Wednesday, October 18th 2017
Jun
2009
15

A female mystic’s way to pull yourself out of money-worry

The current economic crisis is a collective ‘dark night of the soul’  — and a creative destruction of the ego’s fear and trembling

GUEST COLUMN: SMADAR DE LANGE — In 1843, the Danish philosopher Kierkegaard published a book called Fear and Trembling, a title borrowed from a line in Philippians 2:12, “. . . continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”

J. Krishnamurti, the great Indian mystic of the following century, argued that the main motivation of the ego is fear-based. Working with fear is at the essence of a spiritual practice, because only when we face our existential fear, can we be set free.

In that sense, the current economic crisis is essential. This crisis is not a new phenomenon; it is a manifestation of what already existed. In order to connect with an actual reality of a financial balance — and moreover, in order to connect with what is real about being a human — we have to enter through the portal of this crisis. It is like an animated character in a Looney Tunes cartoon (see the video). When the coyote is running in mid air he doesn’t fall into a void until he looks down and acknowledges that he is running in mid air.

We humans are not helpless: the reality of the world ‘out there’ is dependent on the inner reality of any individual — and also on the collective consciousness.

Living through the financial crisis is like a ‘gym workout.’ For what? Embrace it as a psychic exercise for breaking our dependence on what our ego perceives as reality. The hidden force of what newscasts present as a cataclysmic financial meltdown is that the event can be a meaningful tool for the evolution of consciousness.

We are going through a collective ‘dark night of the soul’. We wrongly imagine the outcome of this process, based on the past of human history.

I feel that our task is to be present with each moment as it is, without inferring, projecting or being afraid. It is a lot for our ego. But our being is much greater than the limitations of the mind, and has the capacity to survive and prosper in what ever comes.

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9 Comments on “A female mystic’s way to pull yourself out of money-worry”

  1. I came across this site today through a linkm and love the counter-point to news media talking heads on the stock market crash.

    You take it deep, metaphysical.

    The chattering classes are still stuck in their eightenth century heads. The New York Times is about the deepest the mainstream media goes but it's all intellectual, mind-stuff circle jerk. It's very clever, but it's a form of entertainment. There's no vibration here, no inspiration to change, very little wisdom. It's light-weight mockery.

    Are We Rome? Tu Betchus!

    By MAUREEN DOWD
    Published: October 11, 2008

    With modernity crumbling, our thoughts turn to antiquity.

    Maureen Dowd

    The decline and fall of the American Empire echoes the experience of the Romans, who also tumbled into the trap of becoming overleveraged empire hussies.

    As our sand-castle economy washes away under the tide of bad gambles and debts, this most self-indulgent society lurches toward stoicism (even bankrupt Iceland gives us the cold shoulder and turns to a solvent superpower). It’s going to require more than giving up constant infusions of stocks, Starbucks and Botox.

    As Seneca, the Roman Stoic who advised treating the body “somewhat strictly,” wrote in a letter: “Avoid whatever is approved of by the mob, and things that are the gift of chance. Whenever circumstance brings some welcome thing your way, stop in suspicion and alarm ...They are snares. ... we think these things are ours when in fact it is we who are caught. That track leads to precipices; life on that giddy level ends in a fall.”

  2. this is exactly what Eckhart Tolle is saying, too. The purpose of humanlife is breaking free from thought-based suffering. The universe is giving us a huge wake-up lesson about what happens when ego and its fears run the show. When we see experience as a lesson rather than a real event of importance for its own sake we can break free and also open to the greater wisdom of the emerging Consciousness.
    Thank you.

  3. So the opportunity that was squandered with 9/11 is being presented again -- choice. Do we grasp fear or humility?

    Just adding in my very simplistic two cents.

    SueAnn

  4. "Working with fear is at the essence of a spiritual practice, because only when we face our existential fear, can we be set free,"

    This post is meaningful and provocative.

    But I have a slight misgiving as to how valuable the external conditions are to the insight of our true nature...

    Suppose I have invested money in stocks, or my job is in danger. This naturally causes fear, by revealing the insecurity of my situation. This is a 'personal' problem.

    But the kind of fear that comes through the media, such as the financial crisis that now looms large, is that the same? What I mean is, is this fear existential or social, conditioned response?

    I hope you don't mistake my question.

    I feel the kind of fear that J.Krishnamurti talks about is the fear that underlies our every activity, it is the background of our very existence. Whether the markets are booming or goes bust, it is irrevocably there unless it is directly faced and understood.

    A clarification in further posts would be helpful.

    Regards,

    Baskar

  5. Good question, Baskar. The important first question is always what is happening inside. The ego will respond to fears about its own security issues. But they are not "our" issues. Our essence is that which is able to observe the ego "doing its thing". Can we dis-identify with the ego enough to become conscious of its working. Yes, if our portfolio is worth less that will affect the outer manifestation of our life. But that causes suffering only when we are identified with the outer manisfestations - things. It's hard to imagine, from an ego point of view, being happy without those things, but when we dis-identify, two things happen. We become less anxious, more at peace, more true AND we open up to deeper wisdom which can actually help us become aware of what we truely want, which is often much less for happiness than what we think we need. Jesus said "seek first the kingdom of God" (meaning the place of awareness, the I AM) and then what we really need will be open to us.

    Does that help?

    David

  6. "Our essence is that which is able to observe the ego “doing its thing". Can we dis-identify with the ego enough to become conscious of its working."

    Thanks David. I feel this directly addresses the central issue of self-awareness. The ability to reach this essence is what could free us from 'fear and trembling'.

    Regards,

    Baskar

  7. "The chattering classes are still stuck in their eightenth century heads. The New York Times is about the deepest the mainstream media goes but it’s all intellectual, mind-stuff circle jerk. It’s very clever, but it’s a form of entertainment. There’s no vibration here, no inspiration to change, very little wisdom. It’s light-weight mockery."

    So true! And it is entertainment.... bells and whistles, smoke and mirrors, and especially scary things in the dark that are out to get you. Our ego loves it (evidenced by the preponderance of it) while another part of our ego loves to hate it. I call the "mind-stuff circle jerk" mental masturbation. Righteous indignation that leads to nothing....except more ego entertainment. Recently I was reading a blog by a spiritual teacher who admitted that even he is sometimes pulled to know what Brittany did today. This is how strong the pull of the ego is. Truly it is one of the strongest forces in the Universe.

    I've been able to pay very little attention to what is going on with the markets. Managing to stay grounded in the "I Am" of myself long enough to just notice how easily my ego could become mired in the fear mongering. I so agree with David that these times offer an opportunity for more and more people to take the journey of dis-identifying with the fear based ego. And for many of us crisis IS the doorway.

    De Lange calls this a "collective dark night of the soul" and I totally agree. I don't view 9/11 as a "squandered opportunity" from the standpoint that it created the crisis (dark night) for so very many, that then led to the "call" that then, when answered, led to higher consciousness. However, 9/11 also led many others to become even more entrenched in their fear based "ego", and we are all seeing the legacy of that.

    So I believe the same thing will happen this time; many will hear the "call" via the crisis; some will answer, and many more will not. The pattern of God-Consciousness calling and we either listening or scurrying back into "trembling with fear" (ego) will continue for a very long time. It is all part of the ongoing process of consciousness evolution. Unfortunately I don't think I will live to see the day when even a majority of people are moving in the direction of dissolving the ego, but I sure hope I'm wrong. I do however see hope in our children, and especially in their children.

    I am grateful that more and more of us in the here and now are "hearing the call" and responding. So every time we turn off the pundits, or pass on buying the newspaper, or resist the urge to find out what Brittany did today our ego takes notice. Oh, yes siree, it does sit up and notice. And this is where the real war, the true battle is waged; for it is not, nor has it ever been, "out there" somewhere. The real war is not in the financial crisis or in Iraq, but rather it is inside of us. Our inner terrain is where the battle that really matters takes place. The battle for who shall be our Master; the familiar, fear based ego, or the fearless, love based "I Am" of our-Self.

    Frost said it best "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I, I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference."
    Namaste,
    Rebecca

  8. Rebecca, You have *seen* deeply. Thank you for sharing so much. The divine paradox here is that this site was founded by individuals from mass-market, consumer magazines and websites. So what you observe here, is true:

    So every time we turn off the pundits, or pass on buying the newspaper, or resist the urge to find out what Britney did today our ego takes notice. Oh, yes siree, it does sit up and notice. And this is where the real war, the true battle is waged; for it is not, nor has it ever been, “out there” somewhere. The real war is not in the financial crisis or in Iraq, but rather it is inside of us. Our inner terrain is where the battle that really matters takes place. The battle for who shall be our Master; the familiar, fear based ego, or the fearless, love based “I Am” of our-Self.

    And we arrived at the same place about Britney Spears, and she has had her own 'dark night of the soul' . . .

    How did you come to share this incredibly powerful insight?

  9. Paul thank you for taking the time to respond to my post. I stumbled upon this site while doing some research on spiritual oriented blogs. The day I read this article and responded my dearest friend, Maggie, a golden retriever was dying. She crossed over the next day and I'm sure the depth of feeling and "insight" you noticed came in part from my pain....and fear, and in part from my current spiritual focus. So when I read the wonderful article about "fear based ego" boy did I respond. After traversing my own "dark night of the soul" my spiritual growth right now is about leaning into the ego/spirit dynamic on a level heretofore not experienced, and my oh my is it tough. I read a wonderful dialogue yesterday between Ken Wilbur and Alan Cohen and WOW, when I hear that these guys also struggle with this stuff, well, I must admit it makes me feel better. And I think it really is supposed to be a struggle, and it's supposed to be tough; our ego's are always going to be around enough to make sure of it! Richard Moss's book "The Second Miracle" is in my opinion a profound look at the development of the ego, the rise of higher consciousness (spirit), and the dynamic, sacred interplay of the two.

    As a counselor I help mentor people as they walk their spiritual path seeking growth. In order to do that I have to stay on my path....and I'm always striving to grow beyond my current boundaries. I've come to believe that this is the measure of spiritual growth. That it is not just about accumulating more and more states of transcendence, but about continuously pushing the boundaries of who we know ourselves to be in our everyday ordinary/extraordinary existence.

    I'm not surprised to hear about the origins of this site. Walking that razors edge between the needs of the ego and the yearnings of soul will naturally lead to paradoxes, don't you think? And I don't know about you but I'm a big lover of divine paradox! I did start that new blog: http://www.rebeccajeffers.wordpress.com

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