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Caroline Myss: 'America's Soul Is On A Respirator'

Caroline Myss examines the current melt-down as a collective spiritual crisis that is rooted in a loss of respect for the values upon which our nation was founded.
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If you are tired of pundits and bloggers rehashing sound-bites, New York Times best-selling author Caroline Myss looks at today's economic and political crisis through a different lens. In her new book Defying Gravity (Hay House) she examines the current melt-down as a collective spiritual crisis that is rooted in a loss of respect for the values upon which our nation was founded.

Q: How do you see the economic crisis?
Myss: Everything looks the same except more and more storefronts are empty. More and more businesses are shut down. We have outsourced ourselves. We made foolish decisions of the soul. We ceased to be humble and we became arrogant in our policies. We are no longer people of wisdom or reflection.

Q: For example?
Myss: Everybody had to sacrifice to get here, to start their lives anew. They wanted to do it. In order to get to this land of great promise, our ancestors had to make sacrifices. People were not afraid of what that meant. But since World War Two, we have forgotten about the need to sacrifice. Instead, we feel a sense of entitlement because we have suffered. It goes something like this: "I need a 52-inch flat screen TV now because I had a lousy childhood/nasty divorce/lost my job." I am entitled to stuff because I was hurt. We wear our wound from the past like a badge.

Q: What do you recommend?
Myss: Prayer. Not the kind of prayers where you ask for more stuff. The kind where you sit in deep silence and reflect. Ask for humility. For patience. In those moments when you pray, you can feel yourself lifted up to a place that is transcendent of ordinary life. A spiritual force initiates that. All of you is present. You are not living your history. During that time, you can feel as though the weight of your life has been lifted from your shoulders. For a microsecond , you defy gravity.
Q: How do you prepare for this? Can you go to a spiritual trainer?
Myss: That's a perfect question. That's exactly where one begins. Question the value of being so busy. There comes a time in a stress- filled life when we have to question the manner in which we have organized our values. When people are dying, they realize their values are screwed up. You can't wait to realize that you have placed your values in the wrong basket. This idea of 'I don't have time because my life is so busy, so busy, so busy' means that you are living in a panic attack.

Q: How can you stop living in a panic attack?
Myss: Take responsibility for how you talk to yourself. for the data with which you fill yourself. You may realize that you are constantly filling yourself with panic attack data. For example, "What if I don't have enough? What are they saying about me?" At some point, you can no longer discern truth from what is a toxic waste dump. This is not a way to live.

Q: Do you think there are other societies that are doing a better job of keeping their "soul values?"
Myss: We have so much to learn from indigenous people. They know they are a humble co-species with the earth's environment. They know the trees are tall brothers and others. In the west , the so-called age of enlightenment was when we detached what animated the soul and put all our eggs in the reasoning basket. We started on the journey to being unreasonable. We detached from the ability to intuit our world. Yet we thought that we were becoming reasonable. That's when we decided that if something could not reason, it had no value. That led us to where we are now. If nature can't reason, if animals can't reason, they have no value. That gave us permission to become the people we are now.

Q: Who are we now?
Myss: Since World War Two, we have become "stuffologists." It has become a sign of intelligence to acquire stuff. We have come to believe that the more stuff you have, the more intelligent you are. When I was growing up, my parents would say, your grandparents sacrificed a lot. We knew what it was to sacrifice. You have to work for what you want. That word was removed from our culture these last 20 or 30 years. The idea that you have to exchange something of value for something of greater value has been removed.

Q: When did this happen?
Myss: Remember Mother Russia and Uncle Sam, the bad marriage of the 20th century? We grew up with this sense that this was the way it was. We had an illusion that the environment was a source of abundance that goes on forever. But nothing goes on forever.

Q: What can we learn from this?
Myss: We have to go beyond our sense of reason now. You can't reason with a crisis. You can't reason through a great many things. We have to rely on mystical consciousness. We have to rely on intuitive reasoning. . It's not an either/or. Intuition and intellectual resources are a partnership. .
Q: On a daily basis?
Myss: Discover the power of your soul. Introduce reflection into your life. This is not about magic and getting what you want by clicking your heels. These are entirely different. Begin your journey of going inside. Discover that you have within you the power to defy gravity.

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