Channeled by Shepherd Hoodwin
January 4, 2009, BlogTalkRadio chat
Transcribed by Kathryn Schwenger
Intellect corresponds with the universal force of truth; your intellect
frames your experiences. There is currently a strong desire to frame what
you are experiencing during these challenging times in a more sophisticated
manner and find a greater depth of understanding. You are looking for new
tools for dealing with stresses that are not perhaps the greatest in
intensity but certainly the greatest in complexity that you have run into
for quite some time.
Let's say that you had just one major source of stress; for example, hunger.
Coping with hunger obviously taxes you. Your survival instincts are roused.
Certainly it is, at best, quite unpleasant, but it is relatively simple.
Modern life often consists of many lesser stresses that can challenge your
ability to prioritize. If you are hungry you know what to do: look for food.
However, when there are several stresses pulling at you at once, you may be
frozen into inaction. Some take refuge in distractions, perhaps addictions
that then create more stresses ultimately.
At the moment, there is less intensity of stress than there was prior to the
U.S. Presidential election, but for a while, many people prioritized around
the election. Now that that is completed, the complexity of all the
background stresses, greater and lesser, emerges more evidently.
One thing that often helps when you are dealing with competing stresses is
to define them, perhaps in writing. You might divide those you care about
into ones that are affecting you directly and personally, and those that you
are concerned about for others. The latter may include those who are close
to you, and also the problems that you hear about through the media. For
each, you could list ideas about what actions you might take. There's
usually some action one can take, although when the stress concerns others
or the problems in the news, the actions available are probably going to be
in a supporting role--you cannot, of course, make choices for others; you
can only make choices for yourself. Perhaps you are already taking some
actions; making note of what you are already doing to address problems may
In public affairs, you can participate in discussions, perhaps helping to
inform others and suggesting solutions. For example, you can write to the
media or your representatives. Part of the benefit of these kinds of actions
is that they can help change the energy around a problem, more for you but
also in the collective.
Where there is a lot of communal concern over certain issues of the moment,
there is often relatively little clear thinking done about them. It's true
that thoughts are things; therefore, bringing some lucid thinking to bear
can be disproportionately powerful. One clear set of thoughts on a communal
problem may be more powerful than a hundred that are going around in
circles. Therefore, there is much to recommend involvement with a public
discourse, even if your overt influence is not what you might like.
Contributing something positive is never a waste.
The same approach can be valuable relative to your own personal challenges.
Wherever you are able to step out of circular thinking about your own life
and bring some fresh thought, this can be quite helpful.
People often make New Year's resolutions. One reason they are often quickly
forgotten is that people don't tend to take them far enough. Breaking them
down into more specific steps is often helpful. Even more helpful is gaining
a deeper understanding of the patterns you are looking to change.
Most of you are probably familiar with the gear-shifting mechanism of manual
transmission automobiles. If you are in first gear and wish to change into
second, you must fully shift into the neutral gear first. If you do not,
your car will make a lot of noise and you will perhaps damage the gears. In
order to change the patterns of your life, either personally or in the
larger whole, there needs to be a moving into the neutral zone from time to
time to get a clear look at what has been creating the problems and what
some new solutions might be.
Relative to the collective financial crisis, there has not yet been much
discussion or understanding of the underlying causes. Most would cite
inadequate regulations or enforcement of rules in the larger sector, but "As
above, so below," and "As below, so above." It would be very useful to
consider the various beliefs that people are operating from that have helped
bring these extremes.
One area of examination that would shine a lot of light here is that of
value. When it comes to money, some people are more frugal and some are more
spendthrift. Both extremes create imbalances and unpleasant side effects.
Both tend to be thoughtless: the frugal person must always spend as little
as possible, and the spendthrift gets a sort of high off of throwing money
to the wind. Both approaches are unconscious and addictive. Sometimes, both
are present in the same individual. Currently, your culture as a whole is
swinging from spendthrift to frugal without much thought being given to
A more conscious approach is to consider both how much money you have and
the value received for how you might spend it. For one person, buying a
house of a particular size and expense offers great value, yet for another,
the same house would be more of a burden than of value. The first might find
much of use and joy, and even if it requires a lot of debt and hard work to
pay for it, it might be worth it. The other person may actually have more
means, yet find that it isn't worth it because it doesn't return something
that she would make good use of.
Because of this inability to accurately judge value, there is much hoarding
and waste. If the economy were more efficient, because each member of it
were more aware of the value that things do and do not have for them
personally, it would tend to free up resources to better provide for
everyone. In the current crisis, it has come to light that many at the top
of the pecking order have been particularly reckless, yet the same inability
to recognize value is at work. Whether it is a company buying another
company, or you shopping for clothing, it is the same principle. All the
necessary elements are present to have prosperity for everyone--except the
If, for example, everything that could be reused were reused, everything
that could be recycled were recycled, food were not thrown away that could
be enjoyed by someone, and so forth, there would be a finer balance of
resources and less extremes.
There has been talk of irrational exuberance in markets. The opposite of
that is depression, and, of course, when there is a very bad financial
situation, you call that a depression. When people are depressed, they are
certainly lacking in exuberance, irrational or rational.
People often do grow by going to extremes. However, the higher, more refined
levels of growth involve harvesting the understanding gained from going to
extremes so that you don't have to go to extremes anymore. If society had
learned from both the Roaring Twenties and the Depression of the
Thirties--if it had understood enough of those extremes so that it could
avoid them, allowing the economy to be on a more even keel--it would not
have to repeat them. This, of course, is true in your own individual
experiences also. The goal is to get closer and closer to the center of the
seesaw where the fluctuations are less.
You do not generally find the highest form of clear thinking in governmental
representatives or the mainstream news media. Instead, the media tend to
represent the average consciousness, and representatives tend to be below
average in clarity, bringing up the rear. On the other hand, those who are
interested in reading something like this tend to be more on the leading
edge; therefore, your giving deeper thought to these matters, although they
may not show up immediately in politics or the mainstream media, can help
lead the way.
Assessing value implies that you are conscious of what you are choosing. It
all boils down to choice. Your choices are important; individual choices add
up to the whole. There are no right or wrong choices, but there are those
that are more or less intelligent. What happens after you make a choice
teaches you a lot about whether or not it was intelligent, although, of
course, you can't always predict what will happen from a choice. When your
choices accurately reflect what you truly value, there is congruity in your
Some of what has been happening in the economy would not have been too hard to
predict if people had been paying more attention. Of course, some did
predict. The good news is that it is never too late to start paying
attention and to think creatively about the choices you are now making. The
new Presidential administration is full of hope and idealism, and there are
many who are capable of thinking at least a little differently about solving
problems. However, when the collective consciousness is so weighed down with
sludge, it can be hard for those in charge to find a place of buoyancy that
allows clarity. It behooves them to create a space apart from the noise of
the world. However, you help make that easier when you chose to remove
yourself from thought patterns that go around in circles, and approach the
problems about which you have choices with some inventiveness and freshness.
Imagine that as you look out from your particular point of awareness, the
murkiness of the world is receding, and others are influencing you less.
Sunshine is streaming through, and you are able to see things in a new way.
Find your old reactions relaxing. Release any struggling you have done from
being too close to your problems. Notice that you can breathe more freely
now that you are not caught up in the same kind of consciousness that was
present at the creation of the problems.
When you exercise, your muscles need to both tense and relax; if a muscle
stays tense, it will just wear out rather than growing stronger. The same is
true of your mental muscles. Feel them relaxing, along with your physical
Recall one problem that you would like to have a fresh thought about. It
could be a personal problem or a collective one. Place it into this clear,
relaxed space. Notice that there is distance, and you are able to allow the
problem to reveal something new about itself. Feel yourself smiling inwardly
as you gaze on it. Take a moment now and just see what happens.
The fresh thought may not come to you now--you may be setting it up so that
it can occur to you tomorrow or the next day. Just notice what it is like to
approach the solving of a problem in a friendlier way.
Feel the spaciousness to experience a different way of engaging with
problems. Notice that you are becoming more conscious, less automatic;
engaging rather than reacting. Observe how strong the habit is to go along
with the herd; however, solutions are generally not found in the herd. Feel
your sense of ease and space growing.
If you frame the news more personally, it will be less discouraging. For
example, "I'm part of the economy; I am improving it by becoming more
conscious of how I spend my money."
To feel more empowered about the tensions between the Palestinians and
Israelis, think about your own sometimes-challenging relationships, maybe
with family, friends, or coworkers. You have your own foreign
relations--people in your life who feel foreign to you and are difficult to
get along with. The choices you make in dealing with a neighbor who seems
like a terrorist, for example, can model a new thoughtfulness in approach
that can help shift what countries do.
Q. Is this economic downturn teaching us to
A. When the economy contracts, people are
frightened and spend less, so
there is automatically less waste. However, if they have not become more
conscious, then when the economy expands again, it will just go back to what
it was before. If there is more consciousness, there is a desire
individually and collectively to make good use of all the gifts that the
earth bestows. Reducing waste is seen as a positive, joyful thing, and there
is a more organic reduction of waste that lasts.
The point isn't ultimately to reduce waste but to increase consciousness,
which automatically reduces waste but also seeks a useful place for
everything. Ultimately, spiritual growth is about finding a useful place for
As an individual, you may have a lot of wasted thoughts and feelings--for
instance, old discarded anger just sitting there, like electronics in
landfills. As you evolve, you harvest the useful energy from your anger and
fully release the form of it, analogous to properly recycling electronics
that might otherwise be toxic. The world that humans create reflects their
consciousness, including such things as landfills.
Q. What attitudes should we take when
managing our spending habits?
A. We know of no better attitude to bring to
life than one of blessing: in
this case, the intention that whatever you spend be the greatest possible
blessing for all. For example, what you spend for food would ideally bring
maximum benefit nutritionally to your body and others you are feeding, as
well as blessing the farmers and those who made those goods available to
However, if you are not able to buy organic and/or local food, for
instance--if you are just going to, say, a supermarket--an attitude of
blessing is still appropriate. Thank the supermarket for providing you with
what it has thus far been able to. Ask that the food bring as much
nutritional value as possible, even if it is not ideal. If you have been
able to save money, that is another kind of value to be thankful for,
helping you with your budget and rewarding the efficient delivery of goods.
However, if you spend more for something that has more value to you, you can
be grateful for the value and worth being provided. Bless it all.
Q. Is there a more specific technique for
clearing stress when looking for
work and under the gun financially?
A. At the beginning, we suggested making
lists of specific problems and
possible solutions and actions. We think that this approach is highly useful
when you are in particularly difficult straits, because the stress is
compounded when you feel powerless. When you are taking concrete actions and
have ideas for other actions to take, you can channel the stress into
something more constructive. Also, take breaks from things that concern you
and immerse yourself into things that replenish you: the beauty of nature,
music, entertainment, meditation, and so forth. It is especially important
to go to sleep at night with a positive approach to your problems. Take a
few minutes to let go of tension. Also, if you are at a loss at to what to
do next as you go to sleep, ask your inner self to come up with something
that you may then realize through a dream or after you wake up.
Q. I'm a big George Carlin fan--could you
tell me about him: his purpose in
life and effect on society?
A. That is an inspired question for this
topic because he was an excellent
example of someone who routinely stepped outside of conventional thinking on
all sorts of things and shone light on them. He did not have much hope for
the human race overtly. He had a rather dark point of view, yet his whole
creativity of thought suggests an underlying hope that fueled him. He would
not have been able to be so marvelously prolific and creative if he did not
come from a foundation of belief that things could be improved.
He demonstrated hope because he was able to transcend the usual thinking
himself and in that demonstration he showed that others could do it. That so
many loved him and laughed with him suggests that humans can transcend the
problems that come from the usual sorts of thinking that goes on.
When you are highly stressed, there is often a perception that the problems
of the world are bearing down upon you; that they are large and you are
small. Coming into a clear space, you feel instead that you are one with
everything, so all there is is you, and the stresses are simply
opportunities for you to grow in your ability to create solutions. Feel your
largeness, power, and creativity, and trust that you have the resources to
make a positive impact on life.
Love and blessings to you.
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channeling that Shepherd did for this site.