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Wealth and Power

Posted by Roberta Grimes • March 13, 2015 • 13 Comments
Afterlife Research, Human Nature, Jesus, Thomas Jefferson

Before we are born, we write into the plan for our upcoming lifetime a series of challenges that operate like the machines in a gym to help us to Moneystrengthen our spiritual muscles. Things like poverty, cancer, abusive spouses, the deaths of children, and other calamities are pretty obvious spiritual lessons, but believe it or not, they aren’t the big ones. No, the evidence is strong that the toughest life lessons of all are possession of either wealth or power. Put them together, and you have a one-two punch at which even advanced beings quail.

What prompted me to discuss this problem was a recent article entitled What Wealth Does to Your Soul.  The answer turns out to be: nothing good! Over and over, studies have indicated that the richer people are, the more selfish they become and the less satisfied they tend to be in general. Then, of course, there is Lord Acton’s timeless quotation: “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Now that I understand how difficult these lessons are to master, I keep seeing examples of people struggling with them. Here are just three:

  • Many of the best afterlife communications were delivered in the first half of the twentieth century. Those newly dead in the teens and twenties had been active in the age of the Robber Barons, and some of them had amassed great wealth. I was repeatedly struck to see how much remorse they harbored over how they had used their wealth and power, and how disappointed and frustrated they were to have wasted that opportunity for spiritual growth. Some of them even said that they had set themselves back spiritually. One kept saying to his assembled family, “I really thought I could do it.” Even reading his words a century later, his palpable “Damn it!” comes through.
  • Around the year 2000, a tech company went public and created three young billionaires. I can’t recall now which IPO it was, and at this point it origin_5802606397hardly matters, but two members of the trio were often in the news. The third dropped out of sight. Soon it became known that he was giving most of his gains away. Eventually some reporter cornered him on the street and said something like, “Dude, what are you thinkin’?” This beautiful young man retorted, “If I kept more than what my family needs, how could I ever look God in the face?” He had chosen a tough lesson, but he was Acing it.
  • I have long been a fan of Thomas Jefferson. He was an intellectual and spiritual giant, and for a number of reasons I think he was the greatest American of the eighteenth century. In doing decades of afterlife research, I have accumulated much miscellaneous information, including the apparent fact that after that important lifetime he had needed one more as a poor farmer before he could retire from incarnating. His reason? “Jefferson could have been my last lifetime, but I had too much power and I didn’t always use it well.”

 As is true of nearly everything that we learn in studying the afterlife evidence, Jesus told us all of this long ago. He said, “Many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (MK 10:31) “The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoeverorigin_3393763298 exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (MT 23:11-12) And “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (MK 10:15) These pretty words are not just words! The afterlife evidence confirms that they are statements of fact about the spiritual physics that governs all our lives.

So much of what Jesus says in the Gospels sounds like only pretty words until we put together nearly 200 years of messages from the dead and come to see that it is profoundest wisdom. Only “the poor in spirit” are able to make spiritual progress toward becoming “the pure of heart” who approach reunion with God. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to put the Beatitudes of Jesus at the core of your spiritual reading:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (MT 5:3-10)

 

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13 thoughts on “Wealth and Power

  1. It’s me again, Roberta, and I just want to query that first line in The Beatitudes. Surely “The poor in spirit” implies spiritual poverty, and spiritual poverty is kind of how I think of mean, violent, thuggish etc. people. Now, if that first line was written thus: “Blessed are the poor, for in spirit theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” then that might make sense. Perhaps there has been a screw-up in the translation into English of that line? Just perhaps.

    1. Hi Brian! It’s always lovely to hear from you, and this is a great question. It’s important when reading the Gospels to recall that the words of Jesus have been translated twice: first from their original Aramaic into Greek, and then from Greek into English. Aramaic and ancient Greek are so different that any direct translation of what Jesus said sounds strange to those used to his familiar words, so even though direct translations of much of what he said exist, they aren’t much read. Yet even with the problem of their two-step translation, the words of Jesus in the English Gospels still are maybe 95% consistent with the afterlife evidence, which I find flat-out amazing!

      Aramaic is a much more spiritual language than is ancient Greek, which is more engaged with matter. Here, the word “poor” is the best translation of an Aramaic concept passed through that two-step process, and what I think it means is not that the person’s spirit is lousy, but rather that wealth is not corrupting that spirit. Free of interest in material things as opposed to involved with material things, in other words: the wealth of this world is not corrupting him at the level of his soul.

      And, again, this is profoundly true of the people I have been watching grow spiritually in this lifetime. They do not remotely care about money or what it can buy. I see it especially in myself! I began my life highly involved with the things of this world and envious of the wealthy who could buy more stuff. Now I’m 68 and my husband and I are relatively well off, but as we accumulated more I was figuring things out and feeling the desire for less and less. If he were to die, I would buy a modest annuity to live on and move to an apartment to make my life simpler and give all the rest to my children and grandchildren. I think that mindset is what “poor” means in the Beatitudes. Clearing our minds of an interest in the things of the world seems to be an essential precursor to real spiritual growth.

  2. Hey Roberta!
    I am throwing out an idea concerning the following comment in your article…
    “Only “the poor in spirit” are able to make spiritual progress toward becoming “the pure of heart” who approach reunion with God.”
    As a believer in Jesus and in his finished work on the cross, I believe that he reconciled the entire cosmos unto the loving Father…therefore when he ascended, he carried everyone in himself to be seated at the right hand of the Father. We were all reunited into the heart of the Trinity. Those who hear this amazing Good News and believe it are called believers. Those who don’t are left in the darkness of their own misunderstanding, which is hellish.
    Isn’t any doctrine emphasizing man’s efforts just another false ‘works’ theology placing the impossible burden of saving ones’ self upon each human being?

    1. Dear D’Arcy, thank you for commenting, but all of what you say here is based in the theology of the Council of Nicea that was held in 325 A.D. It really has nothing to do with the genuine God, nor does it say anything at all about Jesus and His meaning, His message, His work for humankind.

      In truth, for all of eternity God has loved every one of us so perfectly that no reconciliation ever has been needed, nor is it needed now. Isn’t that the best news you can possibly imagine?

  3. Thank you for clarifying that. I have never understood the meaning of “poor in spirit” in the context of that phrase. Now it makes perfect sense. It’s interesting that our culture values above all, such things as wealth, power, and physical beauty when Jesus and other prophets taught that those things should be of least value in order to achieve spiritual growth.

    Why does the illusion of this existence make us crave those things when they are counter to spiritual growth? Perhaps that is the challenge we came here to experience – growth despite the difficulties of this physical environment? I can say it is hard to stay on the path that Jesus taught, when everything around me says to veer! It is so easy to forget what my priorities should be.

    Blessings.

    1. Thank you, Kelly! Your comment is wisdom. I have come to think of all these distractions as like machines in a gym which give us resistance so we can strengthen our spiritual muscles. And those muscles do get stronger! The more you resist the things of the world and hunger after the truth, the less the world interests you. So it does get better!

  4. Thanks for your considered response to my question. I’m prompted to tell you that I’ve just purchased “The Law of Light” by Lars Muhl – subtitled The Secret Teachings of Jesus, which is a bullet-point analysis of samples of the original Aramaic and what it really means (in the author’s view, of course). I’ll bet you know that book yourself:-) Not yet started reading it though.

    1. Hi Brian – Enjoy! Some of the most beautiful words ever written in English are the direct translations from Aramaic of the teachings of Jesus. And they sound so different from the familiar Gospel words as to be almost unrecognizable in some cases.

      So, here is what is really astonishing, The two-step translations (Aramaic – Greek – English) STILL are at least 95% precisely consistent with what modern communications from the dead tell us is true of God, reality, death, and the afterlife. Don’t you think that’s beyond amazing? To me, it’s a heart-lifting affirmation that (a) what the dead are telling us has to be right, and (b) God wants to make certain that we now realize that!

  5. Amen to that, your last paragraph. Truly amazing. Interestingly, and related to one of your previous blogs, I watched a fascinating TV programme last night – one of the BBC Horizon series. It concerned scientists’ efforts to get to grips with dark matter and dark energy, with discussions rom CERN Geneva, through the USA (can’t remember precisely where), to the Atacama Desert in northern Chile and that array of giant telescopes. The programme well illustrated the frustrations that these scientists were experiencing, and I kept willing them to start looking in a completely different direction, starting from scratch in a serious review of afterlife evidence.

  6. Roberta,
    Excellent post! I was especially moved by the quote, “If I kept more than what my family needs, how could I ever look God in the face?” A profound statement of humility. Thank you for sharing the wisdom . . . again.

    Blessings,
    Maria

    1. How lovely it is to hear from you, Maria! I know how you feel: I saw that brief ambush-interview on television more than a decade ago, and it has stuck in my mind ever since. What a beautiful, profound, and life-affirming lesson that was!

  7. Dear Roberta:

    I listened to last night’s C2C program. You are wonderful! You are so “right on” about death. Thank you. I have died and made the decision to come back as I had unfinished
    business. The only sad thing about my experience was and has been the fact that I have not been
    allowed to share this profoundly effecting experience with my doctor or my loved ones. My experience took place about forty years ago. How wonderful that attitudes are changing. Thank
    God there are people like you and George Noory and others who are brave and bringing light to
    us.

    Sincerely,

    Teresa

    1. Thank you for such lovely thoughts, Teresa! You’re right: now is the time, and the world truly is changing. Within decades these great truths will be known by all. Things are gong to be so different! It’s thrilling to be a part of this moment, and you are a part of it as well as you tell your story – thank you for that!

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