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Money and the Chief Features
(Excerpts from past issue of Expansion newsletter, May 2009)

The Michael personality system describes seven ways we trap ourselves under stress, called the Chief Features:

Self-Deprecation / Arrogance
Self-Destruction / Greed
Martyrdom / Impatience

Most of us have two Chief Features --- a primary and a secondary --- however all of us experience every one of the Chief Features from time to time.

Our Chief Features are how we react to fear. When we're lost in our Chief Features, we act like cartoon characters: out of control, unconscious, absurd, deluded.

You'll see that the Chief Features come in pairs, which means that the humility of Self-Deprecation and the vanity of Arrogance often slide back and forth. People on this axis constantly compare themselves to others. In the same way, Self-Destruction and Greed go hand in hand, bringing obsessive grabby tendencies as a way to ward of death. Impatience and Martyrdom are another sliding pattern that shows up in a traffic jam or a slow checkout line. Stubbornness is by itself with no official partner, but it does slide to all the other Chief Features.

Here's how the Chief Features usually show up around money issues.

Self-Deprecation and Arrogance are connected with issues of self-worth. People on this axis tend to create a lot of unnecessary, illusory suffering around comparison. Chances are that somewhere in your history you were judged severely, so your instinct is either to pretend you're inferior (Self-Deprecation) or insist that you're superior (Arrogance).

In money situations, Self-Deprecation abdicates financial responsibility; and when it comes to important financial decisions, it can act like a helpless child. In money arguments Self-Dep will assume the other person is right, and will give in. They want a partner who can be a money hero to them and save them from their own financial naiveté. Subconsciously, Self-Deprecation knows that if something goes wrong, they can blame the partner. The lesson for Self-Deprecation is to see the failings of so-called experts, and realize that it knows more than it realizes.

Arrogance on the other hand likes to be The Big Proud Parent and the Great Provider. In strong economic times, Arrogance likes to own things of great value with a ta-da effect: like the latest camera or biggest house. In weak economic times, Arrogance really suf-fers in poverty; and if money isn't available to bolster the ego, Arrogance will find something else that will --- the intellect, colorful stories that impress, etc. The lesson for Arrogance is to practice being humble.

Self-Destruction and Greed have hunger issues stemming from past experiences of enforced lack. Times of slow economic recovery are very hard on this Chief Feature axis, for flagging income is seen not so much as an ego issue (as it is with Self-Dep and Arrogance) but as a very real life-or-death issue. The invitation is to open up to a happy life lived simply.

Self-Destruction under financial stress can become a money rebel. They feel they're being forced to participate in a financial world they never asked to be part of. They will self-sabotage in order to keep from committing to life fully, spending their money wastefully. They tend to pull in parent-role people who nag them to "get it together." They'll then accuse the "parent" of being a nitpicker then will rebel and avoid that person. When Self-Destruction loses its job, it loses its faith in life and can go postal. The lesson for Self-Destruction is to learn to live through hard times without giving up.

Greed around money can feel like a bottomless pit where nothing is ever enough. America has been operating under Greed for many decades, so the recent conomic downturn has been especially hard on them. Greed fears that there will never be enough, so it packs its house with lots of stuff. In the younger Soul Ages, Greed creates scams and schemes to cheat others out of their money. In the older Soul Ages, Greed will take responsibility for earning its own money, and will wholeheartedly participate in the competitive marketplace. The lesson for Greed in any economic crisis is to learn to live with fewer possessions.

Martyrdom and Impatience in financial downturns get busy blaming others. This axis represents a big portion of America's viewpoint right now: Who's to blame for the economic mess of 2008-2009?

Martyrdom tends to be a money martyr. It falls into suffering and sacrifice --- sometimes disguised as being a nurturer or benefactor --- but you sense there's a hidden agenda of resentment. If it has no money to spend, Martyrdom will make others feel guilty for even having a little. The lesson for Martyrdom is to take responsibility for its own financial destiny.

On the other hand, Impatience is an impulse buyer. It buys things on the spur of the moment --- including impulsively buying houses it can't afford. Impatience loves financial independence: the free-dom to buy anything they want when they want it. Their partner might feel left out of big or small financial decisions. The economic downturn of 2008-2009 made Impatience impatient for the stock market to go up again, so the lesson is to learn how to slow down and enjoy life. Note that about half the population in Western countries has this Chief Feature.

Stubbornness is the neutral Chief Feature which slides to all the other Chief Features under stress. Stubbornness is a money rebel. It has its viewpoint, and it doesn't like to be controlled by anyone in authority. In a financial crisis, Stubbornness doesn't budge, out of fear. It will hold onto its stock holdings forever, refusing to face facts that the market might not be the place to invest all the time. Stubbornness thinks the world is always trying to sway it unfairly, so it needs security and power to feel OK. Stubbornness under financial stress will tend to get in arguments over money with store clerks, waitpersons, the IRS, their partners. The lesson for Stubbornness is to trust that Whatever It Is that's orchestrating this world probably knows what it's doing.

* * *

All of the Chief Features are uncomfortable. To handle your Chief Features on the personality level, slide to the positive pole of your Attitude in the Michael system. For instance, if your Chief Feature is Self-Deprecation and your Attitude is Stoic, move from Abasement to Tranquility. However, it's more efficient to bypass all of this, and just stop in your tracks to move toward what you fear. When you stop to experience your full fear, it dissolves - along with your Chief Feature.

The Seven Roles as Parents
(Excerpts from Expansion newsletter, May 2011)

If you're a parent, you most likely have what's called a Parent/Child Monad with at least one of your children. The Parent/Child Monad is one of the 36 major types of relationships that we can have with someone, along with others like Husband/Wife, Sibling, Jailer/Jailed, Passionate/Repressive, etc. In the Parent/Child Monad we have a specific agreement to be the father, mother or child of someone - whether or not we're connected biologically.

The Parent/Child Monad most often shows up as our relationship with our parents and kids, but it can also be a symbolic "parenting" with our relatives, mates, friends, and even our pets. For instance, Hugh Hefner tends to pull in women with whom he plays a protective father. If a young woman has a history of abuse, she may love the protection of being in Child position with him.

* * *

Although the way you parent is colored in general by what's going on in the 5th House of your astrology chart, in general your Role in the Michael system will follow a certain parenting style - and each Role has its pros and cons:

Server: Servers make wonderful parents, for they are able to set aside their own ego drives in order to serve their kids. The classic Server parent is Mom baking a pie or Dad helping you repair your first car (or heartbreak). Pro: Nurturing, comfortable, love taking care of things, kind, warm. Con: Protective Server parents may find it hard to release their kids to their own destinies.

Priest: If you're a Priest Mom or Dad, you're either trying to change the world for child perform for youwhile you sit on your kingly chair in the living room.

One of the great things about being a different Role from that of your child is you get to trade Role experiences back and forth. Kids get to step into your Role and you into theirs, and everybody gets to learn firsthand about different types of people. That's in fact one of the most valuable things about being in a family: learning tolerance for those who are different from us.



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