GreedBy PHIL WITTMEYER & Others
The Fear of Not Having Enough
Greed is the fear of not having enough, no matter how much one has. In extreme cases, someone in greed can be ruthless to get the thing she thinks will fill her void. Greed does not usually arise universally; it tends to be fixated on a particular definable area(s), such as money, food, attention, love, experience, and so forth, whereas the other obstacles are more generalized.
The other obstacles do not arise under every circumstance either, but only when certain buttons are pushed. A person in impatience may be patient with his friends but not with long lines. Someone in stubbornness may be flexible about scheduling but not with procedures—things have to be done his way. The difference between greed and the other obstacles is how narrow and unchanging the fixation tends to be.
Greed tends to fixate on what seemed in childhood like a love substitute from parents. If a mother was cold but stuffed her child with food, the child’s need for love wasn’t satisfied, but on automatic pilot, food seems like the place to keep looking for it. If a father was undemonstrative but gave money, one was conditioned from an early age to equate money with love. Since the roots of greed’s particular fixation tend to be deep, arising from early childhood and/or past lives, it varies less than what those in self-destruction use to self-destruct.
As with other obstacles, those in greed may not recognize it. A greed for money may be framed as seeking business success—what’s wrong with that? However, unlike those who simply enjoy the challenges of business, people in greed carry a sense of a bottomless pit of emptiness; no matter how hard they try, they cannot fill it. No amount of money ever feels like enough. A person with greed for food never feels satiated, no matter how much he eats.
This is not always the dynamic in gluttony: someone else might stuff himself past satiation, perhaps because he is hedonistic and undisciplined, or simply out of habit. Some people put on weight as a means of sexual self-protection. There are far more overweight people than can be explained by the obstacle of greed.
The single biggest factor in obesity is junk food, both because it is designed to be addictive (and caloric), and because it lacks the nutrients our bodies need, leaving us hungry. That is not unlike the obstacle of greed, except it is physical rather than emotional.
As with overeating, there are a variety of causes of overdrinking. Michael has differentiated between drunkards and alcoholics. Drunkards may be lazy and unwilling to properly handle their lives, or simply enjoy the intensity of getting smashed, whereas alcoholics are physically intolerant of alcohol. There is often a genetic factor, but consuming too much of a substance can lead to allergies, as the body rebels and says, “No more!” Unfortunately, we tend to remain perversely attracted to things we’re allergic to. So a person may begin as a drunkard and end up as an alcoholic, especially if his body is sensitive. Some people have iron constitutions and can get away with abusing their bodies a great deal without developing allergies.
Determining whether an obstacle is involved in overdrinking or overeating requires knowing the motivation: A person trying to fill a hole is in greed, whereas someone trying to destroy himself is in self-destruction. A person trying to protect herself is in arrogance. And so forth. Artisans, the most sensitive of the roles, are especially prone to substance abuse as a means of dulling painful feelings, even if an obstacle is not at work. Sages are second-most prone. With five and three inputs, respectively, artisans and sages have less protection against incoming energies.
A person with greed for experience may rush around, looking similar to someone in impatience, but his motivation is different—he is trying to fill a hole rather than avoid missing out. Greed is voracious, whereas impatience is testy.
Those in greed are so busy trying to get more of whatever they feel they lack that they do not recognize and acknowledge what they already have. A useful affirmation for greed is: “I recognize and enjoy the abundance of my life. I have enough.”
Shepherd Hoodwin (excerpt from Journey of Your Soul)
How Soul Age Affects Greed
|Infant Soul Stage||Greed manifesting at the infant soul stage can be ruthless and indifferent to the suffering caused on others. Outright savagery is not uncommon and the me-first attitude outweighs the needs of those that get in the way. Thieves, murderers, and serial rapists represent the negative outcroppings of this combustible combination.|
|Baby Soul Stage||Addiction and early fixations on power often arise when greed enters the baby soul stage. There can be issues with food and obesity, as well as small-town corruption at the political level, either as a clan leader or a sheriff or mayor. Random criminal acts, often without considering the consequences, may lead to shocking crime sprees and acts of violence.|
|Young Soul Stage|
|Mature Soul Stage|
The Origin of Greed
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More About Greed
A person with the chief feature of Greed thinks of himself first. One of the first things that come to his mind in every situation is, "How am I going to profit from this?", or "Is this to my advantage or not?", or "Look out for number one". Such a person is a consumer rather than a producer. He may be a leech on society, a freeloader. In many cases he is opportunistic, always on the lookout for a way to enrich or gratify himself. He tends to receive without returning equal value. He may borrow things and not return them. He can be wasteful of the resources of others that he has charge of. He is not one to give gifts, but he sure likes to receive them. He thinks the world owes him a living and is surprised when he falls on hard times. He really feels uncomfortable with poverty.
In abstract terms, the "motion" here is that the not-self moves inward toward the self. The Selfish person believes that he is attractive. He thinks of himself as the center of the universe, with a strong "gravitational" pull to bring everything to him. Himself is what he is interested in, and he expects others to be interested in him. He likes being the center of attention. He thinks things should naturally come to him. Since he believes he deserves every good thing anyway, this makes him unthankful for the things he does receive.
In the Positive Pole of +Egotism, the person is self-centered. At best this means that his attention is focused on himself, inward rather than outward. Consequently, he may be somewhat oblivious of and insensitive to what is going on around him. He may be unaware of and unconcerned with the thoughts and feelings of others. He imagines that he is likable — he is in love with himself. He is very aware of his own internal workings: he knows what he thinks and feels. His internal universe is much more interesting to himself than the external world. If he does show interest in others, it is that they fulfill a need of his own. He is very aware of his own needs and has no trouble with the idea of fulfilling them. Thus he can be self-indulgent, seeking gratification of his desires. He asks for what he wants, or takes it.
In the Negative Pole of -Voracity, the person is a glutton for something. His appetite is insatiable. It could be money or the things money can buy. It could even be something as abstract as knowledge or truth. Whatever it is, the person cannot get enough of it. He devours the object of his desires like a glutton at a feast. The whole world could not fill the bottomless pit of his desire. A person in -Voracity often uses other people. He exploits them, takes advantage of them to fulfill his own needs. In his love for himself and his lack of love for others, he can be ruthless in getting what he wants. He cannot say no to himself. The extreme case could be compared to a bloodsucking vampire.
The counterpart of Greed is the Sage Role. Selfish, greedy people have the self-image of the Sage, but without the substance. That is, they believe they are wise and attractive and entertaining — and they can be, but only in a shallow and superficial way.
Greed is the complementary opposite of Renunciation. People in Greed hate to give up anything. It is very difficult for them to sacrifice for others. They are not at all self-critical. They believe they have few faults.
Often Greed fixates on a few things, or even just one thing. It might be food, money, shelter, clothes, affection, or anything else. If the desire is strong, the person will do almost anything, or pay a great price to obtain the object of his fixation. This irrationality can make him difficult to deal with. For instance, most people in Greed have a strong "need" for attention. If they do not get constant attention to their every desire, they believe they are not loved. They may do unusual or dangerous things in order to get the attention they crave. "Spoiled" children often have this Feature. The way to really hurt a person in Greed is to ignore him.
The underlying fear that drives Greed is the fear of loss or lack. The person in Greed thinks he "needs" things when he really just wants them. He tries to work things so that there is no possibility he will ever run out of whatever it is his greed is fixated on — he hoards it. He does not like to throw things away, thinking that someday he may need that very item and not be able to find it. The cure for this fear is to contemplate the Positive Pole of Renunciation, which is +Sacrifice, the willingness to forgo one's own desires for the sake of others.
People with this Feature are often distrusted by others. The reason for this is that one can count on people in Greed to think of themselves first. They are always asking, "What's in this for me". They will do what is best for themselves, even if it means that others will suffer. They are not generous with their time, possessions, or energy. They exploit other people without thinking about it, but if others make requests of them, they resent it because they think they are being used unless they can find some advantage in it for them. They are touchy about giving up anything they have because they want to keep it for themselves.
This Feature distorts love in that it promotes narcissism. It is good, narcissists say, to love yourself, and to an extent this is true. But it is not good to love yourself first, as Greed leads a person to believe, nor to love yourself last, as Renunciation leads a person to believe. It is best that both parties benefit from any transaction, rather than that one should gain and the other lose. This is the lesson of Renunciation and Selfishness.
Channeling About Greed
The opposite, greed, feels very capable of controlling self and the environment, to the point where it oversteps boundaries and becomes rampant. In greed, one has no problem with excess, and, in fact, values it. Its positive pole is "egotism." The negative pole, "voracity," devours what is in its path, like PAC-man; it can be ruthless. All obstacles are insecure, although the cardinal ones may appear self-confident. Someone in greed always feels empty no matter how much more is stuffed in. There is a fear of not having enough or losing what one has. Even if the obstacle does not manifest in obvious, stereotypical ways (in this case, the person does not act greedy), the feeling is there.
Buddhism speaks about the void or emptiness that a more enlightened person might be comfortable with. The present moment free of excess attachment to the past or future is a sort of void. It is a quiet place. It is empty of the past and future, but it is full of what is present now; it is the midpoint. In the present moment, you are enjoying what you have without being either greedy or self-destructive. You are not trying to add to what you have or subtract from it. You are not trying to overly control yourself, because you have control, and you are not trying to overly control others; you are letting things come to you naturally. Any moment you are fully present, your chief obstacle cannot be in control; its survival depends on keeping you focused on the past and/or future.
The voracity of greed correlates with the sage role; both have a certain fifth-chakra appetite. Sages can be orally fixated in various ways, including with words, tastes, and sensations.
Shepherd Hoodwin -- From Michael On Chief Obstacles (Fears)
How does this Greed differ from Dominance?
SUBSTANTIALLY, WE WOULD SAY. THERE IS IN THE DOMINANT SOUL A DESIRE TO LEAD OR COMMAND RESPECT. IN THE GREEDY, THERE IS THE DESIRE TO ACCUMULATE OR ACQUIRE WHATEVER THE GREATEST NEED DICTATES, THE MOTTO BEING, “MORE, PLEASE."
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About Phil Wittmeyer
Phil is a long-time Michael student who has written several book-length manuscripts about the Michael teachings, many of them featured on this site. He has been an active member in the community for many years and can be found at most Michael gatherings.
Phil currently lives in Colorado.
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