Money and the Spiritual Warrior

Jungian analyst Bernice Hill explores the history and contemporary appearance of the warrior archetype in America and discovers the ways that the spiritual warrior's relationship with money can be empowering and transformative.


Bernice H. Hill, Ph.D.
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CHAPTER ONE: The United States and The Warrior Archetype
The United States: Birth of a Warrior Nation
Disparity and Its Impact
(i) The Global Picture
(ii) Deepening Shadows
The Shadow Warrior in Myth and Movie
Perpetuating the Immature/Shadow Warrior 

CHAPTER TWO: The Spiritual Warrior
Psychological Context for Development
(i) Spiritual Warrior: Embracing the Tension of Opposites
(ii) Spiritual Warrior: The Emergence of the Feminine
(iii) Spiritual Warrior: The Right Use of Will

CHAPTER THREE: Money and the Evolution of the Spiritual Warrior
The Challenge
Doing the Personal Work
Step 1: Becoming Aware
Step 2: The Descent Journey
Step 3: Refining and Integrating
Further Stages of Development

CHAPTER FOUR: The Visionaries
Telos and the Spiritual Warrior
Spiritual Warriors in Action




Our times are calling for the spiritual warrior, one who is a synthesizer, alert, loving, embedded in this life and its challenges, and rooted in a deepening journey of his or her own unfolding.

This book is an invitation for a conscious exploration of money, recognizing it as a mirror of our partialness and our wholeness. I have framed the discussion around the archetype of the warrior and its spectrum of possibilities, from dark to light. I propose that the times and the culture in which we live are summoning us to this honest scrutiny.

Each of us, following our own telos, our own soul path, will find the most authentic way to do this. Conscious of the realities, willing to work with our own complexes and aware that our trickster shadow is always with us, we will find the balance of being and doing, of heart and commitment, of love and will that are now necessary. We will undertake the journey to become whole and work in this troubled world from that place.

We are indebted to the spiritual warriors who have gone before and recognize that we too are charged with the responsibility for the future, the earth and its children. We can see that we are on the threshold, a liminal space of choice.

My work has proved empirically that the pattern of God exists in every man….
not only the meaning of his life, but his renewal and the renewal of his institutions
depend on his conscious relationship with this inner pattern…

Carl Jung


During the 2003 “Conference on Awakening A Global Vision: Collective Wisdom and Spiritual Activism,” a soft spoken, middle-aged man was invited to speak (1). Azim Khamisa, a Muslim and an immigrant to this country, rose to tell the story of the death of his son. In 1995, this promising, 20-year old college student was making the last pizza delivery into a dark end of town. He had no way of knowing that the delivery was to a street gang that had no intention of paying for the pizza. The gang was participating in an initiation ritual called “jacking the pizza man.” The 18-year old boss of the gang handed a revolver to the newest recruit, a 14-year old who was to prove his manhood in order to be accepted in the group. The 14- year old met the challenge. He killed Khamisa’s son with a single shot.

Khamisa buried his son in traditional Muslim manner, standing in the open grave, lowering the body into the earth. He was desolate for weeks, and then he became filled with rage. At first he wanted to leave this country, which he perceived to be as bloody as any other; a culture that allowed those too young to drive to get hand guns; where the community was so broken down its dark streets spawned street gangs. He knew that it was not only his son, but also Toni, the 14-year old who pulled the trigger, who were victims of this aggressive culture.

Because he felt he needed more information Khamisa decided to visit Toni’s grandfather and, it turned out, Toni’s only guardian. He found a kind, responsible man who was aghast at what Toni had done in his first night of defying his ground rules. This man, too, suffered deeply at his inability to keep his child safe. The two men found some comfort in their shared grief.

Khamisa, an international investment banker, decided to do something about the situation. He formed a family foundation to address the tragedy of youth violence in this country. He felt he needed to take a stand against the culture’s blindness. He and Toni’s grandfather visited schools in the San Diego area to tell their story. The foundation began to generate many such programs. The two men also visited Toni in prison. Initially Toni maintained his tough “macho” front and showed little remorse; but with time, he came to be deeply sorry for his ill-considered behavior. Toni, on his release from prison at age 40, will have a job with the Khamisa Foundation and be a powerful voice to help adololescents avoid their disastrous choices.

When Azim Khamisa was introduced at the conference, it was with the following words: “This man had to find the deep place within himself, that place which transformed him so he became what we all must become, if we are to transform our world to the one we want to live in; but most importantly he carries the vibration of the next stage.”

Here, in Azim Khamisa, is the profile of the spiritual warrior: some one who had to go deeply within himself, below ego, beyond personality, into the realm of his spiritual heritage and his soul’s core. He had to return from this dark journey to everyday life, bringing newly discovered courage, compassion and forgiveness. The outstanding quality in Khamisa’s searing personal odyssey was his capacity to stay in relatedness to his pain, to his life in this country, and to Toni and his grandfather. It was from this capacity that he was able to determine his heart’s intention and how to direct his time and his resources. He learned the right use of will.

Spiritual warriors arise in time of social need. While they work quietly in everyday life, such as the courageous firefighter, the ethical high school football coach, or the spouse of the Alzheimer’s victim, they are also called on by destiny when the times require it. The brightness of Gandhi and Martin Luther King come to mind along with others who take stands against a cultural shadow that most of us are not willing to acknowledge.

Azim Khamisa has called attention to shadows in our modern American way of life. He has done so from the ashes of a great personal loss; but, in his heightened state of vulnerability, he has seen into the heart of our social fabric with wisdom and compassion. This shift births the spiritual warrior; the loss is no longer just his but becomes “ours.” Acting from expanded awareness, Khamisa now moves others by example, to look at the roots of hurt, anger, and revenge. His actions summon those who sense, but are not yet able to articulate, the unease they feel about our culture.

This unease centers on an essential loss of the quality of relatedness, and to the issues of money, power and materialism that lie behind this disquiet. If there is any archetypal energy dominating our culture right now, it is not, sadly, that of the spiritual warrior, but the destructive energy of the unhealed, immature side of the warrior archetype. Nowhere is this archetypal energy more apparent than when we look at the issues related to our money and our wealth. The death of Azim Khamisa’s son cannot be seen as anything other than the consequence of these issues. Gangs are borne from social and economic disconnection; and I believe, the collective wrong use of will.

It is for these reasons that I have chosen to explore the theme of the warrior archetype, in both its immature and mature expressions, and in the context of money and wealth. We are living in the perilous times foreseen by Carl Jung, and it is to the wisdom of this extraordinary visionary that we can turn for guidance in negotiating these waters (2). Jung’s ideas are far too on point for us to ignore their practical application or to keep them isolated in the therapy office. Our culture is in desperate need of healing, yet it is not cultures, per se, that heal, but collectives of healed people that recreate cultures. For many of us, healing will involve wrestling with both the outer and the inner immature and shadow warrior archetype.

This is no small undertaking, and what I present here represents only the most preliminary of explorations in this direction. Certainly the issue of money could be discussed in a number of ways, for it involves a complex interaction of several archetypes; however, in this writing, the focus will be predominantly on the warrior archetype. The undertaking will raise more questions than it answers, but I offer this as a call to those willing to hear. The time for the spiritual warrior is now, and we can, if we choose, support its emergence.



Archetypes, as described by Carl Jung, exist within the deeper levels of both the individual and collective human psyches (1). They are primordial, universal energy patterns developed over eons of time and moving throughout the world and human history. They carry a full range of positive and negative possibilities, but they cannot be known completely or directly through intellect alone. They inform our behavioral patterns and attitudes, and are found in symbols, myths, art, dreams and cultural stories.

Many authors have written about the warrior archetype (2). They note that the outstanding characteristics of the warrior are his or her vitality and alertness. Warriors have learned through their training to stay clear-eyed and focused. They have unconquerable spirit and courage and a willingness to show up for the task, to do what is necessary. The usual quality associated with the warrior archetype is one of concentrated, striving will. Such a will can be a powerful force for good when the warrior is mature. It can be the instrument for cultural transformation when it has evolved into the will of the more aware spiritual warrior. Yet a concentrated, striving will can also be a destructive force when it is possessed by the immature or shadow warrior, whose thoughtless characteristics arise from the unconscious.

The United States: Birth of a Warrior Nation

The warrior archetype is an apt place to begin to understand money and materialism in the American culture. Our culture was born from the blood and bone of this archetype. Those who founded this country often arrived with nothing except the warrior energy of survival. They came with a profound faith in themselves and in this new land, which they would will into opportunity. This warrior energy would infuse our national culture from then onward.

A focus on money, wealth and materialism was at the heart of this archetypal energy field from the beginning. Columbus arrived hoping to exploit the riches of India. Our subsequent history was laced with wars to seize the land from its inhabitants. Domination by the wealthy over a small middle class, slaves and poor whites was the norm a hundred and fifty years ago. Before that, the War of Independence swirled around the economics of taxes; and then the Civil War around the financial cost of losing slaves.

The modern version of the warrior, man or woman, likely wears a business suit, works in the stock market, or is setting up a consulting firm. When these warriors are healthy and mature, they have the potential to be a powerful force for good. Their concentrated will has demonstrated itself in an explosion of economic and material well-being. Since 1973, United States productivity has increased by 33 percent. The Gross National Product of the United States in 2000 was $6.3 trillion. This has had a startling impact. During this same thirty-year period, the income of the 20 percent of households at the top of the financial ladder rose to account for 49 percent of the economy. Most favored of all was the 5 percent of households at the top of the ladder whose share of the economy increased from 16 percent to 22 percent of the total (3).

One of the markers of the abundance within this favored sector is the pattern of inheritance of those with wealth. The children of these families will receive immense amounts of money and holdings. There is a vast golden bubble of wealth moving steadily towards them. It is now estimated that in the United States this segment of the next generation will inherit in the range of $41 trillion (4). We can gain an appreciation for this figure when we compare it to the $7.54 trillion held in all of the United States mutual funds in 2004 (5).

In summary, this suggests that the warrior archetype has manifested in very successful ways. Yet the material success of the warrior tells us nothing of its fundamental nature, that is, if the dominating archetypal energy is mature or immature, spiritually good or fundamentally dark. There is another side to this success, and the negative consequences are as dramatic as the positive. We have created a system that is markedly deficient within its efficiency. Some of these consequences flow from the thoughtless forging ahead so characteristic of warriors in their immature, (adolescent), stage. Others flow directly from the actions of men and women who are run by the shadow, in all its narcissistic glory, as warriors without wisdom or compassion.

Since 1973, the median wage for the average American has declined in constant dollars. The 20 percent of the population at the lower end of the scale, who have only 4 percent of the total national income, lost ground. In 1998, it was estimated that 29 percent of all United States workers were in jobs at the poverty level. The typical family household began working longer hours and sending additional members out into the work force (6).

The growing economic disparity has led to further distortion in our basic institutions. At present, 50 percent of all campaign funds come from those whose incomes are in the upper 1 percent bracket and 75 percent of all political contributions are made from households having annual incomes above $200,000 (7). As big business has increasingly taken over the media, public relations specialists now outnumber investigative reporters by a factor of four to one. Press releases from invested sources now claim most of the remaining 35 percent of newspapers not devoted to advertisement (8). The free press has been eroded by the profit motive.

Disparity and Its Impact
(i) The Global Picture
The growing disparity between the wealthy and the poor has also become apparent in the rest of the world. By 1999, the wealthiest 20 percent of the world’s population was receiving 83 percent of the total world income. The bottom 20 percent of the world’s population was receiving 1.4 percent of this total income, and each member of this group was living on less than a dollar a day. By 2000, more than 1.2 billion of the earth’s 6 billion people were living in bone-numbing poverty (

In 1977, former West German Chancellor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Willy Brandt established the Brandt Commission. This board, with members from five nations, studied five areas of world concern: world hunger, poverty, population, women’s rights and foreign aid. The commission documented the world’s actual situation and made recommendations in a report issued in 1980. The year 2000 marked the twentieth anniversary of the Brandt Commission’s research report and it released a second with a follow up assessment, giving a grade for degree of progress on the issues (10). Here is the World Report Card:

On Hunger: “Despite ongoing food assistance programs by private agencies, world food aid increased slightly until 1992, but has declined sharply since.” Grade F.

On Poverty: “In two decades, poverty has more than doubled. The World Bank estimates a relief package would cost about $80 billion a year, 10% of the present [world’s] annual military budget.” Grade F.

On Population: “Birth rates, world wide, are declining from 2.1% in 1960 to 1.3% in 2000. It is still a question whether the earth can support human consumption at the present rate of population growth.” Grade C.

On Women: “Societies everywhere have still a long way to go towards granting women equal rights.” Grade D.

On Aid: “In 1951, the developed nations were lending 1% of their Gross National Product in Aid. In 2000, contributions had slumped to 0.21% GNP.” Grade D.
The 2002, United States allocated only 0.11 percent of its GNP to international aid. The United States ranks last among developed countries in terms of this allocation. In that year when our GNP was close to $8 trillion, we gave $7.8 billion in foreign aid and spent $432 billion on our military budget (
11). So we gave 1.8 percent of the value of our military budget to help third world countries.

The concept of a free market economy has brought enormous benefit to the Western nations, but it has not been as successful in other parts of the world. Originally thought to be a “tide to raise all boats,” it has often disadvantaged poor economies, taking away resources, co-opting needed land and exploiting local labor (12). This same force is increasingly taking manufacturing jobs away from U.S. workers, leaving many communities struggling as factories close and skilled workers are left to fend for themselves and search for less skilled work. And so we begin to see the shadow side of the capitalistic endeavor, a side in which the warrior efforts have been too un-informed about local conditions or too self- interested to consider the impact on those affected by the norm of relentless striving.

These facts highlight basic imbalances in the evolution of our world. Our more adventuresome media tries to present this true picture; but its voice is faint. While our present economic system is becoming global, it is structured to gather wealth at the top, sponsor government subservience and foster self- serving beliefs. The major, modern type of economic system that we are relying upon is incomplete and generates great fear within us because of its warrior characteristics of competition, scarcity and boom and bust cycles. (For a further discussion of this, see the work of Bernard Lietaer, described in Chapter Four).

This warrior economic culture, so characteristic of the United States, acutely affects the quality of life of our most vulnerable populations. For example, in 2000, the United States ranked twelfth in the world in overall health care. Forty million Americans lacked any form of health insurance. Further, the child poverty rate in the United States is 17 percent, one of the worst in the industrialized nations (13). The richest nation in the world has 600,000 homeless persons, among who are 68,000 children (14).

The shadow warrior’s violent nature is also evident in our culture. It has been estimated that one-third of all women in this country are being physically abused by a husband or partner. In the United States, between 14 and 30 percent of all American children are involved in street gangs with youths recruited by the 5th or 6th grade (15). This country has ten times more street gangs than twenty-five other Western countries (16). In 2000, on an average day, 100,000 children were believed to carry a gun and every three hours a child was killed by a gun (17).

(ii) Deepening Shadows

The events of Sept. 11th, 2001, shook the whole edifice of American culture. In an unprecedented blow, terrorists took down the major symbol of American business and financial success. Thousands of innocent people died. The darkness of such a deed lies in its hatred and self-righteousness. It shows the consequence of a deep, profound sense of separateness. It illustrates what is possible when humans have too small a view of God. Most importantly, it demonstrates that the concentrated, striving will of the warrior can be used to perpetrate incredible destruction. The alertness that characterizes warriors comes from their tendency to perceive life as short, even fragile. Their sense of drive aligns them to this reality. Their perception leads them to live in the “now” and this warrior tendency to focus so single-mindedly can lead to profound ethical distortions (18). Warriors ride a moral razor’s edge: their intense component of will makes it easy to slip into the immature and even evil form of this archetype, and thus the shadow warrior emerges. September 11, 2001 was a stark demonstration of cold, shadow warrior power. The explosion of terrorism onto American soil jolted us out of our complacency. We suddenly became aware that we are not invulnerable, but open to the larger world, a world that harbors hidden, festering dangers. These poisons can penetrate our comfort, emanating from the very folds of our social fabric. In the aftermath, many have called for our serious consideration of the relationship between poverty and terrorism. There is a relationship, but it is a complex one. It is not that the poor are terrorists; but that poverty provides the conditions of hopelessness and disenfranchisement in which terrorists can arise and be supported (19). Terrorists, like members of street gangs, are recruited from poverty and social failure. We return again to this core issue of money.

The meme (belief) of a profit centered, self-centered capitalism fails as a worldview to guide us.
George Soros, Multimillionaire

The archetype of the shadow warrior is not reserved for terrorists from distant shores, but is alive and well within our own land. The newspapers daily report the most recent scandals in the business and economic world. Brokerage firms, accounting offices and the businesses of energy resources and communications have been spotlighted. The practice of “bogus leasing” of services, such as transit buses or sewage pipes, abounds to provide greater profit and tax write-offs (20). Scams are commonplace. In the healthcare insurance field alone, they consumed $84 million in 2002 (21). Questionable practices, where the end justifies the means, continually surface.

The relentless and creative push of the business world for increased profits has set up seductive strategies for dishonesty. Alan Greenspan of the Federal Reserve took note of this by saying that in recent years the avenues to express greed have expanded enormously. In an article entitled “Is Enron ‘right’ in American culture?” Dr. M. Carasso writes: “Enron is a cultural scandal on three levels. (1) The culture within Enron of flawed ideas and self-enrichment, (2) the culture within big business today of secrecy, greed and permissiveness and (3) the heart of American society where money and the getting of money has become so central as to have masked a healthy human culture that will sustain our souls and our common future” (22).

This is a commentary on the shadow warrior in our society. We are faced with the reality of an American company, Enron, which earned more than one billion dollars, but paid no income tax and cheated millions of employees out of their retirement. It did this by a series of maneuvers that played with the rules and ignored principles. It revealed a level of consciousness that, in archetypal terms, demonstrated the collective shadow warrior, wolf-like, with a rapacious and arrogant appetite. Its intention was to dominate and it demonstrated the wrong use of will.

Patriarchy, sponsoring the development of the autonomous self [the separate individual] in a materialistic world, has been purchased by rewarding some of the most anti-social impulses of humanity: raw greed, unbridled competition and the drive to acquire unlimited money and power.
Duane Elgin

The Shadow Warrior in Myth and Movie
Jung pointed out that our modern, materialistic society lacks a central and sustaining myth. Perhaps this is why we are so taken with the stories and myths that emerge from films. The image of our growing economic pyramid is reflected in the themes of power that flow through Tolkiens’s trilogy The Lord of the Ring. In this gripping tale a dark force has created a magical ring of gold and blood to bind to its service a circle of kings. The ring exudes raw power, which tempts all who come in touch with it to use it for personal gain. To sustain this agenda, the dark force sends forth huge monsters and machines to ravage the natural landscape for resources. Only if the ring is thrown back into the fiery core of the volcano from which it was forged (representing a pyramid of immense power) can the balance of life be restored for the humble folk of Middle Earth.

It is not by accident that certain mythic stories are born within the culture at certain times. Myths are submerged realities that swim in our unconscious. They are the collection of human experience and deepest knowing. They lie within us like the fallen pillars of Atlantis, like giant clamshells and slow moving mollusks. They settle as the sediment and debris of untold human lives. They carry certain truths that have been sifted out like the fine sand on the ocean floor. If we had no record of them we would dream them again, for they are essential to our basic well-being. Myths help us sense the tenor of our times and compare them to some ancient hidden standard of wisdom. They show us what is good and what is missing.

There has been a spate of gloomy, visionary movies, which carry a shrill warning of an economic and materialistic juggernaut that is bearing down upon us. Blade Runner, Waterworld, Artificial Intelligence, The Matrix, The Day After Tomorrow and others of this genre paint a nasty picture of a future we may not want. The collective unconscious is speaking to us of a profound existential anxiety. Music, art and movies are laced with shadow warrior issues of violence, and physical and sexual aggression. They display a wanton breakdown of old cultural values.

More than seventy years ago, in Modern Man in Search of a Soul, Carl Jung wrote that we would be so confronted with the materialism generated by our technology that we would come to stand at the brink of a great cultural crevasse. This continental rift would be psychological in nature and there would be a splitting and fundamental disconnection within individual and cultural landscapes. We would be in danger of externalizing all potential meaning in life itself. Such a culture would become increasingly polarized, with the outer world acquiring more power at the expense of the inner world.

The evidence that Jung’s predicted future is upon us is everywhere, but one item in particular is worth noting. In 1966, 80 percent of college freshman said that developing a meaningful philosophy of life was the most important thing they could get from a college education. In 1996 only 42 percent wanted this and in 1996, 74 percent reported that their highest value was “to be financially well-off”(23).

This theme has been painfully caught in the movie The Matrix. Its premise is that in the future, our culture has been totally trapped in the mirror of the virtual reality of materialism. Computers and robots breed us for our energy. Those who have some awareness of this have become outcasts. They search for a Messiah, one whose consciousness would awaken the collective soul and provide a pathway from this captivity.

The names in this movie are symbolic. Morpheus, (the god of sleep) is the guide and visionary who offers a blue pill or a red pill, the chance to awaken or continue to slumber in the virtual reality. The hero, Neo (Number One), decides to awaken, but to do so he has to confront and enter “the mirror.” He has to risk shattering the mirror and reaching for a new, more realistic and fuller vision of his humanity. In this journey he finds love with the woman, Trinity, who comes to believe in him. When he fully experiences love, he breaks through his own sense of limitation. He demonstrates the tremendous latent power of light that lies within his own being by forcefully defeating the materialistic fog.

Our unconscious consent to the prevailing economic and patriarchal norms is perpetuating the deteriorating of the natural world around us. With all the technical power that we have created we are not viable as a species in our present state of separated consciousness.
Barbara Max Hubbard

Perpetuating the Immature/Shadow Warrior

The thumbprint of our materialistic worldview is indelibly set upon us and colors our social fabric in many ways. We have developed driven and addictive behaviors that not only distort relationships, but also warp the basic natural instincts themselves. The immature warrior can be female as well as male, particularly in today’s U.S. culture, which puts in 20 percent more hours at work than Europeans. For example, a recent discussion was reported between two pregnant women, both of who work seventy hours a week in the cable marketing industry. Both had had in vitro insemination and one was expecting a multiple birth. They were worried about finding enough childcare so they could continue to work full-time after the births.

In his hair-raising 2003 book, The Biology of Transcendence, Joseph Chilton Pearce reports recent findings on the development of brain structure that is leading to an increase in violent tendencies (24). He also cites the increase, in the last forty years, in our child suicide rate, some victims as young as four years of age.
Pearce reports that the shape, form, characteristics and structure of a baby’s brain depend on the degree to which its mother feels protected, nourished, and deeply loved. While our DNA lays down the blueprint for the early development of the fetus and the infant, the continuing development of the brain of the young child depends critically on the environment. In particular, persistent anxiety in the mother retards the growth of the baby’s prefrontal lobes, the area of the brain associated with empathy, intuition and spiritual experience. Anxiety shunts the developing neuron pathways to focus on the lower reptilian brain, seat of the survival processes.

The consequence of our warrior culture on our children has also been poignantly highlighted in the book, A General Theory of Love, by T. Lewis, F. Amini and R. Lannon (25). These three medical researchers have documented how neurological pathways are laid down in either healthy or dysfunctional ways in our children’s brains from their earliest moments. Exploring deep memory patterns within the brain’s limbic system they found that these patterns became one of the prime determiners of our relationships throughout life. Such memories lead us to spot the very person who most fits our embedded profile “across a crowded room.”

The key variable in determining the quality of these imprints is the synchrony between one stable, loving, and perceptive caregiver and her newborn. Synchrony means the caretaker is able to “read” the baby, and is not over involved or under involved. How well this relationship is adjusted between mother and child sets our emotional patterns for life.

If the parent is inconsistent, distracted, absent or frequently replaced, the child inevitably is anxious and unsure. If the parent is resentful or hostile, the child will be noncompliant and aggressive. When this limbic memory bond is damaged, the person grows up with a profound and chronic underlying anxiety. Since something was missing from the beginning, there is a pattern of an exaggerated search throughout life for what is lacking. It’s not difficult to see the ironic connection between a hard-working mother, anxiety and the hunger for “more” in that child’s future.

Lewis, Amini and Lannon outline a number of factors in the U.S. culture that reinforce these dysfunctional patterns. They cite: (1) the daycare system, (2) divorce and the single parent family, (3) intense dedication to work, (4) welfare reform. All of these conditions weaken a mother’s ability to give the necessary degree of sensitive and adjudicated attention. The authors write that we have only just begun to recognize how truly important the quality of the mother’s care is.
The authors also attribute the extremely high levels of addiction found in America to the need that this imprinted anxiety creates for comfort and reassurance. A General Theory of Love, described as “lovely and furious” by one reviewer, bluntly states that we have no idea what we are doing to the psyches of our children through our excessive work ethic and materialism, hallmarks of the shadow warrior as we have seen. In their conclusion they write: “If we really looked at the overall American culture we would find that it is not holding at the center.”

There are recent reports of the marked increase in aggression in young children in the last five years (26). This aggression has been linked to parents working longer hours and children spending protracted time in day care. Parents arrive home exhausted and children are not getting enough “lap” time. There are also reports of an increase in bullying in schools. B. Coloroso in “The Bully, The Bullied and the Bystander” says that an estimated 160,000 children miss school everyday for fear of facing the aggression found there from their fellow students (27).

These reports have drawn a storm of protest from women who have deep interest in work outside the home. Mothers have a legitimate right to seek good economic support and to use their fine minds. The fact remains, however, that children deserve to get that most fundamental gift...the intimate, unique relatedness that makes us good human beings. This is not “an either-or” issue, but rather, “a this and that” issue. Children need the early support of their natural mothers and women need the stimulation and challenge of adult work and money. When the culture is less polarized and less driven, we will find a better way to resolve these tensions.

The cultural shadow of our warrior archetype looms large, and its many factors are inter-related. The relentless pursuit of profit without consideration of the consequences, the growing economic disparity and the subsequent imbalances in the social fabric are evident. The American family is strained by the pressures and energy of this worldview, and our children and our future are paying the cost. We view the world through the glasses of the warrior archetype, unmindful of the shadow play of our economic game.

Mature and spiritual warriors are needed; those who will respond from soul, who know how to balance rather than polarize, and are humble and vulnerable enough to look at the consequences of this worldview and the fear and tasks it presents. Without their intervention, we seem doomed to perpetuate the archetypal energies of the immature and shadow warriors well into the future of our country and our world.

Religions are too pious; corporations too plundering; governments too subservient to provide am adequate remedy to our current problems….Any recovery of the natural world will require not only a new economic system, but a conversion experience deep in the psyche of the human.
Thomas Berry



A prophecy arose twelve centuries ago among Tibetan Buddhists. It spoke of a dark time in which all life on earth would be in danger and when Shambhala Warriors would be called forth (1). They “would wear no uniform, or insignia and carry no banners”(2) and would need great courage. They would confront dangers created by the mind; those fixed points of view that inform choices, styles of living and relationships. Their only weapons would be compassion and insight. Compassion would fire the passion to take up the task and insight would provide the wisdom to see their own shadow and understand how all things are interrelated in the web of life.

Carl Jung, in pondering the growing age of materialism, felt that eventually something in the human psyche would revolt against a worldview so narrowly focused. Some people would become increasingly uneasy, with their underlying unrest arising from intuiting that real security does not lie in external forms. Because many religious institutions no longer carried the metaphysical and relational certainty of an earlier age, the “modern” person would be forced to rely on his or her own inner resources in order to find a sense of grounding and peace.

Jung wrote that these pressures would direct us to make an uncertain odyssey inward. Driven to find new meaning, we would have to enter the unknown depths of our own psyches in the hope of redemption. This inner journey would require us to explore our shadow side, that which powers our more selfish and grasping characteristics. Most of us are informed about this side of our personality by our mates, occasionally our friends. Much of our shadow can be hidden from us for years. Now, however, any exploration of the cultural shadow warrior requires us to examine the shadow warrior within ourselves.

Becoming aware of our shadow and its origins leads us, eventually, to see beyond the needs of our ego, to a bigger vision of ourselves. We gradually commune with the essence of our Self (Soul) (3); we find a new mirror. We become open to a wider vision.

The shift Jung predicted is indeed occurring and can be seen in multiple forms. For example, there are humans now evolving who have been called cultural creatives (4). These individuals think and live outside the box of our materialistic worldview. They are attuned to our fundamental interconnectedness, sensing deeply environmental needs and displaying an increased sensitivity in relationships. Perhaps it is among this group that Shambhala Warriors will be found.
There have been, in recent years, those who have written about these spiritual warriors. In his heartfelt book, The Warrior of the Light, Paulo Coelho describes the emergence of those who have a particular sense of mission about life (
5). For them, the starting point is deep gratitude and appreciation for being alive. They experience, like all others, failures and difficult times, but they are determined to truly become the authentic person they want to be. They learn by experience to hold the tension found in opposites such as choice and responsibility, maintenance and action, rigor and mercy, solitude and dependence, and discipline and compassion. Coelho writes:

“The most important quality on the spiritual path is courage. The world seems threatening and dangerous to cowards. They seek the false security of a life with no major challenges and arm themselves to the teeth in order to defend what they think they possess. Cowards end up making the bars of their own prisons. The Warrior of the Light projects his thoughts beyond the horizon. He knows that if he does not do anything for the world, no one else will. So he fights the Good Fight and he helps others, even though he does not quite understand why.”

Author John-Roger echoed many of the same ideas in his book, Spiritual Warrior: The Art of Spiritual Living (6). He provides practical suggestions on how to live with inspiration. He, too, speaks of a life path of mission, dedication and commitment. He recognizes that the road to a clearer life requires confronting one’s own shadow, for in this we find the greater ability to accept others. He writes further:

“A spiritual warrior works with impeccability to conserve energy for the most important task of all: Awareness. Awareness means being open and continuing to expand in spite of and because of any obstacles you meet.”

Chogyam Trungpa, a Tibetan Buddhist teacher, also writes about the warrior archetype in Shambhala, The Sacred Path of the Warrior (7). Trungpa underlines many of the same characteristics noted above but casts them in a more specific light. He notes that there has existed in many cultures throughout history a basic human wisdom, which can be found through “the Warrior path.” He refers to the path as the “root of wakefulness.” This is essentially an inner searching and refining process, which has vast implications and applications in the external world. Trungpa writes, “Warriorship does not mean making war on others. Aggression is the source of our problems not the solution. Here the warrior is one who is brave.”

It requires a certain fearlessness to face our inner states, our habitual tendencies. Trungpa notes that we wrap ourselves “in the family heirlooms, unwilling to give away our bad-good and good-bad memories.” If we would undergo the evolving, organic journey of the warrior, we would find that our perceptions expand naturally. We would become gentle, vulnerable and sad during this journey for we would connect to our heart. We would see the suffering of the world and become more sensitive to those around us. As warriors, we would find the courage to open to the basic goodness in nature, in others and in ourselves.
When these authors discuss the journey toward spiritual warrriorship they understand that we are not to identify with the archetype for that leads to pride. Then we would fall into hubris by considering ourselves “special” and imagine that we personally carry all the qualities of this “larger than life” idea. When it is suggested that we can become “spiritual warriors” it is in full knowledge that even holding that image can stir new shadows. But holding the vision of a spiritual warrior can show us how to make life’s journey. It implies that there is a quality of awareness, which once experienced, ignites us to further evolution. We can be inspired by the archetype’s ideals and gain a certain perspective and a sense of the further energy that can be tapped. This requires skillful means, a practice and a discipline.

Psychological Context for Development of the Spiritual Warrior

Our psyche is dynamic and composed of dualities. As Jung pointed out our conscious attitudes float on the sea of the unconscious and our ego is often unaware of the types of shadow issues that dwell beneath. For example, while we identify ourselves as either masculine or feminine, we also have elements of the contra-sexual side, which exert their characteristics more strongly over our life course.

Lack of awareness of these pressures from the unconscious is thought to be the stimulus of the famous mid-life crisis, a crisis which asks that men become more aware of their feminine qualities and women of their masculine qualities.

Usually we make our choices untroubled by the tensions created by our inner polarities. They lurk there, however, and may eventually generate unexpected bouts of anxiety and depression. These episodes serve as invitations to do the inner psychological work of discovering the unknown side and bringing it to light. At this point many enter therapy.

Dualities haunt so many of our perceptions: life or death, order or chaos, control or surrender, competition or co-operation, work or play, even money or spirit. Our ego struggles with them, trying to make life more predictable. Yet, help comes from within, a knowing about the reconciliation of dualities, a knowing about a pathway that leads to deeper and more profound universal principles.

(i) Spiritual Warriorship: Embracing the Tension of Opposites

There is an archetypal process blazoned across the night sky of which we are just now becoming aware. Astronomers are telling us that from the first moment the cosmos emerged that there was one force pushing out (the big bang) and another force pulling in, drawing all things into relationship. The balance between these opposing forces is incredibly delicate: 10-59 or 1 trillionth of 1 trillionth of 1 trillionth of 1 percent. If these exquisite forces had been out of balance there would be no universe. If the attraction had been stronger, the universe would have been squashed into an inert mass, and if expansion had been minutely stronger, the whole thing would have burst open. How was this constructed? Who is the Master Craftsman, Holder of the Scale of Balance?
Within the core of stars like our sun, there is a similar dynamic, one a force of nuclear explosion pushing matter outward and another of gravitational pull contracting it. Within these more confined systems (with their cosmic tension of opposites), tremendous energy and creativity is being generated. When we witness the seething surface of the sun with its spurts of ejected plasma we can appreciate the potency of this. Eventually, it is said, some growing imbalance will lead to a break down of our sun and a further evolution of form.

We humans are part of this process; we are of the earth and in the universe. We are as integral as a wave in the ocean. The nature of life is relatedness. All life is connected through an immense sea of energy and vibration that is beyond comprehension. The grand archetypal process described above, infuses the universe, and represents a basic pattern that flows from one level of its reality to another.

This process is repeated within our human psyches. As Jung suggested, there is a natural outward thrust and inner pull operating in us because of our psyche’s duality. This tension is what provides the dynamic energy for our growth and creativity. When some inner duality becomes intensified or off balance it is time for “the work,” the time to analyze our discomfort, and to discover our shadow.

The journey of personal growth increases our appreciation of the tapestry of the “tension of opposites,” for it is only through this doorway that energies are activated, synthesis arises and a deeper understanding is reached. It is as if some cosmic humorist implanted a psychological car jack within us, which, in the uneven pump of events, lifts us upward. In this process, we come into greater alignment with the universe. As noted, one of the major tension of opposites that we must work with personally, the masculine-feminine interface, is also a cultural issue of profound importance.

(ii) Spiritual Warriorship: The Emergence of the Feminine

The esoteric writings of the Arcane School (8) speak of the millennia of 2000 as being the period of the “two,” meaning the time when there will be a coming together of the dualities of masculine and feminine. While many books today note the rise of the feminine archetypes they say it does not point to a return of matriarchal cultures, but rather to a time when the masculine and the feminine will begin a true partnership. At this period in our history, we, as a species, cannot come into our full potential until the whole authentic woman takes her place in equal relationship with the whole authentic man and until a substantial sector of the culture holds the worldview that respects this.

The esoteric writings also note that the early years of our current epoch will be marked by the feminine archetype infused with a powerful will. In a remote valley in the Himalayas, old wise ones meet each year in May to meditate and receive the new energies believed to be bathing the planet. This event is called the wesak festival and is celebrated around the world by those following the esoteric teachings. They say that the energy, which is pouring in at this time is that of “the feminine warrior.” She is coming with vigor, for the old structures must be dissolved and the balance between the sexes restored. The quality that this strong feminine warrior, as described carries, is that of “compassionate power,” an essential aspect for our new world.

In Search for the Woman Warrior, R.J Lane and J. Wurts also write that the world that is trying to emerge must interweave both the masculine and feminine qualities and strengths. They point out that woman’s journey requires warrior qualities just in passing from youth to maturity, regardless of how a particular culture defines warrior (9). They speak of the natural endurance of women: “As long as women bear children, they know in their guts in a way that men will never know, how much unremitting effort goes into the creation of mammalian life.”

The authors note that women now need to be acknowledged for carrying those energies of practicality, purposefulness, relatedness, insight, intuition, and compassion. The cultural times require these strong and mature ways of feminine knowing. Many writers point out that honoring the feminine way will bring a sense of intuitive attunement with the deeper states of consciousness, so needed to soften the drivenness (individual and collective) of our chronic warrior way.
Culturally, what women can also contribute to the new synergy is “receptive surrender.” This is a personal internal event that creates the spaciousness to hear others. It opens us to relationship. From the insights gained by this process, a new tone is brought, a new color is woven; we are connected to a larger world. It is a psychic event of maturity and from this inner space we can act more wisely by knowing the origin of another’s responses.

This is, perhaps, much of the appeal of the wonderful movie Whale Rider. A young girl, grandchild of the elder of a dispirited Maori community, stubbornly carries out all the requirements to succeed him as the spiritual leader of her clan. She does this with incredible persistence and despite the contempt and continual dismissal of her grandfather.

She is able to intuitively call the whales, messengers of old earth wisdom. Whales are special to the traditions of the Maoris whose myths tell of a time when they were lost at sea and a giant whale appeared to guide them to the misty and remote islands of what we call New Zealand. One of their brave warriors rode on the whale’s back.

Now the Maori culture has become demoralized. When a pod of whales beaches tribal members work tirelessly to push the whales back into the sea. However, it is the young girl who, with great courage, is able to persuade them. She does so by stroking and crooning to the largest whale and then, crawling on to its back to encourages it to heave its great bulk back into the water. Riding the whale, she provides a magnificent image of synergy with the natural world. The community’s faith in the mythic strength of it’s origins is restored. The former healthy order returns and the tribe again become a proud and effective group.
When the culture opens more fully to the gifts that the feminine archetype brings then individuals will find it easier to see their contra sexual side. As women integrate their masculine aspects (and are not dominated by them) and men accept their more feminine qualities we will go a long way to bridge the separateness that characterizes our times. The journey to wholeness requires this type of integration.

(iii) Spiritual Warriorship: The Right Use of Will

One of the principle crises of today’s disorder is the lack of love on the part of those who have will and the lack of will on those who are good and loving.
Rollo May

Warriorship is a path that contains at its core the issue of will. The evolution and maturing of will is a basic dynamic that moves the warrior into being the spiritual warrior. Spiritual warriors act from the right use of will.

How can we know what is “the right use of will?” Certainly some of the terrorists today are totally convinced that they are spiritual warriors, going forth to demolish themselves and others, with the right use of will. Perhaps the esoteric writings can help with this thorny question.

The ancient Hindu text, Rig Veda, describes seven primordial Rays of vibration that permeate the nature of the family of man. The seven Rays represent the basic colors of the spectrum of light and each carry distinctive qualities. One ray in particular, Ray 6, animates the energy of devotion and idealism. This Ray is the most adhesive and intense of the Rays. In its positive expression it stirs the evolution of a society; in its negative form it easily falls into a driven fundamentalism.
The U.S. is considered to be a 6th Ray country (the one closest to the warrior archetype). The danger in the energy of this Ray is that it carries a conviction of righteousness and we know from harsh experience that idealism bears a profound shadow.

The evolution of the 6th Ray occurs when those carrying its expression realize that fear of loss lies within its shadow. They begin to see the consequences of its rigid excesses. They have to learn the hard way to relax their grip, and to hold their ideals more graciously. They become aware that something from the depth of the Self (Soul) must evolve. Then their passion is moderated and increasingly guided by the 2nd Ray, that of Love and Wisdom. This Ray understands the synthetic inclusion of life and the needs of all beings (10).

This idea of the maturing of the will is also the fundamental theme in Evolution’s Arrow by John Stewart (11). He writes that when we study the earth’s evolution we become increasingly aware of its operating principles. We gain compassion for all the forms of consciousness that have fought to arise and fulfill their version of life.

At this point in our evolution, Stewart suggests that we can begin to see that the one successful path that lies ahead for us as a species is to increase cooperation between living organisms, a path consistent with self-interest. Self-interest here implies the capacity for individuals, to begin to address life’s situations with maturity. The tools of self-observation, of listening to others and of holding the tension of opposites until something arises from deep intuition, are all essential. These processes help us to dis-identify from the limited picture we have of the situation and ourselves. It is time for the voice of our “evolutionary warriors” to be heard; those who have pulled free from the outmoded group mind and awakened to this right use of will.

So “will” comes to mean so much more than the old notion of something stern and forbidding, which condemns and represses. Today, in the transpersonal psychological view, will is a constructive force, guiding intuition from our deepest levels towards greater infusion of the Self (Soul). Will is an essential aspect of our life on this planet; it just is. The times are calling for us to use it wisely; to be willing to move past the cultural “ring-pass-not,” those cultural boundaries of belief that now are corralling and limiting us. And we have to be willing to take up and stay conscious with struggle between the shadow of righteousness and the wisdom of what is right.

While spiritual traditions speak of mankind’s free will, they do so to put the onus of conscience and responsibility on the individual. In practical fact, we are often not free to want what we want. Our neurotic patterns, our family pressures, our cultural influences all shape our decisions from the time we are born. The struggle to become clear enough within, to make free will decisions truly comes only with time and maturity. Even then it can be unstable. Yet, the abiding question remains: From what depth within our psyche, or our Essence, do choices arise? And nowhere are our choices more starkly shown, than in our relationship with money.


The evolution of the spiritual warrior is not for the fainthearted. It takes all the courage, focus, and discipline of a warrior spirit to open to the psychological shifts of increased personal consciousness that are required. It takes faith, patience and trust. One has to develop the capacity to hold the tension of opposites that life has generated until a new and more expanded awareness arrives. One has to appreciate one’s contra-sexual qualities and face the rigor of questioning one’s own motives. Yet one still must live with the eternal mysteries of one’s own psyche. One may come into this strength naturally, but it most often comes because one is driven by life to search for it. One has to deeply want something more, a deeper meaning from life.


The Challenge
What we have determined so far is that our emerging American culture has acquired the strong coloration of the warrior archetype. Our economic capacity has generated tremendous benefits, but it also has developed a significant destructive shadow whose origin lies in distortions that can infuse the profit motive. Ironically, years ago, Karl Marx pointed out that capitalism would eventually intensify all class distinctions of society (not that the attempt with his system avoided that).

Just as we can examine the issue of money in terms of the darker or shadow side of the warrior archetypal patterns, we can also explore it in terms of the lighter or spiritual side of the problem. The adage that “the love of money is the root of all evil,” suggests that perhaps the path of the spiritual warrior involves denouncing money, wealth and all things material. Yet, this path is unlikely to be very successful for several reasons. First, such an approach perpetuates the duality that allowed the materialistic worldview to become so entrenched in the first place, namely, that spirit and money are somehow opposites and one must choose between them.

Secondly, it precludes the examination of money as an expression of the level of our personal development and the wisdom gained on our journey. Like all of the seeming opposites we have considered, “money and spirit,” can be resolved through a process of exploration and synthesis. Thus, rather than being seen as an evil in itself, money can become the vehicle for the fuller emergence of the spiritual warrior.

Money and resources are important. Money is one of our technologies. It connects us to our physical reality and it informs our location, our relationships and the use of our time. Yet, money is a technology whose roots have become so engrained in our culture and our psyche that it is very difficult to see its spectrum of implications clearly.

Money has survival power and the potential for transformation. It excites us and it can drive us mad. It stirs our hungers, for it can satisfy our personal desires with great dispatch. Yet, as an expression of the maturing soul, money can infuse the deepest kindness into the world. In this way, ironically, money can be a great teacher. The relationship we have with money provides feedback about how we are “in” the world. Our dynamic and ever changing process with money holds up a mirror to our personality and our soul.

We all need money. The survivalist part of our old brain—that reptilian creature that slides off the mud bank when any target of opportunity has fallen into the river—is alive and well. Shelter, food and family are vital; we need security and support. Beyond this, it is only human to want comfort, added opportunity and luxury. Yet, herein lies one of our greatest sources of confusion about money.

While money is so clearly necessary to obtain our basic needs, our idea of what exactly constitutes a basic need is relative, as slippery as quicksilver. Not only does relentless advertising continuously challenge our ideas of what we truly need, but also, any of the many variables of life circumstance—health, family obligations, employment, or the stock market—can change overnight. Illness haunts our future, and the U.S. lags behind many of its Western neighbors in terms of safety nets for those who cannot afford to take care of themselves. Our pervasive warrior mode promotes a certain callousness. We see this in our fragmented health care system, the low minimum wage and impersonal, often harsh, employment practices. (“It’s Friday; please empty your desk!”) The expectation is that each will “fight” his or her way up the economic ladder and deal with all the challenges.

Furthermore, many of us firmly believe that we are poorer than we actually are, likely because of pervasive underlying fear. The National Opinion Research Center in 2000 reported that 71 percent of those with incomes of $75,000 or higher judged themselves to be “the middle class.” According to the 2000 census, the actual middle class in the U.S. has a median income of $42,000 and $135,000 in assets. One of our human frailties is to consider anyone whose income is higher than our own as “the wealthy;” it certainly is not us!

How, then, might money be a means of transformation for the man or woman who aspires to realize the spiritual warrior archetype? How might the personal work and resulting growth of the spiritual warrior manifest in his or her relationship with money? The following are some suggestions that are not meant to be inclusive, but to provide a starting point for insights and experiences. Taking these steps is a bold, courageous act that demonstrates the warrior heart emerging. The steps are: becoming aware; opening to the descent journey; refining and reintegrating. It is the archetypal process of the hero, yet in this case the hero does not overpower some beast of the forest in the strong ego sense, but rather allows the ego to surrender to a higher knowing. As one matures, these steps are traced anew with each of life’s challenges.

Doing the Personal Work
Step 1. Becoming aware
One of the key characteristics of the spiritual warrior is awareness. Money intertwines so subtly with the pschye that we are often oblivious to our chronic distortions. Ignoring our issues with money does not make the issues go away, but rather keeps them in the unconscious where the shadow can continue to feed on them. Confronting our complexes about money requires us to see the deficiency factors it generates within us.
There are also many wounds carried by those with wealth that need to seen, acknowledged and healed. The willingness to confront this shadow material is the first level of training for the spiritual warrior. It is essential to our transformation.

Money Complexes
Our early experiences and memories greatly influence the formation of our money “complexes.” A complex is a hidden, habitual response that pulls us down into a vortex of reactivity. It carries intense feelings and compulsive behavior. Thus an “inferiority complex” causes us to shrink away in social situations or, conversely, to brag in compensation. Research indicates that the intensity of our complexes can reach back even into the experience of our birthing process and generate profound and chronic feelings of insecurity (
1). Money can trigger all of our complexes and bring to the surface their underlying basic emotions.
Many of us automatically take up the money belief-systems of our parents, as well as our early family situations. Was Father out of work? Were we raised in a single parent family? Did our parents live off an inheritance? Were the beliefs of the grandparents particularly influential? These experiences are imprinted at a deep level of our psyche and shape a host of our money behaviors (
2). For example, those who lived through the Great Depression may still hide cash under the mattress regardless of their resources. The following are some of the most common money complexes.

Money and Fear
The complexes of fear around money often relate to anxious feelings and reactions to a particular parent; after all, that parent was to provide nourishment and support. Such feelings often lead us to be naïve, resentful and dependent in money matters. If there was some form of deprivation, (a distracted, depressed or punitive parent), there can be a lifelong paranoia around money, no matter what is in the bank.
For example, one Denver businessman who, despite being worth several million dollars in stocks, bonds and property, feared that he was not financially secure enough. Even though his wife had her own resources, he continually fretted about his stock-earnings. He grew up as an only child in an alcoholic household, and both his parents were frequently out of control and unavailable. As an adult, money was the basis of his security in life and he was chronically critical of family members about money matters.

Money and Greed
Cousin to our fear about money is greed. When asked how much money was enough, Henry Ford replied, “Just a little bit more.” Money increases our ego’s sense of separateness. Again, the early roots for this may lie in family experiences, messages and sibling rivalry. Researchers have found that the Type A personality, so characteristic of our American culture, arises from a sense of scarce resources in the early family life, be it for attention, affection or praise. When children have to compete intensely for these scarce resources, a win-lose pattern is laid down deep within the psyche, forming the basis of greed.
While there is excitement in the driven Type A pattern, it can easily disintegrate into cutthroat behavior in the office, the boardroom and in relationships. Money magnifies greed and envy remarkably. There lurks in many of us “the hoarder,” the hungry ghost that haunts our inner halls. There is the “gambler” who sees a get-rich-quick scheme and takes a short cut. There is also the “saboteur” who destroys the family budget when neediness comes bounding out for a shopping spree.

Money and Anger
Many people chronically resent money, which, again, is a mask for the unrecognized complexes from early childhood. These complexes also underlie many angry marital fights around money. Conflicts are particularly likely to surface in families who have issues of inheritance. Who among us does not know of siblings, well up in years, who no longer speak to each other because of some perceived injustice about Mother’s silverware? In wealthy families, these disputes often take the form of useless and drawn out lawsuits. Here early wounding can lead to bullying, domination and cheating.

Money and Pride
Money can lead to a sense of entitlement and a stance of superiority. It is so easy for money to do that to the ego. The documentary “Born Rich” (
3) shows the arrogance and superficiality that can characterize those with large amounts of money; and how money leads to a particular sense of emptiness, a loss of soul connection. The valuation of oneself based on social status perpetuates “the false self” identity. It is endemic in a materialistic culture.

Money and Loss
Money, without a doubt, opens doors and leads to opportunities while its absence can thwart these hopes. When expectations are dashed, major depressions can occur, particularly if we have come to a turning point in our life and have had to give up on some goal seen as necessary for our fulfillment.

Loss of the sense of oneself because of money can afflict anyone, regardless of income. Even those who have substantial funds will suffer when their identity is so interwoven with their resources, and they experience some financial setback. There is some income level above, which most of us could live simply and cheerfully, but it is hard to attain when our monkey-mind plays with our bank account and our sense of personal inadequacy.

Money Wounds of the Wealthy
Contrary to common belief, life is not easy for most people of wealth. While no one escapes the broad range of challenges of illness and death, those who have acquired or inherited wealth face a particular set of difficulties, little understood by the less wealthy. These problems are often hidden and occur within the most intimate levels of the psyche.

Five wounds can be particularly painful for people of wealth: (1) a sense of isolation, (2) the burden of expectations, (3) a confusion with self-esteem, (4) family dynamics, and (5) the subtle psychological losses. These issues don’t trouble all those of wealth, but for many they lurk just below the surface, and generate an underlying sense of unease.

(1) Isolation
Most wealthy people know the sinking feeling that comes the moment they sense that the friend they are talking to has an agenda involving their money and their influence. At that moment, a distance appears, and they feel that they are in some altered position…something “other,” and an object to be preyed upon. Over time, the wealthy become exquisitely able to detect these advances, to sense the nuances of expression and the level of personal investment in the exchange. They feel intensely lonely. It is brought home time and again that others are not in the same life situations; they are not dealing with the same issues; they can’t comprehend these issues and certainly believe that one is selfish for even having issues at all. The chasm opens and deepens over time.

(2) Burden of expectations
Few people realize that those with wealth often feel very guilty about their money and burdened by the heavy sense of responsibility of having such resources. There are few training programs for wealth and there are the constant external pressures of societal assumptions. The pressures have judgmental overtones: “You should be giving away more money! You should know where and how to give!” There are also the internal expectations, “Am I managing this abundance wisely?” “Will I live up to the expectations of the father who made this money?”

While these questions can exert a continual internal pressure, they also mask a deeper level of inquiry that may only emerge in the quiet of the night. “For what purpose am I in this life situation?” Questions of this nature bring a fundamental confrontation with oneself.

(3) Confusion of self-esteem:
Receiving the constant projections of the hunger and longing of others is personally very difficult. Because the wealthy never know when they are genuinely being liked and appreciated, they lose the ground of clear, clean and solid interaction. Their sense of self is distorted when reflected in the mirror of multi-agendas of others. Gradually, their fundamental trust in the world and themselves can become eroded. Many with wealth have been hurt in this area.

(4) Family dynamics
Money complicates and intensifies all relationships. When the wealthy are involved with family businesses or foundations, the conflicts, longings and antagonisms, which inhabit the personal family relationships, will reappear in that larger organization. These old patterns of interaction will arise from the unconscious, creating unexpected resistances or unproductive alliances. Such patterns will interfere with clear decision-making, demoralize the family members and drain energy from their goals.

(5) Subtle psychological losses
There are other losses for those with wealth. The habit of not staying committed to a work project until it is truly completed is a particular danger for the children of the wealthy. When such individuals have an infinite number of options, it is so easy to fly away from the hard, often ambiguous work of the middle stage of any project. The lack of life-purpose and inability to form an authentic identity makes this a particular tragedy.

Those with wealth also develop tastes for the finest of everything, the top of the line. While this is behind their wonderful quality of supporting the arts, it can also, paradoxically, deprive the “well to do” of appreciation for the simplest of things. As Rumi said “Run from what is profitable and comfortable! If you drink from those liquors, you will spill the spring values of your Real life.”

The deep wisdom of Buddha summed up the challenges faced by the rich when he taught that wealth sets traps for the psyche.

Step 2. The Descent Journey
Our attitudes towards money display our level of consciousness. Our soul’s natural unfolding begins with the desire to become more aware. What stirs this rising desire for greater consciousness, for this is the journey of the spiritual warrior? Sometimes it starts with the shock of a powerful transformational event, like an accident or a near death experience. For most of us, however, it usually comes because of the pain of some life crisis, such as a divorce, a severe illness, or perhaps, as with Amin Khamisa, with the loss of a child. Searching to understand life, we begin inevitably to turn like the clay on a potter’s wheel. With the thumbs of the Maker pressing on our wet and vulnerable self, we open inward and downward in the spiral of asking the big questions.

Our ego wants to manage all events. It is frightened by any darkness it cannot control. It mounts a thousand defenses yet in the end, it is doomed to defeat. It does not have the keys or the password. It has to accept the process of surrender and take up a new, subordinate position to a deeper, older and wiser aspect of knowing. Jung called this dark passage the “night sea journey.”

Many traditions have spoken of this process. Ancient Sufi teachings say that we are all, at the level of personality, imprisoned in a labyrinth of beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that do not serve us. Blocked by these repetitive patterns, programmed from early life, we live only a tiny part of the vast experience available to us. This would certainly apply when it comes to our perceptions of money, distorted as they are by our cultural worldview and our complexes.

To the Sufis, there is never enough meaning or truth within the personality itself to satisfy us over the long run. Through the many experiences of a lifetime, we slowly come to see that if we operate only from the personality and ego level, we are always coming from a sense of lack. It is inevitable that the time will come when we will be called to confront those lesser shadow issues within ourselves.

Mathew Fox writes of the psychological journey in terms of pathways we must take to truly develop (4). The first, Via Positiva, is one of inspiration, when we are being called to something greater in our lives, but then, we must descend into the dark mysteries, embarking of the Via Negativa. This path includes the pain of seeing our shadow and facing the necessity of letting go of many things. Stan Grof speaks of the archetypal descent journey encoded from the time of our birth process. Birth, to the foetus, is a death of its old ways of knowing and feeling. This imprint lives in us as a backdrop to all other descent journeys (5). Ken Wilber writes of “transformational spirituality,” wherein our ego’s world must be broken open, so a genuine experience of the inner Soul can flow into our being (6).
To enter our inner being does require “going down.” The phrase “descent journey” implies a type of deconstruction of our present situation, our attitudes and our personal worldview. We fall into greater humility. Now, the ego no longer insists on being the chairman of our psychological board; it is made relative to something bigger. We develop what Jungians call “the ego-Self axis,” a communication with and relationship to the inner Other, the quality necessary for maturing. This is the royal road to finding security in a more fundamental way than money can ever provide.

The adventure is fraught with unpleasant discoveries about our less appealing aspects. When it comes to money, we have to look at our feelings of fear, anger and loss with clear eyes; inspect our dependencies, our sense of identity and our greed. How hard it is to realize that we project so much of our inner need for power or superiority onto others and how that issue is wrapped in the evaluation of their wealth. How difficult it is to admit how easily we can be narcissistically wounded around money and how we defend against such an event. It’s very painful to recognize how our energy is drained by the voice of our inner critic, with its unrelenting shoulds and oughts about our finances; or how that sense of being economically socially excluded or less worthy, has such deep roots in our early experiences.

When we honestly recognize our pain, be it fear, anger or grief, and hold it in suspension, new information arrives, coming from a well of knowing that takes us by surprise. Jung called this “the transcendent function,” a deep process in all of us that gives quiet testimony to the Self (Soul). Jung recognized that this Self (Soul) brought healing energy to us. By increasingly respecting our unconscious and taking direction from this inner guidance, we become our own person, whole, and comfortable in our own skin. A broader and more humane perspective infuses our every day view of life and is felt in our presence.

Those who work with the depths of the psyche see this happen often. They know that this reconciliation of opposites is not just a mental function of compromise, but is a fundamentally deeper experience, arising spontaneously from within and felt throughout one’s whole being.

For example, one day, a well-dressed woman in her late fifties presented herself at my office. She was complaining of panic attacks, which had started after her divorce. She and her husband, a multimillionaire, had separated after thirty years of marriage. She was suffering from some natural depression, but an unexpected degree of anxiety. She brought a dream: “I am in my home with Belle, my golden retriever. I am frightened when I look out the window and see a snarling wolf is waiting in the woods behind my house.”

Dreams are those wonderful gifts from the inland sea of our unconscious. In this case, it took a number of sessions before she could admit to herself that while she was well situated financially and was convinced that she had made a good adjustment; she was, in fact, filled with rage. Her husband had left with a younger woman and a very favorable portion of their finances.

It was very difficult for this woman to actually experience these feelings. Her own self-image would not allow her to admit to murderous thoughts, which, like the snarling wolf, roamed her inner woods. She felt she was bigger than that. Her family of origin was from the old school of the South, which considered that such an expression of raw emotion in a woman was unseemly. To express her anger would be a loss of dignity.

Gradually, through the process of her psychological work, she was able to release the powerful feelings she had been repressing. She recognized the lurking wolf as her own shadow warrior, in this case, attacking herself. All this occurred under the guidance of the Self (Soul). Its capacity to transcend the tension of opposites with a new resolution and consolidation appeared a few months later in another dream: “I am walking in a new town. Beside me walks another dog. It is strong, black, and with pointed ears.”

Here, using exquisitely accurate symbols, the inner Self (Soul) drew the woman forward into life. She needed to move from her home, occupied by her over-domesticated instinct (the golden retriever). She needed to go on to a “new town.” There she would be aided by the powerful, black dog, which symbolized the transition of her rage into appropriate assertiveness. Her inner being was strengthened; it had acquired a new wholeness and authentic power.

This is an example of the clearing of the will. Tied up in her unconscious, disguised as the wolf complex, it was keeping her miserable and separated from life. Her insights allowed her to become more human, more honest and energized. She became aligned with a much healthier expression of her will.

Descent journeys, as noted, occur repeatedly and naturally throughout life; and the fruits of such journeys can be enhanced by deliberate effort. When one has had many experiences of this nature, one awakens to a larger picture, a picture that has been there all along. Like concentric circles of a pool moving ever outward, our consciousness and our faith expand.

Another striking example of the psyche’s creative struggle with its polarities is the subject of Living a Life That Matters, by Harold Kushner (7). He discusses the very human conflict we all have between that part of ourselves that wants our own needs fulfilled and that part that wants significance, meaning and integrity.
He writes of Jacob, of the Old Testament, who in his early years takes advantage of his brother Esau. When Esau returns from a long hunt, weak with hunger, Jacob bargains for land in exchange for food. With his mother’s help and the hair skin of a goat on his arm, Jacob tricks his blind father, Abraham, into giving the patriarchal blessing and inheritance to him rather than to Esau, for whom it was intended.

Twenty years later, when Jacob is returning to his homeland and is to meet Esau again, he has a strange experience. While asleep alone in the desert, he is accosted by a powerful figure, who attacks and wrestles him to the ground. This dark Angel is symbolic of Jacob’s Self (Soul).

All night long the terrible struggle goes on within his unconscious. It is “a match wherein each were so equal in size and strength they wrestled to the early hours, with neither gaining a clear advantage.” During this fight, the Angel asks, “Who are you? What is your name, really?” On the point of meeting his brother again, Jacob, father of Israel, had to confront his Self (Soul) and the reality that he took what he wanted instead of doing what was right.

Here again, the inherent polarities in the psyche were at work in the tension between the ego of Jacob and his Higher Self (Soul). With his whole being, he struggled for resolution with the Angel at the gate of his maturing. To find “his true name” he had to admit to his greater nature. Here “the will” undergoes a shift influenced by the Self (Soul). He accepts the bigger picture of life where respect and compassion for the other is intrinsic; he is his brother’s keeper. He goes to meet Esau the next day to ask his forgiveness and is met with great generosity.

Self-knowledge is the goal of the “spiritually mature” person and the preface to knowing God.
Elaine Pagels

The inner work follows an uncharted course, vulnerable to setbacks and periods of uncertainty. There will be many dark nights of the soul when we feel cut off from any compassion or redemption. The effort to disidentify with the old programs of childhood is arduous. Even at the end of our life, those muted patterns lie within us like the grass-covered ruts left by the old wagon trains.

There comes a time in one’s descent when one stands before the most profound threshold of personal exploration. One knows it will never be completely over and understands that one’s shadow issues will continuously reappear, but one has been stripped.

Jung’s research shows that the Self (Soul) gives birth in our dreams to symbols laced with illumination and feelings of awe. He described these inspiring symbols as numinous. The word implies the mystical energy of Light, something from the realm of the spiritual. These symbols often appear at the point of the Void, that place of emptiness and fullness.

The following dream was reported by a sixty-five year old man who had done considerable personal work and just been diagnosed with cancer: “I was in my house (his own psyche). It had many rooms. I was being led down the hall, which was like a central axis to the house (the place of balance, central to the psyche). At the end there was a tower and an open door. Peering in I could see an old potter working on a large bowl. As I watched, the bowl began glowing (numinous, touched by the Divine).”

The dreamer, in tears, described the dream as holding for him the felt sense of a life well lived, which was moving toward completion. He had seen the bigger picture.

The expanding capacity of being nourished by our own interior Self (Soul) can only happen when the ego state has let go of its profound attachments and confronted the reality of its own transformation. This is why the journey of the spiritual warrior so often begins with some sharp confrontation with life and it was why Meister Eckhart wrote that suffering was the fastest horse to carry us to wholeness. Perhaps, on a collective level, this is the real meaning of our cultural pain of “September, the eleventh.”

Step 3: Refining and Re-integrating
Many people believe that we can arrive at a deeper spiritual place simply by faith. Others believe in the discipline of conscience; still others hold that the spiritual self must be gained experientially. The ways are not mutually exclusive. Meditation offers a profound pathway and a growing dispassion towards our life situations. With this internal quiet, we find emotional distance from our complexes and their compulsiveness can fall away. We become clearer and are able to act with greater discernment. Prayer can accomplish the same end. Whatever way we choose, it is essential that both the personal psychological issues as well as the spiritual connection be addressed in some fashion.

As there is a progression away from the grip of our complexes, there is a freeing up of our will and an aligning it with Higher Will. This is the path followed by the spiritual warrior. One wise woman, Jean Carlson, put it this way: “ When you begin to glimpse the Self (Soul) within your own life, there is a great relief. You are no longer alone in some fundamental way. You have found the one essential thread to which all other threads belong. Once you know it is there you long for it more and are obliged to seek it.”(8)

Your old life was a frantic running from Silence. The speechless full moon comes out now.

Further Stages of Development
Committed to witnessing the process of their psycho-spiritual maturing with money, spiritual warriors continue to evolve. Thus, paradoxically, money becomes a great spur, a teacher, for deepening awareness. Fortunately, there are several excellent guides for this part of the journey. They describe the levels of understanding that can be reached.

The first is a wise and inspiring review by George Kinder in “Seven Stages of Money Maturity (9).” He speaks from his experience as a financial planner and as a Buddhist. He calls on those ancient Asian traditions, which explore our reactions to life events through the perspective of energy. Such a perspective has developed through thousands of years of meditation and observation. This perspective sees energy within us, in what is called our etheric body. This is an electric and magnetic field that supports the expression of our physical, emotional and mental capabilities. It is to be found in an invisible network of flowing life force, which follows nadirs, chakras (vortices) and pathways within our physical body. Oriental medicine and acupuncture practitioners work with these lines of energy with good effect.

Kinder discusses money in the context of the seven energy chakras of the body. He postulates that our beliefs, attitudes, feelings and physical responses to money are entangled in these energy centers.

To Kinder, it is when we are stuck at the base chakra (the energy vortex at the base of the spine) that we tend to maintain parental beliefs about money without examining them. We relate to money in childlike or immature ways or get caught in chronic resentment of authorities. As the base chakra represents our deepest feelings about security, our fixation at this level reflects our great fear of being dis-empowered. Addictions and obsessions about money arise from here. Ironically, holding on to these beliefs at this level can lead to gullibility and investment in “get rich quick” schemes, (as if Father will take care of us).
The second chakra (the energy vortex in the middle of the abdomen) is associated with sexuality. He notes that money, like sex, is one of our most intimate topics. The second chakra is associated with “the other”; it connects our inner space with the outer world and so reflects our relational issues. Here is where we store all our pain, suffering and our shame about money; so the wealthy rarely share the information about their money, and the poor speak of victimization.
When our perceptions come from the third chakra, (just below navel in abdomen), we are reaching a more adult state. Now, we are more able to drop false beliefs, and are freer to gather knowledge about the use of money and its possibilities. We, also, have a greater capability of making moral choices.
When we are able to relate to money increasingly from the heart or fourth chakra we begin to see our money from a wiser context. Now we understand the larger world and see the emotional consequences of our monetary decisions within its rich tapestry. We are able to recognize it as an agent for personal transformation.

At this point Kinder underlines the Buddhist beliefs about the impermanence of life, suffering and the wisdom of selflessness. He describes the need, as we grow in maturity, to hold these wider perspectives. He provides a meditation on death as a path to finding the necessary fearlessness to do this.
Above the heart, he notes that the fifth chakra, (the vortex of energy at the throat), is that which gives us vigor. When we are considering money at this level of our being, we bring more vitality and meaning to our relationship with it. Vigor provides us with the ability to take responsibility and respond to the world with courage, clarity and strong intention. We take action and speak our beliefs.

With the next level, the sixth chakra, which sometimes is called the third eye, we gain deeper vision, intuition and more inner guidance. Here, our relationship with our money is connected more fundamentally with our deeper Self (Soul).

Kinder sees the most mature expression of our relationship to our money as coming from our crown, our highest chakra. He calls this the Aloha experience, which, capturing the most benign of the Hawaiian greetings, implies kindness, humility, and blessings. Having spent considerable time in Hawaii, he felt this native greeting best expressed the love and sense of community of greater consciousness. One rests in a personal sense of abundance, the calmness of one’s own essence, and generosity flows as naturally as breathing.

These seven stages help clarify a process of development in one’s relationship to money and the emergent qualities are the benchmarks of the path of the spiritual warrior.

While acknowledging the basic needs for security, comfort and broadening experiences, the spiritual warrior seeks understanding, vision and meaning above all else. In this seeking, the tension of opposites is held until the clearer view emerges. By this, the spiritual warrior reaches for these less-tangible sources of security and common good. At that point, the spiritual warrior finds it natural to serve something greater than oneself.

In his insightful book, The Journey Toward Masterful Philanthropy, Ted Mallon offers a model for the evolution of consciousness in those who choose to use philanthropy as a vehicle for spiritual transformation (10). He identifies four stages in what he calls the journey toward masterful philanthropy. The first stage is Emotional Philanthropy. People at this point of psychological development are connecting to the world primarily through the immature ego. Many of the individual’s personal needs are intertwined with his or her philanthropy, such as a need to relieve a sense of guilt, a need to be important, a need to experience him or herself as more powerful than others, and the need to rescue others. The primary focus in their philanthropic work is emotional gratification.

The next stage is Conscious Philanthropy, which occurs when an individual holds a strong, focused mental orientation. In this stage of development the person becomes very result-oriented, and into strategic planning and operating out of personal values rather than unmet ego needs. This is an adult way of proceeding where a healthy ego deals realistically and directly with money to achieve specific goals. The primary focus in philanthropic work is successful giving. This corresponds to Kinder’s stage of knowledge in relationship to money.

The next stage is Depth Philanthropy. This is described as coming from a deeper center within the person. It corresponds to a true opening of the heart and the appreciation of the personal growth that is reflected in generosity. There is clarity of intention, intuition and a strong will to be of service. This parallels Kinder’s terms of understanding and vigor. The primary focus of philanthropy at this level is the love of humanity. Kinder feels that this arises when a person has faced his or her own death (surrendering the primacy of the ego), and so has found a profound desire to be in common purpose with others.

Mallon’s final stage is that of Masterful Philanthropy. This includes depth philanthropy, but goes beyond it. It is characterized by feelings of love, joy and peace. It is a soul state of pure intention and wholeness. Masterful philanthropists operate with impeccable integrity, humility and freedom. They serve with unconditional love and intuitive alignment with Universal Principles and the Divine Source. This would seem to align with Kinder’s ideas of holding a vision, which is in harmony with the Universe of natural generosity, kindness and humility. Here personal will has integrated with the larger Will and found the heart within its center.

These ideas are echoed in the older writings of The Tibetan (Djwhai Khul). He notes that at each level of our unfolding, we enter a new inner environment and find a unique level of service. The first level of service arises from “our growing knowledge of the wider world.” The second level of service comes from “the wisdom of our heart.” From the third level of service, we are prompted to be generous from “our deepest level of our intuition” (11).

These writers, having looked deeply into the relationship between money and the soul, have come to appreciate that attaining a depth of psychological and spiritual development most determines our relationship to money. The question they ask is “From where, from what inner Source, do we connect with money in our life?” They understand that money is a form of creative energy, useful for sustaining us and potent for the future.

Benjamin Crème, of the esoteric traditions of the Tibetan, writes in Share International that energy lies behind all forms in creation. He notes that a much greater understanding of energy and how it works in our lives is a top priority for mankind at this time, and we cannot hope to fulfill our destiny without this understanding. Our capacity to see energy as a free flowing aspect of the real world allows it to move fluidly through mind, body and spirit. Crème goes on to say that we must respect energy for it is the source of all creativity; however, we cannot possess it. He writes: “Attachment means that energy uses the Self (Soul) and is destructive. Detachment (from so much ego investment) means the Self (Soul) uses energy and can direct its usefulness” (12).

The Self (Soul) uses energy in a detached way by drawing on the deepest roots of wisdom. In the flux of a rapidly changing world and the conflict of entrenched worldviews, it has now become essential to identify the life affirming factors within our different ways of knowing, to renew our culture and ourselves by synthesizing the needs of our external world with the vision and understanding of our souls. In this undertaking, we have to take an honest look at the unmediated profit motive, at both the individual and collective level.

As one wise observer, Judy Wallace put it: “Separativeness (“will” coming from ego-only perspective) is everywhere. It is a force of energy all its own. It is as if the fanatical fears that permeate the human condition are using every resource at their disposal to survive. While the energies of unification are subtle and gentle, the forces of separativeness are aggressive, vocal and constantly in our face. They haunt us at every turn. They polarize. There are few among us who do not succumb at some level, for they are so pervasive” (13).

The spiritual warrior is in the flow of energy and has the capacity to live from an increased depth of connection to Self (Soul). This may not be the language that he or she uses. But when we see someone like Azim Khamisa, whom we met in the beginning of this paper, we recognize that this must be true. The spiritual warrior who has become conscious in his or her relationship to money has marshaled the courage to face the demons within and to heal. From this expanded consciousness, money now becomes a vehicle for connection and community, rather than of separation.


Telos and the Spiritual Warrior
On a stony path of a barren Tibetan mountain, prayer wheels turn slowly in the wind. Spun with devotion by passing pilgrims, they rotate now in solitude, their bells tinkling through the valley. Many pilgrims have marked this route as they circumambulated the great Mount Kailis.

On the edge of an equally expansive valley in Colorado, a golden-hued ziggurat stands in mute testimony of a man’s love for a woman he lost. The external ascending path spirals upward, reflecting the ancient Persian certainty that prayer leads us to the summit. In the softly lit room of a Methodist church in Boulder, thoughtful folk quietly tread the circle of a silver labyrinth, reproduction of the master pattern in Chartres Cathedral.

Buried in our hearts is this knowledge of spiral unfolding, moving upward and inward to completion. From whence comes this intuition that we are destined for maturity and a return to the Source?

Many years ago, Carl Jung wrote that each of us follows our own telos, an unfolding path to a goal, a vital guiding theme within our life. Telos is not a cause that pushes us towards an event; it is more like a hidden purpose within, which pulls us towards a goal as if we were being “called.” Often we cannot see this clearly ahead in our lives, but its tracks are unmistakable if we look behind.

Having a telos or soul path does not mean one is locked into a particular fate. Free will and choice are essential to our nature. It does mean, however, that at particular turning points or crises we do need to turn inward and consult our core Self (Soul) for our best guidance. We will then be responsible and capable for taking action.

Caroline Myss, in her recent book, Sacred Contracts, writes: “We have each been put on earth to fulfill a Sacred Contract that will enhance our personal spiritual growth while contributing to the evolution of the entire global soul.” She goes on to say that, as we struggle to find the main archetypes under which we operate, we will connect to our personal and spiritual power and through this to our greater mission to the planet (1).

In Journey of Souls, psychologist Michael Newton reports on insights obtained from clients in a deep state of hypnotic regression. Faced with the question about what was the most important issue to be confronted at a soul level, he frequently got the response: “to complete, with integrity, one’s soul contract” (2).

This is very much in line with Oriental thought. In the book Nourishing Destiny by Lonny S. Jarrett, there is considerable discussion on the issue of soul contract (3). He notes that, in the field of Oriental medicine, alignment with soul contract is considered basic to health. He writes: “Heaven mandates a unique mission for each of us to fulfill in this life. Recognizing and accepting this mandate is only the first step in fulfilling the contract. It is essential that we connect with our own innate purpose.”

Jarrett continues, noting that an essential part of achieving the soul contract is first to gain self-knowledge and then to exercise personal choice. “Each of us using our own will must choose to be aligned with Heaven, both inwardly in terms of awareness and outwardly in terms of action.” In Chinese script, the character meaning “heart” is included and at the core of the character for “will.”

Mathew Fox tells a story about the power of this connection with one’s core Self (Soul). On the hijacked plane that crashed in Pennsylvania on September 11th, the passengers were caught in their Fate. Several of them, however, recognizing the reality of the situation, tackled the hijackers. The plane did not crash into the White House or whatever its destination was. Those passengers who seized the moment within the narrow parameters of the situation changed their Fate to their Destiny. They gave us a brilliant example of the spiritual warrior.

What has this idea of destiny to do with the challenges we face and the modern world in which we live? A Hopi elder put it this way: “The times are said to be a turning point for younger brother, the white man. It has been necessary to get permission from seven of your ancestors to be here during these days.” It is a time of heightened responsibility and choice.

Spiritual warriors are following their telos, fulfilling their soul contracts and their destinies. It is time to remember the ancient prophecy about the Shambala Warriors. In a dark time in which all life on earth would be in danger the spiritual warriors will come. “They will wear no uniform, or insignias and carry no banners.” Their weapons will be courage, the passion of compassion and the wisdom of insight.

Echoing this is the prophecy of Djwhal Khul, The Tibetan who wrote that from the “land of the Eagle (U.S.), when, as a race they have grown up”… there would emerge a group of wise and inspired people who would demonstrate to the planet the importance of the inner world of brotherhood and soul values. As this happened, the world would be put together “not by strife, but by right thought” (4). “Right thought” includes a deep respect for others and the higher qualities within ourselves. The “special ness” implied in this is not egoic in nature, but speaks of those who march to a different drum.

It is of note that in another time of darkness, this same idea was raised. After World War II, UNESCO sent inquiries to the world’s leading psychologists asking how greater peace and stability could be fostered. Carl Jung responded that it would be important to find a minority of highly intelligent people with sound sense of morality who would become the nucleus for cultural change (5). This theme resonated with Margaret Mead, who advised never to doubt that a small group of committed people could change the world, for it was the only thing that ever had.

Spiritual Warriors in Action
Most of us don’t realize that it is not the large foundations that we see advertised on public television that provide the big money to address social problems. It is the average citizen. In 1998, large foundations in the United States donated only 7 percent of the money given for community causes. Corporations gave five percent, while a huge 89 percent came from households earning $150,000 or less (
6). The opportunity is ours.

One splendid example of a spiritual warrior was cited in People magazine in March 2002 (7). Keith Taylor, an assistant professor of English, on an annual salary of $35,000 decided to put aside $500 a month and set up a charity web site. He has been giving away small amounts of money ranging from as low as $27 up to $1000. Since then, others have donated to his enterprise and expanded its effectiveness. Here is a creative individual, of modest means, who brings much hope to many, with his money.

Another example of the spiritual warrior is found in the steady generosity of Mildred Robbin Leet, an 81- year old resident of New York, who started giving grants of $30 to $100 many years ago for enterprising people who wanted to set up their own businesses. She has helped more than 115,000 people begin a new life in this way and was recently inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

Groups of spiritual warriors find their own power through inspiration. In the last decade, contrary to all conventional wisdom about financing the poor, a worldwide program of micro-finance to women has lighted hope in many a third world village. Through a period of trial and error, a process has evolved in which small groups of women are lent money from a women’s development organization to start their own businesses. The women may use the money to purchase the simplest equipment, a loom, a sewing machine, or trash-collector cart. The group receiving the loan is responsible for paying it, and the equipment either passes from one to the other, or a second item is purchased and so on. Repayment rates are extremely high so the programs can be sustained and expanded and the interest rates enable the micro-finance organizations to cover their costs.

Through these programs, the living situations in some villages are improved dramatically. For example, in Bangladesh in 2003, income levels were 43 percent higher for participating villages as compared to non-participants. In El Salvador, weekly incomes increased on an average of 145 percent. In Lombok, Indonesia, 90 percent of the participants in the micro-finance program, offered by Bank Rakyat of Indonesia, (the lending organization) graduated out of poverty.
Increased earnings open the avenue to education. Children stay in school longer and there are fewer dropouts. With more money, nutrition is better, and infant and child mortality drops. Through these programs, the status of women increases markedly. As the income and education of women increase, they have more influence in the village government and the birth rate also declines.

This micro-finance idea for the poor has been transplanted to the U.S. It required adapting the model by adding some ideas and modifying others (8). The programs are for low and moderate-income people and for women.

The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) is a consortium of 28 public and private micro-finance groups working internationally to help the poor (9). Because of its potential, The Millennium Development Goals, established in September 2000 by the United Nations, are going to look further into the micro-grant movement. It doesn’t take a lot of money from an individual spiritual warrior to take part in this emerging idea.

Too frequently, we underestimated what one individual can do to contribute to the global vision of change that now needs to occur. William Greider makes this point in The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy (10). He emphasizes that we can all make value decisions within whatever system we live; we have the ability to press for a better world. For example, he points out that public service employees in the U.S. have nearly $2.6 trillion in their pension funds. “It takes a purposeful minority with enough guts and daring and smarts to believe this [the capitalistic system] can be changed, to be able to see a different future.” That purposeful minority would be spiritual warriors.

Recently, a small group of visionaries identified philanthropic initiatives that most address the world’s “big problems.” They learned that, at present, 95 percent of all philanthropic dollars are designated for
• amelioration (lessening the suffering within existing social systems);
• adaptation (helping individuals and communities better adjust to current systems);
• restoration (returning deteriorated communities to their original condition).

While projects within these categories are essential and important work, the authors note that these efforts are not going to address our most fundamental problem. They do not change our outmoded worldview or our prevailing sense of identity. They are not reaching into the halls of power that perpetuate the cultural imbalances, so they are not requiring the rethinking so essential at this time. They are not calling forth from us the fundamental psychological shift outlined in Jung’s article “Modern Man in Search of His Soul” or summoned by Thomas Berry.

One of the key authors of this research into philanthropic initiatives is Duane Elgin. His extensive work with Joseph Campbell and the California think tank, SRI International, has fueled his interest and contributions to a new global vision. His books and articles highlight the emerging ideas of this field and can be found on his web site: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (11). This site also details more than fifty-five links, covering such topics as: transforming culture and consciousness, cosmology and the universe, and sustainability and philanthropy. Of particular interest, is his writing on the collective media as a visible expression of our social brain, which is presently training us in consumption, but could be used to sponsor the higher consciousness that is so necessary at this time. Elgin is a spiritual warrior, by virtue of his courage, commitment and capacity to envision a positive future.

Jacob Needleman, in “Money and the Meaning of Life,” writes that it is about time that we bring the consciousness of our relationship to money into the philosophical discourse of the university (12). That is slowly beginning to happen. Tufts University is offering a course entitled “The Future of Philanthropy” with Senior Fellow Peter Karoff (13). Naropa University’s Marpa Center for Business and Economics is exploring a program called: “Wisdom and Wealth.” This will begin with intensive sessions for people of wealth and eventually expand to other interested populations. Marpa Center also hosts a two-week seminar each year on micro-finance in which representatives from 80 countries meet funding sources (14).

Marpa Center’s visiting economics professor, Bernard Lietaer, architect of the Europe’s single currency “the euro,” is presently actively involved in the new monetary endeavor of “complimentary currencies.” He has explored the predominant monetary system of the Western world, which he describes as a “yang” (or masculine) force, and subject to much fluctuation. He notes that this system, which has been in use since the Industrial Revolution, encourages the accumulation of resources at the top of the economic ladder and reduces the circulation of money. Such accumulation of resources at the top is increasing the imbalance in our society. This factor, together with the rapid cycling of “boom and bust” periods in this type of economic system, produces great fear in the culture. When the lowest third of the population is poor and becoming more so, when the middle class is frightened of falling into that sector, and the top third holds on more tightly for the same reason, we have the pressures felt today in the U.S. culture.

Lietaer proposes that we need to start thinking how society can be balanced, “complemented,” by the “yin” (or feminine) quality of local community exchange. He has examined the economic systems which have used this modality, such as European cultures from 1100 A.D. to 1300 A.D., and Egypt, which persisted for thousands of years using both yin and yang currencies. Within these communities, an “internal currency” was employed and credit obtained, backed by other community members’ actual goods and services. This type of economic programs built security, sufficiency and community relationships.

Today, we have similar programs, the most common of which is called Local Exchange Trading System or LETS. These have been powerful tools developed within nations hit by economic difficulty, for example: Japan and Bali (after its 2003 terrorist attack). They are rapidly spreading as a force for good in many communities where actual dollars and credit are scarce. More than 5000 communities around the world now have such programs.

Lietaer has written a brilliant exposition on the predominant economic system in Jungian terms. He describes the interacting shadows of the multiple masculine archetypes, and sees these augmented by pressures from the repressed archetype of the Great Mother. Of Human Wealth: Beyond Greed & Scarcity, his most recent book written with Stephen Belgin and his other books can be researched through This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (15).

Creative thinkers like Elgin, Grieder, Needleman, Karoff and Lietaer are spiritual warriors who are thinking outside the box, concerned with social justice and personally moved by the plight of the world. They often have had to put their reputations on the line, departing from their norms of their professional community, to reach for a higher vision.

Many qualities contribute to the definition of a spiritual warrior. Our personal and cultural challenges with money and our resources are real and troubling, but each of us must find our own unique way, congruent with our situations and our talents. While we may not yet know our own way precisely, we have witnessed in others the opening they have found to greater infusion of the Self (Soul). Wisdom, understanding, compassion, joy and engagement in life are all qualities written on the faces of those who have found their path.

A fresh wind is beginning to blow softly through the culture. It moves, as yet, below the surface, yet it rustles in the heart and ripples the water of human discourse. Increasingly there are ears that hear it, those whose consciousness has risen. They know they can energize a new vision with their money from their deepest sense of love and justice. They feel the excitement in creating new possibilities that restore the balance. They understand that this has less to do with quantity and more to do with intuition, creativity and community. They are enthusiastic about being here now, in these turbulent times. Their commitment comes from their essence and it energizes their lives with meaning. They are the spiritual warriors and they beckon to us all.


“Who are you? What is your name, really?” Does an Angel whisper in your ear, as one did into Jacob’s, in that nocturnal struggle so long ago? Are you, like he, being asked to declare your true nature?

We live in defining times. Deep forces are working their way through creation. This is a point of convergence between our species evolution and the evolution of the earth. Our human consciousness is being challenged as to its quality. Will we have the capacity to co-habit with each other, on a sustainable planet?

This writing has sought, in a very limited way, to explore one thread within this big picture, the inter-weave between money and our potential as spiritual warriors. We live in a world of rich resources; but we live at a time of growing economic disparity, hardship and fear. Many complex factors are at work here. The theme developed in this book has focused on the warrior archetype, an energy pattern that flows through us carrying tremendous potential for good and ill.
We have within us the pathways for maturation. The Self (Soul) carries this innate potential and beckons us on the expanding spiral of development. We know how these steps can be taken and we know that the journey, although not easy, leads naturally to greater compassion and co-operation. It is time we took up the challenge of becoming spiritual warriors, conscious of, but not paralyzed by the knowledge that such a commitment carries the dangers of hubris.
The journey of the spiritual warrior changes our perception of our resources. It brings us out of the collective materialistic worldview. It offers us a way to hold the tension of opposites with our money. It helps us find the creative power of the paradox, that we need to live reasonably and we need to meet the challenge of cultural change. It calls us, as citizens of the wealthiest country in the world, to find our authenticity.

In becoming spiritual warriors we will affirm the truth of Carl Jung’s statement that our personal renewal and that of our institutions will depend on our ability to make a conscious relationship to the pattern of God that exists within each of us.



1. Azim Khamisa, The Temple Awards. Awakening A Global Vision: Collective Wisdom and Spiritual Activism. Noetic Sciences and The Association for Global New Thought Conference, Palm Springs, Ca., 2003.
2. C.G.Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul, New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1933.


1. C.G.Jung, The Archetypes and The Collective Unconscious, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1969.
2. Robert Moore and Douglass Gillette, King, Warrior, Magician and Lover, San Francisco: Harper, 1990. Caroline Myss, Sacred Contracts. New York: Harmony Books, 2001.
3. David C. Korten, When Corporations Rule the World, San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc. and Kumarian Pres. Inc. pg. 298.
4. Paul Schervish, Wealth Transfer in an Age of Affluence, More Than Money, Spring 2003, pg. 5.
5. The Investment Company Institute Trade Assoc., cited in The Boulder Daily Camera, March 14, 2004.
6. David C. Korten, op.cit., pg. 298.
7. Kevin Phillips, Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich, Broadway Books, 2002, see also: Public Citizen News, Nov-Dec. 2002, pg. 7 and New York Times Review of Books, 7/18/02, pg.26.
8. David C. Korten, op.cit., pg. 148.
9. UNDP, Human Development Report, New York, Oxford Press, 1992.
10. Brandt Commission Report, Share International, London: Share International Foundation, Vol. 21.
11. Friends Committee on National Legislation Newsletter, March, 2002.
12. Globalization Today, C-Span, July 7, 2002.
13. The Boulder Daily Camera, Wednesday, September 17, 2001, and in Awakening the Dialogue of the Heart, Leslie Carmack and Karl Maret. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
14. Poverty Fact Sheet Series, Poverty Among the Homeless, Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet, HYG-5711-98. http//www/ag/
15. The Office of Juvenile Justice, Delinquent Project 2000,
16. Azim Khamisa, Transforming Grief into Compassionate Action, Awakening A Global Vision:
Collective Wisdom and Spiritual Activism Conference
, Noetic Sciences and The Association for New Thought, 2003 Palm Springs, Ca.
17. FBI report to US Senate, CNN, Feb. 26, 2004.
18. R. Moore and D. Gillette, op.cit., pg. 88.
19. President, Center for Global Development, Public Broadcasting Service, 3/24/02.
20. Public Broadcasting Service, Frontline, The Market Place, Feb. 19, 2004.
21. CNN., Oct. 13, 2003.
22. M. Carasso, letter to the editor, The Boulder Daily Camera, March 25, 2002.
23. Duane Elgin, Promise Ahead, New York: Harper Collins, 2000, pg.105.
24. Joseph Chilton Pearce, The Biology of Transcendence, Rochester, Vermont: Park Street Press, 2002.
25. Thomas Lewis, Fari Amini and Richard Lannon, A General Theory of Love, New York: Vintage Books, 2001.
26. Time Magazine, "Does Kindergarten Need Cops," Dec. 15, 2004.
27. B. Colorosos, The Bully, the Bullied and the Bystander, New York: Harper-Collins, 2003.


1. Shamballa: a holy city thought to be located north of Tibet, (near Mt. Meru) from which an ancient wisdom originated.
2. Joanna Macy, World as Lover, World as Self, In Context, Winter, 1993.
3. Self: in Jungian thought considered to be the central core of psyche, source of our life’s energy, as well as its ultimate foundation. It is used here in combination with Soul, a word more in common usage, although there are distinctions.
4. Paul Ray and Sherry Ruth Anderson, The Cultural Creatives, New York: The Three Rivers Press, 2000.
5. Paulo Coelho, The Warrior of Light, New York: Harper Collins, 2003, pg 118.
6. John-Roger, Spiritual Warrior: The Art of Spiritual Living, Los Angeles: Mandeville Press, 1998, pg 51.
7. Chogyam Trungpa, Shambala, The Sacred Path of the Warrior, Boston and London:
Shambhala Publication, Inc., 1984.
8. Arcane School, the name applied to Theosophical Society teachings.
9. R.J.Lane and J. Wurts, Search for the Woman Warrior, Boston: Element Books, 1998.
10. Michael D. Robbins, Tapestry of the Gods, Vol. 1 The Seven Rays: An Esoteric Key to Understanding Human Nature, Jersey City Heights, New Jersey: University of the Seven Rays, 1988.
11. John Stewart, Evolution’s Arrow: The Direction of Evolution and the Future of Humanity, Canberra, Australia: The Chapman Press, 2000.


1. Stanislov Grof, The Adventures of Self-Discovery, New York: The State University of New York Press, 1988.
2. There are a number of good resource books. See Maria Nemeth, The Energy of Money: A Spiritual Guide to Financial and Personal Fulfillment, New York: Ballentine Publishing Group, 1997. see also Joe Dominguez Transforming Your Relationship with Money, tape series. Sounds True, Boulder, Co., 2001.
3. Born Rich, HBO Documentary, J. Johnson. Produced by Dick Wiltenborn.
4. Matthew Fox, Original Blessings, Santa Fe: Bear & Company, Publishing, 1983.
5. Stanislov Grof, op.cit.
6. Ken Wilber, A Spirituality that Transforms, What is Enlightenment, Fall/Winter 2001.
7. Harold S. Kushner, Living A Life That Matters, audio tapes, Random House, Inc. 2001, Canada.
8. Jean Carlson, Jungian Analyst, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
9. George Kinder, Seven Stages of Money Maturity, New York: Dell Publishing, 2000.
10. Ted Mallon, The Journey Toward Masterful Philanthropy, Boulder, Co.: Five Centuries Press, 2004.
11. Alice Bailey, Glamour, A World Problem, New York: Lucis Publishing Company, 1950.
12. Benjamin Crème, The Mind, Maitreya’s Teachings, Holland, P.O. Box 41877. Share, International, Inc. May 2002.
13. Judy Wallace Clarification of Consciousness, August, 2002, Spirit Fire,


1. Caroline Myss, Sacred Contracts, New York: Harmony Books, 2001, pg.17.
2. Michael Newton, Journey of Souls, St. Paul, MN: Llewelyn Publ., 1994.
3. Lonny S. Jarrett, Nourishing Destiny, Stockbridge, Ma: Spirit Path Press, 1980.
4. Alice Bailey, The Externalization of the Hierarchy, Albany, N.Y: Fort Orange Press, Inc., 1957. Also, Labours of Hercules, Lucis Publishing. New York: 1974, pg. 157. These are the teachings of the Tibetan, Master Koot Hoomi. For further information contact
5. Abstracts of the Collected Works of C.G.Jung. National Institutes of Mental Health, Carrie Lee Rothgeb, editor. 1978. abstract 000688 00-18.
6. Lynn Twist, Fundraising From the Heart,
7. People’s Magazine, March 9, 2002.

8. Grameen Program c/o The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor,
9. CGAP op. cit.
10. William Greider, The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy, New York: Simon Schuster, 2003.
11. Duane Elgin and Elizabeth Share, Transformational Philanthropy, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
12. Jacob Needleman, Money and the Meaning of Life, New York: Doubleday, 1991.
13. H. Peter Karoff, Senior Fellow, Tufts University, College of Citizenship and Public Service.
14. Mark Wilding, Marpa Center, Naropa University, Boulder. Colorado. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
15. Bernard Lietaer, “The Future of Money”, “The Mystery of Money”; “Of Human Wealth: Beyond Greed and Scarcity, 2005; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Copyright 2004 Bernice H. Hill