Ah, yes. We've heard it many times before. And for most of us, the first part of that phrase most likely conjures up visions, and perhaps feelings, of deep, spiritual comfort - a place of almost unimaginable peace, security, understanding, recognition and acceptance. So you may be surprised to learn that this Ripple is going to focus on that most practical of current earthly realities - money.
So far, I have been rather cautious with my expression in these Ripples. But as we move towards the momentous changes due in 2012, and our need to clear up the world in preparation becomes increasingly urgent, I have decided the time has come to be rather more forthright.
Believe it or not, we are, indeed, approaching critical mass. At long last, humankind is about to move beyond the lowness of the present dimension which, for too many and for too long, man has made an utter hell and, in which, as a consequence, we have caused ourselves to remain anchored through many painful incarnations for the best part, if not all, of our recorded history. Of course, advancement will not be total. That would be too much. There has to be some time given to adjustment. However, whatever the pace of true progress (not the false kind we've been witnessing for centuries which has too often brought disaster rather than improvement), humankind will never advance to its fullest potential until it abandons money.
Why do I say this? Because in order to look to what is truly possible, we have to look to the higher realms - and there are many. There is no money in the higher realms. There is no need - and there is no need for it here, either. Money has stalled our progress, not advanced it. Money is an outstanding example, within current human experience, of a concept that is excellent - even perfect - in theory but a disastrous failure in practice. In fairness, it seems such a good idea. We have various needs; we cannot meet them all by ourselves; we need the talents and services of one another. The concept of reward and exchange is fundamental - the notion that 'nature abhors a vacuum' will be familiar to many. It is also the basis of the (much misunderstood and oversimplified) concept of Karma. But we are not always in a position to give to those who give to us. We simply may not have the talents, goods or services that they need at the time. What a fine idea, then, to operate a system of 'tokens', having an independent value, which we can exchange with one another instead. Perhaps if some wise, benevolent entity was available to administer these fairly, the concept might have fulfilled its promise. But there wasn't. There still isn't. And it hasn't.
We have made money necessary for almost all things which means that, far too often, people are prevented from moving forward in their lives (from experiencing, from developing, from growing - all the things that we come here to do) through a lack of money. Worse still, money and, in particular, the principles of capitalism, have caused untold damage to the earth as its resources are unnecessarily ravaged and wasted. It has caused greed and excesses of all kinds which serve the happiness of neither the individual nor the whole. It has forced degradation and humiliation on countless, resulting in severe damage to the soul. It has caused untold despair, is the greatest cause of rifts in relationships (certainly in England), has driven many to suicide and has led many more to descend to the most dreadful crimes, including murder.
And yet money is an illusion - a complete artifice. It is merely bits of metal and paper to which we ascribe a value. (We could have used any material). The artificiality of it becomes clear when one considers that the coins which make one rich in one country are valueless in the next. And nowhere can there be a better example of the worthlessness of money as an effective means of living our lives than the current situation in Zimbabwe where money itself has come to be worth almost nothing. Perhaps this is no accident. While the world condemns Zimbabwe's ruler, perhaps (like Gollum in Tolkien's great analogy, Lord of the Rings), he is here to serve a useful purpose - which might include showing us, in the full glare of the world's spotlight, the sheer inadequacy of money.
It is said that we cannot live without love. But - being very careful how we define love - few, if any, of us live entirely loveless lives. By contrast, some 25,000 to 30,000 people are dying every day through poverty - extraordinary numbers and clearly a situation which deserves a Ripple in its own right (see www.poverty.com and www.globalissues.org). The sheer tragedy of it, however, as the spiritually-aware have been trying to tell the world for so long, is that the fundamental nature of even the third dimension of reality is abundance. There is enough food, and enough of everything else we need, to go round. It isn't a lack of love or even a lack of food that is causing poverty. It is a lack of money.
So what is needed? Well, history has shown us that humans do not respond very well to revolution. 2012 may catapult us into a new dimension - but it won't be the highest one. (We wouldn't be able to cope). So we are unlikely to be able to dispense with money immediately. But we can do more than we are currently doing in order to arrive at that pinnacle of evolution sooner rather than later.
The Romantics knew this. Shelley argued passionately for the re-distribution of wealth - despite the fact that he was born into the aristocracy and was heir to a fortune (which he never inherited). In his Declaration of the Rights of Man, written in 1811, he wrote:
No man has a right to monopolise more than he can enjoy; what the rich give to the poor, whilst millions are starving, is not a perfect favour, but an imperfect right.Nearly 200 years on, we have yet to embrace this. Of course, there have been some improvements. But what a long way we have still to go. And what a long way just stopping our waste and over-indulgence in the West would take us. Now I'm not arguing for austerity. Quite the opposite. There is nothing wrong with beautiful homes with an abundance of beautiful objects in them. If that is what we wish, ultimately there is no good reason (only bad ones) why we cannot have them. But under our present way of operating, even the relatively well-off don't have them. Our houses are too often carelessly-built and filled with carelessly-made things. Why? Because money itself has made it too expensive for most to have otherwise!
Humanity needs to decide to aim for moral, spiritual and intellectual heights. For too long, too many have chosen to aim for moral, spiritual and intellectual depths. We need to recognise that everyone comes here with talents, abilities and a passion for something or other, whether for farming, building, healing, teaching, dancing, designing, singing, cooking, engineering, painting, writing, gardening - whatever. And we need to recognise that it is only through, firstly, having the freedom to engage in the activities which nurture us (without being forced into doing something contrary through the need for money) and, secondly, being high enough to choose to do so in order both to serve others and to express our true natures (which cry out for expression), that we will truly be wealthy.
Instead, through money, we have created a situation where a person's worth is gauged by how much they are paid (a deliberate choice of verb - how many highly-paid people can be said to 'earn' their money? Do footballers truly 'earn' their millions?). And, because money rules, it is, of course, those who work in it, in finance and commerce, who get the most of it. This despite the fact that both interest and profit are nothing more than money for nothing. They are, in fact, legalised theft.
Profit is not to be taken as the perfectly legitimate reimbursement (under the present way of doing things) of actual costs of providing the goods or service, which should rightly include a fair, and preferably generous, wage for the provider - but rather the money-for-nothing added to this, often in large amounts, even when the provider can afford not to. Moreover, usury is condemned by the Bible - yet humans have not only legalised it, but consent to its use to underpin their entire lives! So, too often, those whose talents are in directions other than finance and commerce are denied real abundance. Artists, for example, can almost be made to feel pariahs, expected to give their services free (despite being faced with the same needs and the same bills). Yet what would our world be without music, the visual arts, literature, design? Art is present everywhere.
An example which must be familiar to artists across the globe illustrates perfectly the inadequacy and destructiveness of money. A local music festival is run completely by large numbers of volunteers. It has available to it, in abundance, all the necessary ingredients to make it happen - time, talent, knowledge, expertise, energy, and will. So what has endlessly stalled its progress? Money. Yet money is not necessary to make it happen. Only the ingredients just listed are necessary to make anything happen.
Yes, this does require a radical re-think. But so does all real advancement. No matter how loud, howls of derision can not silence the truth. They didn't silence the fact that the earth is round, despite their jeering insistence to the contrary. They didn't silence the fact that the earth orbits the sun, no matter how many people were put to death for saying so. Nor did they silence the prophecy that, one day, humans would 'fly'. (One day, we really will).
Some spiritual thinkers argue that money is OK. It's how you arrive at it and what you do with it that matters. But that philosophy is still very much rooted within the limited perception of the present dimension. In order to advance to our fullest potential for prosperity and happiness, we need to choose to be good instead of bad; high instead of low; noble instead of ignoble. And we need to oust the greatest tyrant this sad, old, wounded earth has ever known: money.