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Thursday, February 5,2015

200% OF LIFE

By Cary Bayer  

Every day people talk about giving 100 percent effort; some even 150 percent. In this article, I’ll talk about 200 percent.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who helped make meditation a household word, described 200 percent of life as being an enlightened millionaire. Buckminster Fuller said there were enough resources for everyone to live as a millionaire.

Living in South Florida seven months and in Woodstock, New York about five, I’ve observed people focusing on different aspects of these two polarities. In Woodstock, where values of the ‘60s are very alive, I know many people committed to spiritual development. Many of them don’t make much money, don’t have much money, and don’t worry much about money. Their net worth isn’t high, but their self-worth is.

In South Florida, I know many people who are extremely successful materially. They have lots of money, make lots of money (if they’re not already retired), but many of them worry about money, especially if a lot of their assets are in stock holdings. Some monitor their investments on a daily basis - some several times a day - and their moods rise and fall with their stocks’ prices. Many don’t realize there’s really such a thing as spiritual attainment and, consequently, don’t put much attention on it.

Many have very high net worth; many, however, have low self-worth. I’ve coached some of these people and have seen that many of them value themselves by how much money they have or what kinds of designer and expensive possessions they’ve amassed.

A modern day maxim created by materialists in our culture goes, “Life’s a beach, and then you die.” With such a worldview it’s hardly surprising that a corollary maxim would develop that goes, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” A spiritual adaptation of this adage might read, “He who lives with the most consciousness, who has realized his higher Self, wins the Game of Life.”

But that’s not the prevailing cultural belief. Accumulating toys and trinkets has become more important than accumulating wisdom and peace. To update Jesus’ timeless question, we might ask: “What does it profit a woman to gain a Louis Vuitton pocketbook and lose her soul?” Our TV networks devote hours of programming each week to real housewives; none to real gurus. We seem to want to watch rigid, anxious, and conflictcreating materialists, but not flexible, peaceful, harmony-creating spiritual people.

To live Maharishi’s 200 percent of life, spiritual people need to manifest more materially. Each needs a higher net worth to complement high selfworth. They need larger amounts of money in their retirement accounts; some need to create a retirement account. Many dress slovenly, focusing more on the unseen than the seen; they could dress up their look more because first impressions are long lasting, and more opportunities could open up for them with a more attractive exterior life.

Materialistic people need spiritual peace. Many think that peace comes from having enough “money in the bank” - or really in stocks, bonds, and real estate. Many materialists, concerned with what’s seen rather than what’s not, are highly concerned with their appearance; they could find more happiness if they developed a more attractive interior life.

It’s over-simplification that Woodstockers are spiritual and South Floridians are materialistic. Many people in Woodstock are deeply materialistic, and many Floridians, who’ve been students in my workshops, coaching clients, and meditation classes - who are deeply spiritual and not at all materialistic.

East and West are Meeting

One reason many spiritual people are not materialistic, and many materialistic people are not spiritual is because of the expression, “East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.” East and West meet every day. Yoga studios are all over the Western world, Acupuncture, Zen, Feng Shui, and Martial arts are in most cities. If you go East, you’ll see Hollywood movies, designer clothes from Europe and Seventh Avenue, and Coca-Cola.

There’s another expression in our language that’s gumming up the works. I’ll italicize the ridiculous part for emphasis, and state it as a question instead of as a declaration: “You want to have your cake and eat it, too?" To which I answer...well, yes, what else would I do with cake instead of eating it, too? Dance with it? Play Frisbee with it? Cake is for having and for eating. You wouldn’t want one without the other because if you let cake sit around long enough without eating it, its blue icing might be complemented with plenty of other undesirable blue. In the same way that cake is for having and eating, money is for having (and spending) and enlightenment is for enjoying.

And life is fully lived when both are present.


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