TO: ALL PROCESSEANS 3 OCTOBER 1974 FROM: ROBERT DE GRIMSTON
Brethren, As it is,
I've written to you about the Separation within The Process, and about organising new Process Groups, and about Process teachings. Next, a subject which is of great importance if The Process is going to be active and expansive on a practical as well as a spiritual level - as many of you are already discovering. Money.
The word 'money' has almost as many negative agreements attached to it as sexuality, spirituality and GOD. In fact, you could say that money and sexuality face GOD and spirituality across a gulf of distortion and unreality. Money and sexuality have been 'dirtied' beyond recognition, whilst spirituality and GOD have been 'cleaned' out of existence!
Consequently, for many people, money is allowed as little association with GOD as sexuality is allowed with spirituality.
So let's begin with these compulsive barriers.
Whether or not we approve of a system of private ownership and trade by means of currency is irrelevant. We might just as well disapprove of streets and houses. If we want to maintain a realistic contact with the world, to relate to people meaningfully, and to keep Process doors open, we must, for the time being at least, live in houses, travel on streets, and play the money game.
WHETHER we play it is not the issue. We have no choice. So face that fact first of all. And abandon any lurking agreements you might have that Processeans really shouldn't have anything at all to do with some- thing as unspiritual as money. The question is not WHETHER to play the money game, but HOW to play it; not WHETHER money is important, but what IS its importance; not WHETHER we should relate to it, but HOW we should relate to it.
Immediately some more agreements slide into view. If we have to play it we'll play it modestly and rather reluctantly; we won't give it too much importance or significance, we'll talk about it as little as possible - and with an appropriate degree of embarrassment - and we'll deal only in very humble quantities!
Excuse me, but no! This is not the way a Processean plays the money game - or any other game for that matter. He plays it, first of all, from a solid basis of Process knowledge and awareness. This he relates to EVERYTHING he does, and dealing with money is no exception. Then, he plays it with an eye on the maximum possible achievement, but of course with an acceptance of whatever manifests. He aims for the optimum result, but demands no greater success than is currently avail- able.
Now without that basis of Process knowledge and awareness, without a Processean scale of values and priorities, the terms 'success', 'achievement', and 'optimum result' could mean anything. But The Process has some very basic definitions of success and achievement, which I don't need to outline here. So there is no lack of guidelines.
On the other hand, there is STILL scope for a great diversity of aims, even within those basic guidelines, and each Group may have different practical goals. What matters with Process finances is that each Group decides what its aims are, and acknowledges money as one of the factors necessary for achieving those aims.
Just as the body needs vitamins to maintain it on a physical level, no matter what the spiritual state of the soul may be - at this stage of the Game at least, - so an active Process Group needs money to keep it operating and expanding on a practical level, no matter what the spiritual state of its members may be.
Don't confuse money with materialism. Money is a tool which can be used with detachment and awareness to achieve constructive and posi- tive ends. Materialism is a trap into which we fall if we IDENTIFY ourselves with money and what money can buy.
We can either see money as an element which we need in order to DO something. That's awareness. Or we can see money as an element which we need in order to BE something. That's materialism. Because we need not be afraid of failing to DO something. But we can easily become afraid of failing to BE something.
So take the first step. If you have any lurking negative agreements about money, if you identify it with materialism or greed or exploi- tation or any other of its NEGATlVE aspects, re-examine the whole con- cept, and recognise its POSITIVE aspect, and its use to further your own POSITIVE ambitions.
But on the other hand, remember that the recognition of a positive potential doesn't ELIMINATE the negative potential. Money is a means of power. (That's another much dirtied word, which is usually ident- ified with the ABUSE of power). Money is a means of power. And although it's a fallacy that power corrupts, it's nevertheless true that power is CORRUPTIBLE. Whether we're talking about a few hundred dollars or a few thousand or several million, we're talking about A MEANS OF CREATING EFFECTS. That's what power is: a means of creating effects. And as we all know, effects can be positive or negative, depending on how we use the means by which we create them.
So what matters is not how MUCH or how LITTLE money we deal with, but how we obtain it, how we use 1t, and how we relate to it.
Now I'm not about to tell you, in any specific terms, how you SHOULD do any of those three. But I'll tell you this, The more you learn and understand the teachings of The Process, the more effectively, positively, constructively, and successfully you'll do all of them, with less and less effort attached to it.
The only 'should' which I've so far attached to Process Groups obtain- ing money - apart from the obvious one of remaining within the law - is in fact a 'should not'. I've said 'no donating'; (meaning, of course, no STREET donating, although actually the term 'donating' covers any means of raising voluntary funds). But that's not necessarily a permanent thing. When the time feels right, we'll probably introduce it again FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO DO IT. But I doubt if that will be at least until local Process Groups are really stabilized and operating effectively. As many of you know, it's an activity which needs a great deal of very precise organisation if it's not to degenerate into becoming a burden for all concerned.
Apart from that you have a free hand to raise funds in whatever ways feel right and appropriate for your Group. And as long as you apply imagination, enthusiasm, inspiration, organisation, precision - and Process teachings - to all of them, you'll succeed! And further more, you'll enjoy it!
As for how you use the money that you raise, that also I leave to your judgement. Again I advise you a) to examine any negative agreements you may have - like it's all right to have it as long as you don't spend any of it on yourselves! b) to keep very precise accounts - that's important, and c) to remember that if you're using your money as you're meant to, i.e. according to what the Game requires of you, you'll get more. Inadequate income is usually a sign of inappropriate expenditure.
Finally, how to relate to it. Well, you can find the answer to that all the way through Process teachings. Money is simply another element of the Game. And the aim of a Processean is to relate to everything and everyone - and that includes money - as positively, as constructive- ly, as openly, as awarely, and as effectively as the Game allows at any given moment.
You may become a wealthy Group, spending millions on furthering your Process cause and surrounding yourselves with beautiful and expensive things. (That's one way of validating the physical. But don't let those beautiful and expensive things trap you!) Or you may be a thrifty Group, living a simple life in log cabins and eating wild hlckory nuts! Neither way is better or worse than the other. If it gives you REAL satisfaction, then it's right for you. And if you're a real Processean, then by the time your Group has reached one extreme or the other, you'll be able to differentiate between REAL satisfaction, wnich goes deep and LASTS, and superficial gratification, which goes nowhere and turns sour in the mouth!
Don't be either ashamed of wealth or burdened down by a frustrated demand to possess it and hang on to it. Neither is productive, and both are painful and constricting. Don't be trapped either by a need to HAVE material things, or by a need to REJECT them. Don't be a materialist or an anti-materialist. Don't make money into GOD or the Devil. It's neither.
Aim to achieve what you want to achieve. Use whatever means are necessary and available to achieve it. And as long as your knowledge and understanding of Process teachings is always growing rather than remaining static or diminishing, you can only find a growing sense of satisfaction and fulfillment, no matter what level of prosperity the Game has in store for you.
That doesn't mean no failures or disasters or crises or disappointments. These also are part of the Game. A part of being a Processean is acquiring a greater and greater ability to accept them, rise above them, and move on, following the signs, learning everything there is to be learned from every situation, becoming more and more invulnerable to - not necessarily exempt from but invulnerable to - failure, and at the same time more and more capable of turning it into success.
So be it,
[ Signature -- Robert ]
P.S. PROCESS INVERSION. Poverty is a much greater potential burden for the rich than the poor. Because so often they're afraid of it happening to themselves, and they feel guilty about it happening to others.