Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin
“Count, count, weigh, divide” (Aramaic/Babylonian)
*King Belshazzar and his minions were enjoying a drunken feast during the twilight years of their mighty civilization—relishing their treasures, guzzling wine from sacred gold chalices—when a hand suddenly materialized and etched those ominous words on the wall: Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin. Apparently an early example of ITC (technical spirit communication) before the advent of modern technology.
If we overlook its cryptic double meanings, it was probably a warning, translated in the modern vernacular as:
“A little obsessed with the spoils, are we?”
In which case the lesson was a simple one: Wealth obsessions wouldn’t bode well for the new epoch. Today, thousands of years later, as we approach the end of that Second Epoch, our money issues still cause problems.
That’s the subject of this article: What money is, how it reflects and escalates our behavior, why we’re sometimes preoccupied by it, and how we can free ourselves from its magnetic pull—for greater peace of mind—regardless of how rich or poor we are.
What Money Is… Really?
Money is an artificial life-energy that we use here on Terra to create and nourish our social systems and our lives. The real stuff—life-energy from the source—creates and nourishes everything.
There are lots of differences between life-energy (real) and money (artificial), especially in the way they’re distributed and in the way they work:
- Life-energy is simple in its distribution, emitted constantly and freely by the source, and it belongs to everyone and everything everywhere, since we’re all part of the source.
- Money is complicated in its distribution, provided by governments here on Terra and managed according to bristly economic and political principles—democratic, autocratic, capitalistic, socialistic, communistic, Islamic….
At the same time…
- Life-energy is complicated in the way it works (there’s an understatement!)—spreading boundless vitality, love, and knowledge to everything throughout the cosmos.
- Money is simple in the way it works; it just represents the relative value of everything associated with people and their social systems.
As far as money is concerned, some governments in recent history have tried to be more “God-like,” ensuring that wealth (enough for everyone’s basic needs) is available to everyone. For example, communist, socialist, and Islamic governments (with their emphasis on charity and generosity), and special government programs like welfare and “basic income,” all try to keep people from “falling between the cracks” into poverty. But these noble efforts sometimes don’t work very well because of our messy symbiosis* here on Earth, where compassion and good-will struggle endlessly with competitive, parasitic, and predatory forces in society and in ourselves.
*Science has debated the precise meaning of “symbiosis” since the late 19th Century. The current consensus is that competitive and predatory behavior aren’t “symbiotic,” but just ecological or biological relationships. Also, science only looks at symbiotic relationships between different species of plants or animals. I take a broader view that 1) mutualist (win-win), 2) commensalist (live-and-let-live), 3) parasitic, 4) predatory, and 5) competitive relationships occur all the time among living things on Earth, whether or not they are of the same species, or even of the same clan or community. I think of them all as “symbiotic relationships” of our world, even it it’s not technically correct.
Some governments, especially those operating in a capitalist economy, tolerate (sometimes encourage) the more stressful symbiotic relationships—especially competition, but to a lesser degree even some parasitic and predatory practices as well. That puts a heavy weight on their legal and ethical systems, which have to decide what behaviors are acceptable or unacceptable when it comes to people and groups handling money.
So while life-energy is always clean and noble everywhere, money on Earth can get messy.
Money and Basic Human Behavior
A good way to understand basic human behavior is to watch kids play—see how they treat each other before they’ve gone through the socialization process of adolescence and adulthood—and then compare “child’s play” to Earth’s symbiotic relationships (that is, how living things on Earth treat each other). That might offer some insights into how our basic human nature contends with forces of this world… especially money.
Here’s a list of five well documented symbiotic relationships, along with five associated childhood behaviors that show up during playtime:
Taking a moment to reflect on the table while recalling our own childhood experiences can be illuminating. It can tell us about “what kind of person we are”—how we, personally, fit into Terra’s strange symbiosis.
(That stress column in the table is just based on my childhood memories, not on any sort of clinical testing. And if you’re interested in child’s play, here’s a list of 11 playtime behaviors that I find fascinating….)
Then, thinking about how we all grow up and use our money in some of these five ways can give us a pretty good feel for money and its influences.
Preoccupied by Money?
As I sit here, writing on my laptop, I also have a couple of browser windows open to watch the market and play with some of our investments. It’s become a habit of mine lately—pondering reality while playing with our money.
What a dichotomy!
- Writing about life and afterlife gives me peace of mind and gratification.
- Playing with money is stimulating but stressful and, frankly, a little obsessive.
So… starting this week, writing will get most of my attention, and our investments will only get a little. I’ll watch the market for a half-hour when it opens, maybe 15 minutes at mid-day, then another half-hour before it closes. The rest of the time, I’ll turn my back on the drama and focus on my writing.
If that doesn’t work, I might have to take additional steps (maybe 12 steps, if you know what I mean 🙂 ) to detach from the money drama altogether.
How about you? Do you sometimes stress about money? If so, there are several practical tips to get a handle on things:
- Save an emergency fund,
- Avoid debt….
But there’s a far more effective practice that can wash away most of our money stress rather well, regardless of how committed or clever we are with those practical steps:
Prioritize life-energy over money.
Be “Obsessed” with Life-Energy, Not Money
At first glance, the vast cosmos seems like a parasitic place—everything and everyone sucking life-energy from the source.
But it’s not really parasitic (which involves taking something that doesn’t belong to you), since life-energy belongs to everything and everyone. That’s the nature of the cosmos: We’re all part of the source. The source belongs to us, and we belong to the source.
Likewise, people who meditate and pray a lot to make conscious contact with the source may seem like they’re obsessed with the source and its life-energy (especially if they’re shirking their down-to-earth responsibilities), but it’s not really an obsession. Frequent meditation or prayer is not an obsession because life-energy is the most natural part of us, filling us with vitality, knowledge, and good motivations. Nothing can get “addicted” to life-energy, just as no one on Earth can get addicted to water. It’s pure and vital.
So, regardless of whether or not you have an obsessive personality (like mine), direct your attention to the source—the inner light that rests at the center of your being.
Then, regardless of whether you’re rich or poor, your worldly concerns (including money) will gradually get resolved as finer spiritual forces can take a more active role in choreographing your life in a most positive way.
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