Upside Down and Backwards

by Mayuri on July 26, 2017

 

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We can’t talk intelligently about our own money issues and actions without talking about the global canvass upon which these actions are being played out. Without this knowledge and understanding we can’t be fully conscious in the realm of money or know what right action is. To this end in this article I am going to look at the world’s money system from as broad a perspective as possible.

Our recent political landscape has grown our awareness of the 1% as brokers of influence, power, and privilege. With this understanding we begin to see how flawed our money system is and how it has undermined community and contributed to alienation, scarcity consciousness, and competition. As I expose this more deeply you may see how these trends are symptoms of an economic growth model that is meeting its consummate end. We are in urgent need of a more connected, sustainable, and ecological basis for economic exchange.

If you follow global news you may have become aware that our current economic model is a global economy with interconnected economies but no matching political process. You can see the fallout from this in  the demise of many small countries, the increase in wars on the planet, increase in fundamentalism and terrorism.Perhaps looming is the global collapse of the banking system. Because of this lack of economic and political integration we have no way to predict the future. The past is no longer a guide. From my perspective this indicates the beginning of a major paradigm shift.

Reality Views

We all have different ideas about money and these constitute patterning influences that constrain our experience of reality. For example, we may perceive the world from a prey/predator – victim/tyrant perspective, or dual/non-dual, holographic/ordinary and so on. Whatever our viewpoint, it limits our capacity to embrace other views. If you are on a spiritual path you may reject the reality of people who are not. But if 99.999% of people hold a non-spiritual view or reality how can they all be wrong, when much of reality is formed by consensus?

Hameed  Ali of the Ridhwan School for Consciousness Development has said that true freedom is the ability to hold any view depending on the requirement of the situation. Today I want to look at different ways of looking at money and our changing relationship to it.

Conventional View of Money

The bartering of food preceded coinage by centuries. The introduction of coinage gave greater freedom from limited direct exchange and allowed greater extension into the world. The intention originally was to facilitate sharing, but it actually moves us a way from personal engagement and social relationships. It gave us a sense of independence and autonomy but removes us from mutual survival which binds people together and forges community.

Even in the modern world money is worth nothing until it is changed into goods. Its value is based on the economics of society, so it still connects us to the greater whole. From one point of view, globalization has made the world more interdependent and has made us more aware of the illusion of separateness.

Another View of Money

Money is a symbol of our labor but unlike our labor it has the quality of exchangeability. We take our subjective lives – our time and energy – and turn them into a spendable object or commodity. A healthy exchange gains us items that are productive or useful in our lives.

The practice of usury (charging interest) changes the dynamics of monetary exchange by making money an end in itself. In this way, money takes on some of the qualities of personhood and ceases to have objective value. Capital becomes self-serving rather than serving the needs of people, by placing the profit motive above all other concerns. When this happens the interests of people are sacrificed to those of profit, interest, and growth. An example of this is when a company in the US moves a factory to Mexico where high profits are achieved at the expense of the wellbeing of workers who work long hours in poor conditions for low pay.

Money was not originally intended to be an end in itself, but an exchange value for goods and services. By allowing our stock markets to behave like casinos, and banks to invest in unregulated intangible derivatives and not real assets, we have allowed Planet Financial to swallow Planet Real. Now money is more important than creativity and productivity. We no longer value our own tangible products. We are slaves, selling our lives for someone else’s profit. This lifestyle breeds immense alienation, with psychological and spiritual effects.

In this new financially driven society individuals feel exploited, inadequate, and deficient and suffer from an increasing inability to sustain their lives and even the planet.

To quote the Dalia Lama, “People were created to be loved, and things were created to be used. The reason why the world is in chaos is because things are bing loved and people are being used.”

Debt

Usury was once considered a sin because charging interest to someone who needed to borrow money was seen as taking advantage of their misfortune. In the current global financial system debt is intrinsic to maintaining the structure. In the US individuals can’t charge usurious rates of interest, but banks and credit card companies can. Most Americans maintain an illusion of wealth by living under a mountain of debt. In reality, debt has stripped the wealth of the majority of the American people, blasting a crater under our economy.

Current thinking is that we are competing globally for scarce resources. This sets up fear, competition, and the need to keep producing more and more sellable goods. We measure wealth in GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and ignore health, well-being, education, and happiness.

While there is nothing wrong with growth per se, our current economic system is predicated on debt; on paying interest to get money. This means that more and more people must go into debt to keep the system afloat. Overall the money owed is greater than the money in circulation, which means that the national economy has to exponentially increase debt just to maintain status quo. In this sense growth is an illusion. The growth model only works when we are able to keep producing more and more product. At this stage on the planet, this is no longer possible. There simply are no more resources to exploit. We have reached the limit of economic growth, the end of our ecology, and the we are face to face with the lie that our system is based on everyone being a winner. In fact, there are few winners and many, many losers.

Of course, we have all participate in this toxic system to some degree. We use credit cards to buy stuff that becomes land-fill within a year. Or we buy products that end up in storage – a huge industry that has grown up in the last 30 years. And we pay for the interest on our credit cards with our time, our energy, our life force.

The biggest losers in this system are those left holding the debt with no way to pay it off, no debt relief, no job in sight, no assets to convert. It is time to recognize that the unlimited debt/unlimited growth model at the center of our economy is at the root of our current national crisis.

The impact of this nature of our current money system then  is that it makes each of us a constant victim and has us chase a materialistic life instead of a spiritual one. We have made money our God, and the money system has made permanent divisions in our society. It has deeply impacted the way we look at life. Instead of pursuing a life of inner meaning, and recognizing we ARE value, money has turned our lives upside down and backwards. True wealth is recognizing the value of who you are, that you are one, in unity with,  with the deepest nature of reality. Instead, money has imposed a value on us. We are are our monetary value and our cultural status, and even right to life is falsely based on the amount of money we have.

There is enough money in the world right now for everyone to be prosperous and there are technologies available for limitless resources, giving us all what we need materially. Imagine how that would also contribute to peace, well-being and comfort for each being on the planet.

If we started to value our spiritual nature and who we are, the pull of the money realities would no longer apply. Instead fear and competition would be replaced by achieving our unique potential,  and in recognizing our own, we would recognize the value and uniqueness of every individual. We would want to work with each other to make the world better, helping and being of service to each other.

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having a human experience. There is no greater value than our spiritual true nature. And the highest human experience we can have is service to each other in life.

Right now our economic system is the inverse of sustainable, financially and environmentally. We are fast approaching the point where this is not just about corruption but about our very freedom and maybe even our survival as human beings. We are far away from the value that every human being deserves an income for freedom and dignity. There seems to be no political drive to change this, so it is up to us. Becoming aware of our illusions and unwise financial and ecological choices brings us closer to ourselves. As we move towards what is uncomfortable in our fiscal world we become more objective about our financial reality. It is when we feel our brokenness that we begin to move toward wholeness. To give up using money as an object relation – a crutch, a symbol of self worth, a tool for the superego – allows us to discover how truth, beauty, and being can manifest in our lives.

The opportunity of the current economic chaos, is for us to right ourselves and to discover the truth that we are value.

 

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Money and Death

by Mayuri on May 20, 2015

You Can’t Take It With You

Image courtesy of 2nix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of 2nix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My Uncle Ken, a loving  heartfelt man and my mother’s older brother, passed away this week. And in contemplating his death, it also started a contemplation in me about money and its relationship to death. It may sound trite to hear “You can’t take it with you”, but it is actually a very profound statement. Whatever you can’t take with you, is not what you should be spending a lot of time on earth attaining. What does continue is your consciousness, your life. What is true is never lost.

At the same time, money is our society is embedded in everything that we do and is therefore something we spend a lot of time in our lives dealing with. But although it occupies an important place in the physical world, in the “god world” it has no importance at all. That is why Christ said, ” It is as difficult for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven as it is for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.”

So the accumulation of money just for itself from this perspective looks ridiculous. I have often felt that those who accumulate money for the sake of it believe they are going to cheat death. The more money they have, the better and the goal is the accumulation of money for its own sake. This has become an illness that could affect the very survival of the planet. There is richness in the world, but it cannot be had through accumulating things. Acquiring things is the ego’s attempt to expand itself. Even if we could extend ourselves to the end of the universe and appropriate everything in our path, we would be missing the boundlessness of Beingness, our spiritual nature.

Because we can’t take it with us, it really has no value in and of itself. In and of itself, it is actually sterile. It is only a symbol of value, not real value. You could liken it to a physical body with no spirit in it. And it is our spirit that survives.  Why spend your life acquiring which adds so little value to what does continue after physical life- your consciousness? So the question becomes, how can we bring our spirituality, our consciousness into our money? And in effect transform it from something sterile into something valuable?

The only real value is in its use in the physical world. But for so many, the accumulation of money for the future (which is an illusion) becomes an end in itself, and we forget where true value lies. This is what I say in my book:

We experience a painful emptiness when we believe that the material world is the source of our bounty and don’t understand that our physical senses are not our soul’s satisfaction. The heart of our true nature is endless, boundless love and a richness that is not finite. The joy of Being cannot come to you from any possession; it emanates from the formless dimension within you, from consciousness itself, which is one with who you are.

Once we know this to be true, we don’t have to spend our time and energy acquiring more and more things and then trying to protect or hoard what we have—because Beingness is ours, and it is unlimited. The Being world is beautiful and glorious and luminous, and it is the source of our richness. The more we know ourselves as that, the more we understand that this richness is inherent in who we are.

So what if you learned to use money wisely for your own personal growth and for the growth of others around you? If you develop that wisdom, then you can let the wealth you have be the means of bringing in higher values of the progress of the spirit.
In his book, Grieve No More Beloved, The Book of Delight, Ormond McGill transcribes “There is no harm in acquiring great wealth if you possess it rather than letting it possess you. Look upon wealth as a means of acquiring greater freedom to do that which is worthwhile doing. If you can handle money in that way, then it is worthwhile acquiring in the physical world, as the stewardship of fortune can teach many lessons worth learning, but for far too many it is simply money, money, money…jingle, jingle, jingle.”

 

That does not mean we can’t acquire treasures and collectibles that are meaningful to our hearts- that is not the same as collecting money just for the sake of it. What is important to remember however, is that those objects are not valuable in and of themselves, but because of the joy or pleasure  – the Beingness – they bring our hearts and for the reminder of formless dimension of Being that is their nature. They are valuable because of the formless dimension beneath them. If your treasures also bring joy to others, then that is even better. Nothing that beautiful, or worthwhile is ever lost. All that you acquire that touches your consciousness will go along with you in spirit.

Money is the perfect place to practice the spiritual principle of  “To be in the world and not of it.”

 

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Women, Money, & Spirit

February 10, 2015

Speak Up, Speak Up, Speak Up On Saturday February7, 2015 I attended a Symposium entitled Women, Money, & Spirit– A One Day Symposium Reflecting On the Meaning of Money in Women’s Lives at Dominican University in San Rafael, CA. It was a joint organization between Kate Levinson, author of Emotional Currency and Mairi Pileggi, a Dean and […]

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Facelifts

December 4, 2014

What is True Beauty?   You may be wondering how a blog about money would have a title about facelifts and how they are related. It certainly isn’t about how to get the cheapest and best facelift. So let’s follow the thread and see where it leads. Recently, I have had several female friends of […]

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Our New Global Threats

October 17, 2014

The Breakdown of The World’s Financial System   I was at a small money gathering  yesterday with a group of people who meet periodically to both understand what is happening in our money system and to contemplate how to impact the consciousness in whatever we can around it. I thought I would share what transpired there […]

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Money and Imagination

August 1, 2014

What Can We Do About The World? I just heard a talk by Investigative Reporter, Jon Rappaport. His talk was called You Selling You. What  he means by that, is getting a “bigger” you – in the same stage play of your life, but a bigger more expansive you. In his view, you get the […]

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Spiritual Capital Revolution

June 20, 2014

The Transformation of Money and Self I have just read Charles Eisenstein’s amazing book, The Ascent of Humanity, Civilization and the Human Sense of Self. It is a must read for anyone who cares about humanity. He talks about money not as the cause, but rather the instrument of “our separation from nature, spirit, love, […]

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Invest in Planet Real not Planet Financial

March 27, 2014

Drought in California I was just visiting family in Palm Springs and drove through the San Joaquin (central) valley to get there. There many disturbing things that stood out on that drive. There were abandoned almond groves, huge industrial agricultural facilities and signs about the drought including ones blaming Congress. When I got home, the […]

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Health Care and Death

February 14, 2014

Correlating the Cost of Health Care and Our Attitudes Toward Death For those of us in the US, we just had a major health care cost event in the form of Obamacare. Growing up in Canada, I actually feel that there should be a government run single-payer system here too, just like there is in […]

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The Paradigm Shift Is Happening

December 6, 2013

Are There Harbingers of a  New Financial System?   I recently received an email from a reader who asked the following: “I am interested in the consciousness shift you have written about on your website. I am confused about the timescale of this shift though. I’ve read lots of different articles from different people about certain […]

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