Monday (8/8/11), the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 634 points after Standard and Poor’s downgraded the US government’s credit rating, sending tsunami shockwaves through global markets for days. My wife, Kate, and I first found out about it in our local, old-timey hardware store here in Burgettstown when we stopped in to get birdseed for our winged friends. John, the owner, who tends to be very vocal with his (usually crotchety) opinions was just fuming with anger and frustration, reflecting the helpless feelings he, and others were experiencing over the news.
I found myself wishing I could forget what I had just heard. I had been having a really good day up until that point, and could feel that a part of me was already starting to pucker from the awareness of yet another bad economic omen. Consciously, I recognized that I could still continue my good day as if I had never heard the news and that it might not be as bad as it sounded. My physical and emotional sensations, however, pointed to the last vestiges of my inherited “poverty consciousness” resonating on yellow alert. I did a pretty good job of putting the whole thing out of my mind as we continued on down the road to The Mesa, imitating the sounds of the oncoming cars and trucks that rushed past our window and laughing as we went.
When we got there, our Mesa bank statement was in the mailbox, and I immediately sat down to reconcile our checkbook with it. After years of putting off such chores until the last minute because dealing with things like bill paying and bottom lines spun me out of balance, I had come to a more healed place of tackling them right away. As I crunched the numbers, I felt relieved as I saw we had enough money in the bank to easily take care of our bills for the coming weeks, but it remained to be seen if there would be any left over to take home for ourselves. Shipping a recent art project to Norway and restocking the Mesa gift shop had necessitated running up a large charge bill, one that would soon be arriving in the same mailbox. That, I knew, would be taken care of too, but I could still sense something inside of me that felt uncertain.
I reminded myself that more money would soon arrive for us and that Spirit was supporting us in our work helping others. I could feel in my higher nature that it was true. Things had been going better and better for The Mesa in the overall scheme of things, even with the poor economy, and I felt genuinely optimistic about our long term survival. Still, I could feel that little worry gearbox, whirring busily away somewhere deep inside of me. I took note of it, casually attributing it to my own unconscious fiscal concerns. We had just sunk a lot of money into repairs for our only running vehicle, which necessitated taking a little more cash out of my IRA to keep our short term personal finances afloat. In the back of my ego-mind I wondered what the plummeting stock market may have done to what was left of my so called “retirement” account.
I finished with the checkbook and tucked all the paperwork neatly away before joining Kate out in the workshop. She was making “Corn Maiden” figures out of ceramic clay like the ones we had seen from Pueblo Indian culture to add to a primitive, sawdust firing we were planning. This Southwest Native American spirit brings health, fertility, and sustenance with her body and her breath so that “the people” might live. The figures that Kate was making were beautiful, and potent reminders to us of how the material world depends on Spirit. I sat down and worked for a while too, making a shell-shaped smudging bowl. I largely forgot about the Dow and how it might impact my IRA and our future. With no class scheduled for the evening, we enjoyed working creatively for a long time before going home for a late dinner.
We ate, and I was back at the computer answering emails by the time the 11pm news came on with the full scary story about the Dow’s nosedive and its possible impact on our nation’s economy. I could barely hear it from the living room as Kate watched, so I peeked on Google to find out the “why” of the big story. I went back to looking at emails but could feel an inner uneasiness still sloshing around. I joined Kate to watch a few minutes of “Nightline,” and as simply as they described the stock market situation, it seemed totally incomprehensible and absurd. “Three trillion dollars of wealth have disappeared,” spouted the talking head on the screen, but the money was never “real”. What exactly had happened? It was artificially inflated, projected value, not actual assets, that had vanished. It had little to do with the NOW, but I knew, sadly, that it had the potential to become a self-fulfilling disaster prophesy; the downturn news sinking the economy, taking with it the hopes, dreams, and future security of many Americans.
We turned off the TV and were getting ready for bed around midnight when the phone rang. It was a very spiritually connected friend of ours who knows I’m up late. I already knew she’d be checking in because she was feeling what I was— not our own fear of any economic crisis, but the fear of others. It was palpable in the Allness and what was causing the inner “whirr” I was experiencing. Our friend had spent the evening watching the news and fielding emails and phone calls from the folks in her “tribe”, all worried sick about how they were going to pay their future bills. She had been doing what she does; reassuring people and sending out Light for us all. We were witnessing events unfolding that had been long predicted by the Mayan Calendar, other indigenous prophecies, astrology reports, and our own spiritual guidance. It was just one more wakeup call for humanity to realize that our institutions had become unstable and completely irrelevant to where Creation was taking us. People were afraid to let go, imagining they’d fall.
I had felt the crisis build for weeks, hearing bits and pieces about the budget deficit “impasse” that Congress was dealing with, (Read that as: “Bunch of egoic crybabies who can’t allow themselves to agree in order to insure the communal good”. Did that sound judgmental…?) and what effects that might have on the US credit rating and world markets. Standard and Poor’s was threatening to downgrade America’s score for weeks, knowing right along that it was just an opinion about the future, one that would screw up the economy even more.
This was amazing to me in light of the fact that the US government had long ago promoted their business by legislation mandating that banks and insurance companies use credit rating services (like S&P) for their investments to protect the American people from being saddled with bad debts. They were compelled to bite the hand that had fed them. Pessimistically predicting that our feuding leaders would only have more and more trouble solving our economic woes, they gave the whole country an A-minus on our term paper, blowing our 4.0 grade point credit average, and causing the whole world to doubt we’d ever amount to much.
It didn’t seem to matter that S & P’s had been wrong, massively wrong, in their calculations (see http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/ezra-klein-how-sandp-downgraded-the-government–and-itself/2011/08/08/gIQAc39A3I_story.html) and had been before. They had missed problems with Enron until they went into default, and the risky investments that brought down the mortgage banking system. People were scared and the market dove as a result. It seemed like the old story of the Frog and the Scorpion. (Short version: Scorpion wants to cross river. Frog offers help if Scorpion promises not to sting. Scorpion gets on Frog’s back for swim. Stings him half way across river. Dying Frog asks why. Scorpion just being Scorpion…)
It all looked to me as if no one could help themselves, and in fact they couldn’t, because they were under the influence, unknowingly—of the Evolution of Creation. The picture was just hard to see wearing “material world glasses” and (falsely) perceiving everything to be strictly matter/linear time-oriented in nature. It reminded me of the time I had tried on the “drunk glasses” that local police had brought to a health fair at a nearby high school. I couldn’t walk straight with them on, but they hadn’t changed who I was or what was going on around me. Only my perception had changed and Creation was working powerfully to change ours. Could it make us see our commonality, our interdependence, our connection through the Allness? Would we recognize the Spiritual underpinnings of what was happening, let go of relentless pursuit of “more”, and make changes in how we deal with each other?
Yep, being spiritually connected and empathic can be a bitch sometimes. I’m not the only one who is, but I’m one of a relatively small population that is actually aware that we all are. It’s just that many of us are either wearing distorting “glasses” (earmuffs, nose plugs, gloves, body padding, etc) or are in fearful denial of our connections. Feeling other people or the Allness as “me” is a different level of awareness or consciousness that many have turned off because we simply aren’t taught how to experience or deal with it. I won’t tell you that everything is going to be OK from a material standpoint, but spiritually speaking, it is. We, as human beings, are just being asked to change, accept each other and our (common) spiritual nature, and heal from our material madness. Simple, huh? (Would somebody please tell that to the young folks who are burning and looting London over “lack of stuff”?)
I can hear you asking, “So what do I do?” (No, I don’t hear-hear it, but I do “get” it empathically. <Grin>) First of all, recognize your connections with the Allness and how you are affected by it, locally and globally. Ask yourself, “Is this my own fear I’m feeling, or is it coming from mass consciousness?” What is your Soul telling you? Learn to just sense things from “other” and let them go by “sorting the mail” instead of reading and acting on its “contents”: If you were working in the post office and you saw John Doe’s electric bill go by, you’d just look at the address, pass it from one hand to the other and into the proper mailbag. You wouldn’t open it, read it, or upon seeing that it was overdue and threatening shut off, pay it. (“Holy Smokes! John owes $200?!! I’d better pay this right away! Where’s my checkbook?!!”) You’d simply take notice that it was an electric bill for John and send it on along. You can do the same with other people’s fear, worry, doubt, anger, jealousy, sadness, etc; sensing it and passing it back along into the Allness. It’s not your job to own it or resolve it singlehandedly.
There’s also something else you can do. If you can muster the energy, generosity, and focus, you can send Light back into the Allness grid. For you see, that mail delivery system works in both directions. If we each do our part and pump The Collective up with Light, it will raise the shared vibration of all in question and things will go better for us two-leggeds. When I suggested doing exactly this to someone lately, their response was a fearful one: “Oh, no,” they said, “It would be like trying to help someone who is drowning. If I touch them, they’ll pull me down. I’d look for a stick or something so I’d have leverage. Then I might be able to help them without sacrificing myself.” I reminded them about another kind of leverage that’s available to all of us, that of grabbing onto Spirit with one hand while extending the other to those who are struggling. There are ways to work that out, but it starts with knowing how the system works. It can be as easy as mailing a letter.