Governator Squeezes Trigger for Crime-n-Riots

Scott's Soapbox

I admit I’ve been quiet for quite a while here, waiting for that thunk of the other shoe. Plus, the road ahead isn’t just filled with potholes, to me it’s looking downright cratered.

Seriously.

governator_poster_70x82Seriously B-A-D. I am more worried now than I was last August, before everything tanked. And, it’s cost me a lot of my admittedly-diminished piece-of-mind. I’ve been nearly paralyzed with foreboding these last six weeks, andI haven’t been able to bring myself to spend much time on this site blogging the imminent (further) collapse.

And California, the world’s 7th largest economy, could be the first car in the jerking roller-coaster ride to the bottom. He warned they have until June 15 to make draconian cuts or face insolvency by the end of July. [link]

What Will Trigger The Coming Riots
20090527_CA_cuts_150x210What do you think will happen in Califonia when the Governator cuts off welfare as promised? [link] Do you think crime will go up or down as a result?

And what message is being sentto the judicial system for California’s 36,756,666 residents when Arnold is releasing prisoners EARLY cuz the state can’t afford the incarceration expense? [link]

Is it crazy to foresee an explosion in crime, some of it violent, that escalates once the disenfranchised realize they “ain’t gonna do time” over petty crime? And, is it really that much of a stretch to envision the crime turning ever more violent as the masses realize the cops can’t stop it?

We are months (not even a year) away from big-city riots in this country.

Gun Confiscation Won’t Make It Safer
The ripples of GM’s bankruptcy and California’s crash will be felt from shore to shore. It’s going to be hard to hide from it. If you currently live in (or within a day’s walk for a hungry male) a large population-concentration things will get “I-wish-I-bought-that-20-gauge-shotgun” ugly for you if you stay one day past the tipping point.

I’m not the only one thinking like this: legislators in the Great State of Tennessee just enacted a law PREVENTING gun confiscation in the event of martial law [link]. Yes, that’s supposed to be a constitutional right but Tennessee doesn’t trust the Feds after what they did during Katrina.

Care to jog your memory a bit?
-ABC News vid showing the gun confiscation by troops.
-Watch the CNN video of a 61-year-old lady tackled by cops in her home while taking her gun.

Is There A Chance I Could Be Right?
Hmmm… check my track record on big-picture stuff. Looks like I notch another win with the bankruptcy of GM and selling of bankrupt Chrysler to “Fix It Again, Tony.” (Worst car I ever had was a 1969 Fiat850 Spyder. 2ndworse car was a Plymouth Fury III land yacht. Shoulda been a crime to sell dogs like these to struggling teens.) [My Predictions from Feb 2008]

Protect Yourself.
Protect your family. If you live in a larger city move (I did in 2004, but I always seem to be too early  to the party). This is often impractical so at least phone up a friend/relative living in an area with a lower population density and “joke” about coming to visit if TSHTF. Seriously. Ask him what you can bring that would make him happy to see you. 

Get other ideas from Checking Off My “To Do” List. Also look at Warnings & Advice from a Saint, Part 3 for 6 things you can do starting today.

Scott

U hav no idea how bad its gonna git

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5 Banks Are “Dead Men Walking”

From Our “Floating in the Fish Tank” Dept.
Looks like another prediction is coming true. Back in 2007 I warned my friends/family/co-workers of the 25 banks most likely to fail. I closed all my accounts at Wells Fargo. When I launched Meltdown2011.com in Feb 2008 I published the same warning on this site. 

dead-men-walking400x355

See who they name? Citibank, Bank of America, HSBC, Wells Fargo (which bought already-failed Wachovia last year).

These are the banks I named back in Sept 2007 and reminded you of shortly after starting this site in Feb 2008 when I asked you Is Your Bank a Casino? 

derivatives-by-bank405x287

Six-for-six–now be honest, don’t you like getting your headlines a year+ early? I thought so!

Oh, BTW, notice #17 and #23 on the list. Yep, they’re floatin’ in the fish tank, too.

Prediction
Wonder what’ll happen to the other 17 banks on the list within another, oh, 18 months, maybe… I don’t really have to spell it out, do I?

 Scott

Related:
FDIC Gears Up for Bank Failures
…They Will Kill Us All
Is Your Bank a Casino?

CFOs Abandon Hope

CFO magazine 3/2009A question is asked of 1,200+ CFOs (Chief Financial Officer) from the US and abroad every quarter by CFO Magazine and Duke University. The latest survey was concluded last week.

Question:
“What are your expectations for the economy?”

Answer:
1) Our earnings will plummet 22%.
2) We will lay off 7.6 million workers in US.
3) Employees that keep their jobs will see wage freezes or even wage cuts.
4) You will see reductions in hours worked.
5) We will have employee morale and productivity problems.
6) Expect drops in capital spending (-13%), tech spending (-6%) and advertising spending (-7%).

Record Corporate Pessimism 
More than two-thirds of U.S. CFOs have grown more pessimistic about the U.S. economy during the last quarter. On a scale of 0 to 100, U.S. CFOs rate the economic outlook at an all-time low of 40

cfo-survey-optimism-2009-03

“This is very troubling,” said Kate O’Sullivan, senior writer at CFO Magazine. “Throughout the history of our survey, CFOs have shown a remarkable ability to predict future economic conditions. They anticipated the current recession as far back as September 2007. Given the CFOs’ track record, the historic pessimism CFOs are currently expressing certainly indicates a tough road ahead in 2009.”

Employment, Wages & Earnings
“Even with the stimulus plan, CFOs expect to lay off nearly 6 percent of their workforces. This represents a staggering 7.6 million job losses,” said Fuqua international finance professor Campbell Harvey, founding director of the survey.

“And it gets worse: in addition to the layoffs, many CFOs plan wage freezes and reductions in the number of hours worked for those employees that are retained.”

Nearly 60% of U.S. companies indicate they will institute a hiring freeze for the next year. In addition, 57% will enforce a wage freeze or reduction, with one in five companies expecting to reduce wages over the next year. 39% of companies will reduce employees’ work hours.  

Among the industries surveyed, service and consulting firms anticipate the strongest earnings in 2009, followed by healthcare companies. Public manufacturing firms expect earnings to fall 30 percent.     

Credit Conditions
Credit market turmoil is still buffeting the corporate sector, with the effects much worse on companies with poor credit ratings.

Companies rated B or lower have nearly maxed out credit lines, drawing on average 70 percent of the maximum. AAA and AA rated firms, in contrast, have drawn only 27 percent of the maximum.

Duke Univ“Bank lines of credit are usually a temporary source of funding, or are used as a last resort,” said John Graham, a finance professor at Duke and the director of the survey. “In the current market, many companies have few funding options beyond their credit line.

“In fact, there has been a bank run of sorts on credit lines, with poorly rated companies drawing funds now, just in case their bank decides not to lend to them in the future. This action has crowded out the ability of banks to lend to other firms, exacerbating the lack of credit elsewhere in the system.”

Credit markets remain extremely tight. Among companies that report they have been directly affected by credit market turmoil, nearly 60 percent have had trouble accessing capital, and nearly half report a higher cost of credit (relative to pre-crisis costs).

Interested in European and Asian results of the survey? Read more at:
CFO Magazine Business Outlook Survey: Bottom Dwellers
Duke University Survey Results (yes, it’s free)

Think Tank’s 2009 Predictions

leap2020This is the latest update from the LEAP/E2020 think tank in Europe. I’ve monitored them for a year or so. Their predictive track record is solid. (My previous posts include: Global Systemic Crisis Alert and US Implosion By Summer 2009?.)

Back in February 2006, LEAP/E2020 estimated that the global systemic crisis would unfold in 4 main structural phases:
1) trigger, (2007 mortgage/derivative crisis (ed.))
2) acceleration, (March 2008 Bear Stearns collapse (ed.))
3) impact and (Sept/Oct 2008 market/financial collapse (ed.))
4) decanting phases <– we are here now (ed.) 
This process enabled us to properly anticipate events until now.

However our team has now come to the conclusion that, due to the global leaders’ incapacity to fully realise the scope of the ongoing crisis (made obvious by their determination to cure the consequences rather than the causes of this crisis), the global systemic crisis will enter a fifth phase in the fourth quarter of 2009, a phase of global geopolitical dislocation.

According to LEAP/E2020, this new stage of the crisis will be shaped by:

A. Two major processes:
1. Disappearance of the financial base (Dollar & Debt) all over the world
2. Fragmentation of the interests of the global system’s big players and blocks

B. Two parallel sequences:
1. Quick disintegration of the current international system altogether
2. Strategic dislocation of big global players.

We had hoped that the decanting phase would give the world’s leaders the opportunity to draw the proper conclusions from the collapse of the global system prevailing since WWII.

Alas, at this stage, it is no longer possible to be optimistic in this regard.

In the United States, as in Europe, China and Japan, leaders persist in reacting as if the global system has only fallen victim to some temporary breakdown. In fact, the global system is simply out of order; a new one needs to be built instead of striving to save what can no longer be saved.

The fifth phase of the crisis will ignite this required process of reconstruction, but in a harsh manner: by means of a complete dislocation of the present system, with particularly tragic consequences in the case of several big global players.

According to LEAP/E2020, there is only one very small launch window left to prevent this scenario from shaping up.

The April 2009 G20 Summit is probably the last chance to put on the right tracks the forces at play, i.e. before the sequence of UK and then US defaults begin. Failing which, they will lose their capacity to control events, including those in their own countries for many of them; and the world will enter this phase of geopolitical dislocation like a “drunken boat”.

At the end of this phase of geopolitical dislocation, the world will look more like Europe in 1913 rather than our world in 2007.

It is high time for the general population to get ready to face very hard times during which whole segments of our societies will be modified, temporarily disappear or even permanently vanish.

For instance, the breakdown of the global monetary system we anticipated for summer 2009 will indeed entail the collapse of the US dollar (and all USD-denominated assets), but it will also induce, out of psychological contagion, a general loss of confidence in paper money altogether.

Last but not least, our team now estimates that the most monolithic, the most “imperialistic” political entities will suffer the most from this fifth phase of the crisis.

Some countries will indeed experience a strategic dislocation undermining their territorial integrity and their influence worldwide (end of the US Empire (ed.)). As a consequence, other countries will suddenly lose their protected situations and be thrust into regional chaos (widespread protests, unrest, civil war (ed.)). [more]

Your editor asks you: Got gold? Got silver?
Do you know what steps to take? I’ve been busy Checking Off My “To Do” List

Oil Insider Warns of Economic Calamity

lindsey-williamsOn July 9, 2008 Lindsey Williams claimed to have inside info on future plans of the “elite of the world.”

Back then, oil was pushing through $138/barrel and gas had never been more expensive.

Mr. Williams said he had been told by the “elite” that oil would continue to rise until it hit $150 to $200/barrel, then plummet to under $50/barrel. Gas prices would collapse to under $2/gallon. You can verify this by listening to the original radio broadcast on YouTube [link].

Guess what he’s saying now?
Henry Makow listened to the latest interview of Baptist minister and former chaplain for Big Oil, Lindsey Williams, on American Voice Radio and took notes. [Edited for length, read it in its entirety here: link]

1) The reason why the “elite” dropped the world price of oil down below $50 a barrel was to wage economic warfare against the Arab/ OPEC countries.   “They” seek to bankrupt OPEC countries, especially the Iranians by cutting their revenues more than 75%. 

2) Gold and Oil generally move in tandem i.e., when oil goes up, so does gold.   This has not been the case since the oil market collapsed. Gold will now move independently of oil.

3) This year, 2009, the USA will face total financial collapse.  The dollar will also collapse in value, and it will take years for the US to recover.

4) He said we have more than enough oil in the USA for our own needs, but the so-called “elite” (as he calls them) have no intention of EVER developing a major oil field in the continental U.S. or Alaska.  “They” will not allow this country to become energy independent, and they intend to  continue to keep us dependent on foreign oil sources.

5) The handlers around Obama are, for the most part, members of the Council on Foreign Relations. There will be absolutely no change in either our domestic or foreign policy. Obama will follow orders and will take the fall for the economic calamity that is about to unfold.

6) Because of the tremendous cut in revenue to the Arab states (75%) Dubai will become a “wasteland.” 

7) The long term goal of “these people” is  to control and own everything.  “They intend to break us.” 

8) Gasoline will remain  at approximately $1.50 per gallon for the next year to a year and half.   This is killing the State government gas tax revenues.   Total, state tax revenues are collapsing. Expect many states to go bankrupt–especially California.

9) The ultimate objective is to “destroy the USA.”   At the same time “they” seek to consolidate control over all assets of any significance.  “They” already own and control, the banks, and the media. 

10) “They” intend to gain control of the entire auto industry.

11) “Within six to nine months we will be into full blown hyper inflation.”  Buy everything you need right NOW!!!!  Prepare your dinner table NOW!  It is going to be 1933 all over again.

12) “They” have given up on implementing the North American Union and are “going all the way.”  The goal is total global control of everything.  Global Government. Global bank. Global Currency.

Warnings & Advice from a Saint, Part 5

This is part 5 of 5. If you wish to read or refresh before continuing see:
Warnings & Advice from a Saint, Part 1
Warnings & Advice from a Saint, Part 2
Warnings & Advice from a Saint, Part 3
Warnings & Advice from a Saint, Part 4

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

An Amazing Blueprint
These excerpts from “Material Success” are all found in just a single lesson of a 26-lesson set (lesson 11). This set is an amazing blueprint for how to conduct business and live a life that reflects high integrity, honesty and spiritual values in everyday life. Although sorely needed, this is NOT something taught in any college level course.

A Funny (in a Sad Way) Story
It’s September 2005; I’m working to win a $1.3 million software development contract with a client in St. Louis. My company had already completed a large project for them, and I was on “good terms” with their IT Director, Fred. He wanted me to succeed, he wanted me to get the project.

One problem: Fred said I would have to give him an estimate that showed the work could be completed in 3 months.

I investigated the project request, interviewed the people who’d tried and failed to complete it in an earlier attempt, and crunched the numbers. I came back with 12 to 18 months of effort, more than four times the effort Fred wanted to see. I showed him my estimates and project plan.

He got upset and argued with me about the schedule.

I insisted it couldn’t be done in 3 months.

Dishonesty in BusinessHe looks at me conspiratorially and says, “Well, you know and I know it can’t be done by the end of the year. Just lie and tell management what they wanna hear: you can get it done in 3 months. Then when the third month rolls around and you’re not done what are they gonna do? They can’t pull the plug on you, they’re already committed. They’ll have to let you finish!”

I protested, “That would be lying. I know there’s absolutely NO WAY it can be done in 3 months! Look at my schedule, even  if we add another person…”

Fred shakes his head and, in a condescending father-to-son tone, drops this pearl of wisdom on me, “Scott, sometimes you just have to rise above truth and honesty and do the right thing–lie.”

The Cornerstone for Rebuilding the World
The economic and environmental problems that hold the world in its grasp today could NOT HAPPEN if the principles found in the pages of this work were practiced today. And, guess what? They would work even if only a meaningful fraction of us put them into use daily.

Once this current collapse has run its course over the next few years I predict these 26 lessons will become the cornerstone for rebuilding a sustainable, humane and soul-satisfying new world: one in which business is conducted with concern for the higher good of this planet and all of us on it.

 

Scott 

Excerpt #5 from J. Donald Walters’ 2005 “Material Success”

Energy: Your Most Essential Investment
Material Success through Yoga PrinciplesThe most important investment to keep at your command is your own energy, mental as well as physical. All human energy is mental primarily. I’ve quoted my Guru heretofore as saying, “The greater the will power, the greater the flow of energy.”

Some of the wealthiest families in the world have been reduced to penury as a result of relying too much, and too passively, on their handed-down inheritance. Your energy can be expanded, quite literally, to infinity. Alternatively, it can contract to virtual nonexistence. Some of the greatest fortunes on earth have been made by people who started with almost no money, but with great zeal.

Money is one of mankind’s three great delusions, the other two being sex and “wine” (that is to say, intoxication of all kinds, including hallucinogenic drugs).
Money is listed with these three for several reasons.
1) The expectation it gives of happiness.
2) The expectation of security.
3) The false belief that, with money, one becomes powerful, important, and superior to anyone with less money.

With the sense of superiority money very often gives a further delusion: the thought that people without money are worthless. Wealthy people often succeed in imposing this delusion on the poor, making them, by contempt for them, actually feel worthless.

What makes these three delusions supreme is the fact that they strengthen the ego, alienating people thereby from their eternal reality: soul-identity with Infinite Consciousness.

Why Are the Wealthy Often Less Happy?
The delusion that money can bring happiness evaporates not long after its acquisition. Wealthy people are seldom happy. If they are newly rich, they may delight for a time in the thought of being able to buy whatever they want. That delight soon palls, however, for the very desire for things is itself an affirmation of lack, which in turn is a kind of poverty. Though they can remove that lack with money, their very consciousness that they lack anything becomes, in time, a habit!

The more constant they are in seeking fulfillment outwardly, the more difficult they find it to be happy. It is not possible to fulfill every desire; thus it happens that wealthy people are often less happy than those who have relatively little.

In poverty, a person is obliged to limit his desires to the essentials: food, clothing, and shelter. The rich, however, want far more. Their desires are never ending. They want utterly unnecessary “necessities,” necessary, to them, only because they imagine they need them. In fact, these things can become suffocating luxuries; they create an inner emptiness, which people excavate with the shovel of ceaseless desires. Their emptiness of heart may not show outwardly, but it cries to them from within.

The One Way Money Brings Happiness
The proof that money doesn’t bring happiness is underscored by the sad fact that statistics show suicide to be more prevalent among the rich than among the poor.

Money, ultimately, brings happiness only if it is shared. When it is used generously to help others, one feels happy in himself and finds his happiness expanding to include others’ well-being.

Money, in this case, can be a real blessing, not a misfortune. Rich people who center their attention on themselves, and on their own needs and interests, find the initial sense of self-expansion which comes with the acquisition of wealth shrinking in an ever-tightening vice.

None of this is to say that wealth is, in itself, a misfortune. Everything can be enjoyed, provided certain basic conditions are met:
1) One must enjoy money – indeed, all things – in moderation. One must rigidly exclude the temptation to define himself by them.
2) He must employ his gifts to be of help to others also, and not only for selfish ends.
3) He must develop non-attachment, realizing that nothing possessed can be permanently one’s own.
4) One must understand that the source of all happiness lies in oneself, never in outside things. One must develop an inner life – particularly by meditation, and by offering himself to God.

Include Others in Your Investments
material-success-sidebarSharing with others is particularly important when it comes to simplifying your lifestyle. Simplicity will probably be more natural to country living.

Do you, personally, know how to grow food? how to build a home? how to maintain a home? If you want to live alone, or with only your intimate family, you may find country living more difficult than you thought.

One of the advantages of living in community with others is that the larger the group, the greater the chance that someone among you will have at least one special skill needed by the community to maintain itself.

Paramhansa Yogananda himself recommended to most people that they pool their resources with a few friends. If you can find a few in your circle of friends who would like to join you in this venture, get them to join you also in investing a certain sum of money. Try, when holding meetings with friends, to agree on a sum that all of you can afford. Help them to understand that this investment is vitally important for their own future safety and well-being.

Let me repeat, Paramhansa Yogananda’s advice to people was to “get land.” This was among the most urgent things I ever heard him say in public talks.

It is important for those joining you to invest at least some of their own funds in this project. Without that commitment, you may find it difficult, later on, to get their help in other vital matters also, when that help is really needed.

If you join hands with others, you will probably want to set up some kind of legal society. I strongly suggest that the basic sum of money people invest be non-refundable. Otherwise, even one person dropping out might cause the whole venture to collapse. At Ananda Village we insisted on the non-refundability of the basic membership fee.

For now, I suggest that each of you take on a special assignment: study one particular aspect of the project. Hold regular meetings to discuss these matters further. It may be wise, initially, to get no more than ten families involved. This figure is not absolute, of course. The main point I want to make is, Don’t admit too many members at first. At the same time, don’t have too few, for too small a number may severely hamper your beginning efforts. The number you envision must be flexible enough, of course, to accommodate actual realities.

Much more might be said on this subject. Some of it will be covered in future lessons. I suggest here, in addition, that before actually moving on such a project, and after all of you feel sincerely committed to this idea, a few of you visit me in India, or visit the people directing our communities in Italy or in America. Try, if possible, to spend some time in one of our Ananda communities; live among us for at least a week. This is a matter in which understanding must come largely by osmosis. It cannot come only through the written or spoken word.

Subtle Forces Are Now Withdrawing Their Energy
Greed is in the process, at present, of attracting global poverty. It is also alienating mankind at present from divine blessings. The universe functions on certain clear principles, which are emphasized in the yoga teachings: loving energy, conscious harmony, mutuality of sharing. It has been said that subtle forces are consciously responsible for plant life on this planet, and that these forces are, at the present time, withdrawing their energy.

People nowadays scoff at this as “superstition.” My Guru said it is a mistake to do so. It is, he said, important not only to draw what we can from nature, but also to give back to it, by praying to God through those subtle entities, and by loving and showing them gratitude. It is an error to treat them as though they had no existence. In seizing what we can only for ourselves, we withdraw ourselves from nature’s abundance. When we do that, nature, in return, withdraws her abundance.

Everything in the Universe Is Conscious
Man, being more conscious than the lower forms of life, has a powerful influence on his environment and, in the aggregate, on the planet. When people live in harmony with one another and with nature, all good things flourish. When people live in disharmony, however, they starve themselves of divine energy. Our planet then reacts with outrage.

Famines, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and other natural disasters are on the increase these days. My Guru said it is because of the growing disharmony in people’s hearts.

Develop an attitude of generous giving. Don’t take from life, selfishly. All nature, now, is responding to your love. Feel love for everything, and feel your love expanding like a roseate cloud, blessing and bringing everything joyfully to life.

You and all life are one. You and infinite life forever share together, dancing in rhythms of perpetual laughter and love.

End Note from Scott
material-success-cover-newThese extensive excerpts were created by scanning/OCRing the original lesson and proofreading it carefully. Any mistakes in the transcription are my own. I’ve omitted references to India as well as some of the deeper spiritual sections, including the final inspiring meditation, to make this more accessible to the average secular American. I encourage you to read “Material Success Through Yoga Principals” in its entirety. In light of the current worldwide economic situation the publisher has graciously made it available at no charge online. [link]

“Material Success” is actually a total of 26 individual lessons; the excerpts you’ve been reading are all from lesson 11. The entire lesson set is available for purchase and includes DVDs as well. Proceeds from sales help support the new cooperative community J. Donald Walters has founded in India. This one joins successful communities in Italy and the United States. The first intentional community, the 840-acre Ananda Village in California, celebrated its 40th year in 2008. 

Warnings & Advice from a Saint, Part 4

This is part 4 of 5. If you wish to read or refresh before continuing see:
Warnings & Advice from a Saint, Part 1
Warnings & Advice from a Saint, Part 2
Warnings & Advice from a Saint, Part 3

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

“Material Success” by JDW: A Wake-Up Call
Meltdown2011.com is my attempt to warn everyone I care about of the coming worldwide financial Armageddon, and what to do to protect yourself.

I want to convince you to take action NOW to make your life more secure in the future. Time is not on your side; events are already in motion with unstoppable momentum.

Those of you who do not prepare will be crushed under the wheels of this economic juggernaut. [find more hyperbole here]

Back in the summer of 2005 I was not prepared.

Sure, I had some savings, sure I had a 401K. I paid no attention to the markets in which my retirement was invested. I relied on a sincere Financial Planner I knew to “take care” of my financial future.

J Donald Walters“Material Success” shook me awake. Knowing the man who wrote it, knowing the depth of his concern for his fellow man and knowing he had no ulterior motive save helping others, I listened. The first time I read it I sat in stunned silnce and reflected upon it. Then I immediately reread it.

That day I decided to take responsibility for my, and my family’s, well-being to the best of my ability. I began following gold and silver prices. I began researching stock market trends. I learned about “bubbles” and how they were likely to recur. And I learned about possible future “cataclysms” he discussed.

In other words, as best I could I vetted his claims and concerns. And it looked like JDW was right.

Please consider what he wrote three and one half years ago. Now, it seems eerily prophetic. Please consider taking the steps he suggests to protect yourself and your loved ones. Only if you are prepared will you be able to extend a helping hand to others when the time comes.

 

Scott 

Excerpt #4 from J. Donald Walters’ 2005 “Material Success”

The Most Important Investments
Material Success through Yoga PrinciplesI myself have never been interested in money for money’s sake. As the founder of several communities, however, which have been dependent on my practical and not only my spiritual guidance, I’ve considered it important to keep abreast of the broader economic picture. I’ve reflected deeply, therefore, on my guru’s predictions regarding the world economy. He, too, was concerned for others’ welfare. In trying to keep abreast of these matters, I’ve made a study of things that would otherwise have been of little interest to me.

Investment #1: Silver & Gold
From what I have studied, it seems clear to me that the safest investments, monetarily, are silver and gold. These investments are the ones most highly recommended by people whose counsel I incline to believe.

Of other investments I am more doubtful, even though these, too, are highly recommended. I consider the sustained value of such collectibles as paintings, for example, to be less reliable. Large items, moreover, are more susceptible to damage or theft. Gems, though small and easy to transport, undergo wide fluctuations in their market value.

Investment #2: Land
What my Guru particularly urged people to invest in was land. He wasn’t thinking of its monetary yield; in other words, he wasn’t counseling people how to be greedy with safety! Rather, he urged them to think in terms of having life’s basics, so as to be free to concentrate on higher things, and of course especially on the search for God.

I want to emphasize that the Master wasn’t recommending investment in income-producing property such as apartment houses. Certainly he wasn’t trying to make landlords of people. His recommendation was to purchase only enough land as one needs in order to supply one’s self and a few others with the basic needs. With land, they could grow their own food, have a sufficient water supply, and if they buy with discrimination, not burden themselves with heavy mortgage payments.

During economic hard times, the definition of material success is not money, but security.

Whatever assets you have, invest as much money as you can in things that you can control. You cannot control the stock market.

Put whatever money you can spare into buying land with arable soil.
1) Plan to grow your own food.
2) Buy property in a low-tax area, and
3) preferably where there is a minimal danger of social unrest.

material-success-sidebarThere is a supposedly true story about a man who, in the aftermath of World War I, realized that there was likely to be a World War II. In an effort to avoid it, he traveled throughout the world in search of some place that would, he hoped, be trouble free. Finally he bought land and settled on the island of Guam. That was in the mid-1930s. As many still remember, in only a few years Guam was the epicenter of the Pacific war theater in World War II!

Place your faith in God above all. He expects you to use common sense also, but don’t concern yourself too fearfully with finding a place of perfect safety.

Your very fear might attract danger like a magnet.

Human life will never be perfectly secure. Do what seems reasonable to you, then leave the results in God’s hands. Remember, sooner or later you will have to leave this world anyway; it is not your true home. Do what seems reasonable, therefore, but be free of attachment to the results of your actions.

If you hold that attitude, you will certainly find it in keeping with yoga principles to be sensible also. Don’t imagine that God will be more pleased with you if you face life passively with the thought, “Whatever comes is my karma. I can’t control anything in my life.”

The purpose of karmic law is to teach us, through punishment and reward, to act always for the best. Don’t expect to be protected by faith alone – unless, indeed, your faith is so strong, and focused so one-pointedly, that all your energy flows toward God.

Buy land within your means. If you can’t buy it outright, get property that you can pay off in a reasonably short time. Try to settle in the general vicinity of a small town, where others can help you in times of need.

Don’t get land too near a large city, where violence might easily erupt during general social upheaval. If that land should contain a house, all the better, but if it doesn’t and you can afford to build, or if you have the skill to build a home for yourself, it may be to your advantage to build exactly according to your own tastes and needs.

Investment #3: Basic Necessities
Food, clothing, shelter: these are life’s basic necessities. If possible, store basic food supplies: foods that will retain their freshness a long time. Make sure that whatever food you buy for future use is tightly sealed, in an air-proof container, safe from mice, insects, and other pests, and safe also from excessive heat and humidity.

In this modern age, many people are accustomed to such amenities as electricity. In times of emergency, however, electricity can be dispensed with relatively easily. At Ananda Village it was years before most of us could install electricity in our homes. We were perfectly comfortable with bottled gas for cooking, and, for lighting, kerosene, candles, or oil lamps.

One thing that will help your home very much during extremes of cold and heat will be insulation in the walls – particularly in the ceilings. That insulation needn’t be expensive. Even newspapers, wadded up and crammed into the walls, can be very effective. Books are available on this subject. Study them, and see what kind of construction will be the most cost-effective, efficient, and practical in your area.

If you can’t live immediately on your property, try to get away to it for weekends, and also for longer periods occasionally. Even if there has to be someone on the property to take care of it, you may be able to supervise from a distance the creation of a small vegetable garden.

Coming up:

In the final excerpt from “Material Success” J. Donald Walters writes on:
1) Your energy is an essential investment.
2) Including others in your investments.
3) Can you survive tough times alone?

Warnings & Advice from a Saint, Part 5