Friday, October 20th 2017

Spiritually $urviving job loss


The Secret‘s wishful thinking, versus the reality of 7 million American jobs lost. Soul’s Code introduces its own guide to balancing job security — and inner security

BY PAUL KAIHLA —  Oprah’s endorsement helped make a viral, online video called, The Secret, a mainstream hit a couple of years ago.

The theme of The Secret is that the good or bad you see in your life situation is a reflection of the contents of your consciousness. No, not your intellectual property — your intention. The producers of the indie Internet phenomenon co-opted the phrase, “the law of attraction” — as in, you have what you believe in.

Or more to their point: your affluence equals your attitude.

By that measure, many Americans — and good people all around the world — must have been thinking some very, very bad things, indeed, since September, 2008.

Since then, in the United States alone, 7 million jobs have disappeared. That’s more than the entire workforces of Sweden and Norway, combined, the source of President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize.

2008 -72 -144 -122 -160 -137 -161 -128 -175 -321 -380 -597 -681
2009 -741 -681 -652 -519 -303 -463 -304 -201(P) -263(P)

The unemployment rate is almost twice as high as it was during the ‘jobless recovery’ and ‘off-shoring’ panics during George Bush’s first term (official Bureau of Labor Statistics graph below):

For 10 years, the unemployment rate 'traded' in a narrow band

For almost 10 years, the unemployment rate 'traded' in a narrow band

The Secret and ‘prosperity preachers’ like Joel Osteen would trick us into a contradiction: That the power of thought will exempt us from the givens of life. But as the higher power that they aspire to says: we all have to live with givens such as suffering, loss, even taxes —  and neither The Secret nor Rev. Osteen can deliver an exemption unto us.

Don’t take the macro economy, personally

For one thing, the stock market, labor market and real estate markets lie far outside the control of any of we single minds.


New Age Fundamentalists believe we can “co-create” our own reality, but for all of their alternative-ness, they translate that concept through the prism of a conventionally-safe American dream: big house, hot car, trophy spouse (throw in a 401K). It’s a highly fractal, partial view of the ultimate reality they claim to have a purchase on.

Many motivational speakers are wanna-be mystics who miss the message

The Osteens and Tony Robbins and other TV-type motivational speakers mine the body of work of transpersonal psychology and mystics. But they distort and mind-warp the mystical principle that we humans have the power to translate energy into form, the same way that the invisible nuclear force in an atom materially positions electrons and other particles that are the building blocks of the world around us.

Spiritual power doesn’t directly correlate to financial instruments. Look at the Dalai Lama.

Our new slideshow, Spiritually $urviving Job Loss, isn’t about getting rich, or getting your job back tomorrow, just yet.

It’s about managing a sense of well-being in these times. It’s about inviting each of us to call something back into ourselves, when forces in the external world seem to threaten our very sense of survival.

Soul’s Code contributors offer first-person stories of recovery from job loss, blended with insights from spiritual teachers and cognitive tactics drawn from professional therapists.

Heli Tuomi-Carlisle is a mother of two who is a charter member of what economist Richard Florida famously calls, the Creative Class. Vaishali Love has gone from boom to bust to enlightenment, and forms the book-ends of this series. Ronda LaRue was a Fortune 500 exec who went post-modern shaman, and founded a spiritual micro-resort in Ojai, California. David Rickey is a psychotherapist, writer and Episcopal rector in San Francisco who has counseled hundreds of people through job-loss.


David Rickey is an Episcopal priest, Soul’s Code co-founder and counselor in San Francisco who does a weekly ministry at a residence for the elderly in northern California. Follow David on Twitter.

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3 Comments on “Spiritually $urviving job loss”

  1. Funny you should write this post. Someone recently recommended to me "The Law of Attraction: The Basics of the Teaching of Abraham," a channeled book. It's a small book, only about 200 pages and I thought what the heck, I'll give it a try. So far, I haven't been able to get past page 39. What I personally keep having trouble with is that somehow we can use our intention to create exactly what we want.

    One particular quote that made me stop reading was this one, "In order to effect true positive change in your experience, you must disregard how things are - as well as how others are seeing you - and give more of your attention to the way you prefer things to be." For me, this seems to go against a basic belief that paying attention to the present moment is the only moment I truly have. If I'm not going to pay attention to that, then, in this example, I'm off in my own make believe world of an imagined future.

    Not that I don't believe in the power of intention. It's important to have dreams and work toward making those dreams a reality. That is one of the things that makes life fulfilling, at least for me. If we don't imagine what we wish to manifest, how will we recognize it when it crosses our path, or comes into our life? Maybe that's what intention does, opens us up to paying attention.

    However, intention doesn't account for the randomness of life. Things just happen. Good and bad. Earthquakes, financial crisis, accidents, as well as synchronicity, kindness from strangers, and other unexpected pleasant surprises. How arrogant to think I can completely control all of the events in my life. However, what security it would give me if I could.

    Can we contain the opposites of accepting what is and at the same time holding our intention for the future? Might be an interesting experiment. Curiosity goes a long way toward making life fun.

  2. Namaste, All

    What I am experiencing in my life is that there is 'the way things are' and 'the way I see things as they are'.

    There is simplicity here.

    I can get angry when my dog rolls in goose shit and then comes running full speed, bounding into me, slathering me in greasy green goo...or I can look at this as an act of profound unconditional love...(and love is accepting of the shit too). However, neither of these is an observation of 'what is'in the now. What IS is this - big, hairy golden retriever running and jumping on woman. Everything else is an implied truth - a story.

    I cannot control my dog's urges to roll in goose shit, or her profound need to bowl me over when she runs towards me (though I am told this is crappy training on my part as an I am willing to be wrong about that!). What I can control is how I choose to observe and respond to these truths.

    SO how I choose to see the world IS a choice. How I respond to it is a choice.
    This is what is generally meant by 'co-creation of reality'.

    It is my feeling that the more we actually deconstruct reality, rather than to construct stories on top of reality - we actually get to the truth...and we can live simply within it.

    Big Love,

  3. I actually like the Secret for one reason. It taught me to lighten up in my thinking and to pay attention to the things that "feel" good. I was in a pretty negative professional position and was trying to trade into better but I kept coming in second best. I was miserable and felt like a huge victim.

    I started counting the good things and little miracles in my life and my attitude started changing. I was laid off from the horrible job and got a nice severance. I used that time to refresh and gave myself some space to let the good of the Universe take care of the details. Sure enough, when I needed it a recruiter called me and I was then in a new job making better cash than before and with a new perspective.

    I think you can flog the magical thinking aspect of the Secret and go totally off the rails and there are plenty of so call gurus who will take advantage of it too. However I think you are more likely to see the opportunities in situations if you keep a positive frame of mind. Its about allowing yourself to see more and participate in those things than being a prisoner to a set world view that doesn't include positive changes.

    Oh, you also have to be willing to work like the dickens when opportunity shows up. That's part of the magic. Lots of positive work.

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