I’m not the jealous type, but I’m envious of my brother. His friend Charles brings him a fresh container of pomegranate seeds every week. A pomegranate is not like an apple or a banana; someone has to find it, peel it, and carefully collect the hundreds of seeds. It’s a mouth watering gastronomic experience
that takes work to prepare and clean, but without fail every Friday my brother Eyal, opens his fridge to a fresh bowl of the red succulent seeds. Eyal calls the devotional force behind this weekly blessing, Level 3 Giving.
What the heck is Level 3 Giving?
According to Eyal, and not to mention, the Bible’s commentary, there are various levels of giving. Level 3 is where the giver expects nothing in return and gives without having to be asked. In Eyal’s world there are 4 levels of giving.
Let’s start our tour at the ground floor. Level 1 is where one gives unwillingly – think taxes or dish washing (in my case). Level 2 is where you do the deed, but you want recognition or reciprocation for your work. At Level 3 you give with nothing expected in return and at level 4 — or the samadhi of giving — you give anonymously.
Many of us mortals hang between levels 1 and 2. At these levels we are in the transactional world where every gesture requires a payoff, whether a favor, recognition, money, or a barter. Think of an algebraic equation where one side needs to cancel the other to equate. In such a case there is nothing left to overflow: 1+1=2. And that is where it ends. The recipient of your gift is not inspired, knowing that they need to boomerang it back.
Level 3 is where it becomes interesting. At this level you give unconditionally without having to be asked. Here the give <-> receive equation in not balanced and the recipient ends up loaded with a surplus of positive energy that must be converted to giving to others by paying it forward. Receivers are in position to spread the giving. This is the kind of giving that can be transformative. For example, listen to the first 3 minutes of this clip from TED.com and how a gift of profound generosity changed this man’s life and, as a result, thousands of others.
Upping the ante we go to level 4 — the penthouse of giving. Here we give without needing to be asked and we give anonymously. This is where the give <-> receive equation goes ballistic. Level 4 is rare, not sure if I’ve experienced it recently or ever. I imagine it’s like seeing $25,000 in your kid’s college savings account and not knowing where it came from.
If I follow my brother’s logic, Charles was just unloading an overabundance of positive energy that was heaped on his family. Apparently Roni –Eyal’s wife– spent an enormous amount of energy helping in the positive transformation of Charles’ wife a few years back. No need to delve – but according to the legend this was Level 3 giving to the extreme, which propelled Charles’ wife’s trajectory into an upwards arc forever. So it follows that Charles is applying the laws of return and paying in pomegranate seeds back to Roni’s husband Eyal – who in turn will Level 3 someone else.
Once you become mindful of the physics of giving, you might find yourself doing the dishes at night when no one is looking. However, paying more taxes is another level not covered here.
Level 4 Homework
Last month I challenged you to donate $20 and help raise $1k for charity: water. So far we raised $700 between 16 donors. Pretty good!
If you haven’t contributed yet and want to experience Level 4 giving (you can donate anonymously) – we need another $300 for our project to go live. So here’s your chance to directly help provide safe drinking water for those who don’t have and make a real difference.
Click on our donation page
- Donate $20, or more
- Share with your buds
- I’ll report back on how the money was spent and who got clean water