Here really is a once in a lifetime deal

by | May 10, 2002 | Archives

As above…so below…we continue. The timing for this message last week could not have been better because this is one of the most unusual astronomical times in our lives.

Inspired Investing

  • Once in a lifetime planetary alignment means…
  • Psychic Experience & Quantum Wealth
  • What an Intuitive Says
  • Message From Kabul
  • You may Go Bananas Over This


Merri sent me information on an interesting website called cosmiverse.

There is fascinating data about upcoming planetary alignments at this site. We can use the as above…so below principle to gain some powerful investing insights.

An important article at this sight is it says”

“Rare Planetary Traffic Jam AboveApril 4, 2002 08:10 CST

Comet Hale-Bopp dazzled us for weeks. The Perseid meteor shower thrilled us for one night. But the world hasn't seen anything like the planetary traffic jam that's going to occur the last week of April and the first two weeks in May!

Inching across the sky like bumper-to-bumper commuters on their way to work, a rare planetary alignment will allow sky observers to see every planet in our solar system in a single evening!

“There will be other opportunities in the future to see the planets in different configurations,” says Philip Sadler, Director of the Science Education Department at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in Cambridge, MA, ” but it won't be anything like this for at least another 70 years. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Even more amazing, two very special events will occur during this planetary line-up. On May 10, the planets Mars and Venus will appear to pass so close to one another that, to the naked eye, the Roman God of War and the Roman Goddess of Love will become one.

Earlier, on May 5, something even more spectacular will happen. The bright planets Mars, Saturn and Venus will group together to form a perfect equilateral triangle in the western sky. This dazzling configuration will be visible almost everywhere on Earth.

In the Middle East, this pyramid-shaped specter will hang directly above Bethlehem. Oddly enough, more than 2,000 years ago, this same grouping of planets may have caught the attention of the Biblical Magi.

On April 1, 2 B.C., the planets Mars, Saturn and Venus came together to form a perfect equilateral triangle over the city of Bethlehem. Now, in the 21st Century, amid the turmoil taking place in the Middle East, the ancient Roman gods of Love, War and Agriculture/Wisdom, are coming together to look down upon this war-ravaged landscape once again.

In the past, many different configurations of planetary alignments have been seen from Earth. They occur due to the random positions of the planets in their eccentric orbits around the Sun. In the early 1980s and in May of 2000, the planets stacked up directly behind the Sun. Many people thought the combined gravitational pull might create havoc here on Earth resulting in giant earthquakes, sweeping tidal waves or erupting volcanoes. But, the collective gravitational pull was so insignificant, nothing happened. What was the reason? The other planets are simply too small or too far away in space to affect us back on Earth. To see just how insignificant the gravitational pull of the planets can be, let's do what many good, red-blooded Americans like to do. Let's go shopping!

Imagine if we stood in the produce section of a grocery store and held up a big yellow grapefruit representing the Sun. The planet Mercury would be the size of a small grain of salt orbiting around it 18 feet away. Venus would be somewhat larger, like a grain of sugar you get in those little brown packets at the coffee shops, 34 feet away. Earth, also a grain of sugar, would be located 50 feet away. Mars also would be the size of a grain of salt 75 feet away.

As for the rest of the planets: Jupiter, a cherry-sized tomato, would be found at 240 feet; Saturn, the size of a green grape, at 420 feet; Uranus, a frozen green pea, at 300 yards; Neptune, also the size of a frozen pea, at 470 yards; and Pluto, represented by a speck of dust, would orbit our grapefruit-sized Sun at a distance of 475-600 yards.

As you've probably guessed, not much gravitational pull is exerted on the Earth by these grocery store lightweights! In late April and early May, when the planets line up, they will not be arranged behind one another or the Sun. Instead, they will present a beautiful line across the sky from horizon to near zenith.

For a period of a little more than three weeks, anyone looking west at sunset will be able to see the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter. A few hours later at 4 A.M., armed with a large-size amateur telescope, they can continue their grand tour by observing Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, a few wandering asteroids and maybe even Comet Ikeya-Zhang in the east. Finally, by quickly glancing down at the ground, they will have completed their grand tour of the solar system.

“Seeing nine worlds in just one night is something few astronomers can say they've accomplished,” waxes Sadler. ” I can't wait to do it myself!” Looking at the planets spread out across the sky during this alignment also demonstrates, better than any book, how our solar system formed 4 billion years ago; something astronomers just recently have begun seeing around other distant stars in space.

“Our solar system condensed out of a nebular dust cloud that flattened down into a giant disk that resembled a big pizza pan,” says CfA astrophysicist David Wilner. “Utilizing instruments like the Hubble Space Telescope and data from the Infrared Astronomical Satellite, we are now witnessing the formation of new solar systems spread out into flattened discs of gas and dust. We are even detecting large lumps of materials in the dust disks that may be the signatures of planets in formation. Astronomers are now assembling snapshots of our own past frozen in time billions of years ago.”

This pathway of planets, or the ecliptic as astronomers call it, is what remains after our dust cloud coalesced into planets. Tracing the path of this ancient dust ring across the sky is easy. Stand sideways facing south with your right hand extended and pointing to where the Sun recently set along the western horizon. Now, extend your arm up to point at the Moon or a bright planet overhead. Connecting these two points together, continue to sweep your arm in an arc until it reaches the opposite horizon. Bingo! You have just traced out the ecliptic. All the planets will be found along this line and nowhere else. And this is where the traffic jam will occur.

“Coincidentally,” says Sadler, ” have you ever wondered why the twelve signs of the zodiac were chosen? Why someone you know wasn't born under the sign of Hercules or Orion?” To the Greeks and Romans, the ecliptic was the Highway of the Gods or the path the planets and Moon moved across at night and the Sun traveled during the daytime.

“Located directly behind this highway were the twelve special constellations the Gods passed by as they moved across the sky. They constituted the signs of the zodiac. This was the basis for astrology — religious beliefs and basic sky observations mixed together. It should not be confused with the science of astronomy that emerged centuries later,” says Sadler.

Today, it is widely held by many historians and planetarium directors that a conjunction of the planets, similar to the one on May 5, accounts for the Star of Bethlehem that sent the Magi on their way to seek the Christ child. Certainly the timing was right. An almost identical triangular alignment of Saturn, Mars and Venus did take place on April 1, 2 B.C. And the planets Jupiter, Saturn and Mars also formed a triangular conjunction in 6 B.C., in the constellation Pisces, the sign of the Christians.

However, renowned astronomical historian Prof. Owen Gingerich of the CfA disagrees. “The very, very short duration of a grouping of planets was not the Star of Bethlehem,” he states. “A conjugation like this would have meant nothing to the Magi. It was not part of their astrological tradition. It really wasn't until Kepler became fascinated with the harmony of the planets in the 16th century that the idea of a planetary conjunction came about to try to attach a scientific explanation to this event. In fact, Kepler even went so far as to add an imaginary supernova to the conjunction of planets in 6 B.C. to try to make it even more spectacular to catch the Magi's attention.”

Will this event be religiously significant or just an astronomical oddity? Is it the most dramatic way to visualize how our solar system formed? Or, is it an exciting challenge for amateur astronomers to conduct their only whirlwind tour of the solar system in just one evening? Answering yes to any or all of the above makes the alignment of late April and early May something not to be missed.

Nothing like it will occur again in our lifetime. At the very least, it presents a wonderful opportunity for friends and family to come together and share an experience beyond the daily routine. It also may be an opportunity to ponder our fragile existence on this tiny blue world racing around an ordinary yellow star with eight other planetary companions and maybe help us, just a little bit, bring our own world back into perspective.”


But what does this have to do with investing? Inspired Investing is balanced investing based on decisions generated by information that is generated from beyond the balance sheet. Inspired investors often look further logic.

So when I asked what this planetary alignment can mean to my investing I looked at many sources of information.

For example, I have been plowing through Stephen Hawking's latest book, The Universe in a Nutshell and doubt that I will ever truly understand quantum science as it is so counter intuitive. Yet the one lesson that is clear from all I have read is that everything we see, taste, hear, feel and smell is not as it seems to us. All logic, language and society is really upside down. We are energy that has created a physical form and our intention is what creates our world.This seems a pretty far out reality to live by and it is often hard to accept and act on such principles without society's support. Yet I try to use this knowledge in my daily life and look at everything in a quantum way. I grappled with this problem in my novel the “65th Octave” when Robin McAllen's logic battles with the intuition of Talking Panther.

Inspired Investing relays on information that comes from within and the source of this internal wisdom is the connection we each have with the creative force of all things.

Thinking in a quantum way sometimes becomes discouraging, but then some glimmer of information pops up or an event takes place which shows that this stuff really is real. Our lives are illusions founded on something far deeper.

An article in USA Today, about quantum computers was inspiring because I could see that big companies and the government were investing fortunes in ideas that make no logical sense at all (for example when you ask a quantum computer a question it comes up with infinite answers, but gives you the answer for the universe you are in).

I have tried to be open to information that goes beyond logic, whether it comes from someone like Stephen Hawking who is supported by the scientific establishment or from other sources such as Astrologers and psychics. Each source offers information that if looked at with an open mind can be useful to the inspired investor in our logical western lives.


One message I found meaningful about the unusual planetary alignment was from the well regarded psychic, Roberta Herzog.

“This is an important time in the history of Planet Earth. We are marking a Cosmic Season of enormous transition that will surely bring us, as a human family, into a greater experience of light. This light can and must bring the energy of peace into all areas of our lives…having a peaceful and healthy body; a calm mind and a firm and secure connection with God. You and I knew prior to this incarnation, that we would be experiencing the most challenging Karmic issues with souls we have known from prior lives as well as personal issues that are on levels of “unfinished business” that we knew we would have the courage to transform into victory! We also knew we would have the strength to assume the responsibility for this victory, not placing blame on any other person or group. As the great Soul that you are, you truly knew that this life has the hope of being the last life that must be lived on planet earth. Press on! Do not be afraid! Do not quit in the middle of your great work! Let me encourage you with one of my favorite Bible verses:

'When you passest through the waters, I will be with thee and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when you walkest through the fire, thou shall not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.' Isaiah 43:2

“Metaphysically speaking, water = emotion…rivers = the emotional path we are traveling upon…fire = karma…flame = smaller units of karma.

“Remember you are not alone even during the times of loneliness when you may feel as if you could cry out to God saying, 'Where are you? I need you!' At the same moment of the cry and the tears, God is with you, giving you information to uplift your Soul and to help you solve the problem. The KEY is to be still and to listen to the Voice.

“The year 2001 concludes 30 years as a reader of the Akashic records. I have appreciated your trust and confidence in the past. If I can be of future service, please call. I'll be pleased to open your Book of Life.

In the Service of The One, Roberta” Her email address is

But what does this astronomic and psychic information have to do with investing?

From this data I get the message that this is a time of transition in markets (don't expect any bull markets now). This is also a time to invest in helping the world come together. We can see how this can be applied when we read the note below from a reader about investing in Afghanistan.


“Hi, Gary, This is right down your alley!

Give the Afghans a Hand, By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF, KABUL, Afghanistan — To fight Afghan terrorism, I got a haircut.

“A dozen barbers were lined up on the cracked sidewalk near the Kabul market, and one of them, Jalad Khan, said he had once worked inside a real barbershop before it (along with much of the country's economy) went broke. The price was right: 2,000 afghani, or 6 cents.

“So I squatted down on a wooden stool that Mr. Khan set out on the sidewalk, and he pulled out an ancient pair of scissors. A crowd gathered, for entertainment possibilities in Kabul are few and there was always some hope that the foreigner might lose an ear.

“It was a great haircut! It was better than $20 cuts I've had in New York, although I appreciate that Americans are unlikely to fly to Kabul for 6-cent haircuts. Not to make too much of a trim, but one lesson that emerged broadly from my visits to factories and shops in Afghanistan is the country's economy is not hopeless, and it can begin to compete internationally especially on price.

“It will need to, if terrorism is to be defeated in this part of the world. To prevent future Osama bin Ladens from arising, we need to see economic development to lift living standards and create viable countries.

“A growing body of evidence suggests that civil wars and terrorism arise in part from economic roots. An important study last year by the World Bank, for example, suggested that among the best ways to prevent civil war (which, as in Afghanistan and Somalia, often spawns terrorism) is to promote economic growth and in particular manufacturing, so as to diversify economies away from dependence on commodities.

“There is a landmark step we could take to fight terrorism: Announce our willingness to work toward a free-trade area encompassing Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States. We already have several such free-trade agreements and are negotiating others. Just this month one will enter into force with Jordan, and it is an excellent model.

“In this case, Pakistan and Afghanistan would have to open their economies, solidifying them on a course toward free markets and, ultimately, greater political stability. India would be offended by any trade preference for Pakistan but could be invited to join in the future, and India too has a powerful interest in the emergence of a Pakistan that is more stable and more integrated into the world economy.

“Afghanistan's economy may seem a lost cause, capable of producing nothing but opium. But Afghanistan has the tastiest melons and pomegranates in the world, and its wages are only about 90 cents a day for an ordinary worker, so it can compete in labor-intensive industries.

“Moreover, many Afghans are born entrepreneurs. I heard about several men who set out dozens of lanterns in a field during the American bombing of Kabul. They hoped the Americans would mistake the lights for a Taliban site and bomb it, allowing them to collect high-grade metal from the bomb to sell as scrap in Pakistan.

“In Kabul, I visited a factory where 30 workers produce plastic shoes that sell for about 55 cents a pair. In Pakistan such shoes sell for $1.90 a pair, but the factory cannot export because of prohibitive Pakistani duties. A free-trade area could help this factory and spawn many others.

“There is, however, a reason that this kind of trade arrangement will probably never happen: American protectionism. America's textile mills have so far blocked proposals to lower tariffs on Pakistani clothing, and they would shriek at the prospect of a free-trade area even though Afghanistan and Pakistan make cheap rugs and shirts that do not compete with American-made goods.

“When Pakistan's leader, Pervez Musharraf, meets with Colin Powell and asks for help in staving off the threat of a radical Islamic revolution in his country, don't think that he is asking for riot-control equipment. Rather, he pleads for lower tariffs. He knows that the best way to stabilize the region is to bolster trade but Congress, which has been unyielding on tariffs, has been too shortsighted to recognize this.

“The political reality is that the United States is willing to sacrifice lives and budgets for a military campaign to defeat terrorism, but unwilling to take more modest steps on the economic front. Granted, fighting terrorism with trade and economic development is not as satisfying as dropping bombs on Taliban tanks, but in the long run it is more important.

“P.S. I have a young Afghani friend who had his leg blown off by a Russian tank some years ago. He was 16 or 17 when it happened. He lives in DC now and gets by great with his prosthesis for the lower leg he lost. His greatest excitement at the moment is his soon becoming an American citizen. Over the years we have stayed in touch, and just recently he called and asked if I would accompany him back to Kabul and see what we could do to help the children. He is SO motivated by children, I suspect because he didn't have any childhood of his own. He loves kids so much! We have a father-son relationship, both having been soldiers; he with more heroism than my own. I will probably go with him after all the shooting stops and formulate some kind of relief effort…especially for the schools and schooling of the children. Hopefully, we can make adifference. As the Albert Schweitzer quote you published some time back recommends: …'we can create for (ourselves) an auxiliary task'…If I do make it, I'll send you an email from there!Regards,

“P.P.S. Do you have any thoughts about what we could do for the Afghanis in Kabul? My education and military/civilian background have given me the management skills to handle just about anything short of hands-on high tech stuff. I would really like to set up some kind of self-sustaining simple industry for all the locals, but especially in support of the kids. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. T”

This, my friends, is inspired investing. As above…so below. The stars tell us this is a time when love and war (Venus and Mars) come together. The intuitive says this is a time of transition for all of us to reconcile the wastes of our materialistic pasts. Inspired investing sees the bigger picture. Owning downtown Manhattan real estate is not a good investment if the insurance premiums for terrorism are so high we can't charge enough for rent. If you look, the logic is that the investments that will help resolve these eternal social conflicts are just plain good investments. Their time has come!

We see another example in the simple banana below.


A reader from England wrote about an Economist magazine article that outlines how the banana industry in third world countries use child labor and how the chemical needed to grow bananas destroys these kid's health. He asked me to alert the world. So be alerted and pass the word and send me any information you see about abuses by banana growers. Here is what he wrote.

“Dear Gary,

“The “Economist” recently wrote an article on the companies who produce bananas, stating they employ children picking bananas and who are subject to the deadly pesticides they spray on the crops while the children and grownups are still working.

“To say I was horrified is putting it mildly. What these companies are doing to, not only the workers, but to the unfortunate subjects to whom they perpetrate the contaminated bananas by selling them without warning.

“It reminds me of the unheeded warnings that Linus Pauling warned the public regarding the contamination from the fallout from nuclear testing for which he nearly went to jail. Who will be the spokesperson for the atrocities of the banana companies?

“I fervently hope that with your influence you can be a spokesperson in order to have both problems eliminated as quickly as possible. Respectfully, GC”

Here is my reply.

Geoff, We have not been involved in bananas, but have been working with rose growers to encourage them (through the process of commerce) to sell green roses, those which are grown without chemicals that harm the earth and the workers. Also we are devoting one day a week of our messages to Inspired Investing, where the idea is to get business into balance so we are more aware of the damage our system of materialism is doing to our health and environment. You can look at our website and see a number of articles we have written stressing looking at investments in timber preservation, organic milk, etc.

At a personal level, we have encouraged our kids to be more sensitive to these issues as well and are proud that one is a Vet with a holistic bent, one works for the National Wildlife Federation, a charity that works to preserve our environment and wildlife, and one works with human rights commissions at the United Nations in Geneva.

Also, at our web site we support these issues through links to other charities such as the Center for the Resolution of Religious Conflicts.

Finally we were co founders and are trustees of the Land of the Sun Trust which provides assistance to poor people in third world nations.

Through this foundation, we have established a water supply for an entire Andean village and we now are helping to support a village (with only 43 remaining alive) of Amazonian natives.

Please send me anything you can on bananas and I'll try to figure a way to put it out to readers to get some impact. Hope to see you at our London seminar in July. Gary

Information like this creates inspired investing, If we can see something that hurts the Global Society in the long run (such as poisoning kids-remember when they become demented enough they'll become terrorists), we invest in solutions. Cleaning up the banana industry is not just a just cause. This is an opportunity.

If you go bananas at the thought of these poor children being abused, don't just make a fuss and don't just stop eating bananas. Look for ways to invest in bananas that are grown in ways that don't hurt the kids. This is right and if you invest in what is right, you will come out ahead.

Inspired investing comes from looking within. Look in your heart and see what it is that you really love, that special thing that is fulfilling to you, your family, friends and the world. Then do it! Do what you love and find a way to make money from it. We'll look at this in more detail in tomorrow's message, as Thursday is International Business Made EZ day!

Until then, I wish you the blessings of Inspired Investing!