Excerpt from Chapter 9
EXPAND IN THE GOOD BOOKS AND GREAT MINDS (p. 274)
If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come
because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us walk together…
–Lila Watson/Austrialian Aborginal Woman
It could be said that the greatest expansion possible is not that of capital but of knowledge through literacy. Indeed, the ability to read— to recite was the ancient way—has been a profound human transformer. People were enfolded into a new world of progress that shielded them from earning wrath and straying, initially through scripture received by revelation or symbols and hieroglyphics received by inspiration. This denoted progress for the masses of people, and the notion that literacy meant better lives and more material comfort was proven true, and is still proving to be true throughout the globe.
Yet amassing material wealth is still the number one objective of becoming literate. People don’t learn to read because they want to be happy and raise great children, they learn to read because this introduces them to new horizons and vistas they were unaware of before. Upon awareness, new readers aspire to bring into being what they read about. They work hard to show they have arrived and made the impossible possible. They eventually become disillusioned, as accumulating the physical evidence of success is a trap that ensnares rather than enhances their lives. The big toys, flashy clothing and great expanses of property do not provide long-lasting happiness and security.
What does bring joy are strong, lasting relationships. We live in a period where increasing numbers of people are investing in themselves first, and then expanding that investment into extended families of people they trust. There is stock-taking and en-trusting in a wave of forward movement. People are seeking relatedness, they are using their literacy to identify those nuances of relating that will help them to become better human beings. In this way the collective human race is moving towards the truth that spirituality is nothing without “the other.” It means embracing the other because the other is oneself.
Concepts like inclusion, exclusion and other dichotomous isms can peel off and fall away; they reflect the last hurrah in the power play. Even if inclusion projects open dialogue towards diverse groups working together, they still present the more literate or moneyed one as The Savior. This imbalance shuts down the character-building potential that is available to every participant.
People are hungry for ways to know with certainty for themselves. They want to relate uniquely and express their realness authentically. Since global business, technology and materialism engulfs most of our lives, only the certainty of a huge truth can realign the thinking and facilitate deep connections with like-minded people. Those “on the path” share a yearning for this level of rich connection and true wealth.
STAYING ASTRAY. Pessimists seem to prefer Murphy’s Law (p. 228) as their guide. For them, things will turn out worse rather than better. Life does not disappoint their prediction. When these folks think and act negatively, we call them drama queens and troublemakers. They whip up trouble, promote confusion and enjoy chaos. Satisfied when life is “a bitch” for them or for others, they align with the straying mode of being. They are characterized as strayers because this is what they do: live as strays, die as strayers and continually commit to leading others astray.
The Key’s wisdom is practical in targeting different kinds of people, and whom to follow or not. The Expand principle advises us to unfollow strayers. For one thing, they are opposed to those who are blessed because their good fortune seems undeserved. The blessed ones are often oblivious to this covetousness, which has strayers prey on them to “eat” their blessedness. This tactic is diametrically opposed to the unifying instinct of the blessed. It is devoid of spiritual longing—rather, these haters are unaware of their spiritual longing. They view family life, customs, and socioeconomic structures as inadequate templates not up to the task of addressing their lives. They are motivated to accomplish three things: gain materially, gain energetically, and prove their power.