Overcoming Limiting Cultural Beliefs Around Money

 

Back in 2015, I was working on my stand at the big Mind Body Spirit Show in London… and I spent some time working with a young man, late 20s… who in the previous 5 years had easily manifested around £7 million (roughly $8.65 million at today’s exchange rate).

But when we met, he was totally broke, living in a bedsit in a run down part of the city… and was deeply frustrated by his impoverished situation.

So what was the issue?

Drugs… drink… gambling…?

Nope.

The problem was… he was able to manifest money very, very easily… but then, as soon as he had it in his hands…

He gave it all way to charity.

Honest… he had earned £7 million… and had immediately given the same £7 million away to different charities… without keeping anything for himself.

And that was source of his deep frustration… why was he able to manifest money for other people… and yet, he was himself continually broke?

Weird… but true.

So what was going on?

Well… it was all the voices in his head…which he had inherited from his family, from his culture, from his church… which were continually repeating within his unconscious mind…

  • It’s better to give then receive
  • Money is the root of all evil
  • Money isn’t spiritual
  • Only selfless people get to heaven
  • Help those less fortunate then yourself

So it was OK for other people to have the money he manifested… but it was totally wrong for him to keep any.

And his total dedication to these inner voices meant that he always gave them prominence… and any money which he did attract into his life… and he was very, very good at it… was automatically passed on to charity.

I have always thought that, if money = evil, why give it to charity? … If it is so evil… why give it to people who are already suffering? … Wouldn’t it be better to take it to the bottom of the garden and just burn it… so that no one else is exposed to this great evil? But TV Evangelists seem to be keep saying that money = evil, and the only way to save yourself is to send it all to them… because they’re the only ones who are saintly enough to deal with such great evil… weird that, don’t you think?

Now, I don’t know what happened next in this young man’s life-story, haven’t been in contact with him since… along with the energy work, my final suggestion was tithing… which is an approach found in many religions and spiritual traditions… where you fix the amount of money you give away to others, and the amount of money which you keep for yourself. Hopefully, it helped him to find a balance point in his life.

But this is a classic example where our approach to money… and our own financial prosperity… is heavily influenced, even sabotaged… by heavy family, social, cultural, or spiritual beliefs and unconscious attitudes.

Next example story, jumping in a time-machine, and travelling back to 1985, and a semi-detached house somewhere in the leafy suburbs of North London

… where I had the great good fortune to spend an afternoon with a spiritual master from India… who had spent years in meditation rising and refining his consciousness… and who was also known for his great healing powers.

And one of the things I can always remember him saying:

“You Westerners are weird. Back in India, we believe healing is a gift from God, and so we never charge… But in coming to the West, I have had to start charging a small a mount of money for the healing to be equally effective… Because unless I charge, you Westerners won’t value what I am giving to you… you only seem to value what you have paid for… while back in India, I never experienced that problem… the people knew the healing was coming through me from God, and so valued it, and it was effective… But in Europe, to get the same thing flowing, I need to charge… How weird is that! I am prepared to give it to you for free… but you will only value it if you pay.”

OK, here’s the problem… here’s why all the family, social, culture programming stuff is such a huge problem.

A small child cannot differentiate between truth and lies until around the age of 2 years old.

Around that age, the part of the brain / mind which filters out the truth, separates out any lies and distortions, comes on line… and starts to reject anything it can detect as a lie.

But…

Ever heard that quote from the Jesuit Monk back in the Middle Ages… “Give me a child up to the age of 6, and I will own his Soul for the rest of his life“… ever heard that?

Well… his assertion is built on this fact of human development.

Up to the age of 2 years old, the developing human baby accepts everything it is presented with as fact, as truth… because it is yet to develop the cognitive ability to differentiate truth from deception and falsehood.

Which is a scary fact… because up to the age of 2 years old, a baby’s brain is like a sponge soaking up whatever it is presented with…

All of the memes and beliefs of its family… its country, its society, and its culture… regardless of whether those ideas are sold gold… or absolute bullshit.

Doesn’t matter if they are lies… or truth… the mental door is wide open… and so the ideas have complete access to the child’s mental space, and so get to lodge inside.

And then…

Here’s the next weird fact, about the development of individual human psychology.

When the truth filter starts to form… the part of the brain / mind which differentiates between truth and falsehood, it does so using and incorporating the ideas and beliefs it has been programmed with up to that age… and some of that programming will be based on truth… and some will be based on lies and distortion…

So if a small child has been programmed with the cultural belief that “Men are superior to women…” up to the age of 2 years… then that belief will be programmed into its truth filter… and as it goes through life, as an adult, every time it encounters someone with a belief different to this… such as “Woman are equal to men… women should be respected for the talents and skills they bring to society…” that individual’s truth / lies filter will immediately identify this new belief as falsehood… the mental door will close… and the individual will not want to listen any further… or stop listening with an open mind… because these ideas are immediately marked as being false and suspect… and the mental defenses are up.

We can take this a stage further…

Because some of these lies and distortions, planted in our mind at such an early age, become woven into our value system… and into our sense of self.

And if someone attacks these ideas, it feels that they are attacking our core identity, the core of who we believe we are… and so we react violently… aggressively… because we believe we need to defend ourselves… because our cherished idea = our self.

In these cases, any attack… or gentle questioning even… is perceived as an attack on our core identity… and an open mind response is impossible in these circumstances… and so we defend ourselves as best we can… and we may even attack the questioner… To be open-minded is too scary and vulnerable.

So what is the point which we are making here?

That some of our core beliefs about money… whether it is a good or bad thing… where laid down in our minds at a very early age… and that they came via our families… from our culture and society… the culture and society in which we were raised. And that these same ideas and beliefs were possibly passed down from generation to generation for hundreds, possibly thousands, of years…

But just because they are old… doesn’t mean they are right… or will best serve and support your individual needs.

Let’s take the example of a 50 year old man, who was raised with the belief “If I am good… then God will reward and support me“.

… Who is suddenly made redundant (severance in US speak)… and is thrown into total panic and anxiety… and who cannot understand why this has happened?

Why? I have been a good man all my life? Why am I being punished when I have done nothing wrong, and always been good?

This is the proverbial Job question… why do bad things happen to good people?

But here’s the thing. Being good and well-behaved might be a brilliant strategy when you are a child, because Mothers tend to like good kids, and reward them. But when you are grown up, an adult, and go out into the big wide world on your own… working for a large corporation isn’t the same as being looked after by your mother… a large corporation isn’t programmed to love and support you no matter what… so they are quite happy to ditch you if it suits their profit and loss account… and the senior management’s annual bonus scheme.

So the belief “If I am good… then God will reward and support me” is no longer appropriate, and if you continue to try to hold on to it, it will only continue your world of emotional and mental pain.

In fact, as you go through life, a wise human being should continue to evaluate its mental programming… to see if the ideas and beliefs in its head are a best fit for the world which surrounds it…

And that world is always changing… and the speed of change will only accelerate as we move deeper into the 21st Century (which is why being able to update your mental comfort zone on a regular basis will be such a core and key skill to have).

… And if you are not in harmony with the world around you, then you should delete some beliefs to make way for new ones… new beliefs which help it to survive and prosper better in the new world.

“But wait… I can’t let go of these beliefs… they were given to me by my mother… my father… passed down through our family for hundreds of years… OK, they were poor as well… but these beliefs are family heirlooms!”

Well… the answer to that question is two-fold.

  • One… these same beliefs didn’t work for them… why do you assume they will work for you?
  • Holding on to outdated beliefs from childhood is like trying to wear the same kids clothes you wore when 2 years old… but you have grown into an adult now, and the clothes no longer fit… but you still continue to try and wear them?

OK, bottom-line… if you have having problems with creating a sustainable flow of money in your life… then the chances are you need to update your beliefs about yourself, about how the world works, and your relationship to said world.

And of the 4 places to look, to identify which beliefs need to be changed… the first one is… the beliefs about money which you inherited from your family, society, culture and religion.

So whenever I am trying to help someone dig themselves out of the hole of money worries… this is one of the four things which I ask them to explore.

And it all starts with sitting down… and asking yourself the questions…

“What current beliefs about money do I hold which has been influenced by my parents… my grand-parents… what money beliefs have I picked up from society… my culture…?”

Starting to identify the patterns … and getting clear about the influences… is the 1st step towards changing them for something better.

(c) Brian Parsons November 2016.

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