A few years ago, I was visiting Greece while the economic crisis unfolded. I told one of my friends there, “My grandmother’s from Thessaloniki. I‘ve also worked in Greece a lot and earned my living, so I’d like to help out.” I then asked him to set up a workshop.

The workshop lasted two full days and had 30 participants. I covered my own expenses, and the venue’s owners only charged us a nominal fee. The participants donated €5 each, which covered the expense of the venue with some left over. With this remainder, we planned to offer a meal of falafel in pita with water during the lunch break.

During the workshop, I entered the room and said, “See, I can work without any pay. Why do people always force on me the idea that I need to make so much money?” One of the first replies I received went like this: “You’re not doing this for free. You inherited certain benefits through your DNA, since your grandmother was born here, and now you’re just balancing it out…”

A while later, I visited Greece again for a similar workshop. A therapist among the participants offered to repay me with a therapy session. Another participant who could cook prepared a great table for us, and some others simply repaid with their sincere prayers. With my previous experience in mind, I asked, “Is this also a kind of balancing act? How am I supposed to carry on and not disrupt this balance?” The participants simply replied, “Take whatever is given with love and gratitude, and honor your money.”

I didn’t understand this at first, because I thought I honored money already. They sensed that I didn’t understand, so they added, “You transfer energy, which is something invisible and difficult to believe in,  and the money you charge in return focuses that energy on a certain target and strengthens its effect.” It guess it’s like taking diffuse energy and focusing it like a laser, but I still don’t quite get it. Anyway, they continued, “This makes the energy visible in the material world. You need to get something in return, so that it will become visible.”

My dear trusted friend Tuğrul Kaynak, who practices both western and Vedic astrology, also told me something like this: “You used to have a great deal of knowledge and virtue back in the day. This stands on your shoulders like a tall tower. Even if no one can see it, they sense it and are crushed by it. They secretly resent you. To balance it out, you need to act differently and learn to take money instead of trying to accumulate virtue. To balance the situation this creates, you should surrender yourself to a teacher for a year and learn to bow before him. You should serve him and his choices in a different manner. It is time for you to let people leave their frustration and find balance.” I did everything he said.

Afterwards, I came to a deeper understanding of how the system is not about reward and punishment but rather balance.

They say, “The creative source works in mysterious ways.” Although we can’t understand why certain things happen, it’s all to create balance. In this life, we sometimes believe we are paying penance for former lives. However, this outlook weakens the gains from whatever we do right now to find balance. The best way I can explain it is that I am balancing it out by filling my own sack, regardless of whatever was accumulated on the other side.