I’m just wondering

NotGovernedByMoneyHi y’all 🙂

Off late I’ve been wondering what would happen if we were to live without money. This comes after witnessing the economic debates, on how to get us out of the crisis and which have been going on for more than 5 years now, and having talked to Charles Eisenstein (http://sacred-economics.com/).

As you may know, money (the digits on a computer at the bank, linked to your name, which will be positive or negative) gets created out of thin air (a few mouse clicks) as interest bearing debt. This necessitates paying back more than you received which means, in shorthand,  finding a product or service to generate the money with and it means necessary economic growth. Right up to the moment where all commons have been taken and everything non tangible (which used to be available for no money as well). I mean for an individual it may still be possible to find a new niche but it’s clear to me that for the entire system this is a dead-end street.

And hence I’m wondering: would really everything collapse and would we revert to being undeveloped, uncivilised creatures? Miserable, sick, starving? Stealing away scarce resources from another? Violently unhappy and perpetually unfulfilled? That would be a case for the money game to start all over again.

Or would we see that we can have access to enough (as opposed to never having (owning) enough)? All of us. And if so: what would become available to all of us? Which is not available now under this monetary-scarcity paradigm?

What are your thoughts?











It’s (not necessarily) all about the money

Hello Again!

As you know by now, I find this discussion regarding money quite fascinating. As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, due to its nature you can’t ever get enough money. Unless you take a conscious decision that enough is enough, you’ll always want more money. And yeah, well, what can you do with more and more and more money? Buy stuff? Buy more expensive stuff? Buy political power? Why? To get tax breaks that result in you having even more money? So, now that our current way of interest bearing debt based and (money) growth driven economics is coming to an end a question becomes relevant:  what kind of prosperity would we get if we’d stop monetizing each and everything on the planet? What would it mean if we’d collectively step out of the money game and enter the human game?

In this video featuring Umair Haque addressing a conference  http://bit.ly/OmCcA7, he introduces the idea of eudaimonic prosperity. Well, using ancient Greek words always sounds impressive so I looked it up. In Wikipedia I found this:

Eudaimonia or eudaemonia (Ancient Greek: ξὐδιΚΟονίι [euĚŻdaiĚŻmonĂ­a]), sometimes Anglicized as eudemonia (play /juːdɨˈmoʊniə/), is a Greek word commonly translated as happiness or welfare; however, “human flourishing” has been proposed as a more accurate translation.[1] Etymologically, it consists of the words “eu” (“good”) and “daimōn” (“spirit”). It is a central concept in Aristotelian ethics and political philosophy, along with the terms “aretē“, most often translated as “virtue” or “excellence”, and “phronesis“, often translated as “practical or moral wisdom.”[2] In Aristotle’s works, eudaimonia was (based on older Greek tradition) used as the term for the highest human good, and so it is the aim of practical philosophy, including ethics and political philosophy, to consider (and also experience) what it really is, and how it can be achieved.

So it is about good spirit….. Several Greek philosophers have different interpretations of it, though. Roughly they vary from just having a good time (Epicurus) or being active in a life aimed at achieving excellence (arete) in virtue as Aristotle and Socrates suggest. I guess by now we’ve ticked the box of living a life of (superficial and empty-headed) pleasure which does not prove to be enough for sustainable happiness or fulfillment as the senses require constantly new stimuli in order to remain satisfied (sedated) or have at least the illusion that they are so.

Then this video by Charles Eisenstein came to mind. Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEZkQv25uEs From 09:26 onward he talks about Adulthood. We’re moving out of this childhood phase, where we played around with our talents without connecting those to our true purpose, and entering the phase of Adulthood where the gifts and talents we’ve developed will now be aimed at our purpose. The first step then being healing, a massive amount of it, to heal what we’ve made sick. And that requires that we act, apart from having a changed set of attitudes, a radically changed view of ourselves, of the universe and hence how we relate to that. We need to act collectively, based on our radically changed view of the universe, naturally allowing each of us the freedom that is indissociably ours. Sitting around and thinking about the healing is not enough. And: the acting is not a tick-the-box exercise either. It is a change process by itself through which we will learn to see the beauty of life again, and to honour our habitat at large, including everything that lives in it.

Being active and not just sitting around is also something I find on the cover of my pocket Bhagavad Gita:

“Freedom lies not in renunciation or retreat, but in disciplined action performed with self-knowledge and detachment”

As I’ve also mentioned in my novel The Glass Dome (www.geerthofman.com-glass-dome) one of the conditions that seemingly need to be met is the dissolving of current rigid structures in all fields of our society. And that I expect that not to go peaceful most of the time. Hence interesting times ahead but I’m getting more confident that we’ll be able to make the jump thanks to our collective wisdom, once that gets properly mobilised.  With contribution from people like Umair Haque and Charles Eisenstein, but also John Renesch (https://www.facebook.com/TheGreatGrowingUp) and many more, not all hope is lost!

Any thoughts? I’d like us to explore our road ahead.

Love and Blessings,



A life without Self….

Good day!
Today I came across the announcement of Jack Stephen’s (twitter @organicjack) new book ‘Soul Self’ ( http://soulselfliving.com/soul-self/) Here’s  part of the preface I checked out on Amazon:
“Although I experienced various successes in my life, they never seemed to last or bring a true sense of fulfillment. Like many people in modern society, I spent most of my life doing what I learned as a child – striving to please others, looking outside of my Self for direction and competing for recognition, affection and seemingly scarce resources. I let subconscious programs, unhealed trauma, and opinions of other people control my life. I learned about the power of positive thinking, but I mistakenly believed that a few minutes of constructive thought every now and then would overwrite the deeply buried, firmly ignored or resolutely avoided destructive thoughts, feelings and beliefs that were creating my reality 95% of the time. I could convincingly talk about positive, healthy living, but I could not yet match those words with my actions.
Knowing that we want to be happy, yet continuing to make choices that cause unhappiness is all too common, but I felt alone in my feelings of confusion, self-criticism and despair. I had a difficult time accepting that I was worthy or capable of experiencing health, wealth and true, loving partnership. I did my best to disguise my insecurities, and over time, I accepted that while I was neither a dismal failure nor a grand success, the life I was living was the best I could expect. In nearly every area of my life, I settled for less than I was capable of creating.”
I don’t know about you guys, but it strongly resonated with me. I recognise my life in what Jack wrote and I must say I’m looking forward to read his book as he is coming from experience rather than being a smart consultant. It left me pondering once more about our beliefs. About my beliefs… Again they prove to be so strong, even if we don’t recognise them and even if they live far below the surface of our conscious perception. Perhaps as a result of one or more experiences in our childhood. Like parents telling us to fit in. Teachers telling us to do as we’re told. Others telling us we can’t play along. Well, in my perception that’s exactly what all of society did when I grew up.  Today, I feel it leaves me on a journey of which I know I haven’t completed it yet. Over the last few years I’ve gained tremendous insights in who I am and what I’m here for. But I feel, I sense there’s still more to the story that will eventually really set me free and get all of my talents going. The score until now? OK, well. according to my clients I am an excellent executive/transformational coach. And I really love doing that work as I know it’s part of who I am. Last year I published my first novel ‘The Glass Dome’ (www.geerthofman.com/glass-dome) and I’m writing my 2nd one (working title: Water Colours). It took a while (of actively fighting it) before I could accept that the novel wanted to manifest itself in my life…. (What do you mean: limiting stores I was telling myself and therewith blocking the flow of energy?) The third leg has to do with music. And actually, writing this, my thoughts go back to a meeting last week with an old-time friend with whom I hadn’t hung out for a long time. He mentioned that the first thing I told him when we first met (this goes back to 1982 or so) was that I rather wanted to have become a guitar player but had decided for studying economics in stead….. I must confess, that kind of hit home. The experience is similar to being called by my first boss ever following me inviting him for the book launch in Amsterdam last year november. Laughingly, he shared that it had been one of the first things I had told him: that I wanted to write a book. Oyyy…. so I guess I have become at least partially blind to that what wants to manifest in my life. And hence I got my portion of struggle.
Well, anyway…. as I said I’m still on my journey of discovery. With the biggest challenge finding ways to interact and engage with all of you out there. Somethign I find very hard to do. So if you have any insights or experiences you’d like to share….. I might have a few in return (but only if you want to)!
All love and blessings,

They haven’t got a clue…..


German Chancellor Angela Merkel struggling with the Eurocrisis
German Chancellor Angela Merkel struggling with the Eurocrisis

Yesterday I watched part of the budget discussions in the German Parliament (Bundestag). In various, emotional arguments the different parties presented their differing solutions to the current eurocrisis. They all agreed on one thing: the current government, lead by Angela Merkel, is doing it all wrong. Of course they haven’t got a clue either but at least they can pretend they do as their plans will not be testes in practice. Then there are those who want to cut Europe’s budget and others (European Commission) who actually want to increase it. And let’s not forget the fierce debate about how much power each country should transfer to Brussels. Two days ago I heard a director of the Dutch central bank say what my economics teacher had told me already back in 1976: ‘you young folk need to be financially self-sufficient as it is far from sure that there will be money for you when you want or need to retire.’ The central-bank director literally said that people should pay off their mortgages faster than planned and save more money. Which is interesting in itself of course: reduce your household spending budget dramatically, no matter what, so you may have some money later on (Oh no, I’m not going to talk about where they should store that money. At some to-be-bailed-out-bank?) So money is running out in Europe (and the US) and no one has a clue where the billions in support flowed to.

I trust that you get it: the picture is far from unambiguous and the politicians are trying really hard to come up with a solution. Or better: THE solution for all of us. But given how they tick (not rocking the boat, trying to maintain the status quo, pleasing well established and well organised stakeholders) by definition it’s impossible for them to come up with what the situation requires. They’re too immersed in the game to be able to see what wants to happen. What it doesn’t require is extrapolating best practices from the past as I choose to believe the game is changing. And I mean the nature of it. Radically changing. There’ll be no need for colossal states trying to control everything that goes on within their jurisdiction. In a previous blog, I kinda touched upon this as well (https://geerthofman.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/how-politics-help/) The big institutions will crumble and they’ll get help from the inside.  And I’ve mentioned in other blogs as well that this ‘one-for-all’- concept has had its day. What we are going to get is a global society, whose inhabitants share a global consciousness, in freedom. We’re gonna be free individuals who stick together as we’ll finally realise we’re all connected. We’re in this together.  And yes, as we can see: the ride is already bumpy. It would be great if we get to a tipping point in the number of people that are willing to take a step back and look at what wants to happen so that it can be facilitated rather than denied and fought. And it looks that we’re gonna find the way forward together and not contract that part out to our politicians. If we are going to be free, we’d better be prepared to take on the responsibility that belongs to it as well. So in a way, we will get involved in dealing with politics or politicians, as “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. Plato (427-347 BC)” And: Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you. Pericles (430 B.C.)” One for the road: What this country needs are more unemployed politicians. Edward Langley, Artist (1928 – 1995).

Oh, and the confusion does not only take place at the political level. More about that next time.

Love and blessings,








For the love of it

Geert on Stage with the FFB-BigBand
Geert on Stage with the FFB-BigBand

Hey there!

Again I’ve been reading in Ken Robinson’s fabulous book ‘The Element’ (http://sirkenrobinson.com/skr/) In short: it’s about (encouraging) people finding their calling en living it. Towards the end is a passage that really hit home for me personally. It’s the chapter called ‘For Love or Money’ where an academic is introduced who is crazy about playing his cello and apparently very good at it too. The point that got me gasping for breath is where the academic is quoted saying that ‘calling it a hobby is ridiculous’. Bang! That hit home! For me too, calling playing music a hobby really sounds off. Although I thoroughly enjoy my professional activities as executive coach I also find myself in my element when I get to play music. And it’s no longer only playing. I started arranging songs and actually composed a few myself. Well, composed: let me just say the music came to me when I was ready for it. On no occasion did it involve sitting down and think what I should write. Playing music has given me some extraordinary moments of flow, especially during the last three, four years when I got to play with others again. With the FFB-BigBand (without having prior experience with or exposure to this kind of music) I’m one of the soloists. Mind you, on guitar, not really the first instrument that comes to mind when you think about bigband music. It was only at the second gig that our band leader asked me to play a solo. Where I was really struggling trying to keep up with what was being played! 🙂  And I have similar experience with my other bands and projects. I like to have a good time but also to touch our audience and frankly, and probably this is a result of why I play music, I want to be good at it. Oh, and equally important: for me it’s so great (and vital) to engage with other people and be on the same wavelength with them! I get tremendous support from them and I try to support all others where I can.

Something similar applies to writing novels. The first one ‘The Glass Dome’ wanted to be written by me if that makes any sense to you at all. I had no ambition nor intention to become an author. But somehow, and finally, I gave in to this urge which I felt. Or better: I had the courage to give in to it and wonder at what wanted to manifest itself through me. Again they keyword here was allowing. Allowing to let happen that which wanted to happen. No, not as a helpless victim but as a fully aware steward of those energies.

So being an author and musician goes along perfectly well with being an executive coach. following the energy creates new possibilities that seem to perfectly fit what I’m doing. Again: I thoroughly enjoy all three of these lines of activities through which I like to share my love for all and consider them to continue my element, as Sir Ken Robinson would have it. I wouldn’t want to drop any of them, nor would I want to focus exclusively on one of them.

Sometimes I find people listening to this story in awe. Like as if they would never be able to do something similar. Well, as stated in my previous blog, it probably is going to be quite an effort if anyone would want to carbon copy my life. But similar possibilities exist for all of us. We are not confined to one context to deploy the many talents that we have, to share our gift to the world.

My invitation to you right now is to find your place of stillness and ask yourself whether you are really fulfilled. If not, don’t blame yourself or anyone or anything else for that matter but ask yourself the question: what is it that I need to experience fulfillment? What is it that wants to make itself heard or seen in my life that I haven’t been able to until now. Stay with those questions for a while and allow your soul to show you the answer. And by all means: do let me know what comes out of it for you.

All love and blessings,



PS: here are the links to two YouTube videos of the FFB-BigBand




Geert with the FFB-BigBand playing 'Satin Doll'
Geert with the FFB-BigBand playing ‘Satin Doll’