How did I get myself in to this mess? How am I ever going to get out of it? It’s just too much to deal with; so many people depend on me!
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.28(d)|
Read an Excerpt
The DEBT AbyssA Portal to Satori
By Tommy Rothmann
Balboa PressCopyright © 2011 Tommy Rothmann
All right reserved.
Chapter OneWhat? At the Heart of the Problem
When probing why so many of us find ourselves in too much debt, we'll often hear annotations such as:
"It was so easy to get the finance approved; I thought the bank would protect me from disproportionate debt. Surely they know what they're doing."
"The slump in the property and asset prices meant that I unexpectedly had more liabilities than assets."
"I lost my job due to the wide-ranging downturn in the economy."
"I want to make my family happy, so I spend on their well-being and very little on myself."
"I had so much to do, I thought we'd be okay and things would get better."
All might have sounded like valid reasons in the moment. They are by and large peripheral in nature, things that happen around us that we feel are outside of our control.
Let's focus for a moment on reasons that have their origin from within us. The idea of "within" is something that so many are still completely unaware of. It is a place where the essence of who we are lies dormant in wait for our predetermined "satori," or awakening. We don't always see a clear correlation between the inner state of our being and the outward manifestation of it, a desperate financial condition. Even less evident to us is the potential devastation a lack of awareness and attention to these root causes have until it's almost too late. Yes, I stress almost too late. If you're reading this book, it's not too late.
We live in a society where constant energy flows swoop and coil around us, infiltrating our sense perceptions with messages of more, exclusive, bigger, and faster. Messages of division, of us and them, of have and have not's. The disparaging power of this energy field, which we've given birth to one thought at a time, is not palpable to the naked eye. If it were, we would be dazed at the velocity and ferociousness with which it consumes unconscious thought patterns, mostly harbored and emitted by human beings. It wants to consume, it must consume to satisfy a ravenous desire for expansion. The paradox is that consumerism, society's brand placed on the attitude of continuous acquisitions and its associated energy, does just that—consumes all in its path, both spirit and body. For the demoralized and laden body, in due course succumbs too.
A deeper intellect is trying to warn us of its destructive force and illusionary profit. More recent admonitions include large-scale economic woes in the developed world and the almost complete failure of economic and social systems in the developing world. It's as if consumerism sporadically collapses on itself, exposing it for what it truly is, yet we still don't make the connection.
What follows are some of the more frequently occurring themes that I've come across in my association and counsel with usually very good men and women. They are suburban citizens that have fallen prey to this unseen villain, allowing themselves to be devoured. I have to emphasize that consumerism's prey include in addition to the ignorant, the educated, and well-meaning souls.
1. A Low Sense of Self-Worth
A condition that has led you to surround yourself with objects that aim to fill the void that you do not know how to fill any other way. Without exploring the labyrinth of reason as to why one might suffer from low self-esteem, it's usually a noteworthy driver in any form of compulsive conduct, including spending resources you don't have.
In his inspirational book A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle proficiently unpacks this root cause.
The people in the advertising industry know very well that in order to sell things people don't really need, they must convince them that those things will add something to how they see themselves or are seen by others; in other words, add something to their sense of self. They do this for example by telling you that you will stand out from the crowd by using this product and so by implication be more fully yourself.
Or they may create an association in your mind between the product and a famous person, or a youthful, attractive, or happy-looking person. Even pictures of old or deceased celebrities in their prime work well for that purpose. The unspoken assumption is that buying this product, through some magical art of appropriation, you become like them, or rather the surface image of them. In so many cases you are not buying a product but an "identity enhancer". Designer labels are primarily collective identities that you buy in to. They are expensive and therefore "exclusive". If everybody could buy them, they would lose their psychological value, and all you would be left with would be their material value, which likely amounts to a fraction of what you paid.
2. Mimicking Observed Behavior
You might have naively made someone else's ways your own. Unless we are aware of the power within us to shape our own characters, those around us (such as parents, guardians, or those in a position of trust) exert enormous persuasion. You might have been raised in a setting where you were never taught the principles of attaining financial independence. This lack of guidance could just as easily have been your lot in a house of abundance as much as one of lack. Accept it and move on. That was true then, but it is not the case now.
The mental muscle to be who you want is fully and abundantly found within you. No person who has ever achieved anything noteworthy, did not constantly harbor the imagery of and thoughts toward their desires within them. In several cases, mimicking observed behavior might be for your greater good, especially if it points you toward self-realization and fulfillment. There are those that are fortunate enough to have had pristine role models of consciousness and illumination. Be grateful for it and use what should be your well-developed sense of self to do even more for others. Don't squander a privileged station in life in the pursuit of vanity and objects. As Wayne Dyer puts it, "Don't die with your song still inside you."
3. Peer Pressure, Pride, and Keeping up with the Joneses
The ego relentlessly jockeys for position with other egos and your higher self, especially for the number one spot. It feels weak and worthless when it's not competing, outsmarting someone, or conquering prime terrain. Although it forms the basis for this cause, the ego is given traction by other causes such as low self-esteem.
Because of its dominance and effect in modern society, peer pressure and pride is worthy of separate mention. It's not only children that experience this societal phenomenon; most certainly adults do too. In fact, in the case of children it's the adult that exacerbates the effects of peer pressure on his or her own child, by giving in to never-ending demands. One day when you reflect back on your fleeting time with your kids, you'll hardly regret any living moment spent in complete presence with them. You won't recall too many of the occasions where you gave them currency to keep them content.
Many societies are mentally and physically organized around material dynamics. Even some "self-help" books encourage you to live it up, so that you'll fit in, feel successful, and make the right business acquaintances. There's nothing wrong with making money, and in so doing you've got to be where the money is. In fact you can make handsome sums of it if you choose. Nevertheless, material wealth in itself can never fill your emotional and spiritual bank accounts. That's up to you!
No matter how well people think they are acquainted with you, they don't fully know you. They see what you would have them witness. If we're authentic and secure in our primary relationship, which should be with our higher self, then we don't feel the urge to nervously scan the surrounding landscape for validation from the crowd on the periphery.
It is accepted that we don't live in a void. Interdependence, mutual respect, unqualified and nonjudgmental love is ultimately the thread that weaves our diverse natures together. Synthetic fronting never stood the test of time in mutually enlightened relationships. So don't allow the ego's expressions of energy in the form of peer pressure and pride to be drivers of who you decide to be.
These mental comparisons with other forms around us are not based on reality. Your feelings of inadequacy originate within you from a misformed sense of separation from others and the world around you. Ironically, when you weigh yourself against another, you're essentially holding up a mirror, your own stark reflection staring back at you. You can imitate others to your heart's desire, but it can never satisfy the gloriously unique contours of your being. There is always some part of you that remains exposed and unfulfilled after this mental sparing with another.
Our projection should be inward, toward the depths of our own vortex.
You are who you are at the core; your life's work is to rediscover the essence of you, and feel contentment and peace within.
4. Attempts to Avoid Dealing with the Effects of an4. Addiction
In the hope of covering our soul's fading colors left in the wake of harmful addictions, we hoard glittery merchandise. In an attempt to escape what could be termed the primary addictions listed below, we spend money we don't have. In the ensuing indulging moments, the looming consequence of a new addiction starts to take on form.
The incongruity in this way of thinking is that one in essence adds another addiction that does not sooth but rather exacerbates your woes. The remorse of the primary addiction exponentially increases because it is never dealt with at your core. In fact it's left unattended to surface at will, and now it shares the stage with an even more menacing sibling.
Here are a few behaviors that could be classified as addictive with consequences that are not in alignment with our well-being.
a. Alcohol and drug abuse desensitizes us in to a feeling of numbness, and we forget our troubles for a while. Although a physical addiction, its main captives will attest to the fact that it's a mental struggle more than anything else. With regard to the debt abyss and its relation to abuse, the one essentially feeds the other.
As instruments of impairment, both alcohol and drugs' desensitizing effect shoves one's conscience to the side when clarity is needed in a purchase or any other decision for that matter. If someone under the influence lacks the very basic presence of mind not to get behind the wheel of a car and drive, he certainly will care less what he buys or whether he can afford it.
Then again, due to the guilt feelings often associated with abuse, shopping (even when you can't afford it) is a distraction that helps you forget in the aftermath of the "night before." After a while we don't know which vice came first, the addiction or the debt.
b. Misuse of pornography is habitually seen by an ever-increasingly promiscuous society as innocent. Yet it is not so innocent when one considers the effect on individuals and families. This vice seems like it can be extremely difficult to curb, just as powerful in its pull and as destructive in its effect as any other addiction.
It creates dysfunctional views of relationships and the loss of self-esteem of not only the addict but his or her partner and loved ones, too. Partners become mere instruments of the addict's primordial craving as captured in the licentious images.
The most widespread consequence of all addictions in relation to a debt problem is the complete disregard for good common sense. The addict will do anything to get his next fix, including doing it on credit with disregard for life or limb, both his and that of others.
This is clearly not an exhaustive list of addictions, but it should demonstrate that one who displays addictive behavior often feels entrapped and immobilized to escape, sadly accepting its enslavement as a never-ending certainty.
The letdown in the aftermath of repeated addictive behavior leads the addict to search for a release from his or her hell—opening the door for a more subtle but just as destructive torment to enter. It's not the buying of possessions that's the crisis; it's believing that it has the potential to be a sustainable escape from our addictive conduct.
Again, this is not an attempt to make you feel inferior, or to minimize the devastating effects of or the extreme effort and counseling it takes to overcome addictions. It's simply an avowal that claims some correlation between addictions and incurring unmanageable levels of debt. We should in absolutely no way criticize anyone that find themselves enslaved in such behavioral tendencies. They are all magnificent manifestations of the cosmos and the Gods, and they happen to be at a dependant stage of their personal evolution. They must and will advance toward self-determination, we all will, one breath, thought, and feat at a time.
If you're not in the grips of one of these vices, you might be in a position to rally around someone that is. Try and comprehend the addiction; study it and do what you can to help with absolute sincerity.
The path of service uplifts both the giver and receiver. They both depend on an elevated source for life-giving sustenance that pulsates through their veins. The line between enslavement and liberty is crossed one unconscious thought at a time.
As you serve with real intent, you'll be staggered with the more subtle addictions you identify within yourself. Perhaps they are not as extreme in their destructive power, but they are addictions nevertheless. At the core, an addiction is anything or anyone that curbs your next free choice.
5. Avoiding Difficult Relationship Issues
In an attempt to smooth over twisted contours in relationships, we might be acquiring more than we can afford, in order to fix a leak that can never effectively be plugged this way. We'll use excuses such as "I need time out from the situation, so I'll go indulge in a little retail therapy." It might not be the malls that are used as scapegoats; even something as righteous as "getting away from it all" in the form of a holiday that you can't afford right now seems justifiable.
Complicated and challenging relationships will stay with us no matter where we go or whatever we accumulate to supplement them with. They're constantly playing out in our minds, consuming energy, and attracting more experiences that match the low vibrational frequency of the unhealthy exchanges often found in troublesome relationships. How much of your headspace does a relationship like this take up?
You would constantly be processing ways to deal with the situation, or when you feel that it's beyond the stage where you want to deal with it, escape from it. It's in the avoidance that we reach for another elusive cure, one that's also always just out of reach.
The more prominent reasons why relationships break down, especially marriages, are:
a. Infidelity is a significant cause of relationship failures. By the time infidelity occurs, the relationship has usually been in trouble for a while and the warning signs ignored by ignorant or sometimes arrogant partners.
b. The lack of open and honest communication is another reason why relationships lose their savor. One partner might be trying to save the other one the pain of such communication. Ironically partners sense each other holding back and interpret this lack of communication as a lack of commitment to the union.
c. Abuse takes on many forms such as physical, emotional, and psychological.
a. Physical abuse in and of itself has many faces including fighting, manhandling, and bullying.
b. Emotional or psychological abuse can be as seemingly innocuous as verbal insults, and can range from humiliation and intimidation, to consistent negative reinforcement.
Excerpted from The DEBT Abyss by Tommy Rothmann Copyright © 2011 by Tommy Rothmann. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
What? At the Heart of the Problem....................1
So What? Effects of Excessive Debt....................17
Say what? Excuses and Reasons....................37
Now What? Suggested Solutions to Improve Your Mental Ability to Deal with Your Current Situation....................53
Daily Routines to Internalize a New Way of Being....................79
So I Had a Bad Day, Now What?....................95
One Final Hurdle....................97
Resources and Tools to Gain Knowledge and Inspire You to Action....................101
About the Author....................103