so that they may have more; are we not then saying that the Spirit, that which is God cannot do it without us?
Now I do not mean to say that Spirit does not work through us, it is in fact our being here in the flesh and the actions we take and the choices we make while here, that is how God touches this world. It has always been that the acts of compassion, acceptance and understanding have been and an expression of God’s love. Why is it that we don’t believe that the acts of the sharing of wealth and abundance could also be an expression of God’s love. The problem is not that there are not enough people out there who are willing to share, the problem is that there are too many people out there who believe that it is their duty to go without so that others can have what they need. It sounds ridiculous, I agree, but if you really consider how much praise we dump on those who give recklessly and heedlessly without regard for their own wellbeing you will realize how much we praise and celebrate the idea of continued poverty and lack of abundance.
There need not be a sense of sacrifice in order to do good deeds and uplift others. It does not serve our world to teach poverty and lack, in fact it carries us further from the truth of the matter, which is that poverty and lack are man-made sorrows created to give us a false sense of self worth and value. These ideas are born of the ego and hold no place in a world that thrives on the sharing of light and love, ideas that have no place in a world that knows only endless abundance and joy. So in keeping with our desire to see a world that has no room in it for starvation, hunger and all the other pitfalls of poverty consider it your task now to get past this idea of going without and focus instead on putting yourself in a position of security, prosperity, and abundance. For who better to help assist others to rise above poverty and powerlessness than those who have wealth and power. Stop giving your you away and leaving yourself with naught in order to save the world, the world will do just fine on its own if you would just get yourself back to work on saving yourself.
(the following is an after-thought that came to before I had time to think about it)
It was the question of whether or not being wealthy in the materialistic sense can make you poor in the Spiritual sense that lead me to write today’s blog. It was something I think I needed to work through for myself and I have always found my pen to be my most trusted tool for the purpose of reflection. If I must be completely honest, as I am writing the end of this blog, I have not yet even begun writing the beginning of it, yet I have taken on the action of admitting the problem, facing the issue and doing what I need to do to work it out. So I put the call out to my friends and was blessed with a wide variety of answers that lead me to one final understanding that nullifies the importance of all my previous questions and concerns surrounding this particular problem.
It’s occurs to me after all is said and done that regardless of how much wealth you attain or do not have – you can never be Spiritually ‘poor’ because you ARE Spirit manifest into human form... so that, as they say, is that...
Problem solved, moving on...

Niki Norlock, author of Truth - My Synchromystic Journey

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