Debt is the New Bondage

by Mayuri on April 15, 2009

Staying Out of Credit Card Debt

As stated in the New Yorker  in its April 13, 2009 issue, in the article I.O.U. by Jill Lepore ,”Consumer debt has been the engine of the American economy since the 1970’s and arguably longer”. I would argue not just the American economy, but the whole world consumer driven bubble economy that has just crashed because it is simply not sustainable. Many  are now recognizing that the predatory lending practices of the banks and credit card companies, with the tacit approval of the government through it’s interest rate manipulation and, as Jill Lepore, says its  pitching to the American people that credit is a civic responsibility , have created a such a giant hole in the economy that we wonder if it can actually be fixed.

We  have no appreciation for history, or geography, in this country. It was never something that was valued in our education. If we did appreciate history, we would know that the downfall of every civilization was presaged by a wider and wider split between the haves and the have -nots. Think the Fall of the Roman Empire and now perhaps what we are experiencing, the Fall of the American Empire.

We don’t have to go back that far if we were interested in what happened to us with respect to debt. And if we look we will see, that we have had many rises and falls of the economy, and in all cases debt was seen as necessary for trade, which made the market economy more valuable than a moral economy where debt was wrong and should be punished.

As Jill Lepore reveals in her article, John Pintard’ a Madoff-type bankrupt and civil employee of NYC in the 1800’s said after the economic panic of 1819 ” A new race must rise on the broken fortunes of the present” and that new race  had to learn to “plod and earn an honest living, to accumulate by slow degrees”. Americans never remember these previous crashes. We continuously, with great amnesia, want to get rich quick and this means we can go broke fast too. We had some foreshadowing to this current economic crises with the the dot.com bubble. We have believed in bubbles, forgetting they don’t last, and without easy credit, a bubble cannot occur

In the December 2008 Vanity Fair Magazine, in its article “Wall Street Lays Another Egg”, the author, Niall Fergusson, talks about the move from “Planet Financial” to “Planet Earth”. Is that true, or is it just another wave in the cyclical amnesia?

And this is what I want to bring us to. We actually have a choice. We can actually choose to get off this wheel and move not only from Planet Financial to Planet Earth, but to Planet Real. In order for us to do that, we need to understand that debt is not making us richer, it is taking us deeper into bondage.

How? Your debt doesn’t just tell you about your past. It tells you about your future. Every debt, every monthly payment, every dollar you owe is a claim against your future. Debt steals from the future. Its a trap, because as many of you are discovering, it is easy to get into debt, but getting out of debt is next to impossible.

It is not debt that is the real problem. It is with us. It is a symptom of our own personal lack of value, a poor self image, a cut off from our deeper spiritual nature. We lack self worth so we have bought things to show that we have value in the world. We have cared more about material well-being, wealth, and possessions  than we have about depth, fullness, rest, connection with others, time to be with those we care about, even time to be with ourselves. We got caught in the bigger faster stuff that we have to pay for. And we pay with time, and time is our life, so pay with our lives, our futures. 

We have had everything you can desire, everything money can buy, but a diminishing quality of experience. You have HAD everything and BEEN nothing.

So this economic crisis is a call to be more real with ourselves.To look and see what we really value in our lives. It can be a revolution toward valuing our deeper natures as human beings, our spiritual nature, and participate in a new paradigm of consciousness. And we can enter this new paradigm just by deciding not to debt. That will refocus your lives in ways you can’t even imagine. You will  become more present, and not living in the bondage of your future, and you will find a whole wealth of being human that has been lost in the chase of more is better.

Our economic system has been built on lust, animal lust. The pleasure in things. Imagine if we had angelic lust where  we have pleasure in love, truth, meaning and depth. We can align our money with that. That is conscious money. That is our potential as human beings. That is Planet Real.

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