Blog, Book & Evolutionary Course
Is there is a more relevant, or important, conversation to be had than one exploring economy? Though we instantly associate money, we quickly diversify to resources and our planet, energy, food, shelter, water—and the more basic the requirement for subsistance, the conversation lands squarely on people, and ultimately, life itself.
What about the people? Where do we fit the value of human life, no less the value of all life, into our equations of economy? Herein lies the rub—the dissatisfaction and suffering, or for some, the absence of much feeling at all, other than whether one’s own cup is full, or has, at least, something in it. That’s what makes the #Occupy movement so compelling, warts, insecurities, growing pains and all. People are standing shoulder-to-shoulder pointing an unmistakably large collective finger at “the economy” shouting, “Hey! This doesn’t work! It’s broken and we need to fix it!”
Of course, that large finger is pointing at other people too—those 1% that are doing this—those banksters and their plutocratic ilk in cahoots with hegemonic politicians expanding imperial global dominance via militarized bullying. There is a necessity for assessment and plain talk about what is, as well as a cathartic function for expressing one’s anger and indignation. However, as important as these actions are, they are are only the initial steps toward true and lasting change. There is no shortage of information and intelligent deconstruction of all the ways unjust economic, political, social, environmental, agricultural, et al policy and practice is executed and exacted on vulnerable populations on every continent. However, that is not my focus for this blog, the book nor the transformational work attending to this topic.
My background and expertise lie in the realm of emotional and spiritual transformation, the alchemy of transmuting and restoring disempowered, devalued or non-optimized states of body, mind and being back to radiant, essential wholeness, purposefulness and fulfillment—the inalienable inheritance attendant to receiving a human birth. I have had to live this process, first and foremost, for myself. Though I’ve journeyed 40 years on this path since first awakening and have undergone cataclysmic transformations, I am not done. Nor do I believe anyone ever is—done. Not even the “enlightened” ones. I’ve been blessed with numerous “enlightenments”, each with its astonishingly diverse flavor, perhaps so that I would relinquish, once and for all, my idealized notions of a singlular “perfect state”. The day the Universe runs its course, perhaps we can entertain “done”, though musings at that scale are merely, well…amusing. In perspective, this divine game of “becoming” plays out on a scale that is incomprehensible to mind as we know it. As such, it offers a key to authentic humility, as well as perspective for navigating this current evolutionary impulse to transmute this present dysfunctional economy to a system that honors and respects the sanctity and irreducible preciousness of life above all else. To transform economy is to transform our relationship with ourselves and life at its very core.
Not being steeped in academic economic theories or principles renders me a bit of freedom for fresh thought. I’ll start with my definition of economy. Economy is an emergent demonstration of the paradigm, or world view, from which we assess our personal value relative to the world around us. From this core assessment of personal value, we assign value to others and all things in our world, both consciously and unconsciously. We circulate and exchange these valuations at every level of social intercourse. This process of circulation is broken down into discreet events we call transactions. In a phrase, economy is the assessment, assignation and transaction of value. Of course, as soon as we begin assigning value, giving it context and content, our pictures, definitions and models exponentially complexify.
The most significant contextual element that bears mention at this point, and which I’ll unpack later in depth (in subsequent installments on this blog), is the age-old infusion of the primal human survival imperative in this process—the fundamental dynamic of evolutionary progression of our species from instinctive fear and hostility toward reason directed by Love and generosity. This progression is mirrored in the gradual, now exponentially expanding, dissolution of borders of awareness between peoples. Currently, due to the world-wide web, we could say that there are very few, if any, borders between people’s awareness of one another. For thousands of years, we have been steadfastly expanding from insular tribal communities toward global inclusion and mutual recognition of all people on Earth, Gaia, as a whole, potentially self-aware organism, of which, humans are intrinsic and vital parts, like a highly developed network of neural cells as propounded by Peter Russell in his video, Global Brain.
As if coded directly into our DNA, it seems humans might have well been programmed to find one another via some impulse to seek the limit of horizons. Problems historically arise due to the less than mutually respectful transactions between people upon those meetings. Even among indigenous populations whom we tend to idealize as living in a most sacred manner, there were violent encounters between "foreign" people. The Hawaiian Islands, land of aloha, at times flowed with the blood of warring tribes. In our current technological age, aggression and violence on people targeted for exploitation of resources, natural and human, has reached unconscionable heights. However, even among like-minded members of organizations for social change, it is not unusual to witness conflict and splintering over divergent viewpoints. The manner in which we meet and harmonize our inevitable differences and recognize our common humanity—or not— is the factor which will ultimately determine whether we extinguish or flourish human presence on this planet. Economy may be the single, clearest out-picturing of the state of relationship among ourselves.
Albert Einstein said, “When the solution is simple, God is answering.” Because economies are intrinsically driven by individuals’ collective sense, the morphogenetic field at large, of internal value, I believe in the simplicity of the following solution to our economic tangle. Restore dignity to our human experience; collectively reset our human compass so as to remember, resuscitate and energize the value of each and every human life on earth as the sacred expression of the divine that it is. We know from our own experience, the more we are infused with Love in any given moment, the more precious is everything around us, without prejudice or discount. A fully opened heart can do no harm. Alas, the execution and enactment of the most simple solutions can be paradoxically complex. We could sooner make a horse drink at the trough than force open a human heart. We are thousands of years along in this quest to exalt the principle of Love as the rule of law, yet we sense this nexus in time is truly a turning of the ages, a hallmark of paradigmic shifting—a seismic alteration of humanity’s worldview and the consciousness driving it.
There are many that believe our world can turn by revising and implementing systems that increasingly align with higher values. I agree that we ought to do everything in our power to amend, renovate and replace, where necessary, structures and systems that are anathema with respect to the sacredness of life. However, as strikingly demonstrated by David Graeber in his book, Debt: The First 5000 Years, without a collective shift in the consciousness that assesses and assigns value, economic systems ultimately recycle themselves. Human systems in general are an out-pictured product of human consciousness, much more than the other way around. Yes, circumstances and environment absolutely impact both individual and collective behaviors and attitudes, however, even those challenges are evoked from the deeper field of collective consciousness as part of a broader evolutionary agenda [this statement assumes soul intent]. Right now, our systems and structures are more oppressive and coercive than ever, selling fear and salvation through ever-tightening control and wholesale dissolution of individual freedoms with no sign of retreating. Yet, rather than crumbling in helpless despair or shocked awe, voices of freedom grow stronger.
Many take heart to notice that as governments and certain classes of corporate entities and its allies escalate aggression, it is the spirit and conscience of people that is rising to disallow further cooptation of alienable rights to peaceful, fulfilling and sustainable existence. It is the spirit of people that is asserting to restore balance and integrity in our transactions and relationships at every level and scale. Marshal Rosenberg’s gift of Nonviolent/Compassionate Communication is surging with a life of its own. Restorative Justice circles, Resilience circles and community circles of all kinds with names bearing the words: compassion, thrive, connect, synergy and convergence are blossoming, as if the season for circles had simply arrived the way wildflowers suddenly blanket hillsides after deep, cold winters.
It is the innate dignity of life, the primordial value of indivisible essence, the unassailable wholeness of being that blazes through to heal and mend the wounds we have, more often than not, inflicted on ourselves. We are irrepressible souls that embarked long ago on an audacious journey through the wilderness, stumbling out from unconsciousness, now dancing toward the ever-present visage of utopian self-realization, the self-aware illumination in the fore lobes of our brain structures that we, indeed, are inextricably connected and whole as Gaia. Who can say they know what that ultimately means or looks like. The nature of emergence renders the outcome unknowable. We do know it will be at a higher order of organization (beauty/Love). We feel “it”, each in our own way—and see “it”, each through our vision as we allow our inspiration the freedom to author-ize the beauty of the future of becoming.
The pathway to our new economy is multidimensional. Yes, we must, as we are beginning to, examine and imagine new ways of assessing, transacting and tracking what is of value in relationship to one another. What might aspects and elements of equitable economic systems look like—currency, credit, gift, barter, time, private, commons, local, global…? Systems of economy are founded on collective agreement. The degree to which we come to understand how to mediate diverse ideas and principles will determine the agreements, or lack thereof, that will drive this process. I’m not here to forge or propose content for new models, as Charles Eisenstein has ambitiously undertaken in his book, Sacred E... I’m particularly interested and qualified in the process and dynamics of relationship which ultimately drive and express as the economy du jour. The system is the framework which organizes flow. Consciousness determines the quality of that flow. The system is the tool. Consciousness determines how that tool will be used. Think knife—to harm or to nourish—tis consciousness that decides.
Systems of every shape and form are constructed of relationships. Most modern physicists would likely agree that the Universe itself, at every scale of manifestation, can be described in terms of relationship. In fact, relationship is all there is. The most fundamental relationship could be expressed as polarity, the dance between positive and negative and the resulting dynamics of movement we call flow. Flow is the basis for life as we know it. Without polarity, there can be no movement, not even a thought. It is here, that we can merge science with the spirit of the Tao. Life is flow between polarities: masculine/feminine; warm/cold; high/low; aggressive/passive; power over/power under; rich/poor; etc. Simple enough. Though, again, a conundrum.
“All relationships are founded on one, the one with your self” is a tenet I found, many years ago, to be unerringly true. As within, so without. This has been called the Law of Attraction—I prefer Law of Resonance. As such, systems out-picture, or reflect, the aggregate consciousness of those that participate via sympathetic resonance. Though we can occupy the apparently same field (room) as another person, we will each focus our attention in very different ways. For example, even if listening to the same person, one person can be having a frustrating experience cascading with judgements, while the person next to him is smiling ear-to-ear having the inspirational time of her life! Ironically, the person Jay was having a challenge with, was mirroring something to him that he needed to be aware of in order to move forward in his life. The person next to him was clear and ready to be inspired to her next step—and she got it.
People who collectively share a compromised sense of dignity will generate experiences in systems that seem to compromise their dignity. People who collectively marginalize their own value and worth will generate experiences in systems that marginalize human value. Now, do I need to fix the system so that I no longer have the experience of feeling devalued? When I re-read this question, it’s a trick question. No. I don’t fix the system to no longer feel devalued. Because changing the system outside won’t shift my loss of value inside unless I’ve shifted from within. I need to reorganize and recover my sense of who I am independent of the system. My dignity is compromised because I rest it on something outside myself. This, by the way, is a real time example of where we sit as a culture. We need to recover our sense of self from external conditions—then we’re free to choose choose the a system that aligns with our nature. And if the system is corrupt? We’ll have a much better chance of arriving at a sustainable solution and effective implementation if we get a handle on our dignity first.
There are roles being played at both polarities that keep our system in place. In order to have a field of undervalued players, we need those willing to be overvalued. In this way, in #Occupy-speak, the 99% “need” the 1% to demonstrate and illuminate their lack, scarcity and powerlessness consciousness—and the inverse is true. The 1% “need” the 99% to to demonstrate and illuminate their lack, scarcity and, believe it or not, powerlessness consciousness. It’s easy to be fooled by superior posturing, though it’s often the clearest sign of fear in trusting life, where a person needs to maintain abject control over as much as possible for fear of losing their version of feeling safe. To what degree do those that seize power and control mirror our own lack of trust? What do you suppose might occur if a significant number of people dropped the other end of this polarity by embodying deep faith and trust? We’re not at critical mass yet, but this is actually what’s happening and why there is amplified oppression against peaceful demonstrations. Those that maintain their security by gripping the reigns with white knuckles are frightened of losing control. Non-violence and compassion neutralizes polarity. That means loss of control by those that believe they hold it.
This mass agreement around lack and scarcity is one of the primary, one could say primal, agreements that have held the old economy in place for millennia. It has been deeply etched in the morphogenetic pathways of human consciousness for a very, very long time, even in those idealized, indigenous cultures to which Charles Eisenstein alludes. Had indigenous tribes not held the shadow, their worlds could not have been invaded. Native Americans prophesied the coming of white settlers. We are converging in the realization that we all share the same consciousness. Beyond “We are one” being the aphorism of the day, oneness means we share our light and shadow. There is no separation in the dance of cultures, races or religions on this planet. As we move toward global sentience, we are being forced to awaken to just how connected we all are.
One culture’s dream is another’s nightmare without this awakening. With the realization of just how profoundly we are connected, care for one becomes care for all. One would no sooner exploit children in one country to satisfy one’s chocolate craving in another, than one would cut off one’s fingertips to simply fit into a stylish glove. The thought ought to be absurd. What would it take to become interested enough to know who is making our clothes and how they’re being treated? Apple has been regularly exposed for allowing abominable working conditions by their Chinese suppliers. Along with letting Apple know via the absence of currency that cruel treatment of people is intolerable, the deeper question needs to be “Why do our hearts not ache intolerably?” while Apple’s injustice is a drop in the bucket, albeit a visible and particularly egregious one due to their capital wealth? What needs to unlock inside of us, that we allow ourselves to feel the full force of injustice? To what degree have we each looked the other way for convenience sake? This is not a deluxe guilt trip. I purchase things constantly while reading the label and feeling unsettled as to the conditions under which an item is manufactured—but I need that cord to connect my monitor to my, umm…Apple computer—but, I bought it used—but… I’m not selling righteousness here, just food for inquiry to move forward in a way that will result in a difference—to the degree that what I do, in the grand scheme of all that is, makes a difference. I engage with passionate detachment, going all out, while offering up the outcome.
Collective transformation mirrors personal transformation. I see us emerging from the age of personal growth and sparking now, the age of collective growth (which still includes the personal, yet expands proactively beyond it). In the same way that an abused child may ultimately rise up through the ashes and mire of broken trust and self-esteem, rage, shame and resentment (to name a few), whole communities and cultures are rising up. The scale is massive, yet the groundwork that millions have laid through the pursuit of personal and spiritual growth over the past 50 years, in particular, is reverberating through collective consciousness, rattling and shattering shackles of old trances of peonage that are illusory, like the insignificant stake that has held the grown elephant in place since birth. That strategy is about to collapse on a massive scale. The dignity of the human heart is exponentially reverberating to all hearts and the collective human spirit is now lifting the old stakes that have relied on a simple trick of perception. Or like the bombastic wizard of Oz, all powerful while behind the curtain, but quite ordinary and surprisingly affable when exposed. We can always intend the best, after all, we are ultimately the authors of our experience.
A New Inner Economy: Restoring Dignity to Our Human Experience will unravel and illuminate this inner landscape of human value and connection. We’ll look at this territory in the context of a much larger evolutionary complex that is unfolding through time. I have found in the healing and reintegration of my own life, as well as the lives of many I have touched, that understanding the higher intent behind sometimes excruciating circumstances, raises one’s core sense of value out of the pits of despair, regret, shame and guilt, restores the inherent dignity with which all life is infused upon its inception. On the foundation of inalienable dignity, a just and sustainable economy will spontaneously emerge, for it shall reflect the recognition, illumination and exchange of love within one’s self without reservation or condition. In the meantime, we’ll continue to merge our hearts and minds to embody the change we know we can be—exploring, experimenting, testing, failing, succeeding, failing some more…learning—emerging. What else is there to do at a time like this?