Tuesday

The Nature of Money

A wonderful story (told my by my friend Hilary) about the nature of money:


It is the month of August, on the shores of the Black Sea .. It is raining, and the little town looks totally deserted. It is tough times, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit.

Suddenly, a rich tourist comes to town.

He enters the only hotel, lays a 100 Euro note on the reception counter, and goes to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one.

The hotel proprietor takes the 100 Euro note and runs to pay his debt to the butcher.

The Butcher takes the 100 Euro note, and runs to pay his debt to the pig breeder.

The pig breeder takes the 100 Euro note, and runs to pay his debt to the supplier of his feed and fuel.

The supplier of feed and fuel takes the 100 Euro note and runs to pay his debt to the town's prostitute who in these hard times, gave her "services" on credit.

The hooker runs to the hotel, and pays off her debt with the 100 Euro note to the hotel proprietor to pay for the rooms that she rented when she brought her clients there.

The hotel proprietor then lays the 100 Euro note back on the counter so that the rich tourist will not suspect anything.

At that moment, the rich tourist comes down after inspecting the rooms, and takes his 100 Euro note, after saying that he did not like any of the rooms,and leaves town.

No one earned anything. However, the whole town is now without debt, and looks to the future with a lot of optimism...

Download my new book The Spiritual Laws of Prosperity from Pure Prosperity

Friday

Introduction to my new book: 'The Spiritual Laws of Prosperity'

Download my new book The Spiritual Laws of Prosperity from the Pure Prosperity website

The great American mystic Joseph Campbell said you could tell the focus of a society by the height of its buildings.

Up until a century ago, churches and temples were the tallest buildings. Then administration took over. Now our great monuments are dedicated to commerce and economics.

Everyone faces his or her own issues with money but those on a spiritual quest have the harder task as they seek to make peace with the issue of God and Mammon. In simple truth, there is no conflict: the Source is the source of all including financial prosperity — but that is not what we have been taught.

Money was invented by humanity; it is a purely imaginative thing fuelled by belief. We have come to see it as a source of evil, inequality and a power in its own right and we have lost the ability to understand it as a natural resource responding to peace and trust at the soul level.

As a teacher of prosperity consciousness for more than a decade I see many clients who are paralysed by fear over money issues. This is not the feeling of fear — that is a passing sensation from the ego — but a deep, soul-based emotion that is ingrained, perhaps even over lifetimes.

The great spiritual teacher, Louise Hay, once responded with a sharp intake of breath when I told her I taught prosperity. She said she would rather teach relationships any time over prosperity as people had so much resistance to it.

Just call me a masochist!

The main issue is this: if the soul is activated, as in the spiritual seeker, it must seek union with the Divine. And for century after century (in the Christian world at least), religious teachings have been interpreted to imply that the holy and the good must be poor. Mix this up with aeons of wealth within the Church itself and the promise of ‘jam tomorrow’ — in heaven if you’re good enough and don’t complain — and you have the basis of mixed and contradictory emotion in the soul.

Each human soul knows that it is precious and rare and sacred to the Divine. And yet the teachings of holiness appear to say that it must experience lack in an abundant world. The modern ego is trained not to be selfish but it is rarely taught to be self-full in order to support the soul’s sacred quest.

Judaism, Islam and the other major world religions have their own soul issues to contend with but it is Christianity (especially in the UK) which carries the worst confusion over money. Even if you would not call yourself a Christian in any way, if you have been raised in a nominally Christian country, the financial/spiritual programming of centuries will still have a profound affect on your psyche. Remember the Jesuit saying, ‘Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man.’ What we learn at home, at school and from our peers in our childhood will remain as programming forever unless we take conscious steps to change it.

We give to charity; we give to our children; we give whatever we can in order both to be kind and to be good. We pay out on the bills and the house and the car and the credit cards as a priority every month. And because we neglect the call of our soul we give from an empty hand and our soul weeps in consternation at our fear of lack, which we must hide from others because it might be viewed as a judgment from on high because we are not good enough.

There is no reason whatsoever for poverty in this abundant world. The issue is distribution not lack. But spiritually, it needs to be understood that distribution comes from us not from them. By the Law of Cause and Effect, also known as karma and the Law of Attraction, it is our energetic vibration that decides whether we are prosperous or not. It’s not what they told us, it’s what we believe about what they told us. And that can be changed.

Imagine if you had three gifts to give to three people. You walk into the room where they are and one person was bright and excited at the idea of a gift, the second was suspicious or unwilling to trust you and the third said they didn’t want anything and you should give it to the needy, you would find it easy to give to the first one and challenging to give to the last two. If the same thing happened several times, it would be quite normal for you to feel the urge to give to the first person only. The second person would be too much like hard work and often you had to leave the gift ungiven and the third, who was trying to make you do something that wasn’t what you wanted or planned to do, would just feel so confusing that it’s likely that the gift would be dropped or spoilt or broken in the tug of energy.

That’s how it must feel for the Source when it tries to give. You can’t give something to someone who won’t receive it, especially if they believe that you are the one who wrote the rule book on exactly why they shouldn’t receive it!

The Spiritual Laws of Prosperity, a sister book to The Little Book of Prosperity and the forthcoming From Credit Crunch to Pure Prosperity aims to set the record straight on cosmic, divine law when it comes to our health, wealth and happiness. It attempts to show that spiritual law is all about living abundantly and it is centuries of misinterpretation that have misled and restricted us.

It is clear always that we must guard against being possessed by our belongings (that is such an interesting word: possessions!) so that we are trapped in a life ruled by ‘shoulds’ and ‘things’ instead of being free to go and do what our soul desires. To work at the level of the soul requires discernment and loving kindness — to yourself and to others. Certainly you must have what is beautiful and useful in your life but spiritual growth requires the cutting out of the dead wood so that the beauty can flourish.

It is clear in every spiritual teaching — including Christianity — that abundance is our birthright and everything else is resistance.

To learn to be a magnet for wealth is not a selfish thing for the spiritual seeker. It is a service to the world and all the people in it. You cannot teach abundance to others if you, yourself, live in lack. It is clear that giving and giving and giving to others does not solve the world’s problems. What will solve them is teaching prosperity consciousness and trust in the abundance of a loving Source Energy (whatever you want to call it).

Embrace prosperity consciousness; teach it on and watch the people of this planet respond with joy. This is the world we seek and it is good.

Download The Spiritual Laws of Prosperity from the Pure Prosperity website

Tuesday

Prosperity and Jesus

Jesus was poor, right?

Wrong.

I apologise if this ruins your idea of the perfect Christmas nativity complete with heartless inn-keepers but it is much more likely that the story of Jesus’s birth was just one in a long line of prosperity miracles.

You’d expect that from a Son of God really, wouldn’t you? It’s plain silly to think someone as clear, loving and powerful as Jesus was broke. And yet we are still infected with the idea that Jesus was poor and that, if we are ‘good’ people, we should follow that very same path.

In the Christian world, the most often quoted objection to spiritual prosperity is not from Jesus at all. It’s attributed to St Paul: “The love of money is the root of all evil.” (1 Timothy: 6)

This is what the King James Bible says:

Having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and hurtful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.

For the love of money is the root of all evil; which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.


The Greek words for sustenance and clothing, diatrophe and skepasma in ancient times covered food, housing without a mortgage or rent, four holidays a year (literally the ability to attend four religious festivals a year in Jerusalem), clothing, bedding, curtains, carpets (rugs), household equipment, all bills and taxes.

The phrase ‘love of money’ means ‘obsession with money’ and the word translated as ‘evil’ is kaka which actually means…um, crap.

So, in a nutshell, it means:

“If, having everything you need for a prosperous life, you obsess over money and lose your true focus, then your life will suck.”
I don’t think anybody would disagree with that.

It also means if we hate money or resent it, or spend so long sorting out our bills that we seem to have no time for anything else, we are still being avaricious – obsessed with the negative side of money. And feeling resentment at the riches of others is a sure fire way of creating lack in our own life.

Certainly, Jesus himself was not a fan of cluttering yourself up with possessions. We all know the quotation, “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God” (Matt 19:24). The rich man is “one heavy with possessions.” It’s hard to be prosperous when what you own possesses you – when the ties of the mortgage, your kids’ schooling and your job mean you can’t follow your life’s dream.

Jesus also said “Ask and it is given” (Luke 11:9) but in Matthew 21:22, he added the rider “Whatever you ask for in prayer, believing, you shall receive.” This is the key. If we ask for money but don’t believe wealth is our birthright, we cannot attract prosperity.

I’ve never found any evidence in the Bible to show that Jesus or his family lived a life of poverty. What I have found is modern misinterpretation of ancient lifestyles.

Jesus never needed for anything. In those days there were no books or movies so a visiting preacher with new stories was an exciting event. If Madonna showed up for a concert in your town and needed a bed for the night I don’t think there’d be any shortage of food or accommodation offered (and her retinue’s much larger than Jesus’s was!)

We are taught that Jesus was a carpenter. The Greek word translated as “carpenter” in the Gospels is tekton which means artisan, mason or builder as well as a worker in wood.

In the Jewish Biblical commentary, the Talmud, the trade of carpenter is deeply respected. There is even a story of a man who arrives in a town looking for someone to help him with a religious problem. He asks for the rabbi, then says, “Is there a carpenter among you, the son of a carpenter, who can offer me a solution?” Where there was no rabbi, a carpenter was considered the person most qualified to interpret law or answer questions.

There were customers too. Four miles from Nazareth, was the town of Sepphoris which was partially destroyed by fire in about 4 BCE. During Jesus’ lifetime, it was being rebuilt into a thriving city. Archaeologists are still discovering luxurious homes and public buildings dating back to the first century including an aqueduct and a palace. For a tekton there was full-time work for years and the walk from Nazareth would be considered a very reasonable commute.

But about the nativity, the stable and ‘no room in the inn’?

The story we love at Christmas only exists in the Gospel of Luke and it reads (KJV):

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
“And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn
. (Luke 2:4-7).

There is no donkey; no ox; no trailing around Bethlehem, no unkind inn-keepers and not even the slightest hint that Mary was in labor while they searched for somewhere to stay.

A lodging house in Jesus’ day didn’t have rooms the way modern motels do. It consisted of two dormitories with men and women segregated from each other. This meant that more people could be accommodated at a time of pilgrimage and made it easier with respect to the laws of purity (where orthodox Jewish men and women spend up to two weeks not touching during and after the woman’s menses). The shepherds could never have found their way into the female dormitory to see the holy child – and Joseph couldn’t have been there either!

It is also worth noting that a stable was rarely separate from a house in those days; animals lived next to the kitchen; their body warmth being useful and their dung being used for fuel.

The next problem is the word that Luke uses and that we translate as ‘inn.’ This is kataluma and it is not used in the sense of public accommodations or inn anywhere else in the whole New Testament.

Just before the last supper, in Luke 22:11, Jesus tells the disciples to follow a man into Jerusalem carrying water. He leads them to a house that had a large kataluma where they could all gather together for the Passover. That kataluma is translated in almost all versions of the Bible as "upper room" or "guest room."

Luke does tell a story featuring an inn – the Good Samaritan. But there, he doesn’t use kataluma but pandocheion, meaning “a public house for travellers.”

Luke writes that Joseph was of the House of David and had to return to his family’s hometown for the census (apographo, meaning “written record” rather than the usually-translated “tax”) so it’s more than likely that he had extended family in the town.

It has been suggested before by scholars that Joseph and Mary would have stayed with relatives rather than at an inn and anyone with Jewish friends knows they would be outraged if even a distant cousin chose to stay at a motel and not with them!
If there was more than one couple staying in a private house, there probably wouldn’t have been enough space for a woman to give birth, so Mary would have been moved out of the guest room and into a warm place where she could walk, sit, lie down, be attended by others and where she didn’t have to worry about the ritual purity laws and the blood and natural mess of a baby’s birth.

And the stone (not wood) trough used as a manger would have made an excellent and secure cradle when the baby was born.

Both Jesus and his family knew how to manifest exactly what they needed at the perfect time without being encumbered by unnecessary possessions, duties and cares. They weren’t poor; they were truly prosperous – just as we can be.