|What Am I Doing?|
And Why Am I Doing It?
by Michael L. Shooltz
Two months ago I subscribed to a highly efficient, online investment and stock trading website. I had liquidated all of my shares of various companies in the stock market and had, having noticed their dramatic upward performance over the first half of 2002, decided to invest in some gold mining stocks. I spent many years developing commercial real estate but gold was a new investment arena for me. I began to intensely read everything I could find on the economy and on gold stocks in general. I discovered many websites devoted to these topics featuring numerous erudite commentators and advisors. I was heartened to notice that there seems to be emerging alternative sources of credible information that do not appear to be controlled by the "powers that be". And, living here in Hawaii, I arise each morning at 3:00 AM to follow and trade the gold mining stocks live online.
Other followers of gold stocks will note that my timing in entering this market in early June was not fortuitous. Oh, I had some successes like purchasing Silverado at twenty-five cents a share and selling it at the very top at fifty-nine cents a share. I felt like some guardian angel had tapped me on the shoulder and urged me to hit that sell button at the perfect moment. I've even made a little money selling gold stocks short on this recent dramatic decline in prices and by day-trading Harmony's dollar and two dollar daily rises and falls. Last week was pretty brutal to the gold stocks and to the owners thereof. Today, Monday, July 29th was a little more soothing to the gold trader's soul but still confusing. Today I've done my post trading day research and reading of the websites and I sit here trying to digest the information. I've read Greenspan's 1966 article on the importance of having the economy based upon a gold standard and know that he has knowingly participated in the creation of the difficulties we face and wonder why. I read Dr. Clive Roffey's article predicting explosion upward of the price of gold as reflected in the reverse head and shoulders pattern of gold compared to the Swiss franc. And I've read Robert Prechter's arguments about deflation and gold heading down to $200 an ounce. (both article's on www.321gold.com) After all of my ups and downs I'm pretty much even to date in my trading of gold stocks and am immensely grateful to have liquidated my other stocks when I did. But I still sit here and question how to make sense of it all. What is the point of all of the effort I'm putting in to try and figure out the markets? What is gold going to do? But more importantly, what am I doing? And why am I doing it?
I am reminded this morning of Einstein's statement which was something like, "You can never understand a problem from the same level upon which it was created." So I try to imagine rising above the economy and peering down from above to learn what I can learn.. From this perspective I am reminded of what I have been experiencing for about ten years, that there is a dramatically increasing level of spiritual energy descending upon our planet. This is in accordance with the prophecies of every culture that I have studied from Mayan and Native American, to Biblical and Buddhist. Or as Dylan suggested to we baby boomers, "the times they are a'changin". I also note with interest the dramatic increase in Solar Storms occurring now and over these past months. Weird, I know, but most traditional cultures acknowledge the sun as a source of spiritual energy as all life on our planet is sustained by it. Personally this increased spiritual energy seems to be similar to increasing the air in a tire or the water pressure in a garden hose. The tire may have been appearing to perform just fine until the pressure was increased. When the pressure increased the first thing that happens is that the tire's weaknesses are exposed. This is the first purpose of that spiritual energy, to reveal weaknesses. Since this is a spiritual energy that is increasing, nothing is immune from its effects. Therefore we see weaknesses being exposed in every area from the economy, to politics, to the environment, to religions, to relationships on every level, in every arena, weaknesses are being exposed. That which has been hidden is being revealed.
The real choices facing us today have to do with our willingness to repair these weaknesses. Traditional cultures refer to these times as the end times, or the times of new beginnings. That is the real problem with all of the economic analysis that I have been reading. It is, ultimately, all trend following. It is all trying to predict the future based upon the past. It is us, as a bunch of caterpillars, trying to look at our past and predict the behavior of butterflies! And as we watch the wrenching behaviors of the bankers and corporate executives trying to pass blame and justify behaviors we see what it is like when people refuse to repair the weaknesses in their own tires, but instead attempt to change others. Obviously if everyone tries to change someone else, then no one ever changes, and things remain the same. I must confess that I have sat here judging the "despicable" behaviors of those power brokers in the "system" who have systematically stolen the life savings of millions of people. But, I must also confess that, as I check my gold stock portfolio each day, I occasionally reflect upon how the value of that portfolio might rise if a war were to break out somewhere, or if the DOW might crash a little further. It is humbling to notice that that same selfish disregard for the well being of my fellow human beings lurks within me as it does within those "despicable" power brokers. What am I doing? And why am I doing it?
From the highest perspective that I can find one thing comes to mind. Each one of us comes into this world with a level of consciousness. And all that we take with us when we leave this earth is our level of consciousness. Every single thing that we experience, in every single moment that we are here, is an opportunity to either expand, or demonstrate, our level of consciousness. I perceive four physical levels of existence on this planet. They are mineral, vegetable, animal and human. Without the human level everything behaves in perfect harmony and balance. This makes planet Earth the perfect classroom for the expansion of human consciousness. For as we look around us, every single imbalance that we see was created by the demonstration of we human's limited level of consciousness. What a perfect classroom!
There is a third question that precedes the first two of "What Am I Doing" and "Why Am I Doing It". That question is "Who Am I?" Again from the highest perspective that I can achieve, the answer is that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. This is somewhat of a cliché' in these days but the ramifications of it feel quite important. I believe that not knowing the answer to this question has led to the very dramatic problems we currently face in our economy as well as every area of human endeavor. As a spiritual beings we are enormous individuals. In order for us to receive the gift of free will it is has been necessary for our memory of who we really are to be blocked. Otherwise we would not really be free to make many of the choices we have made. With the knowledge of who we really are most of these choices would never even have been considered and we would not have had the experiences that we have had. For example, as a spiritual being we would already know that there is NOTHING in this physical world big enough to fulfill us. When we come here and perceive ourselves to be merely physical beings we naturally seek physical things to fulfill us. Unfortunately those physical things never do fulfill us. And since our ego is deathly reluctant to surrender its identity our only choice is to assume that we must just need "more" physical things to experience fulfillment. The problem is that you can never get enough of what you don't really want. And so we see those billionaires of our world not satisfied and seeking "more". We see the power brokers in the world obsessed with gaining "more" power. And, today, as the spiritual energy on the planet reveals more and more of the results of these choices, we are being asked to make our choices from the higher consciousness, that "still small voice" within us.
I believe that spirit is infinitely patient, for time is not a concern in the spirit worlds. So if we do not make those higher choices now we will be facing choices with even more serious consequences in the very near future. I was recently speaking to an 89 year old, Native American elder, Grandfather William Commanda. He has a serious concern and deep sadness concerning Mother Earth. During our conversation he held a bottle of water up before me and said, "This is the gold!" (I refer you to the book "Blue Gold" if you'd like to learn more about the corporate power brokers efforts at gaining control of the planets dwindling resources of fresh water.) The longer we refuse to surrender our ego definitions of who we are, the number (as in numb) we become. And the number we become the more shocking the events need to be to get our attention. It's like watching the evolution of television. In the sixties Ozzie and Harriet were the norm and Elvis Presley could not be shown on TV from the waist down. Now it's blood, sex and violence everywhere. The sound volume in movie theaters is almost unbearable. But that's what it now takes to touch us beneath the numbness. Since spirit, who we really are, will never give up on us, it will do whatever it takes, based upon our choices, to acknowledge when we are "off course".
As the Elvis Presleys, Marilyn Monroes, and Howard Hughes of the world have demonstrated we can have excesses of money, fame, good looks, and power and not be at all happy. We often don't notice that what we are really seeking is an inner experience; one of peace, or joy, or well-being, or love. When we miswire ourselves we think that the shiny new sports car will provide those feelings. And when we finally, after much effort, acquire that new sports car we find it to be a hollow victory with no lasting sense of fulfillment, but merely a fleeting sense of gratification. Seeking gratification leads to addiction. Fulfillment brings peace.
So wherein lies the fulfillment? Fulfillment comes from acknowledging ourselves as the spiritual being that we already are and then making our choices from that perspective. Those choices and actions will involve reaching within ourselves to touch the Light that we carry as spiritual beings and bringing that Light into this physical world through our choices of word, deed and action. I recently had a little vision appear to me during meditation. In that vision I was shown that when we reach outside of ourselves into this physical world we may be successful in finding a light to shine upon us since everything is, ultimately, made from Light. But when a light shines upon us from outside of us we always have a shadow!! And it is our shadow side, that ego part of ourselves that has forgotten who we are, that gets us into the trouble that we are witnessing in every arena of our world. However, when the Light shines from within us, like a light bulb, we no longer have a shadow. I know that in our "numb" states this can sound pretty hokey. But if you want to feel that Light, find a newborn infant and look into it's eyes. I have a three month old baby daughter who blesses me with that vision each day. As I look into her eyes there is no deceit, no facade, no hidden agendas, only a pure connection to spirit and truth which magneticly draws me in. I will do all that I can to help her remember what she knows already about who she is. And I give thanks each day for her reminding me of who I am.
And so what will the price of gold be in the future and where will the gold stocks go? They will go, and do, whatever is necessary to offer us the opportunity to shift our consciousness. For that is all that is going on here! There is nothing else. The past is irrelevant in trying to predict the future. To approximately quote teacher Eckhart Tolle, for the ego, "the only purpose of the past is to give us a definition of who we are in this physical world; and the only purpose of the future is to give us physical beings hope that we can find happiness". For spirit there is only NOW. Everything we ever experience happens in the NOW. It is the only place where power, love, inspiration, fulfillment, or anything significant exists. It is the only place my infant daughter knows.
I believe that if we all chose to utilize our efforts to make a profit in gold in order to truly benefit humanity and to demonstrate a higher level of conscious choice, then we would tap into the unlimited abundance of the spirit of who we truly are and the gold would flow to us in unlimited abundance. If, however, our search for gold is motivated by greed or a sense of lack, both of which are alien to spirit, then that is what will be inflicted upon us. For in the world of spirit like attracts like. As spiritual beings we are extremely powerful creators. We are now being shown the importance of being responsible creators for "all of our relations".
The aforementioned increase in spiritual energy is revealing that which has been hidden in the past in every arena. The gray areas are disappearing and our choices are becoming clearer as the consequences of our past choices are being revealed. The spiritual truth long held by traditional cultures, "all my relations" is also being made clearer to us. We humans are all related. That which benefits one must benefit all. The solutions to our economic, environmental, political, or health problems must benefit everyone or they will fail. This is just spiritual truth.
Once we finally do decide to patch the weaknesses in our tires that have been revealed by the growing spiritual energy, we will then find that the second purpose of this increased energy will "kick in". And that is that it will empower us to greater and more powerful levels of creative expression. For co-creation is our purpose as spiritual beings. As we demonstrate higher levels of consciousness we are allowed to create at higher, more powerful levels of expression. There is a beauty to this design. And that is that if our creative powers out pace our consciousness we merely create enough to destroy ourselves and start over. Again, time is of no concern in the spirit world. But we seem to be on the precipice of extraordinary opportunity. I actually believe that within the gift of free will, we are now in a place where those who choose to do the work (it's definitely not easy) to play within the realms of higher consciousness will create those higher arenas and those who choose not to will be able to stay behind and continue to experience the caterpillar world. There is room for each and every one of us to decide how we want to participate. In any event, it certainly is choice time. The consequences of our choices are clearer than they have ever been. There are vastly more human beings making choices now than there have ever been. When I was an Investment Analyst in the Trust Department of a major bank in the mid 70s it was considered a "big" day if the NYSE traded fifty million shares. Today hundreds of millions of shares of bankrupt Worldcom are traded each day and the market can trade over a billion shares in a day. We live in a connected, electronic world where choices have immediate consequences. We watch the bombs drop live on television. It is an extraordinary time for learning. May we be open to receive these gifts.
Being of a MBA, banking, and real estate background I have rarely expressed these types of beliefs publicly. But these are extraordinary times, and an infant daughter also changes one's perspectives. I have been privileged to spend time with Malidoma Some, an elder and shaman of the Dagara tribe in Africa, and a holder of advanced degrees from Brandeis University and the Sorbonne in Paris. I remember him saying with his gentle humor: "When you begin the spiritual journey some people may consider you weird! But the question is not whether or not you are weird. The question is, Are you weird enough?!".
May we continue to be open to the teachings of Brother Gold and the other wise ones around us as we share this journey home. Personally I remain bullish on the gold stocks and will continue to trade them, but will attempt to hold a higher perspective concerning my purposes for doing so. And I think little Maggie and I will swing by the old folks home nearby to spend some time with the folks there that know that all of this economic stuff is just not that important.
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About the author
Michael L. Shooltz is a former Managing Partner of a national real estate development firm and has developed award winning high-rise office buildings and suburban office and industrial parks in five states. He holds an MBA from the University of Michigan with a major in Finance. In addition he is a certified Kripalu Yoga Teacher and a long time student of the healing arts including a diploma from the three year Kabbalistic healing school, A Society of Souls. He is also most grateful for the mentoring he has received from elders of the Native American and other indiginous cultures.