It may seem as if the topic of idolatry has little to do with the economy. Yet part of the reason why the economy has not been changed is the idolatry that many people have towards the power elite, the manipulators on this planet, those who are entirely trapped in the duality consciousness because they have become completely blinded by their own egos. They firmly believe the illusions of the ego, believe those illusions to be an absolute, undeniable and unquestionable truth. They have the ultimate idolatry of having elevated a lie to a truth, and thereby thinking that by adhering to the “absolute truth,” they have elevated themselves to some ultimate status compared to other human beings.
Idolatry is the veil of ignorance, the veil of illusions, that keeps the majority of the population trapped in the illusion that they need an elite. Was this not what Jesus challenged when he challenged the scribes, Pharisees, temple priests and money changers? They had set themselves up as an elite between the people and their inner power, perpetuating the illusion, the lie, that people were not free to go within their own hearts and strive for higher awareness.
Idolatry and the economic crisis
It is precisely this idolatry that is the central problem in the current economic crisis. What have you seen perpetuated by the press and the media, by government officials, by leaders in various economic organizations, such as the Federal Reserve or big banks? Is it not the consciousness that certain organizations, companies and institutions are “too big to fail,” and thus the government must step in and prop up those colossuses so that they do not tumble?
What is this, if not idolatry? The underlying truth here is that it is the idolatry of the people that they cannot exist without the power elite of manipulators. It is the illusion that prevents the people from standing up and taking back their power, the power of higher awareness within each and every one of them. It is the illusion that is being perpetuated by the elite itself—the elite in the media, the elite in the government, the elite in business, finance and banking.
They desperately cling to their positions of power and privilege. Underneath it all, some of them are beginning to realize that their days are numbered. The days of their power and privilege over the people, those days are numbered too. They see that this cannot go on forever. It is only a matter of a relatively short time before the people will rise up, as they have done before against the feudal system and other examples of the power elite having attained almost total control over the people.
Many among the power elite are still blind to this, but some of them are beginning to see it. The more aware people need to hold the vision that the people are awakened from this idolatry of thinking that they need an elite. They do not need an elite of selfish and self-centered people in order to continue a society with stability. Do people want stability or do they want growth? Sometimes, growth means that you must throw off the old by letting it become shattered (if that is what is necessary) because the people cling to it to the point of almost insanity, of not being willing to let it go.
You might prefer a smooth transition from the current economic system to a higher awareness economy, as this would minimize the suffering and the loss. Nevertheless, you cannot prevent the people from learning their lesson. It is not constructive for the more aware people to prop up of the institutions created by the manipulators or to support the power elite. It is a necessity that the people learn what can be done to misuse the economy before they will be ready to accept the economy of the Age of Higher Awareness.
The vast majority of the people on this planet simply would not accept a vision of the economy of the Age of Higher Awareness. They would reject it as a hopeless, utopian pipe-dream that simply could never come to pass. They are so steeped in the consciousness of lack, again perpetrated by the manipulators as a result of their idolatry. What is the essence of idolatry? It is the desire to raise yourself and your own group above other people. How can you raise yourself compared to others unless you are in an environment infused with the illusion of lack? In order for some to have more, others must have less. This state of an unequal distribution of wealth and privilege cannot exist in the Age of Higher Awareness. It can only exist when that abundant life has been rejected by a critical mass of human beings so that it cannot be physically manifest.
Spreading risk or masking risk?
Talking about an equal distribution of wealth is not the socialist dream where the state has usurped the position held by each person’s higher self. It is the true realism where the people realize that they have access to the power of higher awareness within themselves. Therefore, they can bring forth the abundant life without being dependent upon an elite here on earth, an elite who can make the decisions of how to run the complicated financial system that the elite has created precisely in order to hide their intentions and their manipulation from the people.
What you have seen lately is that the system has finally become so complicated that even the people who created it can no longer figure out how the system works. They can no longer assess the true risk of the dubious financial instruments they have created. Companies, who have been in business for over a century, can suddenly vanish in a week because their own leaders have become so deceived by the complexity of their financial instruments, and by the consciousness of greed, that they could not accurately assess the risk of those instruments. They could not even keep their own companies afloat.
This is the lesson that the people need to learn. When they are in the state of idolatry, blindly following the blind leaders, allowing the blind leaders to run the economy, well then, it is only a matter of time before those blind leaders back themselves and the entire nation (and in a sense the entire world) into a corner from which there is no easy way out. There is only a collapse of the system. The lesson learned by those who desired to build the Tower of Babel (a tower that could reach into the heavens) is that when you build too high without having the foundation of the reality of higher awareness (because you are building on the sand of the lower consciousness) there comes a point where your creation will tumble under its own weight. This is what you see in the financial system of the United States and beyond.
From blind greed to blind fear
What has driven this financial system now for decades is indeed unbridled, blind greed. This is a greed that has perverted the financial system to the point where it was so based on debt that it became impossible to accurately assess the risk of conducting business in that system. The risk had been spread out and thereby masked and camouflaged so that no one knew what was really going on. As long as the cycle of supposed growth and profit continued (because the people in the system blindly believed that it could continue forever) well, then the cycle did continue seemingly forever. It was built not only on the blindness and the greed of those on the top, but even the blindness and the greed of many among the people.
There were people who thought that by investing their savings, their pension plans, in the stock market and other dubious hedge funds and mutual funds, they could get something for nothing. Both the people at the top and the people who followed those blind leaders were blinded by that consciousness of something for nothing that is the essence of greed. You are no longer willing to work for a fair return, you are no longer willing to work to raise all life and thereby receive your just reward. No, you want to receive a reward without working, or you want to receive a reward that is greater than you could achieve by working. You want a shortcut, you want something for nothing.
This blinds you to greed. You suddenly think that anything goes—anything that seems to offer you a short-term profit should be pursued. After all, if you don’t do it, all the other companies in the financial world will, and they will seem to be doing better than you. Everybody jumped into the fray and followed suit. The people who are investing see that those who are investing in these dubious instruments are making money, and they think they have to jump in as well. Everyone is caught up in the fray, in the frenzy, like the feeding frenzy of a school of fish that blindly snap at anything that moves in order to get a part before the party is over.
Most people did not realize that the party would be over. The profits that were claimed were not real profits, they were imaginary profits because the risk had been masked to the point where it seemed like there was no loss or the loss could be postponed to next year. We can make the money and get a good balance sheet this year (and make the bonuses for the people in the top) and then nobody bothered to think what would happen a year, two, five, ten years down the road. In the blindness of their greed, nobody bothered to ask their own accountants to project what would happen down the road if the present trend continued. Even the accountants had difficulty assessing the real risk of derivatives and other financial instruments so that the entire system was in this state of blindness. This is the blindness that is the inevitable companion of greed. Greed can only be based on an illusion and any illusion feeds further illusion, further blindness. What is the illusion behind greed? It is the illusion of the separate self where it seems possible that we can gain an advantage to ourselves and our company, and then never mind what happens down the road to these other people, that we are taking money from, or to the system itself.
Learn from the story of the golden goose
One of the problems in today’s world is that most children have been brought up without the knowledge of the old fairy tales, the old folk tales, that used to circulate among the population and thereby became a part of the awareness of most children as they grew up. Those tales inspired valuable life lessons in a playful format that children would take in. The problem is that most of the money managers in today’s world never heard the tale of the golden goose—the goose that laid the golden eggs.
There was a man who had a goose, and one day he noticed that the goose had laid a golden egg. He was, of course, happy, but he was even more happy the next day when he realized that the goose would lay a golden egg every day! For a time, he was overjoyed and bought everything he desired for those golden eggs. Then, gradually he became greedy and started thinking: Why should I have to wait to get a golden egg every day, why should I not cut open the goose and get all the eggs at once. He cut open the goose and found only one egg in there, and he lost the goose and all the golden eggs of the future.
An economy based on the gambling consciousness
This is indeed what the money managers have done to the economy by creating an economy that is basically based on the same exact consciousness, the same exact principle, that you see driving Las Vegas and gambling in general. It is the desire of something for nothing where you make a small, seemingly insignificant, investment and then you hope that the outcome would be a tremendous return through some aspect of fate or luck. Basically, by masking the risk of derivatives and other financial instruments, the money managers entered into this state of gambling. They were thinking that because they were investing borrowed money, and because they had masked the risk, it was an insignificant investment that had the potential to give a very large return.
This is the exact principle of gambling. You think you can invest in gambling without losing. Therefore, you see millions of people who buy a lottery ticket every week, hoping that one day it will get the big return. Gambling is a business, is it not? A business can survive only if it makes a profit. This means that for all of the people who buy a lottery ticket, even though a prize is paid out every week, less money is paid out than is paid into the system, for otherwise the business could not continue. You now see the fallacy of gambling, for certainly some people seem to get something for nothing, but all people could not get something for nothing or the system would collapse.
This is the same you see on Wall Street. When Wall Street started investing not only money but borrowed money (money that was not only borrowed because they existed somewhere, but money that was created out of nothing), they gradually started creating the situation where sometimes there would be a big return on an investment. Then it became clear that the promise was that all of those who invested in these new financial instruments would make a return. That promise simply could not be fulfilled because it was an illusion to begin with, as it is an illusion that all who play the lottery can win the big prize.
For a time, the greed blinded the people so they went along with it. Inevitably, there comes a point of reckoning where the Tower of Babel has become so top-heavy that it starts to crumble and crack under its own weight. Then – suddenly – the people in the top start waking up and realizing that this cannot continue. Then they do what always happens—they switch from the illusion of greed to the illusion of fear. In their fear, they try to pull out what they have before others do the same. Thus, they create the downward spiral that threatens a complete meltdown of the entire system.
Is the government for the people or for the elite?
This suddenly wakes up the rest of the people and the government who up until now has been asleep at the helm, for they would not regulate these new financial instruments and thought the market would take care of it. Suddenly, the government wakes up and realizes that the market will indeed take care of it—by taking down the entire flawed financial system. Wait a minute, that would be too big of a shock to society, they think, and it will certainly overturn some of these venerable institutions that we think we cannot live without. Now, the government believes that it has to step in, in order to protect the people. I ask you to consider: Who is the government protecting? Is it the people—or the power elite?
Indeed, you will see that so far the American government is too trapped in the entire mindset of something for nothing – the mindset of greed, the mindset of elitism – that they are acting primarily to protect the elite rather than the people. If they do not thoroughly reform the entire financial system, then whatever they do will only prop up the system temporarily. It is only a matter of time before the next crisis will roll along.
There are intelligent and well-meaning people in the system – both in businesses and in the government – who have the potential to enact the kind of reforms that are necessary in order to not only stave off the current crisis, but actually to put the entire financial world back on a sustainable growth path where the system will not destroy itself out of blind greed. There is the potential that if these people are allowed to bring forth their ideas, and if those ideas are indeed carried out, the ship can be righted, so to speak. You can have a more smooth transition towards the economy of the Age of Higher Awareness.
In general, people have not yet been willing to truly take a look at the system and say: “What is actually wrong with the system?” They are still trapped in the consciousness of saying: “What do we need to do to prevent a collapse of the system?” Instead of saying: “What do we need to do to create an economy that is sustainable, that promotes sustainable growth, growth not only for the elite, but for all people?”
A sustainable financial system
No economy can be sustainable unless it raises up all people towards the abundant life. It is not sustainable to have an economy on a world basis where two thirds of the world’s population live near the starvation level or below the poverty level of a few dollars a day. This is not sustainable, and as long as the rich nations will not address that problem, well then their economies will always be in a state of going from one crisis to the next, always being threatened by collapsing under their own weight. They are fed by greed instead of the true desire to raise up all life.
What will it take to create a financial system that is sustainable? It will take that the government wakes up and acknowledges its rightful role. One of the primary reasons for the current financial crisis is indeed the lack of regulation. The government has been caught up in a false view of the free market economy that makes them think that the best they can do is stand back and let the market create whatever financial instruments they want to create. The market will eventually regulate itself, as the saying goes.
Freedom is not the freedom to exploit. It is not the freedom of a small power elite to dominate the population. This is not freedom, for freedom cannot be found through the blindness of the human ego. Freedom cannot be found through the duality consciousness. Freedom can be found only in knowing the reality of the oneness of all life, knowing that only when you do something that seeks to raise the All, will you be doing something that will truly benefit yourself.
Misuse of economic freedom to create monopolies
What is the role of government, or the role of a free democratic government, the kind of government that the founding fathers envisioned, at least partly, and attempted to create through the United States Constitution? It is indeed to protect the people, to serve as the steward of the principles that will raise up all life towards greater freedom, even greater economic freedom and economic abundance.
It is a myth perpetrated by certain people among the elite that a free market economy can run itself without government intervention. It is a further myth that the United States has a free market economy and has always had such an economy. The reality – that even a superficial study of history will reveal – is that in the late 1800’s there were certain financiers, certain industrialists, who had used the freedom of the free market to create businesses and financial institutions of such size that they began to realize that it was possible not only to adapt to market conditions, but to drive and control market conditions in order to create monopolies. They also realized that in a true free market economy – where competition is unrestricted and where the people are educated and informed – it is not possible to create a monopoly.
Freedom is the anti-thesis of monopolies, for a monopoly is not the inevitable result of free competition. Free competition will destroy, or rather prevent the creation of, monopolies by always making it possible for others to compete, no matter how big one business might become. A business will only remain big in a free economy as long as it serves its customers. When you create a monopoly and artificially raise prices, you are no longer serving your customers, and if there is free competition those customers will go elsewhere.
This was what was realized by some of the big industrialists and financiers, such as Morgan and Rockefeller and others in the late 1800’s. They realized, that in a democratic nation, such as the United States, it was not possible to create a monopoly through competition. The only way to create a monopoly was to restrict competition by causing the government to be deceived by the illusion that the government had to enter the economy and use its power to regulate the economy for the purpose of creating stability. In the vision of these big financiers, this meant creating a stable situation where no smaller companies could come up and challenge the position of the big established companies.
This is what you have seen over this past century, namely that government regulations have been used to protect the big established companies from the free market, the free competition. Then, the master stroke of these financiers was the creation of the Federal Reserve, the Federal Reserve System, which served not only to prevent free competition in the banking industry. It also served to prevent the big companies from reaping the consequences of their own mistakes. In a free economy, those who make mistakes will reap the consequences and thus go down or be reduced in size. If a company got big and greedy and no longer served its customers, in a free economy the customers would go elsewhere, and thus the company would be either reduced in size or disappear completely.
In creating the Federal Reserve as the lender of last resort, the big banks could then make questionable investments, and if they turned out to be wrong, well, then the system would protect them from going down. This is to a large degree what you see today. The investment banks that have so far been independent of the regular banks, are falling one by one. Who is taking them over? Well, is it not the big banks who are a part of the Federal Reserve System and therefore are backed by the taxpayers, for the taxpayers are liable for the money that the system creates out of nothing?
The role of government in the economy
When you create more money to prop up the failing system, you put more money in circulation. There is nothing of real value to support that money, and the inevitable result is that the value of the money is degraded, which means that the value of the labor of the majority of the population is degraded. Thus, people’s standard of living inevitably goes down, for inflation eats up the value of people’s labor.
This is what must be seen, what must be corrected. It must be seen by a large number – a critical mass – of the people who have so far not been willing to use their freedom in a relatively free society to go beyond the illusions and the lies fed by the mainstream press and educate themselves about the reality of how the economy works. They, themselves, must be the watchmen on the wall. Surely, the people in the media are not the watchmen, as they should be, nor are many people in the government the watchmen, as they should be.
It is a myth that a free democratic government can stay out of the economy. It is indeed absolutely necessary that a modern government will keep a watchful eye on the economy and will regulate. The problem is that regulation should not be to give an advantage to the elite, to the establishment. It should be made to make sure that an elite cannot form, that an establishment cannot form, but that the people always have recourse to take their business elsewhere and to create smaller businesses that compete with the big ones.
Another concern that must be brought out and debated freely is: Is it necessarily the duty of a free democratic government to allow businesses to reach and go beyond a certain size? Is it truly a free economy if businesses are allowed to become so big that they cannot only out-compete smaller businesses but that they can actually drive the market? Thus, they can create a situation like what you have seen in the financial industry where the financial companies themselves created these new financial instruments that ended up destroying the entire system.
It is again the duty of a government to protect its citizens against the consequences of companies becoming so big that they can dominate the marketplace and therefore in some sense hold a monopoly. A monopoly that in many cases is protected by government regulations, but in other cases is protected by non-regulation so that once a company has become so big that it dominates the market, it can effectively destroy any competition to itself.
Why laissez faire is not an option
Laissez faire is not an option on this planet, as long as so many people are blinded by the duality consciousness. Also, it is not an option as long as there is such a large number of people who are totally embodying the manipulative consciousness, the self-centered, egotistical consciousness of wanting something for themselves regardless of the consequences for other people. A government cannot simply let the market take care of itself. The government should be elected by the people and should be of the people, by the people and for the people. The government must protect the people, not only from the elite but even from the people’s own blindness when they are blinded by the duality consciousness. That is why such a government must be based on principles.
In this day and age it is clearly not enough to have a constitution based on principles, for that constitution will be undermined by people who do not see the truth behind those principles. Thus, in the Age of Higher Awareness it is necessary to raise up people in all aspects of government, in the media, in business and in other branches of society who have the vision that beyond man-made ideas there is a greater reality. It is only when we reach for that greater reality that we can create a sustainable civilization. This means a civilization that does not collapse under its own weight—whether through financial crisis, through war or through other manifestations, such as natural disasters or even epidemic diseases that are an outpicturing of people’s consciousness.
If you allow any aspect of society to be dominated by the duality consciousness, then you will experience a crisis that will threaten the collapse of the entire society. The only way to avoid this cycle of ups and downs (what some people have mistakenly called the business cycle, as if it was an inevitable part of business) is to reach for something that is beyond the duality consciousness. As long as you have a business world based on the duality consciousness, you will have a business cycle of ups and downs. This is inevitable. It is inevitable that sooner or later this system will collapse, although it is amazing to see the ingenuity used by those in the duality consciousness to prop up a financial system so that it has been able to sustain itself for as long as it has.
People need to recognize the flaws in the current system and be willing to reach for the ideas that can be inspired upon people with the necessary knowledge of the economy. This way, we can indeed see the emergence of a sustainable system that avoids these ups and downs. There are many people who have an in-depth knowledge of the economy and therefore have the chalice prepared so that they could receive the ideas that are absolutely necessary to pull people – to pull society, to pull civilization – out of the current financial crisis.