"Creation is pleasure and torture at the same time. It’s trying to make something out of nothing. It’s a birth of some sort. Sometimes it’s like pulling a piano out of a swamp. Sometimes it’s like walking on air. The torture of that nothing-space in front of you, and the pure elation of filling that space with something good—it’s one of life’s great juxtapositions. I am grateful for that—the torture and the pleasure. " - Zooey Deschanel, Southwest Air Spirit Magazine, April 2011
Make something out of nothing. She can't literally mean nothing, right? I mean you need at least a studio, or a Mac Air, or a guitar, or an illustrator wanting to be paid for that picture book collaboration. Where does all that come from? Money? You think? I used to think so.
Nope, not money. Where does money come from? Keep following down all the turtles... Nothing. (Five purple stars for any homework turned in by the participant reading this: Don't just take it on word, check it out for yourself.) Okay, another tack...
"In 2009 a group of wealthy Germans asked their government to require them to pay higher taxes. "We have more money than we need," said the 44 multi-millionaires. They wanted to help alleviate the ravages of poverty and unemployment. I urge you to make a comparable move, Leo. In what part of your life do you have more abundance than most people? Are there practical ways you could express your gratitude for the extravagant blessings life has given you? I think you'll find that raising your levels of generosity will ultimately lead to you receiving more love." - Rob Brezsny, Leo horoscope for May 19, 2011-- nope I'm not a Leo btw, this just seemed relevant
I hadn't read The Diamond Cutter (the business book, not the Diamond Cutter sutra which I have re-read) since 2005. Recently, I found it tucked in the Buddhism section in a bookstore recently although it more appropriately belongs in the Business category. It made so much more sense to me now than it did six years ago. In fact, I was fairly stunned by author Geshe Michael Roach's description of "The Economics of Limitlessness."
"You can just throw out the idea of sharing limited resources, and by the way you can throw out the idea of poverty itself. Wealth is a perception (and therefore a reality) forced on anyone who has been truly generous in the past. It is therefore available to all people. The mind--a mind crippled by the assumptions and, frankly, fairy tales [collective imprinting at subconscious level] of our civilization, passed down by well-meaning parents over its entire length--balks at the possibility that every living person could have more than enough wealth. It's not something that has ever happened before in our recorded history, says this state of mind, and so it could not happen now. We've heard this argument before; it wasn't true then, and it's not true now. Watch out, Columbus [and all the explorers prior], you'll fall over the edge because the world is flat. Iron could never fly in the sky, or float for that matter. It's not possible that practically every person in the world could have the same access to the world's information, running through wires made of glass or beamed down from a place beyond. Where is the absolute amount of wealth in the world? Where does new wealth really come from?" - The Diamond Cutter: The Buddha on Managing Your Business and Your Life, by Michael Roach
There is just no way that I can fathom to distill this idea of limitless wealth for all into a single blog post. The crux comes down to knowing the source of wealth (i.e. the source of anything) and changing subconscious imprints (personal and collective) from separation to wholeness, from scarcity to infinity: "this particular imprint can be planted only by watching yourself giving all you can to others.... financial, yes, but also in terms of giving your own time, and your emotinal and professional support, and helping people with ideas."
Connecting the dots between these three excerpts this also means I will be giving much more of my time and ideas to this blog as time and ideas are two things I have in extravagant abundance currently.
So ask yourself: In what part of your life do you have more abundance than most people?
p.s. I'm in the mood to chat more about symbols, myth, subconscious, storytelling futures, especially experiential art, alchemy, and luxury (more in the Coco Chanel way, "Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.”), creative process, and such flux.
BONUS: And making something out of nothing is pretty much alchemy, eh? I've transcribed an excerpt here from Deepak Chopra's The Book of Secrets on the alchemy of transformation which relates to the source of wealth (Chopra calls it "one reality"), the nothing. The alchemist in the diagram appears next to a huge salt shaker, which reminds me of this passage from the excerpt that distinguishes transformation from change: "The key to true transformation is that nature doesn't move forward in step-by-step movements. It takes quantum leaps all the time, and when it does, old ingredients aren't simply recombined. Something new appears in creation for the first time, an emergent property. For example, if you examine hydrogen and oxygen, they are light, gaseous, invisible, and dry. It took a transformation for those two elements to combine and create water, and when that happened, an entirely new set of possibilities emerged with it, the most important from our point of view being life itself. The wetness of water is a perfect example of an emergent property. In a universe without water, wetness can't be derived by shuffling around properties that already exist. Shuffling only produces change; it isn't sufficient for transformation. Wetness has to emerge as something completely new in creation. Once you look closely enough, it turns out that every chemical bond produces an emergent property. (I gave the example in passing of sodium and chlorine--two poisons that when combined produce salt, another basic element of life)."