Leo Tolstoy on God

LEO TOLSTOY ON GOD: "When you look inside yourself, you see what is called 'your own self' or your soul. You cannot touch it or see it or understand it, but you know it is there. And this part of yourself--that which you cannot understand--is what is called God. God is both around us and inside of us--in our souls.

The more you understand that you are at one with God, the more you will understand that you are at one with all His worldly manifestations."

Sunday, August 2, 2015

"Overcoming Selfishness Is Key To Our Growth in 21st Century..."

Photo Credit: Sociedad Argentina de Horitcultura 
Things Left Undone by Adelaide Proctor
It isn't the thing you do, dear
It's the thing you leave undone,
That gives you the bitter heartache
At the setting of the sun;
The tender word unspoken,
The letter you did not write,
The flower you might have sent, dear,
Are your haunting ghosts at night.

The stone you might have lifted
Out of your brother's way,
The bit of heartfelt counsel
You were hurried too much to say;
The loving touch of the hand, dear,
The gentle and winsome tone,
That you had not time or thought for,
With troubles enough your own.

These little acts of kindness,
So easily out of mind,
These chances to be angels,
Which even mortals find--
They come in nights of silence,
To take away the grief,
When hope is faint and feeble,
And a drought has stopped belief.

For life is all too short dear.
And sorrow is all to great,
TO allow our slow compassion
That tarries until too late.
And it's not the thing you do dear,
It's the thing you leave undone,
That gives you the bitter heartache,
At the setting of the sun.

Selfishness is suffocating the individual, stifling the family's ability to grow in meaningful ways, and stunting our overall spiritual elevation.

Most of us think of ourselves as giving, caring and loving people. But a closer look at what truly is being demanded of us by the spirit of God working in and through us, we'd see an abysmal picture.

We can't really see the myriad ways of our selfishness, because we don't have the awareness to discern it. But selfishness goes beyond giving, or not wanting to give, away "stuff" and sharing. Selfishness describes the ways we walk through life.
  • If we close ourselves off from the world by not staying open to how our days can be changed in a minute by a stranger needing our help or attention: we are being selfish.
  •  If we're inflexible so that we remain totally unaffected by people, places and events in our environment: we are being selfish.
  • When no one and nothing else matters but meeting our needs and seeing the world only through our eyes: we are being selfish.
We Must Allow the Flow Of Our Talents and Gifts Into Life!     

There's a parable that's shared in Christianity about three men who were each given a talent by their master. The first man brought back three talents for the one he'd received; the second man brought back two talents for the one received, and the third man saved his and returned it to his master. This third man was promptly thrown in jail.


He'd hoarded his "talent."

Let's look more deeply at the real  message of this story.

God gives us each skills, talents and gifts to walk in the world a certain way.
  • Some of us will expand and use those talents, helping others along the way, thus multiplying our skills and talents into many generations.
  • Others will do the best they can to grow in ways they feel led and will expand circumstances to benefit many others as well as themselves. They, too, will be blessed.
Giving Our Gifts To The World Contributes To Growth for All
  • The third set will try to preserve their gifts and talents by staying focused on one thing, not expanding beyond where they started. Doing so, they limit those very gifts, stifling the good for all and shutting off a flow of good into the world.

When we close off the flow of good into the world, we also close it off from flowing back to us and our families. But many people don't see it that way. Instead, they view their selfishness as a form of self preservation. But this truly is wrong thinking!

Competitiveness breeds selfishness. We all want to win at any cost. We'd prefer to close off our skills and talents to preserve them for ourselves and our families, rather than share them with the larger community. Why share, when we can have it all? By being this way, we can elevate ourselves in our own eyes and those of the world. And, after all, isn't this what life is all about?

This stinking thinking must stop, if we are going to grow forward as a progressive society during this 21st Century.  We see when those who think beyond their own companies, and their own needs, manage to elevate the ways of life for many. For examples, we've only got to look at the many critical developments made in the late 20th Century and being made today by those in the Information Technology field and in other industries changing and improving the quality of life for us all. See this  FORTUNE piece: ("Must you be ruthless and selfish to be a really successful entrepreneur.") Yet, we've got much further to go: we've got to go beyond individual companies' ROI and our own individual wealth and riches and grow into societies where no group of people is left behind. 

In "Mind Is The Master," James Allen writes that we must first discover this selfishness within ourselves, and understand it, before it can be removed.
"Seeing that in selfishness there is no security, no stability, no peace, the whole process of seeking the Kingdom resolves itself into a search for a principle; a divine and permanent Principle on which a man can stand secure, freed from himself---that is, from the personal element, from the tyranny and slavery which that personal self exacts and demands. A man must first of all be willing to lose himself (this self-seeking self) before he can find himself (his divine self.) He must realize that selfishness is not worth clinging to, that it is a master altogether unworthy of his service , and that divine Goodness alone is worthy to be enthroned in his heart as the supreme master of his life."  -James Allen
We can rid ourselves of Selfishness, Allen writes, by going through Three Gateways of Surrender:
1. Surrender of Desire
2. Surrender of Opinion
3. Surrender of Self
Surrender of Desire is the first step to Selflessness

Surrender of Desire is achieved when we realize that we are a slave to both ourselves and our surroundings and circumstances. Realizing this, then, we are able to get to the second Gate, Surrender of Opinion, which relies on self-control, self-reliance, fearlessness and independence of thought.

 "Here also he  (man) will have to pass through ridicule and mockery and false accusation; so much so that some of his best friends, yea, even those whom he most unselfishly loves, will accuse him of folly and inconsistency, and will do all they can to argue him back to the life of animal indulgence, self-seeking and petty personal strife.

"Nearly everybody around him will suddenly discover that they know his duty better than he knows it himself, and, knowing no other and higher life than their own of mingled excitement and suffering, they will take great pains to win him back to it, imagining, in their ignorance, that he is losing so much pleasure and happiness, and is gaining nothing in return.

Build Your Mountain by Surrender of Self

"At first, this attitude of others toward him will arouse in him acute suffering, but he will rapidly discover that this suffering is caused by his own vanity and selfishness and is the result of his subtle desire to be appreciated, admired, and thought well of; and immediately this knowledge is arrived at, he will rise into a higher state of consciousness, where these things can no longer reach him and inflict pain."

Through development of humility, we learn to distinguish between Truth and others' opinions about Truth. We must learn that opinions about Goodness, Purity, Compassion and Love are very distinct from those qualities themselves, and that we must stand upon those divine Principles, and not upon people's opinions, Allen writes.

We must Build A Community
Photo Credit: Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura
"The journey to freedom by walking through the gateway of Surrender of Self may be long and tedious one, or it may be short and rapid. It may occupy a minute, or it may take a thousand ages. Everything depends on the faith and belief of the searcher." -James Allen

Walking through these three gates to freedom ultimately boils down to things: 1. Having faith  2. Having the wisdom to discern the Truth.

Are you able to develop these key attributes to walk away from Selfishness and into Freedom?

As for me? I'm taking a slow, long walk to Freedom. It's trying on many days, but still I persevere.


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Man: "King of Inner Thoughts and Outer Circumstances"

You are Free! 

Photos Credit: Loni Love
The nation was ablaze on the night of June 26, 2015 with lights the colors of the rainbow being displayed in prominent places. (As noted in the photos above, rainbow-colored lights were displayed at: Niagara Falls, Disney World, The White House, One World Trade Center.) There was dancing in the streets, and shouts of joy permeated news broadcasts throughout the nation as people celebrated the majority justices of The Supreme Court of United States (SCOTUS) handing down a decision to make marriage apply to all men and women in the nation, regardless of sexual orientation.

Lilian and Mike changed
their Facebook photo 
Althea Alexis changed her Facebook photo
Throughout the weekend, millions of people took to social media to express their joy. As of June 30, more than 26 million people had the rainbow covering their Facebook profile photos.(26 Million People Express Rainbow Pride on Facebook) These are the folks whose consciousness changed the world! (Heterosexual couples and singles (pictured) joined in the celebration with their gay friends to support passage of the national "Marriage" law.)

Ten years ago, whether the law was on their side or not, those same SCOTUS justices could not have dared to pass such a law that now applies to all 50 states in the United States. The reason was simple: the nation was not yet ready for such a law.

David Gerson's Photo: members of the SCOTUS 
The majority of Americans simply were not ready to accept that a marriage license should be granted to men and women of the same sex. But here's how fast Americans changed their minds, accepted gay relationships and "gay marriage" was considered "marriage" and the law of the land. (Pace of Social Change)
See this link: (Same Sex Marriage: From 0 to 100 percent)

So, how did the United States get to the June 26 decision?

The changing of the consciousness of the people in the United States: mass consciousness. And this is just not me talking.

Scores of years ago, scientists talked about the 100th Monkey Effect, where there was significant behavioral changes among a colony of macaque monkeys in 1952 on the Japanese Island of Koshima. When a certain way of washing sweet potatoes reached a critical mass of 100 monkeys, the behavior was passed down to the new generation of monkeys and became practice. More recently, Epoch Times published a piece on the effect of group consciousness on conditions in the world. (Evidence of Group Consciousness Having an Effect on the World.)

With enough people changing their minds about what they thought marriage ought to be, SCOTUS could not then overlook the truth of the law: a marriage license could not be denied men and women based on their choice of partners.

We see how mass consciousness (thinking) has worked over generations to change many unfair rules and situations. Yet, somehow when we get to our own individual lives, we may not see how the same thinking can affect the circumstances of our lives.

But know this: We are not helpless creatures doomed to a certain fate! We are creators of our circumstances and can change the direction of our lives. If you don't like the direction in which your life is moving: change the screen.

In his most recent book, The 13th Disciple, Master Teacher Deepak Chopra uses the analogy of your life being the movie you see on the screen, with you as the director, projecting the image that you see.
Deepak Chopra on CNBC discussing his novel.
"It's (still) a huge leap to believe that the entire world is a projection, and an even bigger leap to realize that you are watching the movie and projecting it at the same time. Magicians don't believe in their illusions, after all."  - Deepak Chopra, The 13th Disciple 
"Things" do not happen to you. They happen for you, based on the level of your thinking and expectations.

You are the master of your thoughts, and in the same way, you are a master of your circumstances, based on the power of those thoughts.

Yes. It is that simple.

No mumbo jumbo.

Credit: Mentors' Channel
Credit: Mentors' Channel
I do believe that our lives are "fated" to lead us in a certain way. But we are meant to be co-creators with that fate. The way it is 'fated' is based on the circumstances in which we were born.
However, we get to choose where we place our thoughts: Are we going to resign our lives to poverty, because we were born to poor parents? No.

This is when we begin to see the "magician" within us at work, visualizing and creating new lives for ourselves, based on the level of our thinking. We think poor, and: yes, undoubtedly, we will project onto our life's screen a poor and even helpless way of living.

Change those thoughts, and you begin to see a new movie appearing...you get to increasingly see the pictures change and more and more of what you want begins to show up on your life's screen.

If you doubt that your thoughts are connected to your actions, thus ultimately your success, read this piece:
"Science Unlocked The Key To Reading People's Minds."

We can create our heaven or our hell, as we grow through and go through certain circumstances in our lives.

As we previously discussed, we will be focusing on "Mind is the Master: The Complete James Allen Treasury" in each of the upcoming months. We will discuss one of the 19 volumes in Allen's book and share his insights on how our thinking affects our lives.

Beginning with the first volume, "The Path of Prosperity: From Poverty to Power,"Chapter 2: "The World a Reflex of Mental States," Allen says:

"It matters little what is without, for it is all a reflection of your own state of consciousness. It matters everything, what you are within, for everything without will be mirrored and colored accordingly.
"All that you positively know is contained in your own experience; all that you ever will know must pass through the gateway of experience, and so become part of yourself.
"Your own thoughts, desires, and aspirations comprise your world, and, to you, all that there is in the universe of beauty and joy and bliss, or of ugliness and sorrow and pain, is contained within yourself. By your own thoughts you make or mar your life, your world, your universe. As you build within by the power of thought, so will your outward life and circumstances shape themselves accordingly. Whatsoever you harbor in the inmost chambers of your heart will, sooner or later by the inevitable law of reaction, shape inself in your outward life. The soul that is impure, sordid, and selfish is gravitating with unerring precision toward misfortune and catastrophe; the soul that is pure, unselfish and noble is gravitating with equal precision toward happiness and prosperity. Every soul attracts its own, and nothing can possibly come to it that does not belong to it. To realize this is to recognize the universality of Divine Law. The incidents of every human life, which both make and mar, are drawn to it by the quality and power of its own inner thought-life. Every soul is a complex combination of gathered experiences and thoughts, and the body is but an improvised vehicle for its manifestation. What, therefore, your thoughts are, that is your real self; the world around, both animate and inanimate, wears the aspects with which your thoughts clothe it. 'All that we are is the result of what we have thought; it is founded on our thoughts; it is made up of our thoughts.'" 
What we must realize, Allen says, is that although outer circumstances do affect our minds,  we still are in control of how we allow those outward circumstances to affect us. 

The way to prevent ourselves from being influenced by outside circumstances that would want to corrupt our thinking is to understand that we are in control of what we think about what we see. By not allowing ourselves to be influenced by the good or bad we see in the outward things, we remain in control of our thoughts and become master over them.

"One cannot alter external things to suit for passing whims and wishes, but he can set aside his whims and wishes; he can so alter his attitude of mind toward externals that they will assume a different aspect." James Allen

Here are some ways to be "King of Your Inner Thoughts and Outer Circumstances":
* Free yourself from the habit of bad thoughts: "Habit is repetition," Allen writes. Repeating the same thoughts cause us to repeat the same actions, and these in turn give us the same experiences over and over again.  But we should remember that we are not "ready-made." We're always in a state of "becoming." By remembering that our main goal in life is to become more...pure in thought, compassion, and an expression of love...we can change our circumstances and experiences by first changing our thinking about a thing.
Don't fight life! Don't fight the negatives that show up. Instead, figure out what they are there to teach you.

  *Free yourself from thoughts about the bodily conditions to be changed: "Men of robust minds do not dwell upon their bodily condition if it be in any way disordered--they ignore it, and work on, live on, as though it were not. This ignoring of the body not only keeps the mind sane and strong, but it is the best resource for curing the body. If we cannot have a perfectly sound body, we can have a healthy mind, and a healthy mind is the best route to a sound body."
Credit: Mentors' Channel

*Free yourself from poverty thoughts: Those who are dissatisfied with their poverty will always seek to rise above it, Allen writes. But those who view their financial state and poor conditions as "their lot" in life will never seek to rise above it, as they remain contented with the conditions. Then there are others who may still be discontented in what they view as "poverty," though they may have millions of dollars. But these individuals are more consumed with covetousness, rather than about living in squalor. Poverty thoughts limit us to either being discontented in our riches, or dissatisfied enough to want to rise above it. We get to choose which one we become a slave to in our thinking!

Through Devotion to Duty and Self-Conquest by the power of thought, we can be free of every undesirable condition in our lives, including our ability to go  from poverty to affluence, influence and lasting joy, Allen writes. 

Each day in the news, we read of someone overcoming certain limitations or achieving great results in life when the odds were against them. These results don't "just happen." First, they believed they could achieve it, then they went about getting the movie screen of their lives set right with their thinking. See this recent story (Misty Copeland promoted to principal ballerina at American Ballet Theater) about Misty Copeland and the YouTube video below.  

Poem: "The Path To Prosperity: From Poverty to Power." 

"If thou would'st right the world
And banish all its evil and its woes
make its wild places bloom, 
And its drear deserts blossom as a rose---
Then right thyself.

If thou would'st turn the world

From its long, lone captivity in sin.
Restore all broken hearts, 
Slay grief and let sweet consolations in---
Turn thou thyself.

if thou would'st cure the world

Of its long sickness, end its grief and pain;
Bring in all-healing Joy,
And give the afflicted rest again---
Then cure thyself.

If thou would'st wake the world

out of its dream of death and dark'ning strife,
Bring it to love and Peace,
And Light and brightness of immortal Life---
Wake thou thyself."


Sunday, June 7, 2015

How To Gain The Whole World And NOT Lose Your Soul: Rise Above Your Basic Instincts

Cecilia Weber, creater of this image,  is one of several artists using the human body to create beautiful art of flowers.
See others human-body art  pieces on this post.
Lust and Greed are  on equal footing. The difference is that  one focuses on a person, the other on a thing.

Human Bodies "formed" into beautiful flowers. 
Lust is defined as having a strong sexual desire for someone.
Greed is defined as having intense and selfish desire for something, especially weatlh, power or food.

But both come from a place of consciousness, where there is a lack of connection with the soul/spirit within.

Once there is a void, there will be longing for something...anything... outside ourselves.

The key to overcoming lust and greed is to rise above our basic instincts and develop a consciousness that sees we're operating strictly from our animal nature, which is instinctual. 

  Recognize this rose, as a rose? Or are you focused only on the naked bodies forming the rose?
"A rose by any other name is still a rose," line from Romeo and Juliet


Yes. Cecilia Weber sees the human body in its totality and as a beautiful object, so she creates beautiful art from the perspective of her inner eyes. But most people who are lusting after someone do not see the human body from those of the eyes of an artist. Most reduce a person to a human frame with parts and lust after those individual parts: breasts, legs, thighs, and buttocks. If we were to just casually glance through Twitter or other social media feeds, we see the extent some are going to today to sculpt various parts of their body, not for functionality, but to create desire and appeal. Those who are born with certain attributes are displaying them without cover...with no modesty...for the world to see. If being vulgar is our new way of showcasing beauty, then we should consider that even our basic instincts are failing us: we've gone over the edge. 

By viewing our bodies in this way, we essentially are reducing our senses to those of animals. They, too, operate from their basic instincts: animals use all their senses to attract and capture the objects of their desires, even if it means preying and hunting them down only to kill and eat them. As humans, we are given more than our five senses.


We are given the power of self-discipline and self control. These can be used to help us separate even more from the lower species in the animal kingdom.

One of my favorite spiritual master teachers is James Allen, author of "As a Man Thinketh." I was blessed recently by discoverng that an entire volume of his works, "Mind is the Master," has been compiled. Yes. I have been exercising my own form of gluttony, foraging through the 866 pages with the behavior of a beast. 
 Yes. I admit: I've been shameless.The good part for you, my readers, is that you also get to read what "Allen says" in this and the next six blog posts of the year. (See the "Coming Up" section on the right side.)  

Here's what Allen says about Self-Discipline:
Click here to read about 'The Wolf Man."(Wolf Researcher Werner Freund)
 "A man does not live until he begins to discipline himself; he merely exists. like an animal, he gratifies his desires and pursues his inclinations just where they may lead him.  he is happy as a beast, because he is not conscious of what he is depriving himself; he suffers as the beast suffers, becaues he does no know the way out of suffering. he does not intelligently reflect upon life, and lives in a series of sensations, longings, and confused memories which are unrelated to any central idea or principle. A man whose inner life is so ungoverned and chaotic must necessarily manifest this confusion in the visible conditions of his outer life in the world; and though for a time, running with the stream of his desires, he may draw to himself a more or less large share of necessities and comforts of life, he never achieves any real success nor accomplishes any real good, and sooner or later worldly failure and disaster are inevitable, as the direct result of the inward failure to properly adjust and regulate those mental forces which make the outer life. 

"Before a man accomplish anything of an enduring nature in the world, he must first of all acquire some measure of success in the management of his own mind." 
Recognize the bodies for what they form: a beautiful flower.
Lack of Self-Discipline Is Toxic To Our Soul

We may gain the whole world and lose our Soul by not recognizing a strong and unhealthy attraction to someone else for what it is in truth. It is such an unhealthy emotion that right thinking is not involved, when lust takes over. See this piece about a doctor and patient. ((Doctor Began Affair With Patient After Seeing Her Undress.) Others, get into similar trouble when they lose perspective on money and things and people. Whatever the object of desire, it's still lust! Congressman's Rise Ends With a Thud

 "Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death. For she hath cast down many wounded, yea, many strong men have been slain by her."
-Proverb 7: 25-27 


Another beautiful piece from Cecilia Weber: Human Body creating art. 
From the proverb, we can see that throughout the ages men and women have succumbed to lust and often to their destruction. It's time now for us to wake up to Truth and see lust for the role it plays in our lives. 

  • We must get beyond our animal desires and reach for higher goals. 

  • We must begin to view the body as God's vessel, as an entire "entity" here for a purpose, and strive to see beyond the outward appearance.

  • We must remember that self-discipline applies to several areas of our lives: emotion, attitude and behavior. 
Here are meditation, I found in "Metaphysical Meditations," by Paramahansa Yoganada that should work help you to "rise above" if used with sincerity:

  • "Teach me, O spirit, to distinguish between the soul's lasting happiness and the temporary pleasures of the senses."
  • "Teach me not to engross myself in the passing sense pleasures. Teach me to discipline my senses that they may always make me really hapy. Teach me to substitute for flesh temptation the greater allurement of soul happiness."


Saturday, May 9, 2015

How To Gain The Whole World and NOT Lose Your Soul: Overcome Greed!

"Don't be a Shark!" 
One cold January morning, I logged onto my computer, and two pieces of news  immediately caught my attention: 
Billionaire Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, offering their thoughts on how the nation can solve the growing Income Inequality gap (The Gates on How Philantrophy Can Help Income Inequality Gap) and a Millionaire Assembly Speaker in New York being arrested for allegedly taking bribes. (New York Assembly Speaker Arrested On Corruption Charges)

If this was not the reality of our world today, the disparity of the two pieces would seem like a cruel joke, especially when viewed from the perspective of "Gaining the Whole World and NOT Losing Your Soul" by avoiding Greed and Gluttony. 
I say to you: 
"Greed is more than wanting your fair share in life. Greed is a state of consciousness, where enough is never enough! It's an approach to life that demonstrates a paucity of spirit,  where we withhold a compliment, or don't share a thought because it might give someone an 'edge.' Greed is the biggest illustrator of the veil with which many walk through life and is illustrious of the void that can occur when we walk through life separated from our Soul." 

One story illustrates for us the fullness that occurs as a personality becomes more connected to its Soul, and the other shows the devastation that results when we operate separately, as a personality, from our Soul. Both men were "growing" through life with wealth...but in completely different ways!

Here we have a billionaire, Gates, who acquired his wealth, through stealth,  by utilizing the gifts of Spirit within him. Starting out by knocking on the doors of major corporations, this billionaire learned much about their ways of operating yet wanted to offer something different. Step by step he built his company...and as he built it, his money grew...and grew...and grew...and grew and grew, making his business one of the world's largest companies today, Microsoft.

Bill Gates is one of the world's richest men, but if we were to look at his PR in the last 10 years, we would see that his preoccupation has not been to gain more and more. In fact, he seems more focused on how he can give back to the world and share the gifts that were so freely given to him.
We can assume for purposes of this blog that Sheldon Silver,  the millionaire, also was a good man.
He wanted to do good by offering his time, talent and skills to serve the public. He may have had a good life all along, but he wanted more, i.e. he wanted to give more and be more to many. As Assembly Speaker of New York, he had acquired the "whole world" of power...and then...Was it Greed, or the absolute power of power itself? 
According to the charges being leveled at him, he was involved in corruption for two decades! We can only guess at what may have led this man, who, for our purposes, had good intentions when he started out to stray so far from his Truth of serving and upholding the public trust. 
We pray, too, at Namaste' Wholistic 
for Sheldon Silver's vindication

Bill Gates' story is that of a man who, even if he started out wanting more and more, eventually became humbled by his accomplishments and wanted to share his gifts and wealth with the world. (See others doing the same: ("The Giving Pledge" ) The Assembly Speaker's story, based on the charges, speaks of a man who may have become corrupted by the seduction of money, power and greed. In whatever way the story ends for the millionaire in the court of law, we know that he already is having a  day of reckoning with his Soul. We can only support his prayer on the day he was arrested:
                                             “I hope I’ll be vindicated.”   
For the rest of us who are not millionaires, much less billionaires, let their stories be a wake-up call for us. We can learn from these two public men and so many others who lie somewhere in between.

We do not have to search long and hard to see the many other billionaires, unlike Bill Gates, fighting hard to keep their billions to themselves. 

The Income Inequality gap is widening. (Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Speaks on Widening Income Equality.) Many diligent men, like Bill Gates, are fighting hard to close this gap, but just as many are fighting just as hard to keep it open. Many wealthy men on the other side of Gates are working to influence appointment of people to Congress who would ensure they become richer and richer by keeping more and more of their wealth.
James Allen, born on  November 28,1864, was a master teacher and author of spiritual books, articles and journals. Author of  the best seller, "As A Man Thinketh," (1903) and "From Poverty to Power," (1901), his complete works have been compiled in "Mind is the Master." Here's a passage Allen offered on greed, as he and his family fed and observed eating patterns of birds in the Winter.

"If a small quantity of food be given them, they will eat it with comparative freedom from contention. But let a quantity of food which is more than sufficient for all be thrown to them, and fighting over the coveted provender at once ensues. Occasionally we would put out a whole loaf of bread, and then the contention of the birds became fierce and prolonged, although there was more than they all could possibly eat during several days. Some, having gorged themselves until they could eat no more, would stand upon the loaf and hover round it, pecking fiercely at all newcomers, and endeavoring to prevent them from obtaining any of the food. And along with the fierce contention there was noticeable a great fear. With each mouthful of food taken, the birds would look round in nervous terror, apprehensive of losing their food or their lives.
 "....it is not scarcity that produces competition, it is abundance; so that the richer and more luxurious a nation becomes, the keener and fiercer becomes the competition for securing the necessaries and luxuries of life. Let a famine overtake a nation, and at once compassion and sympathy take the place of competitive strife; and in the blessedness of giving and receiving, men enjoy a foretaste of that heavenly bliss which the spiritually wise have found, and which all shall ultimately reach."  
But the power lies within each of us not to be overwhelmed or overcome by these seemingly stronger forces. We must hold to the Truth within us and not be seduced by the world to go the way of the world...and especially not to get greedy as our stock in life begins to rise.  Eventually, with enough people on Earth awakening to the Truth, the good for all mankind can, and will, prevail. 
"...for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of things which he possesseth."- Luke 12:15  
Moving beyond the lessons of the billionaires and millionaires in the world, we each can begin in each moment to make a choice to eradicate greed in whatever small way we can. 
Please remember: 

  • Greed does not only refer to money, it also refers to selfish thinking.
  • Greed does not only refer to food, it also refers to wanting.                                  more than your fair share.
  •  Greed does not only refer to the rich.
  • Greed also refers to the middle class and even the poor, especially if they also carry a "me first," "me only" mentality.

We all can be greedy in our ways, if we act selfishly towards others and want everything for ourselves.

  • We all can be  greedy, if all we think about, and talk about, is ourselves and what benefits us.
  • We all can be greedy if we think only about winning and others losing.
Is it selfish to want to be first? 
Is it selfish to push others down, or away, so we can be first? 
Yes. Can this behavior be considered greedy? 
                                            Yes. Yes. Yes.

There are those who believe the world works as they imagine it and that everything in the world has to do with them. Is that selfishness? No. But it is being self centered: This is when we are too interested in ourselves and have little care about the needs or feelings of other people. 
Self -centeredness can turn into greediness when we believe everything in the world happens for us, or is about us. The world is huge! Each one of us has a role to play in it. We are not center stage and should not want to be center stage all the time. That, is an element of greed.

So whether it is that we're trying to grab more money, more food, more happiness or attention, it comes back to something basic: we have a void in our Soul. We need to get back to the connection within.

When we do, all the "stuff" that we seek...whether it's money, food, or attention...suddenly fall off as a dominant force in our lives. Greed? We begin to see the ugliness of it.

For Heaven's Sake: Do NOT start to beat yourself up when you notice your self-centered and greedy behavior! Self flagellation solves nothing! We'd all be black and blue, were we to begin taking score of the many, many times we've been selfish. Accept that your awakening to see greed in your actions and behavior is a gift you are giving to yourself! 

Remember: No one starts out in the world being fully unselfish. No one starts out in the world seeking the best for others as well as himself.

This is a process of evolution. Bill and Melinda Gates were not born that way; as they grew wealthy they saw the uselessness of "mo money...mo money...mo money" as did these countless others.(The Billionaires Who've Signed The Giving Pledge.)
Awareness is the first key to breaking any tendency towards greed, so that you do NOT gain the whole world, then lose your soul.

I leave you with these two well-known biblical passages to help you gain the right perspective:

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust, doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will be your heart also."
                                 -Matthew 6: 19-21 
"...Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."
                      -Matthew 6:33

Personal Authenticity: "To Thine Own Self Be True"...

"To Thine Own Self Be True and it must follow as the night, the day, Thou canst not then be false to ANY man."
William Shakespeare.