Reciprocity and Barter.

There are those who, failing to understand the nature of reflection, believe that life is guided by ‘tit-for tat’.

‘There’, they say, ‘now you’ve got something you can bargain with’.

But my life is not guided by bargain and barter. ‘I’ve got … you want. What will you give me?’ Which seems to me to be a cruel game to play on others. Wrangling over a pfennig like some Dutchman inventing copper wire. Or was it a Belgian? I believe that each accuses the other of such meanness. Or was that merely German gossip?

No, reciprocity is a giving with a loving heart, not calculation. Trying to get the best deal you can by doing another down. Such a mentality belongs to another era. Even another race.

Let the gamblers continue their barter games. Each feeling the other has cheated them somehow and carrying the grudge to the next purchase. Look at the murder of the Aljazeera journalist, for example.

So if you are taught that to buy and sell is the natural course of events, I ask you to look at it all again.

When we reflect upon the Nature of God, we do not find that He, or She, or It, depending on your point of view, is holding out a bargain to incentivise our lives. God gives Life freely with no holds barred, and nothing hidden.

Life is the reality of Creation, not, as some would have you believe, Death. Death is the illusion. When you drop a body, as happened recently with our cat, that’s not the end of you. By any means. I am closer to knowing that cat now days after having him put down than ever I knew him in life. Why? Because he is with me everyday. Sometimes in cat form but mostly as a soul who speaks softly to my heart, and guides me to better ways of expressing myself.

When you take off your coat, you are not someone else. When you put off your shoes at night. You are still yourself. When you wash the make–up away, you are still the same person. So it is with bodies.

They are vehicles for learning. Opportunities to grow. God doesn’t pretend that you will have this body forever. People might pretend that to you. ‘And the dead shall arise incorruptible’. The soul is not corrupted by living. Only by false actions and self-centred motivation.

So I say again. Don’t barter your life away in the hope you may gain something that others do not have. Each has a direct link to God. A thread which carries us back Home. And when Home, we inherit the Entire Universe and all that fills this material world. There I give it to you freely. A gesture of goodwill on my part. As if I gave you anything you did not already have.

Reciprocal actions – not retaliations, like Russia complaining about NATO defending the weak.

Author: Keith Armstrong

Dance teacher, writer, film-maker, educationalist, enthusiast.