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Warnings & Advice from a Saint, Part 3

If you wish to read or refresh before reading this, part 3, see: 
Warnings & Advice from a Saint, Part 1 
Warnings & Advice from a Saint, Part 2 

Following are some personal comments. Feel free to skip the text in blue to get straight to the “good stuff” from J. Donald Walters.

The Eyes Have It
swamiscott_1995_2After the calmly startling experience of JDW’s “searchlight of love” gaze washing over the concert audience, I knew I had to meet him face-to-face. The outdoor concert’s intermission was coming up: a time of mingling before the second set.

I’m quite the introvert and, added to my usual unease at human interaction was a feeling of unworthiness at meeting Mr. Walters. Yes, I actually thought of the Wayne’s World “We’re not worthy” line. I smiled to myself. This wasn’t something he projected–it was my own warped self-talk. So I sez to myself, “I flew all the way out here to see the man. Take a few steps and just do it! Don’t be a wimp!”

Mr. Walters was standing on the steps leading to the deck where refreshments were being served. People were bustling around him while he calmly smiled out at the distant hills. I approached him. I felt awkward. I, who a few short years ago was an avowed agnostic and had no need for “the crutch of religion,” felt compelled to kneel before this man. This urge surprised me; I dismissed it and kept standing.

“Hello, sir. I’ve been wanting to meet you.”

He took my hand. “I’m happy to meet you,” a slight lilt in his voice.

He looked into my eyes and posed a seemingly simple question, “And your name is…”

I looked back into his eyes; it felt like falling. Flying, actually, into a vast void. Having studied astrophysics a few yeas back at U of Iowa, I imagined it like soaring into the vast reaches of interstellar space. Clouds of interstellar dust glided by, the absolute blackness of space decorated with a carelessly-tossed spray of stars. Wondrous! Somewhere from these depths I heard an echo, gradually resolving into a voice. I became aware the man before me had asked a question, and I was risking rudeness at not answering.

scotts name tagBut, what was the answer? I couldn’t recall my name! Where were those prized 141 I.Q. points I used to have? Ah, yes, I’m wearing a name tag! “Scott,” I declared in response, as only my first name was on the tag.

“Nice to meet you, Scott. And where are you from?”

Damn! I’m on this wondrous journey through the final frontier and I’m being pestered with questions! Again, I’m rescued by my name tag as it has my hometown written under my name.

And I know we talked a bit more but I can’t recall about what. I know I made it back to my seat, unsteadily, next to a friend I had made a few days earlier. He smiled at me knowingly, with quiet approval. Guess he’d been there before.

 

Scott 

 

Excerpt 3 from J. Donald Walters’ 2005 “Material Success”

How Soon Will These Dire Predictions Be Fulfilled?
Material Success through Yoga PrinciplesThe truth, surely, is obvious: their fulfillment has begun already! Never has the world’s economy been so unstable, despite everything that politicians and newspaper editorials declare in an attempt to reassure everyone. The American economy still looks fairly strong, but it is much weaker than the propagandists insist.

Please be very careful from now on about how you invest your money, as well as your time and energy. Don’t live in a dream world of wishful thinking.

Numerous investment newsletters, which are free from the influence of political considerations, foresee imminent disaster. Even they, however, try to keep their readership by promising the possibility of emerging from hard times more wealthy than ever.

I challenge that promise.

The world, instead, is speeding rapidly toward bitter disillusionment. Even those newsletters, which are more truthful than the newspapers, still fan the flames of greed. Humanity must learn its lesson. Only then will it rediscover the only thing that, forever, has really worked: Doing what is right.

Financial Drowning of Millions
Meanwhile, why join the lemmings crowding forward to leap into the ocean of self-destruction? The surface of the water shimmers, the radiance seeming to suggest wealth, but that superficial appearance is destined to end, with the eternal impersonality of karma, in the financial drowning of millions. Follow what my Guru’s guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar, counseled, “Learn to be comfortable within your purse.”

Your Attitude During Lean Times
People will need to adjust their expectations to a lower yield. They will find it not so difficult to accomplish. Think of it as a challenge, not as a disastrous deprivation. By glancing even briefly at the innumerable signs all around us, you may realize even now that the most practical investment you can make is simply that: to adjust your expectations.

material-success-sidebarPractical Steps To Take Now
From today onward,
1) Make it a principle to avoid debt. If for any reason you need to borrow, make a serious attempt to pay off that debt as soon as possible. It simply won’t be worth the cost, in terms of your peace of mind, to have debt of any kind hanging over your head like the sword of Damocles.

2) Try – every week, if possible – to put a little money aside.

3) Don’t place too much faith in banks. During depressions of the past, many banks had to close their doors, leaving their depositors without recourse.

4) Above all, don’t place too much faith in paper currency. The way in which governments the world over are printing money these days in attempts to meet their national commitments, all the currencies of the world may well lose all their value in time.

5) If possible, keep a certain amount of money in solid assets.

6) Don’t rely too heavily on your government’s promises. Democratic governments everywhere try to be responsive to the will of the people, but that will is guided almost entirely by self-interest. It is a recipe for disaster. The question people generally ask, when voting, is, “What’s in it for me.” It is this consciousness which elects their representatives to government posts. The persons most likely to be elected over and over again are those who make outrageous promises, each one of them targeted toward satisfying people’s greed.

The “Hidden Tax”
Will those promises ever be fulfilled? All of them? Impossible! Already people’s mind-set is to get much more than any sane government can possibly supply. The governments keep on trying, but they know there is a limit to how much they get by taxes. The solution they hit upon, inevitably, is to print truckloads of paper currency. This is monetary inflation. It is also called “hidden taxation.” The way governments everywhere manage to have more money than they dare to demand in taxes is by way of the printing press.

In Germany, during its time of hyperinflation (in 1923), the father of a friend of mine went into a shop and left outside it a wheelbarrow full to overflowing with his earnings for the day. The money, being worthless, seemed safe enough; who, after all, would steal it? When he came out later, his money was blowing about in the street: Someone had stolen his wheelbarrow, first emptying it of its contents!

Is It really a “Barbarous Relic?”
In America, people have been conditioned by government propaganda to view gold as a “barbarous relic.” It isn’t that those who own gold are less likely to be spoiled by greed, but at least gold can’t be printed like paper money. Its relative scarcity makes it a protection against hyperinflation. Should the dollar no longer be “worth the paper it is printed on,” don’t expect other currencies in the world to fare any better.

Place your trust in God first; then invest some of your money in things of solid worth. Tomorrow, paper money may be “gone with the wind.” Gold and silver are safer investments, and are likely to increase in value astronomically relative to the value of paper currency.

Coming up…

In the next excerpt from “Material Success” J. Donald Walters writes on:
1) Gold and silver: the safest investments?
2) What about gems, paintings and collectibles?
3) The one investment Yogananda particularly urged people to make.

Warnings & Advice from a Saint, Part 4