Spiritual Capital Revolution
Updated: May 5
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, beauty, justice, peace, and community.” These I would call aspects of our Beingness, our true nature, that we have been alienated from in our taking of ourselves to be separate individuals and not part of the oneness of reality.
He states, “The assumptions of scarcity is at the very root of economics” and economic growth then becomes “reflecting an escalation of neediness, and intensification of the state of being in want”. The way I would say that is because we don’t know our Beingness, which is our true identity, we have a distorted sense of identity as separate selves which leads to isolation. Charles says “the weak sense of self identity that springs from our isolation leases us extremely vulnerable to consumerism” and this leads us to eroding our wealth of human capital through the conversion of what he discriminates into social, cultural, spiritual and natural capital into money. “Social capital is the totality of human relationships that sustain life and make it rich.” Cultural capital “refers to the cumulative products of the human mind, including language, stories, art, music and ideas”. Natural capital “refers to the east itself: the earth’s minerals, land, soil, oceans, freshwater, genomes, and biota; everything, that is, that was not created by human beings. He states that the conversion of the world into money makes less of the world, but so does the conversion of our life into money and this violates our sense of beauty, rightness, and purpose. But he says it is not just the physical world that has been converted and sold off as property, but our “imagination, creativity, attention span, playfulness, and spontaneity” which Charles calls our Spiritual Capital. This conversion has not been an ascent of humanity, but rather “has eroded our humanity and made us lesser beings”. The conversion of life to money reduces everything to an economic transaction. We are at the point that money has become self. From my point of view, this self is a self-centered, ego-based self and not the Self of our Beingness, the uniqueness that we each are at our depths.
The question he poses, and one that I have also been addressing is how do we reclaim our lost wealth. What is needed Charles says, is a revolution of self and world, a reconceiving of who we are. Only a revolution at that level can reverse the crisis of our age. We are fast approaching the sustainable limits of this conversion of wealth and capital on the planet. And someday it will run out. And thus this revolution is inevitable.
His view is that “the momentous rise in spiritual, humanitarian, and ecological awareness will not save us, not because it is too late (although it is), but because the course of separation has not yet reached its finale.” In his book he describes a money system that will “undo separation, build community instead of breaking it down, bring us closer to nature instead of distancing us”.
I have been participating in an international alternative money inquiry group that is in alignment with the need for a human revolution, and we were breaking down the soul groups that we each belong to and our individual purpose in facilitating this revolution on the planet. Although I feel in alignment with everything Charles brings forward, I am in a different soul group. You could say he is a Financial Guardian and a New Civilization Builder. Whereas my work is as a Teacher of the Soul. As he addresses the issues on a civilization level, I address them on the level of the individual.
So from my perspective, the reconceiving of who we are needs to be addressed on an individual soul level, where we challenge the separate sense of self, and within each of us, the split between spirit and matter, which is at root at the source of our crisis. As Charles says, when we are separated from our spiritual nature, “there is a hole in the heart so painful that we constantly crave distraction, entertainment, something to take us away from the pain.” And in our society we usually try to fill that hole of pain with consuming. From the individual soul perspective, my perspective, this hole is created when we turned away from Being in order to be in and of the world. Instead of trying to fill that hole, with more of everything, instead we need a transformation process that will reconnect us with our deeper truer nature. In other words we need to bring consciousness into our lives. There is no change possible without a change in consciousness, at its simplest in how we look at things. And the more of us who engage in personal consciousness growth, the greater the impact on the planet.
This is what I say in my book, Money•Spirituality•Consciousness about the separate self:
In the creation of an ego, each of us lumps together a collection of pieces—including images, feelings, beliefs, and other people’s projections and values—to create a sense of self, an existential center. As soon as we create a self, there is an “other.” Our conditioned view of “otherness” implies both subject (me) and object (someone else). This loss of our awareness of oneness is the beginning of a life trapped in duality. Add to this all the objects and people that this separated self relates to, and we each end up creating an artificial world for ourselves, a shell of more or less connected objects and selves. In other words there is a resulting objectification of the world. How could we not lose touch with the fundamental truth of reality, which is the oneness of Being? And since we believe that our own actions determine the fate of our separate selves, we live in competition instead of cooperation, with greed instead of generosity, in self-centeredness gone wild. We do not behave as though we were an integral part of the dance of life on this planet that we all share. How can we move ourselves back into a balance that honors both the spiritual and the material aspects of our human experience, without separating the two? It is a popular New Age notion that we shouldn’t have to struggle. Our lives should be happy and easy, and if they aren’t, there’s something wrong with us. But as we have already discussed, pain is part of our human journey, and no one is exempt from having to contend with barriers and obstacles, including internal ones, such as our self-image, conditioning, and beliefs. We resist this understanding, and our resistance is profound. It manifests not only on a personal level but culturally as well. We don’t want to reexperience our wounds—our ego structures are invested in repressing them in an attempt to feel better. We have a lot of help doing just that: Our pharmacological society prescribes pills for every imaginable pain so that we don’t have to suffer. When there is a crisis (think 9/11) we are encouraged to go shopping. Whatever specific issues cause us pain, we would much rather transcend them or leave them behind forever. But this yearning reveals a misunderstanding of what is necessary to actually transform us. To release the energy tied up in our structures, we must be willing to enter into our wounds. As paradoxical as it may seem, entering into our darkness and finding the truth about ourselves will lead to a healing and wholeness that nullify the previous, limited concepts of happiness that most of us have. There is no other way to wholeness. In fact, experiencing pain and suffering consciously is the journey into a finer and more luminous consciousness of Being. The moment you accept pain without rejection, your experience of it changes; its very quality seems to change. As Osho once said, “One cannot believe that suffering can be changed into ecstasy, that pain can become joy.” Each time we meet our own pain with consciousness, we are part of the evolutionary force of Being. We become more and more open to the depth of Beingness, to the mystery of existence. Ultimately, the potential of all human beings straddling both worlds lies in the experience of totality, the oneness of Being. Then we not only see that our true nature is everything, we also know ourselves as that.
So to me the revolution needed is that of consciousness, not just on a societal level, but at our very core of who we take ourselves to be. To remember who we are at our very deepest. Authentic human experience requires our presence in both worlds, the inner and the outer, the divine and the manifest. When we exist in one world alone, we are not complete human beings. Our destiny is to be both spirit and matter, and our struggle is the means to that destiny.