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?

Namaste,

Geert

 

www.geerthofman.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Why Poverty?

Howdy,

Earlier this week I landed on the Arte TV-channel here in Germany that had dedicated that day’s programmes to the theme ‘Why Poverty?’ Having studied economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam, I guess I could answer this question using economic theories and would probably come up with some kind of an accepted answer. But watching young Chinese adults reluctantly engaging in a struggle for survival, either by trying to get accepted by some top university (thereby ruining their family’s monetary reserves to cover for the cost) or by trying to find whatever job that is available amidst countless competitors, made me sick. And those are considered the lucky ones.

Continue reading “Why Poverty?”

Preface ‘The Glass Dome’

 

Hey there!

Following some reactions on my previous blog, I thought it would good to publish the preface to my first novel (www.geerthofman.com/glass-dome). So….here it is! Again: this is not about me knowing what is going on and what exactly is awaiting us. I’d like us to engage in a meaningful conversation as to what wants to manifest throught these horrible events like the Aurora shooting etc. and regarding what all of us could do to prevent that suffering from happening.

Preface

 

These are interesting times. As I’m writing this [August 2011], we’ve witnessed the Arab spring, which has far from settled down, the earthquake in Japan with its devastating effects, countries on the brink of bankruptcy, Europe struggling to prevent the Eurozone from collapsing, there was the Oslo carnage and just recently the riots in various UK cities. Something of a rather large order seems to be going on, inviting us to take a step back, take a different look at who we are and to make different ways of living, of treating ourselves, each other and the planet possible. Nothing remains the same and what is going on could very well only be the beginning of even bigger changes.

 

As change is becoming more radical and occurring yet faster it is impacting all around the planet. With traditional sources for providing guidance losing their authority and therewith their relevance we’re left to ourselves to try to make sense of what is going on and of what apparently wants to happen. In order to find a justification for these changes, and to try to make sense of them, most will refer to sources from within the current reality, whether it’s science, religion, whatever. I’m pretty sure that trying to find satisfactory explanations within the current paradigm is going to be a challenge. Let alone that adequate solutions for the current challenges, these ongoing changes impose on us, can be found. You cannot steer a ship by looking at its wake. Whatever the source, it seems clear to a growing number of people that something is profoundly changing on the planet. I’m one of them.

 

These upcoming changes will have an effect on how we look upon ourselves, our relationships, our work, our societies, our planet, in short: upon how we have shaped our world. We will be sailing uncharted waters and whatever we have developed as practices over the past millennia will only be of limited help in setting out our next course. Individually and collectively we need to be able to connect to and mobilise other sources in order to successfully continue on our journey of development.

 

The story in this book has been written for all of you out there who sense there is something more to their lives than that you have been taught (and have learned) to believe ever since you were kids. Somehow this longing for this unknown is getting stronger in many people. You may see yourself faced with the question whether or not to heed this call and bring forward changes in your life that may lead to a radical change in the way you have been living up until now. Whether or not you decide to engage in this transformation is solely up to you. And the story has no intention whatsoever to persuade you in doing so. But since this calling gets stronger for many, so does the anxiety. Both individually and collectively. Why venture a giant leap into something completely unknown at the risk of leaving behind everything you attached so much value to? Or at least had gotten used to? Why leave behind a seemingly fulfilling life, which you have gained by learning how to play the game, through adapting to the context, often at the expense of yourself ? Why can the heart be so sure about what direction to take and why does the mind so persistently convince you not to do such a foolish thing? What are actually the stories you are telling yourself about yourself, about your relationships, about your career, about success, about your life, about leadership, about politics, about the world in general and how things go? And how well are they serving you?

 

The main intention of this story is to make you feel more comfortable with whatever really wants to manifest through you, with which you know deep inside you are connected. But from which you somehow shield yourself off. That’s why I’ve chosen to illustrate the journey of one individual. Again, it may be helpful to know that you are not the only one having those feelings. There’s an increasing number of people around the planet having similar feelings and looking for ways to deal with them knowing that no single person holds all the answers. So, I wish you happy reading with an open mind and, more importantly, with an open heart.

 

All Love and Blessings,

 

Geert

 

www.geerthofman.com

 

 

 

Another shooting….

Good day,

So we had yet another shooting…… A bit more than two weeks after the Aurora shooting, roughly a year after the Oslo carnage (to which the picture above relates). And in spite of the controversy in the US around the question if people should (be allowed to) carry weapons and around the prevalence of violence in TV-series, films and video-games it’s fair to say that the US don’t have the monopoly on violence amongst civilians or of civilians against state institutions. Nor does violence always involve the use of fire arms. In the preface to my novel ‘The Glass Dome’ (www.geerthofman.com/glass-dome) I pointed at a series of events which took place early 2011. As I suggested by then (August 2011) I was sure that it wasn’t over yet. On the contrary. And it goes to show: earlier this week the town hall in my place of birth (Waalre, The Netherlands) was set fire to during the night by driving two previously stolen cars into the building. The town hall has been destroyed and until now no one has the slightest idea who is responsible for this and what their motives are. Mind you: Waalre has some 16,000 inhabitants and how I remember it, it has nothing of a metropolitan dimension. Just a peaceful quiet little town. Until a few days ago, that is.

So it seems that everybody’s tolerance towards everybody else is getting to an absolute low. Engaging in traffic increasingly involves violent interactions between people as I can read in the papers each day. Going out for a drink often meets with violence. It seems we want to have it our way and our way only and without any delay. Gratification must be immediate, require no further creative engagement on our end (other than to thoughtlessly consume it) and seems to be aimed at dulling the senses rather than providing an uplifting experience aimed at attaining a more refined state of consciousness for instance.

In my blog of Feb 1st I introduced 4 levels of interaction (https://geerthofman.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/on-human-interaction-four-levels/) when we are faced with a situation:

  • the drama
  • the facts & figures
  • the different options for reacting
  • what wants to make itself shown?

To stick with the last question: I choose to believe that as mankind we’re facing the transition to a radically new era with radically new ways of viewing ourselves, all others, the world we live in and radically new ways of treating each other and our world. It seems to me that our current institutions and structures in all areas of our world are rapidly becoming obsolete. Without having meaningful alternatives in place yet, our future looks very unstable and insecure with all of us looking for something to hold on to. Clearly, saying our farewell to the old era, to the paradigm all of us alive have been brought up with and to various degrees gotten used to, is causing fear and anxiety. And clearly this transition needs to take place with lots of turmoil, violence and unrest.

But why exactly?

I’m wondering what we could do, collectively, to make the transition smoother, much more peaceful. Is it possible at all? I know it won’t help those who have died on the Aurora massacre. Or in the Oslo carnage. Or Alphen (Netherlands) shooting in May 2011. Or in the Winnenden (Germany) killings in 2009. Or in the Columbine shooting. And so on.

What I really would like to know from all of you: Is there anything each of us and therewith all of us could do to prevent further outbursts of this raging violence? To prevent us from injuring and killing our fellow-men? Ruining the lives of those who are left behind? Which is not limited to victims of shootings but it would include everything that we just know is not right but fail to make it right up until today. It’s clear this requires a radical overhaul of our current thinking and practices and the solutions are going to be systemic. It’s not just telling people not to carry guns. Or to punish those who do carry one. It’s about changing everything that has led to our non-productive practices. From education to nutrition. From (health-)care to the distribution of our abundance. Since the solution does not involve just an incremental change from where we are now, I’m not looking at our self-proclaimed leaders who have been brought forward by the current system. Both presidential candidates in the US could not demonstrate this more clearly as they carefully avoid mentioning the possibility of banning fire arms from being held by civilians. They feel they have to think about their constituent lobbies in order to get (re-)elected. Furthermore they are as much part of the drama as most of us and can contribute as much to the transition as all of us.

So, really, what is it that you and me can start doing as of today? Help me, please?

Love and Blessings,

Geert

www.geerthofman.com

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,

 

Geert

 

www.geerthofman.com

 

 

The captains and the sinking ship?

Riots in Greece
Riots in Greece

Howdi,

Yesterday my friend Mark Walsh posted an interesting question on Facebook (http://on.fb.me/KNy73P)

“So I want to ask a hard question of myself and all my coach, trainer and facilitator friends ahead of the Wisdom 2.0 Business conference.  Are we really transforming a sick system or are we just giving new terror-tools to the world’s biggest bullies?”

It triggered quite some comments and it took my thoughts to what is going on around the world and especially in Europe at this moment. I have commented on it in the preface of my novel ‘The Glass Dome’ (www.geerthofman.com/glass-dome ) as well.

The entire Eurozone is still struggling with the debt crisis, which has turned into a political crisis as well. Several countries face changes in their political management (like France last weekend) in relative stability (like Holland where new elections are due in September) or in outright chaos (Greece where a new government is unlikely to be formed and hence new elections will need to take place). These events do not help to bring security and stability to the fiscal and rescue packages that have been agreed upon. It seems that the Greek people are no longer willing to play along the old rules of the game (without having a clear concept of the new rules, by the way). Syriza, the coalition of radical leftist parties, make that very clear by stating that they won’t accept further government cuts and can’t pay back the debt. How long will it take before the people from Spain, Italy, France, Belgium or even Holland get to this stage?

Politicians no longer seem to be able to rally the majority of their constituents around a common theme. In countries where traditionally governments are based on coalitions, it has become increasingly difficult (and in some instances impossible) to arrive at a coalition with a majority in parliament so laws can be passed. In previous blogs as well in ‘The Glass Dome’ I’ve touched upon this. To me it is clear that we are entering a new era that will lead to a radically different way of treating each other and the planet. At some point in time, our societies will look different around the globe. A few keywords: freedom, transparency, connectedness. personal destiny. But we’re far from that. Somehow I choose to believe that this transformation is not going to be a smooth ride. Established parties will try to cling to the positions they have built up over the last centuries. They will try to sell or enforce their practices as best practices for the uncharted waters we are heading towards. (Automatically this famous Einstein quote about finding solutions from a different domain than where the problems originated from comes to mind). There’s power involved which will not be given up easily. It is the old one-for-all-paradigm derailing and therewith demonstrating its darkest sides through human action. I never thought the transformation would be a mere academic exercise but the venom is rapidly spreading it seems.

Is this (the start of) the inevitable universal creative planet-wide destruction preceding another phase of creation? Has the moment come that institutional Europe is falling to pieces? Is the ship sinking? Is there anything we would want the captains to do? What can we all do in order to facilitate the inevitable transformation in a way that it becomes less bumpy? Even it is only a bit less bumpy, much suffering would be prevented and many lives would be saved.

Interesting times ahead. Curious to hear what you think.

Love, Geert
www.geerthofman.com