By Judith Gayle | Political Waves
WHEN PLUTO, in the last degrees of Sagittarius, went direct a few days ago,
reality paid us a call. It visited its laser-light on Wall Street. Main Street,
as Barack Obama asserts, had already felt its wrath. The financial institutions
had enjoyed a leisurely respite from accountability since Pluto's retrograde in
May, but now the bill's come due on greed, corruption and predatory capitalism.
And although many of us knew it was coming, the world has sucked in its breath
This nation was founded by the wealthy; what the Republicans would call
elitists, although by and large they're describing themselves. The Boston Tea Party
was carried out
against unfair taxation by disgruntled businessmen, who chafed against the
controls imposed by England. It is easy enough to strike a populist note within
such a rebellion, since the good of the whole is derived from a stable economy;
but it should be noted that not all of those who climbed aboard the two British
East India ships to dump her cargo (some 45 tons of tea worth well over a
million dollars today) could easily afford tea themselves.
For the average American, it's the intrinsic unfairness of our current commerce
that drives the emotional bus we're on; in our government today, fairness (as
well as regulation or oversight) does not appear on the list of requisites for
financial growth. Most politicians look at the numbers, not the faces of those
in despair. John McCain, for instance, has determined the economy
"basically sound," and for John, with his many homes and wealthy
wife, the economic future is probably a good deal more rosy than the Average
Joe/Jane's. John is no doubt buoyed by the money coming in at the top: the
disproportionate distribution of wealth
from trickle-down economics that has created another Robber Baron society, not
seen since the turn of the 20th century.
When questioned on that pronouncement, given on the day now known as Black
Monday, the Republican candidate clarified
that he believed in the resilient productivity of the American
worker, daring anyone to challenge that notion: as if anyone would. That's a
classic example of Republican bluff and emotional intimidation. Along with a
growing list of expedient McCain flip-flops, among them a call for regulation
after having fought against it tooth and nail for over 20 years, this seems
to me one more example of Bushian double-speak and smoke-blowing. He followed
this by proclaiming a need to study the problem, calling for something along
the lines of the 9/11 Commission in order to make recommendations; that group,
convened in 2002, gave their final (and highly contested) report in 2004.
Illustration by D. Voirin from found clip art.
Barack Obama, on the other hand, has called Black Monday the greatest financial
crisis since the Great Depression; 2001 Nobel Prize winner in Economics, Joseph Stiglitz
, agrees with him. Given
such a state of emergency, does anyone in their right mind think we have two
years to respond to a challenge of this magnitude?
The financial news out of
America is shaking the world economy, prompting the current administration to
bail out greedy, unprincipled money-changers using tax dollars that have
already been hijacked for war and militarism, and showing us all how naked
Emperor Economy has become after decades of Reagan deregulation. The fox has
been in charge of the hen house, and we've been left with a nice pile of
feathers and little else.
Political pundits who have said this current election will turn on the economy
are no doubt patting themselves on the back, now; but war cannot be taken out
of the equation. If this nation cannot be moved by humanitarian outcry, then
perhaps it can be kicked along by economic realities.
The war in Iraq alone is
costing taxpayers $10 billion
month; Obama tells us that puts the average family behind the eight-ball for $100
per month, themselves. And as
Afghanistan is now rivaling Iraq in death and security problems
, both troops
and money are being shifted to deal with that long-forgotten war front. More money: and where will it come from?
The United States Treasury is not the goose that continues to lay the golden
egg, and the Federal Reserve may be printing money as quickly as possible, but
it lends us this paper, charging interest that has the capacity to sink us.
Obama has already announced that some of his proposed tax relief
will have to
be put off until the national picture is more stable; Barack is a pragmatist
and I'll give him credit for leveling with a nation he thinks is smart enough
to handle it.
McCain has no intention of actually leveling with, or helping out, the American
people as his tax plan makes clear. Graphs
comparing his proposed policies to Obama's give us the visual that makes the
obvious more so -- Obama is the bottom-up candidate, interested in creating the
playing field as fair for the little guy, while McCain, who promises to
"shake up Washington," is the actual elitist who would leave things
much as they are.
It's worth noting -- and Republicans, take heed -- that he
will also privatize Social Security
and eliminate employer-sponsored health
John is actually Sucker Punch John
, but we're evidently too
fascinated with sassy Sarah's legal back-peddling on four-inch heels
For a nation in economic crisis, these are not only philosophical camps that
people divide between, they're also attitudes that show up in each of our minds
like ingredients in a cake. Take a half-cup of realism, a quarter-cup of
cynicism and mix well; beat in a large dollop of Republicanism, a dash of
Democratic principal and bake. Shake a thin layer of spiritual idealism over
the top while still warm and eat it yourself.
Or maybe you're one of those who would mix equal portions of Democratic and
spiritual thought with a handful of realism, a pinch of conservatism and just a
hint of cynicism; while still warm, offer to your neighbors for free. Examine
the cake you're baking. It will tell you how the next months of your life will
Our relationship with money is a third-chakra event; it's about survival.
Nothing waves a red flag at our insecurities more than financial wobble. If we
take a step back and draw a halt to Fear we can reprioritize our
actual needs as opposed to our wants, and appraise our lifestyle in a pragmatic
We are a nation accustomed to plenty; we have been
oblivious to the amount of waste that we see daily and we have valued
convenience to our detriment. Coming to adjustment in our manner of living, and
balance in the nation's resources, isn't a bad thing; it's just a painful one.
As Gandhi said, "earthprovides enough to satisfy every man's need, but
not every man's greed."
A Course in Miracles
separation in all things, and specifically in substance as it tells us,
"Giving and receiving is one." Give and take is a loop of energy, not
separate even among the givers or the takers; it functions as a whole. When we
give of our good, we not only bless someone else but open ourselves to be blessed.
If we are afraid we don't have enough to give, we stop the looping energy that
allows us to receive.
A knee-jerk response to fear of lack only circumvents our
ability to get what we need, much as a run on a bank closes its doors. If we
want to keep our financial balance, we must not interrupt the flow of giving
and receiving -- the sure exchange of goods, services, kindness and love -- that
keeps us in the flow of well-being.
Even with a sorry financial prospect in the coming months, the adjustments that
are ahead of us will be met by the coming face of Pluto in Capricorn; this is a
no-nonsense energy, and one that polices institutions and social structures.
Installing a progressive President would be a merciful experiment, but the
concept of the Phoenix rising from the ashes is on its way with or without.
Armed with foreknowledge that we are making such a basic
adjustment, we must learn to trust our own instinct and intuition, let go of
our need to control what we have no power over and step into the flow of good.
We must flex our spiritual muscle, as Eckhart Tolle has advised:
If there is truly nothing that you can do to change your here and now, and you
can't remove yourself from the situation, then accept your here and now totally
by dropping all inner resistance. The false, unhappy self that loves feeling
miserable, resentful or sorry for itself can then no longer survive. This is
called surrender. Surrender is not weakness. There is great strength in it.
Only a surrendered person has spiritual power. Through surrender you will be
free internally of the situation. You may then find that the situation changes
without any effort on your part. In any case, you are free.
We are in constant relationship, on this plane; we are in a relationship with
money as well. If we are to come through this ring of fire unscathed, we must
reassess ALL of our relationships, to make sure they're sound and well tended,
functional and healthy. When we depend on the Higher Angels of our being, call
upon our innate creativity and resourcefulness, we can expect to be met with a
puff of wind beneath our wings.
Maintaining our ability to push back fear and keep the
flow of give and take moving us forward only requires us to shake off whatever
impedes us at the moment and make the most of what we have, putting faith in
the Source of our good.
We will live to tell about this period in our reformation, and if we remember
that giving and receiving is of one piece, a single activity, it will be a less
anxious tale than we expect it to be. The ingredients we're mixing in our
philosophy, our thought process -- our hearts -- will determine if we will be
standing in soup-line consciousness, or be able to have our cake and share it