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Bondage or Liberty? Choose.



A college admissions scandal splashed across the news a couple of weeks ago, which caught my attention because my son is in his second year of college and I remember how much work and preparation he put into the application process. It also reminded me of when I interviewed applicants to my alma mater and how impressed I was with their brilliance and depth. Yet despite their stellar qualifications, my school rejected all of them. At one point I wondered “Is it me? Maybe I jinxed them.” Then I realized only 5.5% of all applicants are admitted, so the odds were not in their favor.


In any event, the scandal involved super wealthy parents who paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to an unscrupulous consultant who helped their kids get into elite or prestigious universities. The consultant falsified the unsuspecting children’s standardized test scores, and bribed college officials to recommend potential students be accepted as athletes even though they never played a sport in their lives.


The whole scenario gave journalists and on-air personalities the opportunity to broadcast tantalizing details about celebrities, rich helicopter parents and their entitled kids, admission test scams and coaches taking bribes. It highlighted the shadow side of humanity. An interesting fact is that all of the kids—who were unwittingly involved—were positioned to do extremely well in life even if they did not get into the college that their parents swindled them into. So it wasn’t a life or death situation for any of them.


I’ve been asking what does all of this mean from a spiritual perspective? Why would parents who seemingly have it all risk so much to get their kids into a college they don’t necessarily need and, in at least one case, one the child didn’t even want to go to?

It was a quest of the parents to buy status: an impermanent, transitory and ephemeral outer thing that has nothing to do with our essence as spiritual beings. The parents believed that if they did not get this status, their life would be unfulfilled, or they would endure some kind of existential suffering.


This is what happens when we forget that we are spiritual beings. When we think from a consciousness that is less than our spiritual awareness, we end up misusing our power of choice. We start thinking and acting from the unspiritualized ego, causing us to be enslaved to things that do not serve us. When those things slip away, our sense of value diminishes. When attached to outer things that we believe will give us self-esteem, or in the case of the parents who defrauded their kids into these exclusive colleges and prestige, we are yoked to the spiritually unimportant, changeable material world. We then believe we will only be okay if we have more education or better clothes, live in the right neighborhood, have the perfect job or the perfect body, or our kids get in an elite college. While there is nothing wrong with any of these things, the truth is they are temporary and do not represent the eternal essence of Spirit. Even if we get those things, the satisfaction they bring is only temporary.


Permanent satisfaction may only be found when we realize our oneness with God and come to the awareness of the Spirit within. Begin within. Tap into the Source of permanent well-being and be free.


Peace and Blessings,

James

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