When the Bible says that we (Man) are created in the “image and likeness of God”, what exactly was that supposed to mean? Does it mean that our bodies resemble God’s body? Does it mean that God endowed us with many of His qualities? I think the latter. I believe that we were given the power of creation, the same power that God used to create us. So, if indeed we have the power to create, just how far does that power extend? Can we create anything? Or can we only create ‘some’ things found encompassed in a smaller realm than the realm of the infinite? I think that our powers of creation go pretty far. As a matter of fact, I think they go much farther than we have ever imagined, and that as we grow more conscious, we become more aware of the power that we have.
Along with any sort of power comes responsibility. If I have the power to create things, then I cannot blame anyone but myself if what I have is not what I want or prefer. Also, if I have this power of creation, I cannot think or say that I am a helpless victim lost in a world that I never made or have any say over. It is with these thoughts in mind that I want to discuss the notion of insurance, which is a prominent institution in today’s society.
People who sell insurance would like us to believe that we have no power in our life. They would like us to go along with the notion that accidents happen to good people for no reason and that we must pay for protection from these unseen and unpredictable twists of fate. The word insurance comes from the word sure, which is connected also to the word secure. By paying insurance money, we can now be sure and secure that we are protected, financially, from any calamaties that may fall upon us. We have car insurance, health insurance, life insurance, liability insurance and a host of others. It has become such an accepted practice in our country that most people rarely question it, or look at it closer to reveal what it really is. We just accept it, like we do so many other things that are a part of our culture and time. We rarely realize that all of these things that have been handed down to us deserve scrutiny. Each of us is a free person. We are not specifically obligated to follow any rules if it conflicts with our own knowing.
On a subtle level, insurance has many negative side effects. First of all, if I buy insurance, I am telling myself that I have little power in my life. It is, on a very subtle but powerful level, an affirmation of my powerlessness in the world. The very act of purchasing insurance relieves me not only of my power, but also of my feeling of responsibility for what I do. Just having car insurance makes me feel that it is okay if something I do damages my car – the insurance will cover it. I no longer have to be responsible for my car. If I have health insurance I can be lazy about my health. I now know that no matter how much it costs, the hospitals will take care of my body for me, no matter what I do to it. Now that I have insurance, I may choose to have an accident or choose to get sick just so a bunch of people will take care of me. I may like the feeling of ‘being cared for’ and this, as rediculous as it may sound, could be a subtle motivation for my getting a life-threatening illness or having a major car accident. What happens if you pay health insurance for five years and never get sick or paid car insurance for five years and never had an accident? Have you ever felt like you never got your money’s worth? Have you ever had the notion that perhaps you should get sick, or have an accident, so you could recoup some of the money you paid into your insurance? Maybe not with health insurance, because most people have their health insurance paid for by their company. But the fact is that we are paying for it. That insurance costs our company and those costs are passed along to us in the form of smaller salaries and higher costs for the goods and services that our companies are producing.
The whole notion of insurance rests in the notion that we can get something for nothing. If I purchased dental insurance for example, there would be only one real reason – to save money. I know that I need some dental work and I know that it is expensive. I am hoping that the cost of the dental insurance will be less than the cost of the work I need. The insurance company, on the other hand, is betting that what I pay them will be more than what they pay out. Actually, this is the case with all insurance companies. They hire people known as ‘actuaries’ to compute the odds of certain groups of people having certain illnesses or problems. This is why you must fill out extensive questionaires and swear that the answers are true before they will accept you. The insurance companies are in it for the money, and so are you. So, what does this remind you of? Does it remind you of a casino? It sure does to me. Insurance companies are the ones with the information and the ones who are paying a lot of money to the actuaries to compute those odds for them, just like a casino knows the odds for every single game you can play. And in both cases, the odds are in the favor of the casino and the insurance company. So when you gamble or buy insurance, you are in essence helping pay the salaries and maintain the status quo of large numbers of people whose only function is to take your money while giving you the impression that you will get something for nothing.
Insurance companies play on our fears. They have to. If you were fearless about your destiny, you would think that insurance is rediculous. It would be like asking a man or woman in perfect health if they would like to buy a pair of crutches ‘just in case’ someday they might need them. Do you have a pair of crutches in your closet? As rediculous as that might seem, I know that if a crafty salesman approached you in the right way and got you in a fearful mood about your future, he just might talk you into buying a pair of crutches. He might show you a bunch of newspaper articles about how many people get broken limbs each year and then quote you just how much crutches cost these days. Then he would somehow bring his message home by telling you what your personal chances are (odds, again) of needing crutches in the next five years and then offer you his pair, which he will point out will save you so many dollars in the course of your lifetime. It sounds stupid, but in fact this is how we usually buy insurance. It is just that because of the prevailing notions in our society, we already believe, as a whole, that we have no power over certain parts of our life. For example, we have no power over the economy or whether or not our company will lay us off. This belief is the basis for all sorts of fears, and insurance. What is missing here is that we do have the power over each of our personal destinies. Whether the economy goes up or down, or whether or not my present company keeps me under it’s employ, I can make decisions that will always attract abundance into my life, because I have taken steps to create abundance from the inside out. So, it is where we are the most fearful that we fall into the trap of insurance.
Truthfully, if you are extremely fearful about your future health or financial well being, insurance could be a viable alternative. There is a stage in our personal development where we must be ‘taken care of’ while we gather the strength to face life on our own. And if you are in a state of powerlessness and fearfulness in certain areas of your life, insurance is a positive step that relieve your fears so that you can function in your life while you learn more about how to deal with the fears themselves. It is not wrong to pay others to take care of us. It is a step that can lead us to freedom in the future.
But we must be conscious of what we are doing. Being under the care of insurance or any other institution must be a conscious step that will someday result in our freedom of the need for such care. For example, I can go to a hospital for care when I am very ill. But I cannot live in the hospital forever. If I do, I give up the power that God gave me to heal myself and to create a wonderful life. I give it away and become the slave of the hospital. Did you think the hospital will take care of me forever without something in return? A hospital can be a prison, wouldn’t you agree?
For some reason, I have always had a burning desire to be free of limitations. I have always chosen to believe that I could become the master of my destiny and that I have the power to make my life anyway I choose. So, faced with adversity, I have always endeavored to find the answers to my problems within myself. However, I spent five years under the direction of a guru in a yoga ashram. I gave up all my possessions and did exactly as I was told in order to heal myself. I am thankful for the years I spent there. They absolutely changed my life. Once I found my inner strength however, I left the ashram. I did not, as so many others who lived there with me, become addicted to being taken care of and try to make a career out of being a desciple.
In having our son, Michael, we did not have any health insurance. We paid $2,000 to a few midwives to have Michael at home. It didn’t turn out the way we expected. We ended up going to a hospital and nearly had to have a cesarian operation. The hospital bill was $8,500. I call Michael our $11,000 baby, because that is just about what he cost us. So many people at the hospital and others were shocked that we didn’t have health insurance. At the hospital, they have special financial arrangements for the uninsured. The bill was $8500 and they said we could just pay $4300 and it would be okay. That is half of the regular bill. Before the delivery we had to go to another hospital and have a doctor ‘version’ the baby, which means turn him from feet down to head down. The regular bill for that was about $1500 ( 5 minutes of the doctor’s time was $1200). We only paid about $200 because the attending nurses, realizing that we were ‘self-payers’ decided that the bill was unfair and only billed us that much. As I now understand, the financial structure of the entire medical society of our country is based on overcharging the insured people. And you should see the paperwork!
Someday it is my hope that insurance and other so called ‘helping institutions’ will find their rightful place in our society. They do serve a valuable purpose in the overall scheme of things. But there is no need for deception or fear tactics in order to enlist people into them. When we enter any of these institutions, we must give up our power and do what they tell us. But we must pick an institution that will eventually help us get our power back – for only that will bring us back to the God-given power that is our natural birthright.
The only real insurance is this power that God gave us when He made us in His image and likeness. Ultimately we will all realize this power and become God-like in the process. It is our destiny to become ‘as Gods’ in later stages of our evolution. Questioning the notion of insurance and other helping institutions is a step towards this attainment.