The Link Between Wealth and Chaos
Money is one of the single greatest motivating forces for much of what we do in life. It is true that some of us are not motivated by the acquisition of money or wealth. Some people have more than they will ever need. Some people have no need for wealth. However, that is not true of most people. Most people are taught that getting the right education, securing the right job, and managing your finances properly are the secrets to a prosperous life. That is the real reason that most of us work. That is the real reason that most of us went to college. That is the real reason that most people get up every day and repeat the same routines that our forefathers did before us. In short, we want the security that money brings to life. We want security for our children.
Few of us, however, really stop to consider the effect that bringing all that money into our life will have on the energy of our life.
Money is energy. Think about it for a second. Where is the money that you made last week right now? If you have already received your paycheck, you might quickly say that it’s sitting in a bank account. If so, then the money is sitting in a virtual digital state. That is, you can’t put in into your hands unless you physically go to a bank, withdraw it, and place it in your wallet or purse. Otherwise, the money exists in an electronic state with which you will likely never interact physically. The electronic state is fine for paying bills, writing checks, paying the mortgage, using your debit card etc. Most of us don’t use much cash these days. However, the money that you use is there when you need it physically. Otherwise, it is only energy.
You might then say, “Well, if I took all of my money out of the bank and used only cash, then it is physical.” Consider this, the physical money that you have in your hand is a note, essentially a guarantee to pay debt. It is backed by the energy of the government that issued the note. Without that government’s backing, more energy, the note is worthless. Granted, most governments place considerable energy into backing their notes; but, again, the physical money that you now have in your hand is backed by energy. Without that energy, the note is just paper.
Now, let us take the analysis one step further. Let us use money as one important measure of wealth in general. There are others of course: land, precious metals, commodities, etc.; but for the sake of our discussion, let us stick to cash for the moment. Mankind has been creating wealth for a very long time. Scientists have dated the use of coined money in human society back to 700 B.C. The Electrum stater turtle coin, coined at Aegina island, is one of the first examples of metallic money ever found. Electrum coins were also introduced about 650 B.C. in Lydia.
Have you ever stopped to consider how most of mankind’s wealth has been generated in the world for the last 2000 years? Mankind is a creature of habit. The means by which he has generated wealth tends to be related to a number of habits that we don’t like to think about, but which are, nevertheless, among our prime indulgences. Forget the Fortune 500, forget sports, forget Wall Street. The ways that are most profitable are probably not at the top of your list. Let’s examine them.
5. The Drug Trade
The trade of drugs has existed for as long as drugs have existed. However, the trade of drugs was fully legal until the introduction of drug prohibition. The history of the illegal drug trade is thus closely tied to the history of drug prohibition. In the First Opium War, the United Kingdom forced China to allow British merchants to trade opium with the general population of China. Although illegal by imperial decree, smoking opium had become common in the 1800s due to increasing importation via British merchants. Trading in opium was (as the heroin trade is today) extremely lucrative. As a result of the trade, an estimated two million Chinese people became addicted to the drug.
The British Crown (via the treaties of Nanking and Tianjin) took vast sums of money from the Chinese government in what they referred to as ‘reparations’ for the wars. The illegal drug trade is operated similarly to other underground markets. Various drug cartels specialize in separate processes along the supply chain, often localized to maximize production efficiency, and minimize damage caused by law enforcement. Depending on the profitability of each layer, cartels usually vary in size, consistency, and organization. The chain ranges from low-level street dealers—who may be individual drug users themselves—through street gangs and contractor-like middle men, up to multinational empires that rival governments in size. A UN report stated that the global drug trade generated an estimated $321.6 billion in 2003.
Of course, the estimates largely depend upon the amount of the drug trade that may be reported by authorities. The actual monetary amounts are likely to be far higher. Hundreds of billions of dollars every year are filtered through the drug trade. With this illicit trade comes the energy of an untold number of crimes perpetuated by those who sell the drugs and those who buy the drugs. Each one of those acts creates a pocket of energy that attaches itself to every dollar created in the drug trade.
4. Human Slavery
Human slavery is a form of forced labor in which people are considered to be the property of others. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase, or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand wages. In some societies, it was legal for an owner to kill a slave; in others, it was a crime.
The organization Anti-Slavery International defines slavery as “forced labour.” By this definition, there are approximately 27 million slaves in the world today; more than at any point in history, and more than twice as many as all African slaves brought to the Americas combined.
The International Labour Organization (ILO), however, does not equate forced labor with slavery. According to the ILO, there are an estimated 12 million people around the world still working under coercion in forced labor, slavery, and slavery-like practices.
Most are debt slaves, largely in South Asia, who are under debt bondage incurred by lenders, some for generations.Human trafficking is mostly for prostituting women and children into the sex trade.It is described as “the largest slave trade in history,” and is the fastest growing criminal industry, set to outgrow drug trafficking. Slavery is one of the oldest professions in the world.
Many of the great civilizations on this planet, including America, depended upon the labor of slaves for centuries. Each and every time that a slave was bought, sold, or forced into unpaid labor, those acts created packets of energy that affected wealth. Since these acts have been ongoing for thousands of years, one can safely say that the energy of slavery has touched a large part of the wealth of this world.
3. The Sex Trade
Sex is one of the oldest and most profitable businesses in the history of the planet. Every day, hundreds of thousands of transactions related to sex and sexual activity take place in the world. Most of this activity is illegal and is never reported. It has been suggested that human sex trafficking is the fastest growing form of contemporary slavery, and is the third largest and fastest growing criminal industry in the world.
“Annually, according to U.S. Government-sponsored research completed in 2006, approximately 800,000 people are trafficked across national borders, which does not include millions trafficked within their own countries. Approximately 80 percent of transnational victims are women and girls and up to 50 percent are minors,” reports the US Department of State in a 2008 study.Due to the illegal and underground nature of sex trafficking, the exact extent of women and children forced into prostitution is unknown.
Children are sold into the global sex trade every year. They are often kidnapped or orphaned, and are sometimes sold by their own families. According to the International Labour Organization, the problem is especially alarming in Thailand, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nepal, and India.
Poverty, social exclusion, and war are at the heart of human trafficking. Some women are hoodwinked into believing promises of a better life, sometimes by people who are known to, and trusted by, them. Traffickers may own legitimate travel agencies, modeling agencies, and employment offices in order to gain women’s trust. Others are simply kidnapped. Once overseas, it is common for their passport to be confiscated by the trafficker, and for them to be warned of the consequences should they attempt to escape. Such consequences include beatings, rape, threats of violence against their families, and death threats. It is common, particularly in Eastern Europe, that should they manage to return to their families, they will only be trafficked once again.
Globally, forced labor generates $31 billion dollars annually, half of it in the industrialized world, and a tenth in transition countries, according to the International Labour Organization in a report on forced labour (“A Global Alliance Against Forced Labour”, ILO, 11 May 2005). Trafficking in people has been facilitated by porous borders and advanced communication technologies. It has become increasingly transnational in scope and highly lucrative within its barbarity.
According to a report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the most common destinations for victims of human trafficking are Thailand, Japan, Israel, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Turkey, and the United States. Due to the illicit nature of the business, it is difficult to estimate the true impact of the sex trade on the world’s wealth. Once again, however, each illegal act related to the sex trade creates energy that has an effect on the world’s wealth.
Gambling is one of the oldest known pursuits of mankind. Archeological evidence suggests that even the earliest caveman was a gambler. Dice-like objects made from the ankle bone of a sheep or dog, called Astragali, dating back 40,000 years, have been found. Cave drawings depicting gambling offer further proof of the existence of early gamblers. Pairs of dice have even turned up in the ruins of Pompeii; some of them “loaded” to fall a certain way.
Around 2,300 B.C., the Chinese invented a game of chance using tiles, and 1,100 years later, Greek soldiers amused themselves with dice games, though, in ancient Greece, gambling was illegal. In Egypt, a pair of ivory dice was found in Thebes dating back to 1,500 B.C., and ancient gambling artifacts have been unearthed in China, Japan, India, and Rome.
In ancient Rome, Claudius redesigned his carriage so that he would have more room to throw dice. Caligula confiscated knights’ property to cover his gambling debts, and Roman soldiers gambled for the robes of Christ after his crucifixion. At the height of the Roman Empire, lawmakers decreed that all children were to be taught to gamble and throw dice.
During the 14th century, and in spite of being an inveterate gambler himself, King Henry VIII outlawed gambling when he discovered that his soldiers spent more time gambling than improving their battle skills. When Henry’s wife, Anne Boleyn, and her brother were tried for treason and incest, the odds were 10-to-1 on acquittal.
In the New World, Native Americans, believing that the gods themselves invented games of chance, played dice with plum stones painted white or black. In addition to wagering possessions, Native Americans also played to predict future harvests, and in hopes of curing seriously ill tribal members.
During the Revolutionary War, lotteries bankrolled the Continental Army. Washington himself bought the first ticket for a federal lottery in 1793, sponsored to finance improvements in the District of Columbia, and nearly all state governments sanctioned lotteries. By the 1830s, more than 420 lotteries nationwide offered prizes. Lotteries remained a popular fundraising method throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.
Riverboats and frontier towns in the New World emerged, providing new gambling venues, sometimes legal, sometimes not. And one risked much more than a few gold pieces when gambling in the frontier days. Card cheats and conmen were often lynched, denoting the public’s attitude toward professional gamblers, or “sharpers” as they were often known.
In the 1830s, refugee sharpers from the South moved to Cincinnati and opened the nation’s first “Wolf-Traps” or “10 Percent Houses”, named for the house’s cut of the action. Cincinnati was also the birthplace of the “Horse-Hair game”, a method for cheating in cards by which a player, aided by an accomplice’s distractions, manipulated cards and chips by the use of a horse hair attached to a vest button.
After the Civil War, evangelical reform wiped out most of the lotteries. In the 1890s, the flagrant fraud of the nationally marketed Louisiana lottery led Congress to outlaw the remaining games, creating public disdain for lotteries, and in 1910, Nevada made it a felony to operate a gambling game.
Prohibition sent drinking and gambling underground. But it didn’t stay down for long. In the 1930s, restrictions eased up and legalized betting on horse racing became popular. In 1931, Nevada legalized gambling again, and casinos literally sprouted from the sands of the desert. Atlantic City followed suit in 1978 and, since then, other states have legalized various forms of gambling.
Today, when a casino counts money, it often does so by weighing it. The energy of gambling has affected the wealth of this world for thousands of years. Each and every act of gambling issues more of this energy into the world’s money supply.
War is a constant in human society. War can be seen as a growth of economic competition in a competitive international system. Based on this view, wars begin as a pursuit of markets for natural resources and wealth. While this theory has been applied to many conflicts, such counter arguments become less valid as the increasing mobility of capital and information level the distributions of wealth worldwide, or when considering that it is relative, not absolute, wealth differences that may fuel wars. Once a war has ended, the losing nations are sometimes required to pay war reparations to the victorious nations. In certain cases, land is ceded to the victorious nations. For example, the territory of Alsace-Lorraine has been traded between France and Germany on three different occasions.
Typically speaking, war becomes very intertwined with the economy, and many wars are partially or entirely based on economic reasons, such as the American Civil War. In some cases, war has stimulated a country’s economy (World War II is often credited with bringing America out of the Great Depression), but in many cases, such as the wars of Louis XIV, the Franco-Prussian War, and World War I, warfare serves only to damage the economy of the countries involved. For example, Russia’s involvement in World War I took such a toll on the Russian economy that it almost collapsed, and this greatly contributed to the start of the Russian Revolution of 1917.
One of the starkest illustrations of the effect of war upon economies is the Second World War. The Great Depression of the 1930s ended as nations increased their production of war materials to serve the war effort.The financial cost of World War II is estimated at about U.S.1,944 billion dollars worldwide, making it the most costly war in capital as well as lives.
In the Soviet Union, property damage inflicted by the Axis invasion was estimated at a value of 679 billion rubles. The combined damage consisted of complete or partial destruction of 1,710 cities and towns, 70,000 villages/hamlets, 2,508 church buildings, 31,850 industrial establishments, 40,000 miles of railroad, 4,100 railroad stations, 40,000 hospitals, 84,000 schools, and 43,000 public libraries.
When one examines the economic cost of war, the physical cost must also be examined. War spreads disease and suffering on an untold scale. Every dollar that is spent on war extracts an enormous amount of chaotic energy that affects the wealth of the world.
War, gambling, sex, slavery, and the drug trade dwarf all other wealth-making enterprises on this planet. Unfortunately, each of these endeavors creates a tremendous amount of suffering, pain, and chaos in its wake. This energy then becomes part of every dollar that is created.
Now, let us examine the effect that this energy might have on each of us on a personal level. If you place a bowl of fruit on the counter, the fruit will sit undisturbed for some time. The fruit will last longer, however, if there are no rotten or diseased pieces in the bowl. If you deliberately introduce a rotten piece into the bowl, the rot will spread throughout the bowl and cause the other pieces to spoil more quickly.
This same principle applies to every dollar that you earn. Examine the list of wealth-making enterprises that we outlined earlier. All of these enterprises have tainted the energy of the wealth of this world in a negative way.
In other words, the energy of every dollar that you receive has the stain of drugs, slavery, sex, gambling, and war.
Each and every time we receive money in this world, we also accept a small part of this energy stain into our lives. The energy of chaos, disease, suffering, and pain that is part of the wealth of this world is spread through our contact with wealth. To be sure, one needs money and wealth in order to live and conduct many affairs in our world. This brings us to the first insight:
Regularly giving away a small portion of your wealth helps to prevent the energy of chaos from building up in your life.
One theory regarding the origin of suffering, chaos, and pain in this world is that it enters into our lives through our decisions and actions. The theory simply states that good and constructive actions and decisions bring beneficial results into your life. Destructive acts and decisions theoretically bring destructive energy into your life. Some people call this karma. In this sense, money becomes one of the mediums through which the energy of karma is spread from one person to another.
By holding on to all of the energy that money brings into our lives, we may inadvertently be holding on to the negative karmic energy that comes with it. Mind you, only a small amount of this energy is necessary in order for it to affect your life. Chaotic karmic energy has power. Remember the bowl of fruit. Imagine that your life is the bowl. Now, add a bit of the chaotic force from wealth into that bowl.
Think about it for a moment; what would the energy of war, drugs, or gambling look like if it manifested in your life? Would it become an illness? A car accident? Loss of a job? Family tensions? Chaos in a relationship? Bankruptcy?
Many religions teach that giving away a small portion of your wealth through a process known as tithing is important for spiritual and emotional reasons. However, most religions never fully explain why we should follow this rule. Perhaps one reason that we should consider this principle relates to the first insight. Regularly giving away a small portion of your wealth can help to prevent the buildup of negative chaotic energy in your life.
Remember the bowl of fruit. If you notice a rotting piece of fruit in the bowl and remove it from the others, the rest last longer. The same may be said to be true of our lives. If we regularly give away the energy of chaos, that has the potential to spoil our lives, we can then prevent the good energy in life from being affected by the bad energy.
Some spiritual teachers maintain that by donating 10-15% of your wealth to others, you will clear the energy of your life from the influence of negative forces. They caution that holding on to wealth too tightly causes these forces to build and make us sick. To be fair, there are many people who cannot afford to give that much to others. There are many people who live from one paycheck to the next. What can they do to avoid this energy?
Money is not the only commodity of value that we own. Each of us in our own way possesses something of value that we can share and give to others. For some of us, that might be time. Donating a portion of our time on a regular basis for the benefit of others is one way of giving of your wealth. Working at a shelter, visiting the sick and shut in, or volunteering at a daycare center are all ways that one may share one’s wealth without spending money. Donating a possession or a service is another way of sharing your wealth.
Allowing the negative chaotic energy to be removed from your life also has another unexpected benefit. Nature abhors a vacuum. If one removes negative energy from a system, this leaves room for positive energy to reenter the system. Instead of fighting off disease, chaos, and suffering related to negative energy, the system would then have more time and energy to process the power of blessings. In this way, giving to others is a powerful method of creating blessings in your own life.
Dr. Mitchell Gibson is the author of The Enlightened Perspective. He is the
bestselling author of Your Immortal Body of Light, Nine Insights for a Happy and
Successful Life, and The Human Body of Light. Gibson received his
medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed
his residency training at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. More than
3.4 million people have downloaded his YouTube videos and millions of people have visited his website http://www.tybro.com The Enlightened Perspective was launched in late January 2013 and in a few short months has grown to attract almost 200,000 views.